The Clark family is about to be tested.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 2 provided a decent explanation of what occurred following the Season 3 finale. There was also a good deal of juicy information revealed as Madison finally made an appearance, and we learned what the Clark family had been up.
While Morgan was primarily absent during the hour, the trek back in time was necessary to bring the viewers up to speed. While a decent amount of questions were touched upon, there are still many that remain unanswered.
Of all places, a baseball stadium -- cleverly referred to as "The Diamond" -- is where the Clark family eventually set up camp following the events on Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 16.
While the details are a bit sketchy, we did learn that after the collapse of the dam, Madison linked back up with Alicia and Nick at some point and eventually ended up at The Diamond.
While Madison's explanation was pretty vague and convenient, it was enough to bring the viewers back into the loop.
I'm curious to know more about the "range" that Madison mentioned on the map before going out searching for Charlie's family. How and why was that border established? What lies beyond the range that is too dangerous to cross?
Once Strand, Madison, Alicia, and Luciana made it into town, something was obviously askew. The place was an utter ghost town, with not even a single walker in sight.
Although It wasn't empty, as we were introduced to another exciting new addition to the series in Jenna Elfman's character, Naomi. We don't know much about her yet other than that she used to be an E.R. doctor, which will likely prove extremely valuable to their community.
To be honest, I wasn't exactly sure how well Elfman would fit into this ensemble cast, but she seems to be fitting right in.
I'm very eager to learn more about Naomi and how she ended up there. She seems trustworthy enough, but then again, so did Charlie.
But more on that later.
One glaring issue for me during this episode was with Nick attempting to leave the stadium in the middle of the night. It didn't make sense and felt more like a cheap plot device to throw Nick into a dangerous situation, and felt completely unnecessary.
Nick seems to be the one out of everyone that seems to have gone through a noticeable change. We don't know what Nick has endured since Fear the Walking Dead Season 3, but based on Madison's chat with Luciana, Nick was in a bad place when she "found" him.
Nick: I have a turnip situation.
Luciana: Don't you get bored in here?
Nick: Yeah I do, it's great!
That could mean anything, but considering how well we know Nick, it may point to the possibility of him relapsing. It wouldn't be surprising considering that last season, Nick found himself stealing Ofelia's pain meds and chowing down on walker brain stems.
Everyone knows adrenal brain stems are a gateway drug.
Nick's little PTSD moment was evidence of something very traumatic having happened at some point recently. Hopefully, we'll get some clarity on that soon.
It makes sense why he doesn't want to leave The Diamond. He has plenty of distractions at the stadium to keep him busy and avoid any temptation from the outside world.
One significant turn of events during this episode was the introduction of The Vultures, and their setup as being the primary antagonist this season.
Their leader, Mel, appeared friendly at first, but what was a seemingly cordial conversation quickly devolved into an alarming situation for Madison.
From what I can gather, The Vultures' sole purpose is to travel from place to place, finding new camps or communities and take their resources. And if they don't cooperate -- like Madison -- they wait around for them to die and swoop in and take what they want anyway.
The name "Vulture" suits this group perfectly.
There was something extremely unsettling about Mel's calm demeanor while telling Madison how much he knew about their group. It turns out that Charlie, the innocent little girl that recently waltzed into Madison's community, had been a mole the entire time.
That reveal completely surprised me, but it made complete sense afterward. Using Charlie to infiltrate other groups to gather intel prior approaching them is brilliant.
Who would have suspected that little girl of anything? Which makes me assume that Charlie somehow sabotaged Diamond's crops.
Madison: We're not going anywhere.
Mel: Yeah, I've heard that before too.
Madison: We've lived like you. Moving from place to place, doing whatever it took to make it. We're not going back to that life.
Mel: You saying you're better than us?
Madison: I'm saying we found a better way.
The Vultures already know that rations are low within the Diamond to begin with -- considering Nick told Charlie that was the case -- so why not attack their food source?
We know Madison very well at this point, and there was no way she was going to roll over and be intimidated so easily. We don't quite know exactly what this group is capable of, but we know enough about them to pose a serious threat to what Madison has been trying to build.
I'm very excited with the introduction of The Vultures as this series is long past due to have a worthy antagonist. I thought we finally had that with the Proctor John being established in the latter half of Season 3, but now due to the time jump, we may never revisit that story.
You just haven't been tested ... but you're about to be.Mel
At least we know who has been leaving those numbered flags around. My guess is they are markers for how many walkers were contained in the area. The walkers that were led into the box truck were given a flag with the number 12, and the flag that was found in the ghost town had 457 -- which could be an appropriate number.
My question is: Where are they putting all of those walkers?
Jumping back and forth between the two timelines appears to be this seasons storytelling device to fill in the blanks on what transpired following Fear the Walking Dead Season 3. While I'm still on the fence about whether or not I approve of the format; at least explanations are being provided at a decent rate -- if not entirely satisfying.
Although, after watching this episode, one burning question remains that I'm sure everyone wants to know: Where is Daniel Salazar???
Hopefully, we won't have long to wait to find out.
It's time to hear from you, TV Fanatics!
What did you think of "Another Day in the Diamond"? What are your first impressions of the Vultures? Could they end up being a worthy adversary to rival the Clark family? Are you satisfied thus far with how the time gap between seasons is being explained?
Comment below and let me know your thoughts.
Fear the Walking Dead returns with a new episode on Sunday, April 29th on AMC at 9/8c.
Want to check out this episode again? Be sure to watch Fear the Walking Dead online right here at TV Fanatic.
Steven Ford is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.