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Fear the Walking Dead episode
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 5
Directed by Kari Skogland
Written by David Wiener
Original air date September 27, 2015 (2015-09-27)
Running time 45 minutes
Guest actors
  • Colman Domingo as Victor Strand
  • Patricia Reyes Spindola as Griselda Salazar
  • Shawn Hatosy as Andrew Adams
  • Sandrine Holt as Bethany Exner
  • Jamie McShane as Moyers
  • Jared Abrahamson as CPL Cole
  • Shane Dean as PFC Richards
  • Chris Furci as Medic
  • Khaira Ledeyo as Nurse Hodges
  • Toby Levins as Sgt. Melvin Allen
  • Bobby Naderi as Castro
  • Tammy Nera as Kimberly
  • John Stewart as Douglas Thompson
  • Maxwell Yip as Shih
Episode chronology
← Previous
"Not Fade Away"
Next →
"The Good Man"

"Cobalt" is the fifth and penultimate episode of the first season of the post-apocalyptic horror television series Fear the Walking Dead, which aired on AMC on September 27, 2015 in the United States.

This episode marks Colman Domingo’s first appearance as Victor Strand who would go on to become a prominent character.


In a military cell, Strand bribes a guardsman to save a feverish Nick from being moved. Liza helps Dr. Exner with patients at the hospital. Chris is devastated that Liza left voluntarily to help at the hospital, but Travis promises to bring her back. Madison discovers Daniel detaining Adams in the Trans' basement. Alicia and Chris get drunk in and vandalize the abandoned home of a wealthy family. Strand recruits Nick for an escape plot. Travis convinces Moyers' squad to take him to the hospital to check on his friends. While en route, Moyers encourages Travis to shoot a zombie, but Travis is emotionally unable to pull the trigger. The soldiers stop to assist another squad in a building infested by zombies, and most of those soldiers, including Moyers, are overcome. The few survivors flee and drop off Travis near the Safe Zone. Travis learns that Daniel tortured Adams into revealing what "Cobalt" means: in the morning, all civilians will be killed, and the guardsmen will evacuate the city. Griselda dies of septic shock at the hospital; Liza shoots her brain to prevent reanimation. Daniel visits a nearby sports arena to verify Adams' story that it was sealed with 2,000 now-zombified civilians inside.


"Cobalt" received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it garnered a 76% rating with an average score of 7.73/10 based on 21 reviews. The site consensus reads, "In the penultimate episode of Fear the Walking Dead's first season, "Cobalt" injects new life into its sequestered group of survivors with an intriguing new character."[1]

Matt Fowler of IGN gave "Cobalt" a 6.8/10.0 rating stating; "While "Cobalt" may have set us up for (hopefully) a zombie-filled FTWD finale, it was also sort of a mess. Travis continued to do nothing except witness things while, for some reason, an evacuation plan needed to be brutally tortured out of a National Guardsman who should have been on the Salazar family's side given his feelings for Ofelia. Granted, there were some nice, dark Daniel moments here, but there were too many puzzle pieces missing. Even Madison felt wasted this week."[2]


"Cobalt" was seen by 6.66 million viewers in the United States on its original air date, slightly above the previous episodes rating of 6.62 million. "Cobalt" was the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead to have a higher viewership than its previous episode.[3][4]