So that episode ... happened. While I think they were going for the same this isn't nearly as innocuous as it all seems vibe with the condo HOA of doom that the mother show has done multiple times, it wasn't fleshed out nearly enough to give me any real sense of that. It was more like oh, here's some gated condos, zombie pool fight!, horrible actress emotes horribly about something something something in a hat, the person you're looking for wandered off I guess, oh here's your stick back. So from the map we're to get that they apparently have a chain of settlements across Texas. And? This is all feeling uncomfortably too much like the introduction of the Saviors, which also happened in spurts partway through the back half of a season seemingly out of the blue. Except, and I feel dirty even typing this, the Saviors actually made more sense as warlords sprung up in a landscape with a sudden vacuum of any larger central authority.
I don't hate this kinder gentler version of Daniel The Torturer (mostly because I do enjoy Reuben Blades) and thought he had nice chemistry with Grace, even if I'm amused by nuclear fallout girl suddenly being the belle of the middle-aged ball and having unspecified TV illness symptoms that of course result in her jumping to self-diagnose herself as fatal. I can sort of buy Daniel saying fuck it and deciding to go along for the ride after wandering alone for however long and connecting with an Ofelia substitute, even if I would have expected him to be a bit more savvy than to be all in with the hokey "we help people" mission and not immediately understanding that yes, sometimes bad guys are bad and we can't just play nice with them.
The fact that they're spending entire episodes carrying the cat around in the carrier I'm guessing speaks to the reality of how difficult it is to get cats to cooperate to do anything until they just feel like it. As much as I appreciate the cat representation in the ZA, I can well imagine the crew having planned having it roam about or interact with the actors and at some point after so many takes going oh the hell with it, just carry him. But they've saddled Daniel with a cat, so now we'll be forever looking for it if he's not in the scene.