Well, I wasn’t expecting that.
In “Brother’s Keeper”, we watch exiled Troy and wannabe leader Jake go head to head while the Ranch faces a threat it has never seen before. But in the end, as is usually the case in these apocalyptic zombie shows, we are left with the question of who is really the bigger threat, humans or the undead?
As the episode begins, we see Troy on his own and not doing so well. Exile does not seem to suit him and soon he considers whether it would be better just to end it all. However, something happens to change his immediate plans and he drops by the Ranch to inform Nick that basically, the day of judgment is almost here. After he takes off, Nick rounds up Jake and they go off to bring him back.
While this is going on, and after they’ve left, there is a lot of one on one conversations that take place, and I mean A LOT. At the center of almost all of these little chats is Alicia, as the show tries yet again to make her character feel relevant and important. She is definitely much better this week, much less whiny and annoying, with some actual intelligent and seemingly well thought out points. The problem is the show has pushed too much on Alicia and her character just doesn’t come off nearly as strong as most others, except maybe Jake which isn’t saying much.
Meanwhile, while on the hunt for Troy, Nick and Jake come across a much bigger threat, which thanks to Troy has now been placed at the doorstep of the Ranch. Eventually, the three of these characters meet up and have some pretty damn good moments, which was one of a handful of surprises for me this week. Individually, as with the group at the Ranch, these characters can be hard to take but this week the circumstances forced a dynamic that while great to see, made me sad it didn’t happen sooner.
After the shocking end to this confrontation, The Ranch is still left with the grim reality of what it is about to face. The action and chaos that followed was a nice change of pace from the tough, face to face to face between Jake, Troy and Nick. It’s been quite a while since the show as seen any kind of carnage on this scale and while it was not a great time for the folks at the Ranch it was wonderful for the viewer.
As the episode came to the close, it was interesting to note who came forward to lead with Madison, Hector and Victor gone. It is ironic to think how happy those three must be to be returning with water, only to eventually see what has happened while they were gone. What the viewer is left with is a very strong episode that sets up the rest of the season by showing us once again that in a zombie apocalypse, you can never let your guard down, from humans and the undead alike.
Four stars out of five
-Troy, Nick, and Jake all have some great moments
-Good to see some all-out chaos hit this group
-Dynamic of leadership will now change, but no clue how it will effect everyone
-Alicia continues to be a polarizing character, in terms being annoying at least once or twice an episode