In the Fear the Walking Dead recap, the survivors make it to Mexico but what they find hiding behind gated walls might be even scarier than what’s outside….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Ever since the survivors on Fear the Walking Dead left Los Angeles bound for Mexico, the show has taken a dramatic turn for the worse than what ultimately paid off as an outstanding first season.
The taut drama that enveloped these characters as they discovered an unkillable plague that was wiping out life as we know it built a perfect horror plot that could only get worse as time ticked forward. What was promised to be a new set of problems that faced survivors on the west coast instead of rural Georgia was unique and intriguing.
The boat ride to Mexico has felt choppier than the ocean they’ve been riding on all season long and the uneven episodes continued with the latest that landed the survivors in a faux suicide pact house filled with plenty of religion and even more people who were clearly willing to die because they didn’t believe they’d really be dead.
With that said, let’s recap an underwhelming episode of Fear the Walking Dead titled “Sicut Cervus’….
Boat Ride to Mexico
Last week’s harrowing escape from pirates gets no real follow up this week outside of Chris being admonished for killing Reed when no one believed he was actually going to die and turn into a zombie. Chris is convinced that it’s Madison who is out to get him, but he’ll try to pay her back as this episode moves forward.
The story quickly shifts from fallout regarding the pirates to the Abigail arriving at the shores of Mexico where Strand and Luis have supposedly secured safe transport across the border. When gunshots ring out while the survivors hide in the belly of the boat, it’s clear that the payment wasn’t accepted.
What resulted was Luis — an interesting new character addition — was shot dead and now Strand and the rest of the survivors are making a run for land after a ship full of gunman took aim at them and then just rode away without any further attacks.
It’s unclear why this was such a threat if these armed guards weren’t going to do anything, but either way the group made it to Mexico and now it’s time to meet up with Strand’s people.
Once the group makes it on shore, Strand rushes for a church where he spots a truck that belongs to his beloved Thomas Abigail. His boyfriend is nowhere to be found but there are a group of undead priests, altar boys and parishioners, who are now zombified and they are coming from the survivors.
Everybody teams up to take down the zombie horde except for Chris, who nearly lets Madison get eaten alive while watching her struggle to fight off one of the walkers. Alicia swoops in for the save, clearly noticing that Chris wasn’t going to do anything to save her mother.
The church that was filled with zombies is a flashback to the opening scene of the episode where a priest was giving a passionate sermon about fighting back against the dead in this new world and then seconds later when Thomas found them, everybody inside was bleeding from the eyes and dying in front of him. It looked like they were poisoned because this certainly wasn’t an act of God.
After Strand realizes the church is empty except for the dead people, he hops in the truck along with everybody else in the back and they drive to their intended destination — a small village owned by Thomas Abigail and ran by Luis’ mother Celia, who welcomes the group with open arms. Well everybody is allowed inside once they give up their weapons — which everybody should immediately recognize as a bad sign.
Once inside, this quaint, hidden village looks peaceful and serene, which pretty much guarantees it’s not.
Inside, Alicia confronts Chris about nearly getting her mother killed and in response he warns her to keep this to herself or something bad might happen to her and Madison. Later in the episode when Madison finds out about this conversation, she confronts Travis with the truth about his evolving psychopathic son but of course he takes Chris’ side. It’s a really forced set of circumstances because it sure seems like the end goal is for Chris to go mad and they aren’t wasting any time to get him there.
Elsewhere, Nick spends a moment with Celia and Daniel struggles to accept this new place as a truly safe surrounding.
And when Strand finally gets to Thomas he makes a grisly discovery — the man he loves has been bitten and he’s probably only days if not hours away from death.
In Death There is Life
There’s no slow moving in this show because the dread looming overhead in this small hamlet is quickly exposed when Daniel does some exploring and he finds out that all of the people who have died are being kept in another part of the two behind bars. Apparently, Celia sees the zombie apocalypse as some kind of resurrection from the Bible and she’s not only keeping the dead people in captivity just a few feet away from the living but she’s adding to the collection.
It’s part of the reason why Celia wasn’t all that broken up that her son Luis is dead because she’s convinced since he didn’t get shot in the head that he’ll eventually make his way back to her. We also find out that Celia’s desperation for the end of the world resulted in poisoned Eucharist being handed out to all the parishioners at the church — she’s the one responsible for killing everybody inside before they reanimated and returned as the undead.
It appears Celia is also making a suicide pact with Strand and Thomas, who is near death now as the infection has only gotten worse since everybody arrived. It looks like Strand is ready to die alongside his lover, but in the end he can’t do it and instead puts a gun to Thomas’ head and pulls the trigger.
Meanwhile in a bedroom not far away, Chris has shown up while watching Madison and Alicia sleeping before finding a knife on the bed stand. He picks it up when the gunshot rings out and Madison and Alicia wake up where they spot Chris standing there with a knife. Chris quickly flees from the room but it’s clear he’s got some serious issues and his father just doesn’t buy that he’s not all right in the head.
Overall, a very muddled episode that felt more like a collection of scenes all shuffled together than one cohesive story. The death cult angle felt rushed and now this appears to be the setting for the mid-season finale airing one week from now.
Fear the Walking Dead returns next Sunday night at 9pm ET on AMC