Fear The Walking Dead 2.06 - Sicut Cervus
We begin this week's episode of Fear The Walking Dead with a shootout. The Mexican authorities don't like the sight of our group aboard the Abigail sailing for their homeland. The deaths come thick and fast with Strand's associate Luis getting a bullet for all the help he has provided the group so far. Before leaving this mortal coil though he hands Daniel an coin. A coin with an owl on it, which will play into the episode later. Daniel has generally been the most level headed of the group so far so his next actions, that of throwing the coin coldly into the ocean is puzzling.
After surviving the onslaught, the group disembark onto dry land, presumably in Mexico but this is never explicitly stated. The gang are almost immediately pounced upon by a congregation of the undead; a group of characters we saw at the episode's opening. The group is made up of the old and young so it is hard for the Abigail group to despatch the onslaught. A pivotal scene plays out where Madison is pinned down by a zombie and Chris just stands back and watches, frozen in fear. At this point most people's fight or flight senses kick in. Chris has neither and Alicia steps in to save the day, another scene that has repercussion later in the episode.
The group finally get to where they have been trying to get to for the last five episodes. Strand's lovers compound. When Strand finally finds Thomas we see that he has been bitten already and is laid up in bed waiting for the inevitable. A large bite wound is evident on his arm. The scene and its repercussions play out well. It's clear why the show runners hired Dougray Scott to play the part of Thomas , there is quite a lot of emotional heavy lifting in this episode. Thomas tells Strand " I don't want to leave you". Its quite a sight to see two characters regardless of their sex convey this emotion to each other. Scott plays the emotion across his face and you as a viewer understand his pain and Strands devastation on what he has to do next. Strand puts a bullet in Thomas accompanied by a pillow to soften the noise, although the sound of the bullet will travel over the compound.
In the compound, bereft of weapons, the rest of the group get back into trying a bit of normalcy, hot food and a shower, the basics. As in The Walking Dead nothing remains normal for long. A scene plays out in the kitchen with Nick and Celia, the mother hen of the compound. Celia can see into Nick, something that even Madison can't do at times. Nick is "sick of all the killing" near to tears, the raw emotion playing across Frank Dillane's face. A simple scene but well acted, again like last night's episode of Game of Thrones , sometimes minimalist acting works better within heavy scenes. There is no over blown Al Pacino style shouting and screaming here.
Its interesting at the scenes conclusion with Madison breaking the scene and becoming protective of Nick once again. Celia can clearly see something in Nick, a warrior spirit of sorts. She can see he is a survivor, whereas Madison only wants to wrap him in cotton wool and tell him everything will be OK, when clearly it isn't and won't be for the foreseeable future. I'll be looking with a keen eye at Celia and Madison's future interactions.
Chris on the other hand is going off the rails and unravelling quite spectacularly. After his frozen moment at the almighty ruckus at the start of the episode, he is concerned Alicia (who hasn't much to do this episode) will tell Madison about this indiscretion. The two argue and Chris makes you as a viewer uncomfortable with the advances and body language against Alicia. Its a strong turn for the character ever since he fumbled the killing of Reed in the last episode. Its feels like this plot point is piloting his descent to rock bottom.
As the episode grinds to a finish we find Chris, grabbing a knife, and leering at a sleeping Alicia and Madison. Strand's gunshot awaken them and they spot Chris who runs away, leaving Alicia and Madison confused.
A good, well written episode of Fear The Walking Dead this week, which is common in Season 2. Strong performances from the younger cast flesh out characters that have been constrained in recent episodes. As we steam roll towards the mid season finale, we look forward to where the story will take our intrepid band of survivors. Thank god they are off the Abigail though, the bad outside CGI was starting to grate.