Season 1, Episode 4
Not Fade Away
Madison and Travis see different sides of the National Guard's occupation in their neighborhood; the family tries to adapt to the new world.
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Chris sits on the roof of the Clark residence, videotaping and narrating events that have transpired in the nine days since the National Guard took over: A perimeter fence has been erected around the neighborhood, creating a “Safe Zone” with a strict curfew in effect. Since everyone outside the fence is reportedly dead or gone, Chris is alarmed to discover a light flashing from a house in the Dead Zone.
Travis prepares to attend an announcement from Officer Moyers, the commanding officer of the Safe Zone. Madison fumes at him for playing “man of the people” with the soldiers while she manages the house and kids on her own.
Chris shows Travis his footage of the light and insists someone in the Dead Zone is still alive. Travis dismisses the idea and orders Chris to help Madison around the house.
Madison finds Nick relaxing in a pool and asks why he missed his dose of pain meds. Nick reassures her that he’s feeling better and doesn’t need the pill anymore.
Officer Moyers announces that the Safe Zone is officially infection-free for a six-mile radius around the perimeter. He ignores an onslaught of questions from anxious residents and reminds them that they are the “lucky ones” -- people in one of 12 safe zones south of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Officer Moyers flags down Travis and asks him to convince a neighbor, Doug Thompson, to take a mandatory health screening. Mrs. Thompson tells Travis that Doug has been acting strangely since the previous night. Travis speaks with Doug, who is paralyzed with fear over his family’s future. Travis urges Doug to take the screening and assure his family that everything is going to be OK – regardless of whether or not he believes it. Doug submits.
Alicia wanders around the Tran house and finds a letter in the bedroom. She reads it and cries.
Liza tends to Hector, a sick patient, in his bedroom. She tells Cynthia, Hector’s wife, that she’s keeping him stable with a morphine drip. Nick peeks through the backyard fence and sees Liza and Cynthia leave the house. Later, he sneaks underneath Hector’s bed and siphons the morphine, mainlining it between his toes.
Chris shows footage of the flashing light to Madison. Though initially skeptical, she eventually agrees that someone might be signaling them for help.
Ofelia and the soldier, Corporal Adams, make out in his truck. He tells Ofelia he was unable to procure the medicine she requested for Griselda, since the military is stockpiling supplies for a push to retake the city.
Travis and Madison have sex in their car. Sensing that Madison is still angry, Travis faults her for stressing too much over Nick and Alicia’s safety. Madison snaps back at him, and then urges him to tell the military about the light signal that Chris discovered. She criticizes the military for being ineffective.
The next morning, Madison signals the Dead Zone with a flashlight from the roof. The same house signals her back.
Mrs. Thompson informs Travis that Doug is missing. Travis promises to look for him and finds Doug’s empty car by the perimeter fence. Officer Moyers tells Travis that Doug was taken into custody after soldiers found him crying in his car. They can’t have “head cases” like Doug around camp, Moyers states. Travis mentions the light signals and gives Moyers the location of the house. He shrugs it off, insisting they’ve already searched that area.
Cynthia introduces Liza to Dr. Exner, who is working for the government. Dr. Exner informs Liza that Hector was transferred to a medical facility. She also reveals that she knows Liza is not a real nurse, but praises Liza’s skills caring for the community and asks for her continued assistance.
Madison sneaks outside the Safe Zone and finds the streets littered with corpses — some of them not infected. She hides from soldiers who are marching down the road and shooting corpses as a precaution.
Dr. Exner examines Griselda and recommends surgery at a nearby hospital. Daniel insists on accompanying his wife.
Dr. Exner examines Nick despite his insistence that he’s clean. Nick jokingly calls Liza a narc for telling Dr. Exner about his addiction. He hides his panic when he learns that Hector has been transferred to a hospital, cutting him off from his morphine supply.
At the Tran house, Alicia traces Matt’s drawing on her arm with a needle to make it a permanent tattoo.
At home, Madison tells Daniel that she sneaked outside the Safe Zone and saw non-infected people dead on the street. Daniel conveys his deep mistrust of the government then asks Madison to look after Ofelia if he and Griselda don’t return from the hospital.
Madison discovers Nick rifling through a neighbor’s house in search of drugs. She furiously slaps and pounds on him. Nick retreats to the bathroom while Madison withdraws to the garage to drink.
Soldiers arrive to take Griselda to the hospital, but turn Daniel away. They then take Nick against his will. Madison yells at the soldiers and insists Nick isn’t sick. Liza begs Dr. Exner to let Nick stay, but Dr. Exner only urges Liza to join her at the hospital. “I love you,” Liza mouths to Chris as she gets in the truck. “I’ll be back.”
Chris angrily bangs the window as he watches Liza leave. Madison glares at Travis. “Liza,” she accuses, “she did this.”
In her room, Alicia rereads Mrs. Tran’s letter: a suicide note to Mr. Tran. Mrs. Tran describes the horrors that she witnessed since the outbreak: “What I saw was prophesized,” she writes. “What I saw was godly, and I think it’s overdue.”
Travis retreats to the roof, distraught. He sees someone signaling from the house in the Dead Zone. A moment later gunfire erupts at the house, followed by darkness.