“Mother” gives some insight into Teddy and his plan, as Alicia encounters an old friend.
This recap of Fear the Walking Dead season 6, episode 14, “Mother”, contains spoilers.
You have to imagine that prison is one of the worst places to be during a zombie outbreak, but then again, is there a good one? For someone like Teddy, who begins “Mother” trapped in both a flashback and one of America’s fine penitentiaries, there probably isn’t much difference. A budding cult leader like him likely saw humanity as mindless drones long before they started eating each other.
For all its fascination with Teddy, this is a long-overdue Alicia-centric episode (remember when she was, like, the main character?). Understandably, Teddy has a thing for Alicia; despite Riley’s objections, he believes that she’s going to be integral to their “new beginning”, though the shape of that beginning remains inscrutable, perhaps to Teddy’s adherents most of all. As if things couldn’t get worse, Dakota arrives on a bus full of Teddy’s new recruits, and Alicia is not pleased to see her after the whole John debacle. True to form, Dakota immediately starts theorizing about how they could kill Teddy, so her insistence that she’s going to atone for what she did doesn’t hold much water.
Teddy takes to calling Dakota Sioux, after Sioux Falls, his favorite city in her namesake state, which is exactly the kind of bananas thing he’d do — digging up his mother’s corpse is pretty on-trend as well, a little task he takes Alicia and Dakota along to help him with. When a slight bump in the road sends his mother’s corpse sailing off the back of the flat-bed, it’s hard to know whether Fear the Walking Dead season 6, episode 14 is making fun of him or trying to make him so weird that he can’t help but come full-circle and end up terrifying. The jury’s still out, but focus shifts slightly when, quite by chance, everyone is saved by Cole, of Season 4 fame.
Promo for “Mother” made a big deal of this reunion, but I must confess it took some effort to even remember Cole, who warns of some “unsavory types” nearby, though that description probably applies to anywhere in the post-apocalypse. When he springs an ambush, it turns out he’s one of the unsavory types, which only makes sense. Teddy is totally unmoved by this development; in fact, it only reinforces his insistence that the earth needs to be razed. It’s easy to see where the episode gets its title, too, since everyone mentions Madison all the time. The chances of her returning in any capacity still seem slim, but it’s almost as if she never left at this point.
There’s also the matter of the rotting corpse that Teddy is dragging around, and into whose face Cole puts a shotgun shell to try and persuade Teddy to reveal the location of the Holding. Teddy is once again unmoved, though — that’s not his mother at all, but some random part of an extensive plan designed to prove to Alicia that all the people her mother saved are either dead or, as he put it earlier in the episode, “living like bottom feeders”. The point is made in a rather roundabout way since Alicia recognizes that Madison died to give Cole a chance, and that chance was thoroughly squandered. After a bit of a scuffle — Alicia gets her standard badass moment by using a walker as a human shield, pushing her arm right through its back and out of its belly to point her gun at Cole — she puts Cole down with a shot to the head. She’s still not on-board with Teddy, though, explaining that you don’t have to cleanse humanity of everyone, just people you don’t like. Fair enough.
Fear the Walking Dead season 6, episode 14 finally establishes Teddy’s nutcase bonafides with a demented speech about killing his own mother and the revelation that the key Riley took from Morgan will allow the launch of a nuclear weapon from a beached submarine near Galveston. Alicia rightly figures that Teddy is as worthy of death as Cole was, if not more so, but Dakota, garnering major heel heat, prevents her from killing him too. Alicia’s able to get word to Strand that she knows what the keys do, but Riley and co. take her to the group’s new spot, a well-appointed house with a bunker beneath it. That bunker is to be Alicia’s new home while teddy scorches the Earth, and when she emerges, she will rebuild humanity. That’s Teddy’s plan for Alicia? He’s going to breed her? Well, if you say so.