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FEAR Season 1 Episode 5: Cobalt – Recap & Discussion

Note: Due to the parallel story-telling of this episode, we’ve divided up the plot lines. You’re welcome.

The Military Infirmary

The scenery in Fear the Walking Dead has dramatically changed each episode and this one is no different. We open in the military infirmary/compound Nick, Griselda, and Doug were taken to last episode. It’s no Johns Hopkins Hospital; but rather a gymnasium-turned-prison fit with fenced-in cells for the sick. Meet Strand, a mysterious man from the community who spends the first part of the episode rambling to Doug in their cell. He speaks about being a seller, the end times, and even taking his wife…all to the point where Doug begs to be taken away…which he is. The other guy in Strand’s cell? Nick.

Meanwhile, Dr. Exner gives Liza a crash course in treating patients and instructs her to learn to make hard decisions with the bitten. Melvin the soldier discovers Nick has a high temperature and threatens to take him away but Strand refuses to let that happen. He bribes Melvin with expensive cuff links (which for some reason still carry value in the apocalypse) and promises to look after Nick.


Determined to find Griselda, Liza comes across the cages where people are being held and finds Nick instead. After some advice from Strand, Liza finally locates Griselda, who’s sedated, speaking nonsense, and missing a foot. Dr. Exner explains her brain is swelling and soon, Griselda dies. Dr. Exner tells Liza the dead come back and their solution is to shoot them in the head with a cattle pistol. Believing she deserves better, Liza grabs it and No Country for Old Men’s the job herself. Now that Griselda’s gone all Liza wants to do is be with her son. She agrees to stay at the compound so long as Exner brings her Chris, which she agrees to. Nick asks Strand why he saved him and Stand explains he saved him to help him escape.

The Clarks

Chris still has raw emotions about his mother leaving and takes it out on Madison. Ofelia, also upset her mother is missing, chucks glass bottles towards the soldiers and demands they tell her where her mother is. Before a soldier can take care of her Corporal Adams (her love interest from last episode) stops him and says he’ll “handle it.” The other solider asking, “You think I like doing this?” goes to show that not all of the soldiers are carbon copies of the commander.



Searching for Alicia, Madison accidentally stumbles upon a room where Daniel and Ofelia have tied up Corporal Adams. Daniel reasons, “This is how we bring them home.” Adams vows Griselda and Nick will be treated at the infirmary and return soon. Madison demands him tell her where Nick is located. While cooling off upstairs, Ofelia and Daniel reveal they plan on trading Adams for Nick and Griselda but Madison knows that won’t work. Daniel agrees, and instructs Maddie to stay in her house with Ofelia. When she pleads with him not to hurt Adams, Daniel questions if she wants Nick back. “So which is it? You don’t want (Adams) hurt, or you don’t want to know?” Maddie knows Daniel is up to something dangerous, but lets it happen.


Alicia and Chris break into houses to try on clothes, drink, and destroy everything in sight. There’s even a moment where Chris walks in on Alicia changing. It’s obvious there’s exists weird sexual chemistry between the two almost step-siblings (at least it was funny between George Michael and Maeby).


The Military Convoy

Travis confronts the commander about the quarantine Nick and Griselda were sent to but the commander brushes it off. After Travis threatens him with an uprising the commander agrees to take him “downtown.” On the way, the Hum-V makes a quick stop to shoot a walker. Driven to prove Travis’ toughness, the commander instructs him to take her out himself. “If they’re not dead then we’re just a bunch of murderers,” the commander explains (hate to break it to you chief, but…). Travis stares down the scope and stops short of firing when he sees her name tag (Kimberly). Impatient, the commander takes the shot instead, leaving Travis beside himself. He’s not ready for this world.


They arrive at the ‘holdout’ location where a squad of soldiers is under attack by the infected. Travis hears over the radio, “Cobalt is a go.” Travis remains inside the Hum-V as the soldiers take out the walkers. Eventually, the soldiers run back and claim they’re leaving the commander behind. They have no intentions of taking Travis to the military hospital.

Corporal Adams’ Interrogation

While Madison and Ofelia prepare for dinner, Daniel tells Adams he doesn’t plan on exchanging him at all. Knowing Daniel will do anything for information, Adams reveals the location of the hospital. Despite this, Daniel pulls out a barber knife and starts to look more like Sweeney Todd than Che Guevara.


Fast-forward to Daniel cutting and torturing Adams for more information. He is now hell-bent on discovering the meaning behind the code “cobalt” that is repeatedly mentioned over the radio…but Adams pleads the fifth (bad move, dude). Ofelia shows up to surprise Daniel and screams when she finds a cut-up Adams. Madison runs over to see what happened as Ofelia storms out. Daniel tells Madison how he lied to Ofelia at a young age about who he used to be. “Do you think she’ll understand that it was necessary then to survive? That it is necessary again?”


