TV Recap: FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, Season Two, Episode 6, ‘Sicut Cervus’

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SHOCK thoroughly recaps the 6th thrilling episode of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD.

Our ragtag band of survivors finally makes it to Baja, Mexico and fight their way to Strand’s safe haven. Being safe behind walls doesn’t always mean you are actually safe. It turns out this farm is a lot like Hershel’s farm (there’s walkers in the…wine cellar!)

This week’s episode (go here for our previous season two recaps) focused on the religious aspect of the apocalypse and how each of the survivors view their current situation. Sicut Cervus is a Latin phrase meaning “Like a deer” and is mentioned in Psalm 42 in the Bible. “As pants the hart for cooling streams when heated in the Chase, so longs my soul, O God, for thee and thy refreshing grace.” The hart is a deer and it’s being hunted. There is also a Latin song performed by church choirs called Sicut Cervus; it’s composed by Palestrina and we actually hear it being sung in the opening of the episode by the choir.

The choir sings as the congregation prays in their time of need and desperation; even the priest looks hopeless. In the church there isn’t many people left from their village and the priest gives them an inspiring sermon in Spanish, “The times we’re living in, they’re testing us all. They are testing our belief. They are testing our faith, where is our God? Has he abandoned us? Is he watching? Even I have wondered what kind of God would test us like this? But then I looked inward and found that the answer to my question lay in the question itself. The God I believe, the God I know, wouldn’t do such a thing. This is not God. This thing, this evil that’s befallen us, wants us to turn away from him, to turn away from our faith. It feeds on our doubt. Do not give into it. Do not feed it. Do not give into it. We will fight this evil, we will defeat this by surviving it.”

The parishioners are all riled up by his speech and they all head outside and pick up weapons to arm themselves and get ready for a battle. Thomas Abigail drives up to the church frantically honking the horn trying to stop them. He doesn’t want them to fight death with death and the priest doesn’t have a problem with him but with Celia. He warns them that the people working for him knows they are coming and have armed themselves and are ready for them. Just then a lady becomes very ill and and then slowly throughout the group they all become very sick and start bleeding from their eyes. It’s a complete massacre. Thomas is in disbelief as he watches them one by one die in front of his eyes and the priest looks up at him and tells him that Celia did this and the priest starts to become ill and Thomas holds him. It appears they have been poisoned. They had a plan to stop Celia and she knew about it and stopped them before they could do anything to her and her people.

Travis and Chris are finally having their heart to heart talk between father and son on the back of the Abigail and Chris is really upset that no one will look at him. He doesn’t believe he did anything wrong and doesn’t understand why they are mad at him. Travis explains that he was told Reed wasn’t sick and Chris gets offended at the accusation and asks who said it. He guesses Madison and Travis says that she’s worried about him, he explains to his dad that she told him she believes him and Travis hugs him. Travis isn’t sure who to believe and he’s torn.

Madison is in the wheel house with Victor and Luis and she’s asking the details of what’s about to happen. Strand tells her that Luis will take the zodiac over to their boat and make the exchange with his contact and they’ll be in Baja in no time. Madison and Strand’s relationship seems to be getting a lot more better in terms of trust and comradery between each other. The military patrol comes towards the boat instead of Luis meeting them and there was only supposed to be one guy. The plans quickly change and the rest of them must hide below deck and stay undetected. Madison gets everyone down to the engine room and Daniel listens by the door to hear what’s being said. He plays interpreter and let’s everyone know what’s going on, play by play. The deal is made and the gold bars are exchanged for their safe passage but the one guard, not known by Luis, questions the size of the boat being too big for just two people. They want to check and make sure there is no infected on board. Yelling begins and then gun shots are fired rapidly and then silence. Footsteps are heard right above them and Daniel heads upstairs to see what happened.

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Nick asks Strand about Luis but he’s been shot during the scuffle and exchange of bullets. Luis was able to kill both guards but got caught in the crossfire while doing so. They are being fired at from the boats in the distance and Daniel goes outside to make sure the dead won’t be getting back up again. He stabs both guards in the head and goes over to Luis to give him mercy but he wakes up and begs Daniel not to. Luis says to Daniel not in the head but Daniel says he has no choice and goes to stab him but Ofelia comes out and stops him. Nick comes out with her and she helps Luis get what he was trying to retrieve out of his pocket. She takes out a coin with an owl on it and begs her to give it to his mother. Ofelia doesn’t know what it is and asks about it and Daniel says it’s nothing and goes to stab Luis again but Nick and Ofelia stop him. She tells him to leave him bee and Daniel snatches the coin out of her hand and looks down at it and then tosses it off the side of the boat in to the water. Nick stays out with Luis and Luis is talking and Nick bends down to listen to what he has to say.

