Synopsis for 3×09 and 3×10: Relations are tense on the ranch as Walker’s people move in and the water situation comes to light.
While settling in, Troy objects to Ofelia being on the ranch, but Walker refuses to make her leave and Jake has to settle the tensions after he storms off in a huff. Jake admits that some people are reluctant to the change like Troy, but in a show of goodwill, he gives one key to the arsenal to Walker. He keeps the other key and it can’t be opened unless they’re both present, so they have fair and equal access to the guns.
Daniel is still alive and well, helping Lola to dispense water to those in need. They’re forced to disband as the infected shamble in, but it was a nice first run. Later, she tries to manage his expectations of ever finding Ofelia again when she tells him she saw him looking for her among the infected. Their second water dispersal doesn’t go nearly as well as people clamor for as much water as they can get.
The ranch holds a mixer for everyone to get to know each other. It’s tense and no one is really happy. Madison asks after Jake’s health and Alicia tells her to stop doing back-channel deals with Walker to help Jake. Both he and Walker make speeches about working together, but it only sways so many. Meanwhile, Nick checks on Ofelia – who is also not at the mixer – and they discuss feeling guilt for past actions.
Alicia finds Walker the next day and repeats her message: he needs to be dealing with Jake and not Madison when making deals for the ranch. At the same time, Madison pries open the locked drawer of Jeremiah’s desk and learns the truth about their dire water situation.
While some of Walker’s men are eating breakfast out in the open, Troy looks on as Terrence walks up and attempts to shoot Walker’s right hand man, Crazy Dog. He misses his target because Nick alerts everyone to the threat but still manages to shoot someone and a skirmish breaks out. Walker puts an end to the fighting before anyone else can get hurt too severely, but he demands the key to the weapons in payment. Jake doesn’t want to give up the ranches weapons, but ultimately has no choice when Madison urges him to.
When they go to relieve Troy of his weapons in Jeremiah’s house, he pulls a gun on them and everyone but Nick is forced out. Both Nick and Madison try to talk him out of doing anything stupid, but Troy gets into a gunfight when Walker’s people descend on the house and drag Madison away.
One of the men almost kills Nick, but Troy saves him and pulls him further into the house, incorrectly assuming that Nick supports his fight. He’s trying to talk Troy down and tackles him to shout that they surrender, but they struggle. Ultimately, it’s Nick admitting that he killed Jeremiah that makes Troy stop resisting and Walker’s men break down the door and capture them.
The next morning, Madison and Walker agree that Troy has to go, but Nick must stay. Jake is the one to deliver the news to his brother: he’s being exiled and he can never come back. His only request is that Madison take him out to the wasteland because Walker’s people will kill him on the way. While she’s preparing to drive Troy out of the ranch, Nick is being put into a hot box as his punishment.
Once she gets far enough away from the ranch, Madison stops the truck and Walker’s man goes to free Troy from his bindings. Troy attacks him and Madison has to pull her gun before he kills the man. She hesitates in shooting him and Troy attacks her as well, but she frees herself he admits that he’s tired with the gun trained on him once more. He picks up his backpack of supplies and walks away from her.
Madison finally tells Walker that the water is running out and they need to secure a new source for the future. They decide to ration it for everyone on the ranch because there are only six weeks of water left, something that very few people know. She and Walker leave in search of water and she leaves Alicia in charge of taking care of Nick because she’s the “strong one.”
In the hotbox, Nick is suffering and hallucinates Troy returning to free him. When he is finally let out of the box, he can hardly stand. Crazy Dog informs him that they’ll be keeping an eye on him before Alicia brings him home and tells him to salt his water. She immediately has to go put out another fire when she visits Jake, calming the fears of the people on the ranch who are asking for extra water.
That night, Madison radios Alicia to check in and then Walker warns her about protecting her kids from everything because it might come back to bite her. In the morning, they find a bazaar set up with all kinds of trading and people inside of a football stadium. Unfortunately, the price of admission is Madison’s radio.
Nick is approached by a few guys from Troy’s militia that same night. They also think that Nick stood up for the ranch and what they believe in, so they’re ready to follow him into battle as if he’s the new Troy. They also give him the last free gun on the ranch. In the morning, the line for water is long and one of the militia thinks that Walker’s people are double-dipping on water.
Alicia and Ofelia get into an argument about keeping the peace and keeping people from taking too much water before she goes home to confront Nick about his new militia. She yells at him for having a gun and asks him what happens if they find out the truth about Jeremiah. Alicia also thinks that they’re doing all of this for Madison’s approval and finally realizes it might be a big waste of time. Later, when she tries to hail her on the radio, Madison obviously can’t answer.
Walker and Madison are successfully trying to broker a deal when a commotion involving Strand draws Madison’s attention. She attacks the people dragging him away and they escape, only to have Strand tell them he can’t actually leave the bazaar without paying his debts. Strand also lets it slip that he knows someone (Daniel) running a huge dam in Tijuana and they all decide to figure out what to do in the morning.
Alicia gets into an argument with a ranch woman because she’s taking too much water, leading Alicia to admit there’s only six weeks of water left. This causes a panic and the crowd begins a big scuffle in their attempts to get water. Crazy Dog shoots his gun off and they go to take over management of the well when Nick stops them with his own gun. To keep the peace, Walker’s men go back to their side of the ranch and their water pump.
To salvage the water deal he’d begun to make, Walker turns over Strand. But before he does that, Madison and Strand get some time to talk. He asks about her kids and realizes that Travis didn’t make it. They hug before Walker bursts in and Strand is taken prisoner to pay his debts by being chained to the outer fence to kill the infected that get too close. He tells her to go back to her kids.
Strand’s capture was clearly negotiated for the water deal and Madison pulls one over on Walker after the fact. As Strand begins to fight off a horde of infected, Madison comes to his rescue, having used the money to pay off his debt. Walker is pissed, but she simply tells him about the dam and the water as a “more permanent” solution.
The people from the ranch are arming themselves and trying to get all of the water they can before Walker’s people do. Nick’s militia wants to talk strategy, but Nick decides the best thing to do is take back control of the guns. As they ready themselves to attack, Nick sees Alicia digging into the water table with some of Walker’s people. He gives up the impending fight and goes to help them dig instead. Soon after, everyone else joins in.