SPOILER ALERT: Do not read ahead if you haven’t seen season two, episode six of “Fear the Walking Dead,” titled “Sicut Cervus.”
Coming into episode six, titled “Sicut Cervus,” you’d think the biggest problem the members of the Abigail had to deal with would be crossing the Mexican border. Shirking those notions, this episode had an opening with a supernatural feel to it.
Opening in a church, a father speaks his gospel to a small but focused group before sending everyone outside and arming them with your typical mob-like weaponry. A man pulls up in a truck and tells the crowd they can’t do this and they are “fighting death with death.” One could assume they are talking about the undead, but the father mentions a woman that the driver is protecting as being the problem, and that’s about when everyone that was a part of the mob starts keeling over in pain and bleeding from the eyes. The father says again it is this woman, Celia’s, fault before succumbing himself.
Back on the boat, everyone is rightfully concerned about Chris, who is continuing his transition into either the most adept person for this new world or a young sociopath. He doesn’t understand why the rest of the passengers are afraid of him after he killed Reed in cold blood.
At the helm of the ship, Strand, Madison and Luis are going over how they’ll be getting into Mexico. Before they can even do what they drove all this way to do, a boat with two men approaches, which wasn’t part of the plan since Luis was supposed to head to them. And because Strand and Luis are supposed to be the only two on the Abigail, everyone else needs to hide below deck.
Salazar translates for the stowaways while Luis and Strand make the deal: one gold bar per person entering Mexico. The two men want to check the ship for infected before they let the Abigail cross. The calm negotiations turn violent then. The men who came aboard get theirs, but during the shooting, Luis is also hit. The boats guarding the border hear the shots as well and begin opening fire on the Abigail.
Salazar, ever the quick thinker, destroys the brain of the two boarders and moves to deal with Luis, who is shockingly still alive. He give a coin to Ofelia, telling her to give it to his mother. Salazar throws the coin into the ocean.
The boats stop following the ship, probably thinking that whatever is on land will deal with them, and for the first time since the first or second episode everyone is on land at the same time. The group arrives at the church from the opening scene and Strand runs to the truck that was left shouting Thomas’ name. He runs into the church to keep looking right as a small herd of walkers appear. Somehow, this group that has barely had any experience dealing with the undead casually begins to deal with them without much fuss. Nick does seem to be a little shaken when he has to deal with taking down a small girl-turned-zombie, but only for a nanosecond. I’m sure Chris is in heaven — he even watched Madison nearly get bit instead of helping.
The only other person who is really affected is Salazar. The fight triggers a few cuts to a flashback before Ofelia helps him deal with the walker that led to it. After that, the group commandeers the truck and heads deeper into Mexico.
Finally, they reach their destination: Thomas’ gated compound. They’re greeted by Luis’ mother Celia (probably the same one mentioned in the episode’s beginning) who learns the bad news about her boy. Celia has bad news for Strand as well. Thomas was bitten at some point during Strand’s journey back to him. He’s alive, but on his last leg.
In the house, Alicia confronts Chris about not helping her mom. Chris spouts that he froze and that she can’t tell anyone about it, even going so far as to corner her against a wall to make his point. Alicia asks what will happen if she does and Chris just says he doesn’t want to hurt anyone. It’s at this point alarm bells should be sounding because the group definitely has a Chris problem.
Nick spends some time with Celia. He lets her know Luis was on his mind when he died and that he is sick of all the killing. Celia tells him this is no different than before, other than that now they can see their dead walking among them. Madison comes in and ushers Nick to the shower. She doesn’t seem nearly as fond of Celia as Nick was.
Celia meets with Salazar at a makeshift remembrance wall. She adds a picture of Luis and Salazar offers his condolences, which Celia is curious about. She says if he wasn’t shot in the head, then he has nothing to worry about. There could be some faint parallels between Hershel’s farm and Thomas’ compound drawing themselves.
Madison brings Strand and Thomas some food and meets Thomas for the first time. It’s nice to see a friendship forming between Strand and her and Thomas sees it too. He asks Madison to look out for Strand when he is gone. Madison says he won’t make it easy, but agrees.
It’s been about ten minutes since Madison and Travis had a fight, so they decide to get one in before dinner. She confronts him about Chris, not only about killing Reed but also about threatening Alicia, which she was told about earlier. She tells him Chris was watching her nearly get killed back at the church and says he may have a problem. Travis returns fire with a fair point about Nick being sick, strung out and missing and how he was there for help and support rather than accusing. Travis says he needs her help, but she chooses to be with Alicia.
Thomas knows his ticket is very close to being punched, but tells Strand he is afraid to go. Strand suggests he could join Thomas in death. He also mentions something about Celia being able to watch over them.
Salazar, never the most trusting person in the group, takes a stroll through the grounds to do some snooping. He watches one of the workers drop a live dog down a chute. This seems to confirm his suspicions. He heads into the building the animal was dropped into and finds a boy talking about his juggling skills. Salazar asks who he is talking to and he says his mom. To the surprise of no one, including Salazar, the boy’s mom and a handful of others are all dead and caged up.
Salazar confronts Celia about it. She has similar logic behind keeping the infected locked up rather than killing them that just about every character does that chooses this path in various zombie stories. She also explains that she poisoned the church-goers from the beginning using the Sacrament.
Speaking of the poisoned Sacrament, Celia is offering one to Strand so he can off himself with Thomas. She lets him know she never thought he was good enough for Thomas but is proud of what he is doing. Strand lays with his friend and partner until he passes and then heads to his poisoned Sacrament.
Chris wakes in the night and sneaks into Alicia’s room, where Madison is also sleeping. He whispers her name and when she doesn’t answer, he creeps in and grabs a knife from the bed. Before it is apparent what he is going to do, a gunshot goes off waking the mother and daughter. They turn and see Chris holding the knife and scream at him to leave, which he does.
The gunshot came from Strand. Instead of killing himself, he decided to shoot Thomas to stop him from turning. That probably won’t go over too well with the matriarch of the compound.