Fear The Walking Dead: S2 Season Break (Ep 6,7)
The Season Two Break episodes, “Sicut Cervus”and ”Shiva”, highlight the steady decline of rationale and sanity in our characters and the world they encounter. The second half of this season is promising to be rewarding to those of us who have stuck it out so far. Our core group has been separated and we see three different perspectives emerge. We’ll see some ugly things as the chaos of the apocalypse intensifies, and man’s baser nature takes over. Let’s catch up with the last two episodes as we prepare for the exciting launch of the second half of season two.
In a small chapel in Mexico, a boys’ choir sings; weary parishioners cling to their faith. The Padre encourages them to stay strong against this abomination; this is not the work of his God. Slowly, the faithful approach the altar for communion, the Padre being the last to put a wafer on his tongue. The parishioners slowly head out into the hot sunshine, just as Thomas Abigail drives up to the chapel. He’s desperate to stop the Padre. One by one, each of the faithful drop on the sandy ground. The Padre’s last words blame Celia Flores. Thomas is too late to stop her and ends up bitten. I hate it when that happens!
As the Abigail pushes ahead for Baja, a small watercraft full of armed men approaches. Luis Flores works with Victor to negotiate their entry into Baja. The rest of the group is hiding below deck. They hear others boarding the yacht, shouting, and then gunshots. Once he feels it it safe, Victor calls them back up on deck. After trading gunfire, Luis has been mortally wounded and lays bleeding on the deck. Daniel approaches Luis to stab him in the brain. Love the bedside manner, Daniel. Luis begs Daniel not to kill him, because it’s against everything he believes in. He’s Celia’s boy, all right. Daniel leaves Luis alone and Nick stays by his side. Once on shore, Victor leads the way. They walk past the small chapel and are confronted by a revival of dead parishioners. Daniel freaks out when he sees his own face in the face of a choirboy. Nick is having a hard time, too, faced with stabbing an undead little girl. At this moment Daniel is losing his sanity just as Nick seems to be finding his. Chris sees Madison on the ground, struggling with a walker but does nothing. If he can’t have a Mommy, no one can! Alicia runs to Maddie’s rescue. Chris is being quite the jerk, isn’t he?
Victor sees Thomas’ pick-up truck, and calls his name. There’s no sign of Thomas, so Victor takes the pickup and speeds to the Abigail estate. The gates open and the estate looks like paradise, but we all know looks can be deceiving. There are men farming with crops growing, and people thriving. The pick-up’s occupants are told to hand over their weapons; even hard-headed Daniel grudgingly hands over his arsenal. Victor is frantic to see Thomas. Celia Flores (Marlene Forte) arrives to take him to Thomas’ room. She wonders where her Luis is. Finding Thomas bitten and sickening, Victor is devastated. He offers to help Thomas into bed, tears coursing down his cheeks. His true love is dying and his heart is broken. This is a different Victor Strand, not the slick, fast-talking dude we met at the detainment center in LA. Things are starting to real here.
Nick finds Celia in the kitchen cooking and tells her Luis’ last words. She gives him a snack before dinner. She tells Nick he’s a beautiful boy, (Yes. Yes, he is.) but she sees a deep sadness in his eyes. She also sees great strength. Nick says he’s tired of killing. Celia smiles and says that the afterlife isn’t new, it’s just visible now. (O-o-okay) Madison walks in on their conversation and hustles Nick out of the kitchen. To Maddie, Nick seems vulnerable and weak, in need of protection. This is a clear case of Enable vs. Empower, and Maddie wants to keep Celia’s maternal hooks out of her son.
Daniel is out in the garden, by a memorial of the dead covering a stone wall. Celia comes to put Luis’s picture up, explaining to Daniel her belief that her son is still alive somewhere, just different now. That’s an understatement!
That night, while Alicia sits watching recorded TV in the living room, Chris walks in. He asks her what she thought she saw earlier that day. She says that she saw him watching her mother fight for her life. Chris tells her to keep her mouth shut so he won’t have to hurt her. What the hell, Chris?
Maddie brings a tray of food to Victor and Thomas. She and Victor playfully spar back and forth. Thomas asks Maddie to take care of Victor once he’s gone. She promises to do her best. I see a genuine friendship developing between Maddie and Victor; they understand and depend on each other – despite their better judgement.
At dinner time, Daniel is morose and stays in his room alone. He’s a shell of the man who defended his family in LA. He’s lost without Griselda and Ophelia is worried about him. At bedtime, Alicia tells Maddie that Chris threatened her. Maddie tells Travis, but he doesn’t want to believe it. Ever-idealistic Travis wants to work things out as a family, with Maddie by his side. She tells him how Chris refused to help her at the chapel. The accusations tear them apart. That night, Maddie sleeps with Alicia and Travis sleeps with Chris.
Victor tends to a tearful Thomas who doesn’t want to leave him. Victor mentions the communion wafers, and offers to join him in the afterlife. Thomas states his wishes to be set free, not left to turn.
Ophelia lights a candle at the memorial wall, asking her mother to please look after Daniel. Nick finds her there, and the lighted candles take him back to the L.A. church, where he was a different version of walking dead. Nick’s growing dark and haunted.
