‘La Serpiente’ is a lesson in why you should never go on a road trip with people you don’t trust. The title of the episode refers to what Daniel affectionately calls Strand – ‘the snake’ – and Daniel’s reunion with the rest of the group is the focal point of this week. This episode allows the interesting dynamics between the adult characters to be fleshed out, as Nick, Alicia and the ranch aren’t shown at all.
Daniel’s angry with Walker. Walker’s angry with Strand. Madison’s angry with Walker. Yet, they all somehow manage to come to an agreement in the end. Madison, Strand and Walker drive towards the dam, and Strand insists they have to go underground to get there undetected. This leads them to the sewers, and a disgusting water-logged walker that needs to be chopped up so they can pass through. There’s a lot of tension during the trip, particularly between Walker and Strand. Madison attempts to play the role of peacekeeper, but it seems she’s more on Strand’s side than Walker’s. It’s sometimes easy to forget that Walker’s people did kill Travis, after all.
As soon as they arrive at the dam, Daniel spots them coming out of the sewer. He points a gun at Strand before realizing that Madison is with him. Madison seems to have all the men (Walker, Strand, Daniel) under her thumb, which, knowing Madison, is probably a part of her master plan. If she can keep everyone on her side, then she has all the power. They’re able to calm Daniel down by reassuring him that Ofelia is alive and safe. I’m just hoping their reunion doesn’t happen off-screen, as it’s one of the most anticipated parts of this season.
Madison offers to trade weapons (and therefore security) to Lola and her people if they get a continuous water supply in exchange. Daniel then says he wants Ofelia as a part of the trade, because he isn’t happy that Walker has turned his daughter into a soldier. This may shake things up back at the ranch, as Ofelia is settling into her role quite well and would be able to keep the peace if Alicia is running things on the other side. While Ofelia is slowly becoming her father’s daughter, she may be better suited to that role than originally thought.
At first, Lola isn’t keen on accepting the deal. However, Strand takes matters into his own hands by blowing up a truck and blaming it on the locals who are still trying to get into the dam. This forces Lola to trade with Madison to receive the protection they sorely need. Daniel is far too smart to have not guessed it was Strand, but it’s clear he ignored it for the sake of getting his daughter back. The episode ends with the original three driving back towards the ranch.
These kinds of episodes have never been The Walking Dead franchise’s strong suit. While this isn’t the best episode of this season, it seemed necessary to set up missing alliances going into the final five episodes. If it leads into a war between Walker’s people and Madison’s, it seems that we know where Daniel’s allegiance will lie, if he and Ofelia are even a part of the action at all.
THE REEL SCORE: 7/10