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"Cobalt" is the fifth episode of the first season of AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. It is the fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on September 27, 2015. It was written by David Wiener and directed by Kari Skogland.
Douglas Thompson sits in a holding cell at the local military command post. Strand, a fellow cellmate dressed in a smart suit, taunts Doug that he's not strong enough to care for his family, but luckily his wife is attractive enough to land a man who could. Soldiers hear Doug sobbing and haul him away. Strand sidles up to Nick, his only remaining cellmate. "So," he says, "who the hell are you?"
Back in the Safe Zone, Ofelia hurls objects at the perimeter gate and screams at the troops for taking Griselda. Corporal Castro moves in to restrain her. Adams intervenes and comforts Ofelia, insisting on taking her home.
A distraught Chris asks Travis how they're going to get Liza. Travis reminds Chris that it's Liza's nature to help others, which is why she left with Dr. Exner willingly. Travis then asks him to apologize to Madison, but he refuses and leaves the house.
In the medical ward at the command post, Liza tends to a patient under Dr. Exner's supervision. Dr. Exner informs Liza that Griselda is recovering from a foot amputation, but doesn't respond to Liza's inquiries about Nick.
Madison finds Susan Tran's suicide note in Alicia's bedroom and realizes that Alicia has been back to the Tran house. She looks for Alicia there but instead finds Daniel and Ofelia in the basement, where they have bound Adams to a chair. "This is how we bring them home,” Daniel tells Madison.
Adams tries to assure Daniel, Madison and Ofelia that Griselda and Nick will return as soon as they've been treated. Ofelia insists that Adams doesn't know where they're being held, but Daniel cuts her off.
Upstairs, Ofelia tells Madison that they can trade Adams for Griselda and Nick. In private, Daniel tells Madison that the trade will never happen and informs her of his plan to torture Adams until he gives up information. Madison voices an objection, but doesn't stop him.
Travis warns Moyers that others in the community will rise up if Nick, Liza, Griselda, and other neighbors aren't returned soon. Moyers capitulates and orders Castro to prepare his men to take Travis to the command center.
Alone with Adams, Daniel unpacks his razor blades as he describes his past in El Salvador, where, in order to survive, he carried out torture-based interrogations for the military-led government. Adams desperately reveals that Griselda and Nick are at a command center two miles away, but it is not enough to stop him from carrying out the torture.
While driving through the Dead Zone, Moyers spots an infected and orders Travis to shoot her. Travis demurs, and Moyers asks if Travis thinks she's still human. "If that's what you think, then we're just a bunch of murderers," he says. Travis takes the gun but is unable to pull the trigger after seeing the Infected's name tag, "Kimberly." Moyers takes over and shoots it in the head.
Dr. Exner identifies bite marks on a newly admitted soldier and orders his immediate euthanization. She explains to Liza that they cannot risk letting potentially Infected patients live, lest they all start "finding out how the neighbors taste." As they leave, Liza watches as a medic uses the captive bolt pistol on the soldier.
After receiving a distress call, Moyers and his men drive to a building overrun with Infected. Castro orders Travis to remain in the vehicle.
Daniel wipes blood from his blade after flaying Adams' arm. Adams begs him to stop. Daniel demands to know what "Cobalt" means after hearing the code word on Adams' radio transmissions.
Alicia finds Chris moping in the yard and invites him to explore the evacuated house of a wealthy family. There, she dresses up in the owners' fancy clothes and admires herself in a mirror. Chris sees her and quickly looks away, embarrassed. They later don a ball gown and tuxedo and proceed to trash the lavish home – a rejection of the apocalypse.
In the holding cell, guards take Nick's temperature and detect a low fever. They start to haul him away, but Strand convinces Melvin, the commanding officer, to let Nick stay in exchange for some flashy cuff links. Nick asks why Strand saved him. Strand explains that as a heroin addict, Nick is an adept survivor. He flashes a key to the cell and asks for Nick's help in escaping.
A dazed Travis listens on the vehicle's military radio as soldiers fight the Infected. Castro returns to the vehicle and informs Travis that they're returning him to the safe zone, stating "Moyers isn't coming." When Travis reminds him he was supposed to be taken to the command center, Castro admits he's fleeing to San Diego - to his wife and daughter.
Madison hears Ofelia scream and sprints over to the Tran house. Ofelia flees out the door in tears. Inside, Daniel bemoans that Ofelia may never understand that his treatment of Adams was necessary for survival. "Did he tell us what we need to know?" Madison asks.
Liza finds a drying rack with lots of blood. She decides to go further and finds the holding cells, before she leaves to find Griselda. She tries to communicate with Griselda. Dr. Exner discovers Liza and tells her that Griselda has gone into septic shock.
Travis finds Ofelia sitting shell-shocked in the yard. Inside, he asks Madison if she knew about Daniel's plan to torture Adams. "Tell me you didn't know," he says. Madison cannot answer.
In the Trans' basement, Adams tells Daniel that the military locked 2,000 civilians in the local arena after people began turning and trampling each other. Madison arrives with Travis and asks Adams to repeat what he said earlier. Adams tells Travis that "Cobalt" is a command code to initiate military evacuation from the Los Angeles Basin and humanely terminate the surviving civilians. He says the evacuation will take place at 9 the next morning.
Griselda dies in the hospital ward, after mumbling about the war and Daniel. Dr. Exner takes out a captive bolt pistol and tells Liza that traumatic brain injury is the only way to ensure dead people won't reanimate – no matter how they died. Dr. Exner is about to shoot Griselda, but Liza takes the pistol and shoots Griselda in the head.
Chris and Alicia start seeing military vehicles loaded with soldiers driving through their neighborhood at night. The two notice that the soldiers are not paying attention to the goings on around them. Alicia notes "Something's not right."
Daniel goes to the arena to confirm Adams' story. As he approaches the doors, he hears the herd of Infected inside growling as they pound the doors.
- Jared Abrahamson as Cole
- Shane Dean as Richards
- Chris Furci as Medic
- Khaira Ledeyo as Nurse Hodges
- Toby Levins as Sgt. Melvin Allen
- Bobby Naderi as Sergeant Castro
- Tammy Nera as Kimberly
- John Stewart as Douglas Thompson
- Maxwell Yip as Shih
- Nevins (Confirmed Fate)
- Kimberly (Alive, Confirmed Fate; Zombified)
- Moyers (Off-Screen)
- Vrakking (Off-Screen)
- Griselda Salazar
- Many unnamed soldiers (Off-Screen)
- At least 2,400,000 Los Angeles residents (Confirmed Fate)
- First appearance of Victor Strand.
- First appearance of Melvin Allen.
- First appearance of Hodges.
- First appearance of Shih.
- First (and last) appearance of Kimberly. (Zombified)
- First (and last) appearance of Vrakking.
- Last appearance of Griselda Salazar. (Alive)
- Last appearance of Moyers.
- Last appearance of Castro. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of Richards. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of Cole. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of Douglas Thompson. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of McElroy. (Unknown)
- "Cobalt" was the working title for Fear The Walking Dead.
- Cobalt in this episode refers to the operation the military is conducting, which is terminating everyone and evacuating military and key personnel.
- In this episode, Bethany reveals that at least 600,000 residents of Los Angeles survived the outbreak and were taken to safe zones.
- When holding Andrew hostage, Daniel says "Ofelia is beautiful, kind, and intelligent." However, when Adams replies, "Yes sir, she is," his mouth does not move.