This moment felt kind of similar to the moment Rick and Edwin Jenner have at the CDC in season 2 of The Walking Dead. In episode TS-19, Dr. Jenner whispers something into Rick’s ear before they leave the CDC which leaves Rick visibly shaken. We later find out what he told him was that no matter how you die you come back as a walker, everyone is already infected. I wonder if what Luis told Nick is important and if we will hear about it later on.

Madison is back in the wheelhouse with Strand and she notices they stopped firing at them and chasing them and Strand replies, “They think whatever is on land will kill us.”

The group is back on land and they have made it to Baja, finally. They are heading to Strand’s secret location and they walk through a small Village to get there. They walk upon a large pile of dead bodies as a dog is gnawing on one of them and the sight makes them sick except Chris, he seems fascinated by it. Strand notices Thomas’ truck by the church and becomes worried and yells out Thomas’ name. Victor is anxious to find Thomas and frantically searches the truck and inside the church for him, continuing to be loud. Strand’s antics draws the walkers towards them.

A bunch of dogs start to bark, Nick is sitting down looking really shook up about the pile of bodies and Chris and him hear a commotion behind them and they see a group of walkers heading their way. Chris yells to get the groups attention and they pick up the weapons on the ground that the villagers had at the beginning of the episode. Madison picks up a machete; Rick in the walking dead also uses a machete as one of his weapons of choice and Kim Dickens (Madison) wants her character to be the Rick of her group. Everyone arms themselves and walkers surround them from both sides and us viewers realize it’s the villagers from the beginning of the episode. It’s time for our group to show what they are capable of as a team and they begin fighting off the walkers. They quickly start to dispatch the walkers one at a time and working as a team but then Nick is faced with a very difficult task. A small little girl walker shuffles toward him and he hesitates slightly but takes her out. You can tell Nick doesn’t like killing even if it’s the undead.

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Daniel is using a good method by stabbing walkers in their eye to take them out with ease, after taking out two adult walkers, he’s faced with a young altar boy walker. He has him by the throat and Daniel freezes up and a flash back flashes over him. It flashes back to the jungle, it’s raining and someone is holding a young boy by the throat. It’s unclear if Daniel is the one holding the boy by the throat in his flash back or if he is the boy. Daniel has pain and sadness in his eyes and just as Daniel is stuck In his daze, Ofelia stabs the boy in the head and helps her father and he comes out of it. Daniels past seems like it’s haunting him even more and occurring more often. Ofelia can see that her dad is being affected by this and makes sure he’s ok.

Madison is fighting off one of the walkers and loses her balance and the Walkers falls on top of her. Chris is near by and goes to help but stops and watches the walker try to bite at Madison. It looks like he doesn’t care about her and is watching and waiting for her to be bitten. Alicia sees what Chris is doing and yells at him and she runs over and helps her mom by stabbing the walker in the head. Alicia helps her up and they both look at Chris confused and they run over to the truck and he follows after them.

Nick is sitting on the ground and all the bodies are scattered around him and he looks sad and hurt by what just had to happen. Madison calls him to go with them as they all pile into the truck. Nick looks over at the little girl he had to put down and feels guilty. Nick probably blames himself for what happened to Willa, the little girl who took the pills Nick left out by accident in episode 2 of this season. All the killing is starting to really get to him and he’s distraught. It appears Nick would rather leave them alone and walk among them; instead of killing them.

They are all in the truck headed to the estate and Ofelia is concerned about her father’s mental stability as she watches him as they drive, Daniel seems distant. After what happened and what they had to do the mood in the truck is somber and no one is talking. In the distance they can see what Strand described to them and they can’t believe it. They drive up to the walled in estate and they are filled with hope; Que the uplifting melody in the background. The mood changes quickly as Strand pulls up to the gate and lets them in with his code. They made it. It exists. First time we’ve seen genuine smiles from some of our group and this place seems to be functioning normally inside the walls.

People are tending and gardening in the fields, everyone is contributing in the compound to keep it protected and functioning.

Strand is eager to find Thomas and is on a mission to find him. They are greeted by a women and strand asks her if Thomas is here and she tells him to go with her. Celia asks Strand about her son Luis and he lets her know that the military killed him when they fought to get into the country.

Strand tells her, “He’s one of them now.”

She replies, “And he’ll find his way back.” Strand looks confused by what she said.

The staff let the group know they will take them on a tour of the house but they have to leave their weapons since it’s a weapon free zone. Everyone drops their weapons with no hesitation except for Daniel. He asks why they must give up their weapons and she lets him no there’s no need for them here. She tells him he can keep it as long as it’s outside with him and not in the house. He gives up his weapons to her after Ofelia reminded him that they are guests.

