-- Warning: Spoilers Alert
The fifth episode of "Fear The Walking Dead," "Cobalt," begins in one of the military's detention facilities, where Strand (Colman Domingo), a slick, self-described "closer," talks Travis' unstable neighbor and Strand's fellow detainee Doug into having a breakdown. Once Doug is taken away by soldiers, Strand turns his powers of persuasion on a still-ailing Nick.
Meanwhile, outside one of the facilities, Ofelia demands to see her mom Griselda, and finds a sympathetic ear with Cpl. Adams, with whom she'd been involved in a previous episode. Adams offers to escort her home, and we discover she was using herself as bait; her dad captures the young soldier, telling his daughter he intends to trade him for their missing neighbors. However, we later learn his true intentions are even more nefarious.
At the faculty, Liza tends to the wounded for the supervising doctor Exner, while trying to get close to Nick and Griselda.
Back at home, Maddie hears a noise, and fearing the worst, she grabs a knife and begins hunting down the sound. She finds Daniel holding the Adams hostage; the young soldier bound to a chair. "What's this?" Maddie asks, stunned. "This is how we get them home," Daniel deadpans.
Travis, meanwhile, tries a softer approach: he tries to convince gung-ho Lt. Moyers to give him access to the detention facility and the 11 people who were taken from his neighborhood back.
Back at home, Daniel makes it clear he intends to torture Adams for information, with the barber using the tools of his trade, straight razors, to extract what he needs to know -- like what is the meaning of the military order "Cobalt."
Travis convinces the troops to take him downtown, though Moyers' squad stops midway and dismounts their Humvee, where the commanding officer attempts to try to force Travis to snipe a walker shuffling around a diner. But seeing the one-time waitress' nametag, Travis can't bring himself to do it. "That's what I thought," Moyers said, before taking the shot himself.
At the medical center, Liza is seeing an influx of wounded soldiers, with the bitten shipped off to a different area of the facility.
While Alicia and her near-stepbrother Chris raid a rich person's home and play dress up, Travis' squad apparently runs afoul of a building full of walkers, and the troops bid a hasty retreat -- without Moyers. The squad is apparently decimated and a remaining couple of troops decide to break ranks and go find their families, offering to drop Travis off -- but not take him to the command post as promised.
Back at the detention center, a still-detoxing Nick registers a fever, which is normally a one-way ticket to an ominous sounding "downstairs" -- that is until Strand, who has apparently bribed a soldier with a Rolex at some point, manages to bribe the same soldier with a pair of diamond cufflinks to ensure Nick stays above ground.
Unexpectedly, Maddie responds coldly: "Did he tell us what we need to know?"
Liza, meanwhile, tries to sneak into the holding area where Griselda is being held, only to find out she's been in septic shock, and doesn't have long to live.As Chris and Alicia trash the rich neighbor's house, Travis returns home to more serious matters. He finds out about the torture -- and the meaning of the order "Cobalt" that the torture revealed: the military's secret plan to evacuate Los Angeles and flee the growing walker epidemic -- and the "humane termination" of whoever's left standing.
Back at the medical center, Nick's puking up a storm, and he asks Strand why he saved him. "I didn't save you," he says. "I obligated you."
"The game has changed," Strand says coldly. The people that won the last round, with their grande lattes and their frequent flyer miles, they're about the become the buffet."
He explains that because Nick is an addict, he needs a man of his talents -- whatever that means -- and shows off that he's palmed a key, presumably for their chain link fence cell.
Griselda, meanwhile, is rambling about the violence she left behind -- presumably with, though perhaps because of, Daniel -- just before she dies.
Exner then tells Liza that the dead woman needs to be neutralized with a tool used to euthanize cattle so that she can't turn.
Liza takes the tool away and does the deed herself.
Daniel, meanwhile, makes his way to an arena Adams told him about in which soldiers did battle with walkers before retreating, eventually locking walkers and civilians alike inside -- leaving potentially thousands of walkers inside. As the episode ends, we see Daniel at the doors, which are being rocked from the inside by the brain eaters, seemingly considering letting them loose.
The finale of season one of "Fear The Walking Dead" airs next Sunday night, October 4, at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.