"Red Dirt" is the sixth episode of the third season of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. It is the twenty-seventh episode of the series overall. It premiered on July 2, 2017. It was written by Wes Brown and directed by Courtney Hunt.
At Broke Jaw Ranch, Nick and Jeremiah Otto are shooting pistols for target practice. Nick worries about Madison's long absence.
Nick spots Troy's team hobbling toward the ranch on the road to the gate.
Nick, Alicia and other ranchers rush out as Madison and Troy's team arrive, who all have bloody feet from walking without shoes. Jeremiah requests a private debriefing, but one of the ranchers, Vernon Trimbol, insists Troy's team share their findings with everyone.
Against Troy's wishes, Mike Trimbol announces that a group of Native Americans slaughtered Phil McCarthy and the others from the outpost. Troy tries to keep everyone calm saying they can handle the situation, but Mike cracks and blurts out that they're all going to die if they don't leave.
Jeremiah, Troy, Jake and Madison discuss a course of action. Troy insists they fight Walker, but Jeremiah believes Walker is bluffing. Jake suggests they negotiate with Walker, pointing out that he beat Walker in court over past lawsuits. Madison asks if they stole Walker's land. Jeremiah maintains that the ranch was sold to his forebears. He goes on to state that any given plot of land was stolen from someone, and the ranch is no different.
Madison rests in the bunkhouse. Nick tells her that Luciana went back south.
Alicia finds Jake using his gun for target practice. She asks Jake for pointers on shooting. Alicia asks who will take over the ranch if something happens to Jeremiah. Jake explains that the ranch will pass to him and Troy when Jeremiah dies, but that residents will ultimately look up to whomever they deem worthy. Alicia tells Jake the ranchers would look up to him as a leader, if he stepped up.
Back at the Clark's bunkhouse, Gretchen Trimbol tells Madison that her father (Vernon) is worried about Walker, and wants to take the family to a colony in the Rockies. She says he's telling other ranchers about his plans.
Jeremiah pulls a bottle of liquor from his desk drawer. He walks outside and sees a row of fires surrounding the ranch. Ranch residents come out of their homes to watch them blaze.
The next day, Jeremiah maintains that Walker would have burned down the entire ranch if he was serious about attacking them.
The Trimbol family load supplies onto the back of a truck. Troy guards the pantry and forbids residents from leaving the ranch with supplies. The Trimbols tell him that Jeremiah gave them permission to take a few items before they leave.
Vernon tells Jeremiah that he's leaving the ranch with his family to keep them safe. Madison warns Jeremiah that the ranch will be weaker if anyone leaves.
Troy runs after the Trimbol family's RV, and yells at Mike for leaving. Jake stops Troy, and they fight. Vernon drives off with his family and his horses.
Troy explains to Madison that Mike was his loyal childhood friend. Madison offers to help him ensure that no one else leaves.
Madison looks on, as Troy gathers a small militia in the pantry. He charges them with defending the ranch.
Nick returns to his newly rebuilt home to find Jeremiah drunk. Jeremiah shoots bullets into the floorboards as he alludes to a past sin, saying that there is "blood in the earth".
Alicia returns to her bunkhouse after spending the night with Jake. Madison questions Alicia about her relationship with him, but Alicia assures her that it's nothing serious. She further mentions that they are using contraception.
Jeremiah and Nick spot one of Vernon Trimbol's horses in the pasture.
Madison, Nick and Jeremiah leave the ranch on a pickup to search for Vernon's family on the road. Madison reasons that the horse may have escaped on its own, but Jeremiah predicts that the Trimbol family is dead.
Jake packs a bag and tells Alicia that he's going to the Black Hat Reservation to negotiate with Walker. Alicia begs him not to go, but he is determined.
Madison, Nick and Jeremiah find the Trimbols' RV in the road, riddled with bullets. They find that each member of the family is either dead or infected. They kill the infected and euthanize a partially eaten horse. As they pile bodies into their truck. Jeremiah tells Madison that he suspects Troy killed the Trimbols.
Madison, Nick and Jeremiah return to the ranch with the bodies. Madison speaks to a gathered crowd, and covers for Troy. She declares that the people who killed Travis and Phil are the same ones who killed the Trimbols. She warns that anyone who leaves the ranch will die, and urges them to stay together. The crowd murmurs in support.
Alicia packs a bag to follow Jake.
Ranchers return supplies to the pantry. Nick confronts Madison about lying to the ranch. Madison points out that even if Troy killed the Trimbols, no one would believe them. Nick agrees to keep Madison's secret, so long as she includes him in her plans.
Madison confronts Troy about killing the Trimbols. Troy admits that he pursued them to confront Mike over abandoning him, but claims that things got out of hand. Madison tells Troy he can be the heir to the ranch, but only if he learns to control himself. She hopes Troy is up to the task of protecting the Ranch from Walker. Troy says he is.
- Hugo Armstrong as Vernon Trimbol
- Sarah Benoit as Pat Daley
- Dominic Bogart as Joseph
- Justin Deeley as Mike Trimbol
- Philip Fallon as Terrance Shafford
- Ericka Kreutz as Kathy Trimbol
- Matt Lasky as Cooper
- Jake B. Miller as Dax Daley
- Luke Spencer Roberts as Gabe Dille
- Nathan Sutton as Jimmie
- Mike Trimbol
- Vernon Trimbol (Alive and Zombified)
- Kathy Trimbol (Alive and Zombified)
- Gretchen Trimbol (Alive and Zombified)
- 1 horse
- First appearance of Dax Daley.
- First (and last) appearance of Kathy Trimbol.
- Last appearance of Vernon Trimbol.
- Last appearance of Mike Trimbol.
- Last appearance of Gretchen Trimbol.
- This episode marks Alycia Debnam-Carey's 25th appearance on Fear the Walking Dead.
- The title of the episode, "Red Dirt", refers to what Jeremiah says about the earth under the ranch being filled with blood.
- When Madison tells Alicia that the "rhythm method" doesn't work, she is referring to a form of contraception that involves keeping track of the woman's ovulation cycle and abstaining from sex during ovulation. It is not an overly accurate method of birth control, it requires detailed and accurate record keeping. Plus there are many factors that can alter when exactly a girl/woman starts to ovulate, and stops, such as stress, changes in diet, malnutrition, which are things commonly experienced in an apocalyptic world such as the one Alicia finds herself in.
- It is completely unbelievable that the group who were forced to walk back without their boots would just keep going on their sock-covered feet alone. All of them were wearing a considerably amount of thick clothing they could have used to wrap their feet. This would certainly not be as good as boots but it would afford a great deal of protection.