Later that same night, Daniel wanders outside and discovers the pen where all of the infected friends and relatives are kept. There’s a young boy outside the gate, talking to his undead mother. Daniel confronts Celia about his horrific discovery. She defends her actions, stating that she cannot let her loved ones be hunted down. (No, best to let them rot) She provides them with food and shelter. She is carrying a tray for Thomas and Victor, and Daniel notices the communion wafers. He picks one up and sniffs it, smelling the poison. It dawns on him that what happened at the chapel was Celia’s doing. Poor Thomas was collateral damage! Celia suggests to Daniel that he find peace with his own dead. She heads to Thomas’ room, overjoyed that Victor has decided to take the journey with him.
Nick is sleepless and heads outside to the courtyard to find Celia sitting there under the stars. He sits to talk with her. He asks her what the infected really are. She says they’re what comes next. Yikes! They sit silently for a while.
Victor stays with Thomas until his last breath then kisses him goodbye. He reaches for the wafers, but on second thought, he goes for his gun. Chris has snuck out of his room, and stands over Maddie and Alicia as they sleep. A gunshot rocks the household, and Maddie wakes to find Chris standing over her bed holding a knife. Victor honored Thomas’ last wish – to be set free. Chris’ cover is blown and he runs off into the desert like a coyote, with a gun tucked into the waistband of his pants.
Daniel hears the gunshot and joins the rest of the household hurrying to investigate. Celia berates Victor for shooting Thomas. She orders the entire group off the property. Nick manages to get Celia to back down. She says she’ll allow Victor to bury Thomas, but he is no longer welcome. As Victor digs, Daniel is peeking from behind some trees like a wily leprechaun. He sees workers carrying piglets to the infected.
A barefoot Travis runs into the desert looking for Chris. He finds a small house whose inhabitant says “No Ingles” when Travis asks if he has seen his son. The man sees Travis’ feet are badly cut and bleeding, which is generally what happens when you go running into the Mexican desert barefoot. I think this is Travis’ version of self-flagellation. He feels guilty for not spending more time helping Chris deal with the loss of his mother. “No Ingles” offers Travis water and a pair of shoes. Travis sees a book on the man’s bed. The title is written in English. Aha! Travis sees there’s another room; he forces the door open to find Chris holding the man’s son at gunpoint.
Celia asks Nick to bring Luis home to her. Nick covers himself in the usual gore, and returns with a bound and gagged Luis. Celia is overjoyed (really??) and begs Nick to stay with her family. Nick bargains with her until she agrees to let his family stay as well. Celia gives in, but Victor is still unwelcome.
Nick feels untouchable. He can walk among the dead undetected. He’s not afraid. He tells Maddie he can bring Travis back just like he brought Luis back. He heads back into the desert.
Daniel is losing his grip on reality. He drags Ophelia to the front gate, saying Griselda’s there waiting for him. Guards come to subdue him, and he lashes out at them.
Maddie asks Victor to help her with Nick. Victor says Nick is a lost cause now that Celia’s got her hooks in him. He offers to take Maddie with him after Thomas’ burial.
Meanwhile, Chris has Travis at gunpoint. He thinks everyone sees him as a monster now and that he’s damaged goods. He runs outside, slashing at Travis with his knife. What other weapons have ya got there, pal? A guilty Travis feels responsible.
At Thomas’ gravesite, Celia reminds Victor that he needs to leave by sunset. (Hasta luego, crazy lady!) Celia has Daniel trussed in the basement. She visits him and tries unsuccessfully to get him to eat something. I don’t think he’s into her cooking as she’s pretty liberal with the poison. Celia sees the fear and hatred in his eyes. She tells him his true fear is of his dead, not her. Daniel stares past her, he sees his Griselda. She speaks to him and comforts him like she always did. Celia leaves and Daniel is left alone with his wife.
Outside, Nick is in his gore getup, looking for Travis and Chris. When he finds them, Travis begs him to tell Maddie he couldn’t find them; he needs to be with his son.
Maddie begs Celia to let Victor stay. She refuses, then tells Maddie proudly that Nick sees the world through new eyes now. Oh yeah?! Maddie pretends that she, too, wants to understand and asks Celia to show her. Celia takes her into the basement where the dead are corralled. When Celia opens the gate, Maddie pushes her inside, locking it. No one messes with her son! Celia seems resigned to her fate and more than a little afraid. In another part of the lower level, a guard has come to offer food to Daniel. Daniel responds with a head-butt. Lights out for the guard, and Daniel manages to untie his restraints. Griselda is with him, asking him to let go of his burdens. As Victor is walked to the front gate and locked out, Daniel is dousing the entire lower level with gasoline. The faces of the walkers become the faces of his victims, and he lights his zippo. He and Griselda smile at each other, and he drops the lighter. Victor sees the flames from his pick-up and slams on the brakes. As Maddie and Ophelia call for Daniel, Victor pulls up and urges them to get in. The flames have caught the attention of a large herd of walkers. Maddie sees gore-covered Nick, and urges him to get into the truck bed with Alicia and Ophelia. Nick refuses, saying that Celia predicted that they would bring death and destruction, and he’s not going anywhere. The herd advances, and there’s no time to spare. Maddie watches helplessly as her son walks unseen among the dead, eventually disappearing into the herd.
Things in Mexico have taken a nasty turn. Is this truly the end of Daniel’s story? I thought he had so much more to reveal. Nick is somewhere wandering among the dead, and Travis and Chris have a hard road ahead of them. Maddie needs her son, and Ophelia has likely lost her father. This is Baja. Outside the gates of the Abigail estate, our survivors will face some harsh realities.
FTWD Returns Sunday, August 21 on AMC 9/8c