This post contains spoilers for the midseason finale of “Fear the Walking Dead,” Season 2, Episode 7, titled “Shiva.” To refresh your memory on where we left off, check out last week’s “Fear the Walking Dead” recap.
The main issue with the second season of “Fear the Walking Dead” is the same issue it had in the first season. Few of the characters feel fleshed out and the ones that have been are given little to do. With the exception of Strand (far and away the best character on the show) every other character seems content to just exist in this hellish new world and to only act when someone else has acted against them first.
Tonight’s midseason finale, “Shiva,” worked to start to right that ship.
The episode opens with two quick scenes involving Salazar. One is the run-of-the-mill fake-out double dream, but the first is a quick glimpse at a moment in young Salazar’s life, and it looks pretty violent.
Everyone at Abigail’s compound is woken up from the gunshot of Strand ending his lover’s life before he turned. Clearly a no-no, Celia scolds both Strand and Madison. Nick tries to moderate and keep Celia under control. She does let them know they have a day to bury Abigail and then they need to leave.
Travis is less concerned with Strand and more worried about finding Chris, especially when Alicia tells him she woke up to his son standing over her with a knife. He sees Chris in the field but when he yells to him, Chris takes off. Travis heads into the night after him.
The next morning, Travis is still looking for Chris without much luck, though his son is kind enough to leave a small trail of killed walkers behind him. Madison tries to rally her kids to gather supplies before the sun sets so they can get back to the boat. Alicia doesn’t want to go and Nick thinks he can talk to Celia even though his mom says she’s dangerous.
Travis, who’s looking for Chris “Die Hard” style with no shoes, comes across a small home. He finds someone inside, just not Chris. Despite a language barrier, the man Travis finds gives him water and checks out Travis’ nasty feet.
At the compound, Nick apparently figured out the best way to win over Celia. He went back to the Abigail and retrieved the now-zombified Luis for his mother. Celia seems pleased. She wants Nick to stay, but his family is another story. She agrees to let them stay as long as Nick agrees to be responsible for them. Strand, however, is not allowed to stay.
Salazar tries to talk to Strand while he is digging Abigail’s grave. He warns Strand that he shouldn’t put him in because the land is unholy. Salazar is clearly drawing attention from Celia’s people.
Madison confronts Nick about his behavior. She says he’s been different since they left L.A. and that it’s worrying her. He says he’s not afraid because he knows he’s not supposed to die at the hands of a walker. Though to him they’re just the same people. He’s had a nice long pull from Celia’s Kool-Aid, apparently.
Salazar has drawn too much attention. He tries to drag Ofelia off the compound, convinced it’s cursed. Celia’s men show up and pull Ofelia away which causes Salazar to pull his knife and swing at them. He’s taken down by the sheer number of them.
Travis’ new friend hooks him up with some kicks. He sees the man has a picture of a boy and tries to explain he is looking for his son. Turns out the man saw Chris and he tries to usher Travis out of the house after him. Travis sees movement from another room and asks, quietly, if someone is in the house. The man speaks English and says Chris is threatening to hurt his boy if he doesn’t get Travis to leave. Travis barges into the room and is held at gunpoint by his son. Father tries to talk son down. Chris says he’s sick of people looking at him like he’s a monster. Travis takes the opportunity to knock the gun out of Chris’ hands but can’t stop him from running out the door.
Outside Travis catches up and brings Chris to the ground. To fight back, Chris pulls Travis’ knife and swings at his father. Travis wrestles the weapon away. Chris, very melodramatically, says he’s no good.
Salazar is being held at the compound. Celia comes down to have a talk with him. Celia says he fears the dead — not the one’s she is keeping on the grounds, but Salazar’s own dead. It’s about now that Salazar starts hearing things. Celia wants him to confess his sins but Salazar says he has nothing to tell her.
Nick apparently didn’t listen to mom and headed out to find Travis. He finds both him and Chris. Travis tells Nick that he needs to pretend he never saw either of them. He says Chris can’t come back and Travis needs his father. Nick doesn’t say anything, just gives Travis his knife and heads home.
Salazar has completely gone off the deep end. Speaking to his dead wife, who he’s now seeing, he says Celia is a demon and he needs to get away from her. His wife tells him to get back their daughter. Then his wife gets upset because Salazar never buried her. She says she listened to stories about his past and continues to carry his sins. His wife asks him about the one he didn’t tell her.
A flashback shows young Salazar standing on a riverbank with an alarming number of bodies floating in it. One man is still alive and Salazar is given a gun and told to deal with it. He pulls the trigger on what would be his first victim.
“No, my love,” his wife says. “The first victim was you.”
Celia shows Madison the pen where they keep their undead. She gives another by-the-numbers speech on why she keeps them around. Madison gamely agrees with her as she steps back toward the gate they walked through and locks Celia in with her undead captives. She seems less than concerned about it.
Elsewhere, Salazar takes out his guard and begins to make his escape. He takes the man’s lighter and keys as his wife tells him to set her free. At the front gate, Strand is locked out of the compound.
Salazar’s plan is simple: burn the compound and the pen of zombies. His wife appears among the zombies with a smile on her face. Salazar smiles, happy that he found his wife. He drops the lighter on the gas he poured into the pen without moving.
With the place burning, Strand comes back and finds Madison, Alicia and Ofelia. Nick shows up as everyone is piling in the truck but he won’t get in the car. Nick says Celia was right about them.
“We destroy everything.” (He’s not wrong.)
He turns and runs from the group and, still covered in zombie guts, into a crowd of the undead where he can’t be followed.
Will he survive? Is Salazar toast? Share your thoughts on the “Fear the Walking Dead” midseason finale below.