"Grotesque" is the eighth episode and mid-season premiere of the second season of AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. It is the fourteenth episode of the series overall. It premiered on August 21, 2016. It was written by Kate Barnow and directed by Daniel Sackheim.
Nick's steadfast search for answers leads him into a deadly dog-eat-dog landscape. A dark piece of his past is uncovered.
Nick wakes up at a crash house in Baja. He finds Sofia. She's going south to find Juan's father but tells Nick to head north if he wants to join up with those like her. She warns him to be wary of strangers on the road, "Manas", who are taking advantage of the new lawless world. Sofia then gives him a backpack full of food and a jug of water and points him towards the highway.
Nick treks through the hills of Baja and reaches the highway. A sign indicates Tijuana is 100 kilometers away. He searches an abandoned car for supplies but finds nothing.
In a flashback, he plays thumb war with his girlfriend Gloria at a rehab facility. She urges him to rehearse an upcoming meeting with his parents to avoid a longer stint in rehab. She role-plays his father and asks him to share his feelings after serving three weeks in rehab. Nick blames his father for being absent in his life.
Back in the present, Nick finds a seemingly abandoned empty house and sets up camp for the night. While he sleeps, a woman sneaks up on him and attacks him with a bat, screaming in Spanish. Behind her is a frightened little girl. Nick tries to get his backpack and water but she chases him out.
He trudges down the road without food or water. He spots a water bottle in a car. He dodges an infected in the driver's seat and snatches the water. He also takes a radio from the dashboard. When he sees a Jeep approaching, he ducks behind the car. Three outlaws get out of the jeep and kill an elderly man begging for water. They hear Nick's radio crackle and chase him through a field and into a dense thicket. He manages to escape.
He walks through the desert in the blistering sun. Desperate for water and food, he pounds a cactus leaf and eats the flesh, but gags and vomits it up. With little other option, he urinates into his hand and drinks it.
That night, Nick huddles by a van as the temperature plummets. In a flashback, he and Gloria wait in the hallway of the rehab facility. They see Gloria's well-to-do parents check in at the front desk. Madison arrives and waves at him. They are taken to a private room, where in Madison tells Nick why his father isn't visiting; he died in a head-on collision. Nick breaks down and screams in grief. Gloria looks in the room and sees Madison hugging Nick.
In the present, Nick wakes up to two starving dogs barking in his face. He struggles to get away, but one of them viciously bites his leg. He grabs a rock and beats the animal away, and scrambles on top of the van. The barking of the dogs attracts a nearby herd of infected towards the van, which the dogs then attack. Unable to bring one down quickly enough, the dogs are overwhelmed by their numbers and devoured.
Nick rests on top of the van and inspects his leg wound, which is deep. The herd hears him move and swarms the van. He closes his eyes and prays. A vehicle horn sounds in the distance and the herd flocks towards it. Seizing the opportunity, Nick crawls off the van and eats meat from one of the dog carcasses. He removes the belt from a maimed Infected and ties his injured leg with it.
After covering himself in Infected blood, he walks with the herd. Over time, he becomes disoriented from lack of food and water and his vision blurs. He hallucinates the Infected talking to him and they travel down a long road. The outlaws from earlier find the herd and start shooting the Infected. One of the outlaws recognizes Nick within the throng. Spooked by Nick's glare, he freezes and struggles to reload. The herd devours the outlaw and one of his accomplices and the lone survivor drives off.
Luciana and two men watch Nick through binoculars as he travels down the road with the herd, struggling to keep up. Eventually, Nick falls to the ground, dehydrated and exhausted. Francis insists on saving him but Luciana refuses. He tells her that Nick is dying, and she changes her mind.
Nick lays dying on the asphalt, barely conscious. In a flashback, he shoots heroin with Gloria in the shooting gallery at the Los Angeles church, the day before he encountered her undead body. After opening up about his father's death, Nick prepares a heroin overdose for himself in a suicide attempt though he doesn't tell Gloria before they shoot up. Back in the present, rain begins to fall, reviving Nick who does his best to drink the rain.
The next day, he hobbles into a town and finds a drug store. He looks for medication to treat his festering wound but finds nothing. In a barber shop, Nick wraps his wound with duct tape. Luciana and Francisco approach him and asks if he's infected. Nick assures them it's just a dog bite. They give him water to drink and Luciana invites him to come with them.
A pharmacist named Alejandro treats Nick's wound in an infirmary, remarking that Nick is foolish to walk with the dead, despite his reasoning that it is safe. He invites Nick outside and he finds himself in the Colonia, a walled survivor community. The streets are alive with bustling store stalls, people going about their business, and laughing children.
- Moisses Arath Leyva as Juan
- Jorge Bustamante as Older Gentleman
- David Fernandez Jr. as Outlaw 1
- Heidi García as Mother
- Lyn Alicia Henderson as Drug Counselor
- Alfredo Herrera as Francisco
- Kassandra Iribe as Six Year Old Girl
- Diana Lein as Sofia
- Carlos Segura as Male Scout
- Edgar Wuotto as Gael
- Elderly Gentleman
- 2 unnamed people (Confirmed Fate)
- 1 unnamed member of the La Manas gang
- 2 dogs
- First appearance of La Colonia.
- First appearance of Luciana Galvez.
- First appearance of Alejandro Nuñez.
- First appearance of Francisco.
- First (and last) appearance of Gael.
- Last appearance of Gloria. (Flashback, Alive)
- Last appearance of Sofia. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of Juan. (Unknown)
- The book Nick is reading is Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson, which features a prologue titled "The Book of the Grotesque." "Grotesque" being the title of this episode.
- This is the first episode of the series to not feature Travis Manawa, Alicia Clark, and Christopher Manawa. As a result, Nick is the only main character to appear in this episode.
- As of this episode, Rubén Blades (Daniel Salazar) has been removed from the opening credits.
- When Nick turns on the radio, all he hears is static, indicating that all radio broadcasts of any type have ceased.
- Dave Erickson confirmed in Talking Dead that it has been 2 months since the outbreak.
- A potato gun was used to fire mashed bananas mixed with fake blood to give the effect of brain matter as the outlaws shot at Nick's herd.
- Nick's flashbacks appear to have been triggered by seeing two abandoned cars on the highway that had a head-on collision, the same way his father died.
- Steven died six years prior the events of the show, but Nick looks about the same age in the flashback.
- The bullets Gael drops on the ground while reloading after seeing Nick appear to all or mostly be empty shell casings on closer inspection. After the camera cuts back from Nick and the herd its clear that there's actually only one or two actual bullets that he dropped.
- Sunday cable ratings: ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ returns to series low - tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com (August 24, 2016)