A defeated Adams recalls killing thousands of people and not knowing the difference between the live ones and the dead ones. Suddenly, Travis and Madison barge in and interrogate Adams. He finally reveals “cobalt” is a code name for an evacuation plan meant to humanely terminate the community in the NEXT DAY. Daniel, Travis, and Madison were like…

Although inhumane, it looks like Daniel’s tactics worked and they now have a very small window to escape their community. To make sure he wasn’t lying, the episode ends with Daniel making his way to the military hospital (how did he get there, exactly?), where walkers are trying to escape from inside (almost an homage to The Walking Dead pilot in the hospital). Looks like we have an even BIGGER cliff-hanger from last week.


Episode 5 Questions:

– Does the information they got from Adams justify Daniel’s interrogation tactics?
– How will the Clarks and Salazars escape from their community?
– What the hell’s going on with Chris and Alicia?

Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comments below!

  1. BASTET. September 27, 2015 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    2 things:
    Oh shit!!
    Daniel. Salazar.

  2. Ricktatorship September 27, 2015 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    I hope Mr. Salazar cuts the chains on the arena doors. Now that would be fun lol

  3. MikeLacey September 27, 2015 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    It looks like the stadium Daniel goes to check on, am I missing something Johnny?

  4. Trivia September 28, 2015 at 4:53 am - Reply

    Daniel keeps getting more and more badass with every passing episode! Seriously, I love more morally gray characters, that are willing to do anything to protect their family/group. It is why I love Rick on the main show and Kenny in the games. I really hope that Daniel does not die in the finale, he brings such an interesting dynamic to the group! Daniel Salazar is the Maniel! Also, I love the guy who helped save Nick. That guy was so smooth! Keep introducing unique new characters like him AMC!

  5. Dwight Huth September 28, 2015 at 5:43 am - Reply

    Fear The Walking Dead is exciting from a historical point of view as it shows us how the ancient Mayan’s whose culture simply vanished would have been reacting to the downfall of their cities that what ever reason for the collapse of their cities the Mayan soldiers were euthanizing the sickly as well as the healthy to ensure the sickness did not spread with those caught in the middle walking an ever narrowing tightrope to avoid becoming sick or assumed to be sick and euthanized.

  6. BASTET. September 28, 2015 at 9:09 am - Reply

    What do you guys think is up with Strand? What’s he about?

  7. gshegedus September 28, 2015 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Strand reminds me of the embodiment of the Devil from Stephen King’s “Needful Things” or Don Henley’s “Garden of Allah”. Cool character – curious to see where his character goes.

  8. seanmathews1 September 29, 2015 at 5:39 am - Reply

    Meh…. This episode had moments that were really good and moments that almost made me shut off the TV. Personally, as a veteran, I’m tired of the whole “US Army asshole” cliché. It’s funny, because in a situation like this, we would never ever act this way, as we side with the civilians on just about every issue. Don’t know if the show-runners hate the military or what, but there is definitely an ant-military undertone that I can’t stand.

    Personally, I wish they had made it to the desert in episode two or three.

    • BASTET. September 29, 2015 at 5:56 am - Reply

      I support your view. It’s a shame. Next up are police, I guess.

    • MikeLacey October 1, 2015 at 11:05 pm - Reply

      I can understand you being uncomfortable, I’m ex-forces as well and Moyers is an unstable and dangerous person. I’d say that on the whole, the national guard are shown in a positive light. They are largely reservists and are witnessing the fall of civilisation and loss of everything they’ve known. They see everything, not just the fragments our families see. Despite this, they are still a unit, still maintain discipline. I’d say that the guard in el sereno are shown in a good light except for Moyers.

  9. gshegedus September 29, 2015 at 9:52 am - Reply

    Where are the zombies? They showed two. One would think you would see more during a zombie outbreak. Also wish they would have actually showed the army fighting the zombies instead of hearing the firefight over the radio. Hopefully, the season finale will be epic.

  10. Dead666 September 29, 2015 at 3:22 pm - Reply

    In one of the episodes Daniel (great acting by Mr. Blades) says “Your mother and I have been through a lot”. It is obvious they are from Central America, where several tyrannical, communist, socialist (insert your type here) government systems have been in effect at some time or another. My first reaction (I am Hispanic) was “either he was persecuted because he was against the government or he was fleeing because he was part of the government”. When I saw the soldier bound to the chair, it became clear, he was with the torture teams. Very interesting writing by the authors. I am warming up to this companion series.

  11. gshegedus September 30, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Article about El Salvador in the 1980s. It’s horrific. Long article. Can put you into Daniel’s mindset.

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