Let’s be honest, here. We all knew things were going to fall apart at the ranch eventually, given how Madison and company have infused doubt and questions about not only what lies beyond the ‘safe’ walls of their community but what the real threat is. Also, Jerimiah’s cult like way of running things was eventually going to blow up in his face and in “Red Dirt” we get to see the beginning of how things are slowly unraveling.
Madison, Troy and the rest of the survivors of the Walker led ambush make it back to the ranch and the tension quickly begins to build. People want to know what happened, someone starts describing what happens, how they are all going to die and Jerimiah steps in and tries his best to control the situation. However, a few minutes into the episode and the seeds of real discontent are planted and this is where the fun begins.
A family decides to pick up and leave the ranch, with horrific consequences, not the least being who was actually responsible for the all the deaths. Deep down Jerimiah knows that his control over the ranch will only succeed with the help from his sons and that is becoming less and less likely as they have their own agendas and issues to deal with. While Walker may not have the numbers to attack the ranch, as Jerimiah says/hopes, he is doing a fantastic job of instilling fear into the people there and that is one powerful emotion.
Nick and Jerimiah continue their weird bonding over guns and booze and I’m beginning to like Nick more and more. I’m not buying that he’s become completely taken in by Jerimiah and his rhetoric and is playing along more than anything. Sure he likes him, Jerimiah has that aura about him that draws people to him like moths to a flame, but some scenes in this episode, focusing on Nick’s face, tell me something else is going on here.
As each week progresses, Madison is staking her claim more and more to becoming the Rick Grimes of this series, if she hasn’t morphed into that persona already. Quiet and cunning, she talks when she needs to, says what needs to be said and keeps an eye on the big picture, that is trying to save her family and the continued molding as Troy to become the new leader of this group. This seems weird and strange at times, especially with how Troy handled a certain matter this week, but I’m beginning to trust Madison’s plan concerning the long game.
The admission by Alicia to her mom about sleeping with Jake was weird and downright creepy. Did she really say what I thought she said? Is she cunning like her mom, and in that, willing to do what is necessary to get what she and her family needs? As much as I found the whole scene a little disturbing, it did offer a look into a side of Alicia that I haven’t seen before and I’m still on the fence to whether I like what I saw.
This was definitely one of those important episodes that laid the groundwork for the chaos to come. I’m not fully embracing the ‘cowboy’s versus Indians’ theme they have going on right now but the way they are building tension and dread on this show has caught my attention and made me very interested in what is to come.
Four stars out of five
- Tension and stress are beginning to make people crack at the ranch
- Madison continues her quest to shape the ranch life to how she thinks it should be
- Is Alicia that cold and calculating? Did Madison actually almost smile at her admission?