Strand walks into where Thomas is and sees that he’s been bit. Thomas says, “Better late than never” and Strand is deeply saddened by what he sees and begins crying as he goes to him and tells Thomas he’s sorry. Thomas looks very rough and the virus is working its way through his body. Even tho Thomas is very sick he tries to lighten the mood by telling Strand he waited for him. Tom asks for privacy and Celia leaves them. Strand wishes he could have been there sooner so he could have done something but Thomas is just glad he’s there now with him. Strand wants to help him into bed, he helps him up and embraces and holds him tightly in his arms. He tells him “I got you” and he helps him over to bed. Strand is genuinely heartbroken over what happened to Thomas.

It’s too bad they don’t know to amputate right away and maybe he could have lived without his right lower arm; like Rick in the comics or Merle and in THE WALKING DEAD TV show.

Alicia is watching TV, while she lounges on the couch. She’s watching old black and white shows and Chris walks in and asks what she’s watching. She doesn’t know and gives him the remote and goes to leave. Chris asks if she’s mad at him. She tells him she seen what he did (watched Madison being attacked and did nothing to help her) but he acts like he did nothing and that she doesn’t know what she’s saying. She knows what she saw and he stood there watching and was going to let it happen. She’s not going to pretend like it didn’t happen and Chris begs her not to tell anyone. She goes to leave but he gets In front of her and demands that she doesn’t tell anyone but she says it’s her mom and she has to. He explains if she tells, it’ll pull their family apart and cause problems for them. He tells her what she saw was wrong and that he froze but she’s not buying it and goes to leave but he becomes aggressive with her and grabs her and threatens her to believe him and not to tell anyone. “What if I do” Alicia asks Chris and he tells her, “I don’t want to hurt anyone” and he walks away from her. This is the first time Alicia has seen this side of Chris and it scares her.

Celia is cooking in the kitchen and Nick walks in and introduces himself to her. She asks if he’s hungry and he tells her he’s very hungry; dinners not till 8 but if he doesn’t tell anyone she’ll give him some Pozole. (Pozole is a Mexican dish; soup or stew that’s meant for celebratory occasions) Celia is being very sweet to Nick and asks him how her food is and he tells her it’s amazing. He tells her that he was with Luis when he was dying and that he asked for her and that she was on his mind. Luis wanted nick to tell her that. Celia notices Nick has a heavy smile and asks him why. “I’m just a bit sick of it. Celia asks him what and he answers, “All the killing.” She shakes her head and then he asks her what. She tells him that none of this is new and that they are just visitors. “Our dead and they are our dead, they have always walked among us. The only difference is now that we can see them.” Madison interrupts their moment and says that’s a pretty big difference.

Madison walks into the kitchen and tells Nick the shower is all his and that she can smell him from where she is standing. He finishes his Pozole and leaves and Celia tells Madison that Nick is very special. This is not the first time someone has called Nick special, Strand was the other person. Madison tells Celia he’s very impressionable and Celia says the enlightened always are and Madison comes back at her saying that he’s fragile and then thanks Celia for her hospitality. There’s a lot of tension between the two women and Madison doesn’t trust her around Nick or in general.

Daniel is out around the estate, looking around for anything out of the ordinary and he spots a tree with a carving in it. It’s an owl carving, the same owl that was on Luis’ coin that he threw into the water. It’s the symbol of Santa Muerte; a Mexican folk Saint who is a personification of death. Celia thinks Daniel is praying in front of the alter they set up outside and he tells her he isn’t. She asks if she can and he tells her of course; Celia places a picture of her son Luis on the alter with the other pictures and he tells her he’s sorry for her loss. She asks him why and that he wasn’t shot in the head. “Right?” He tells her no and she says there’s nothing to be sorry for then. Daniel is very confused by what Celia said and leaves her looking puzzled.

Strand is with Thomas in bed and Madison knocks at the door, Tom asks Victor if “we” like her and strand smiles and answers that “she’s fierce” he chuckles and tells her to come in. Madison brought food for them even though she wasn’t sure if they’d be up for eating. Strand is touched that she thought of him and Madison introduces herself to Tom and says she’s glad to meet him. He tells her he’s sorry he hasn’t been out of bed and on other circumstances he’s a much better host. She explains under normal circumstances she’s a much less intrusive guest and Strand replies they both know that’s not true and they all share a laugh. As Tom laughs he coughs and winces in pain and Strand asks if he’s ok. Madison can see the love and compassion Strand has for Tom and it pains her to see him in such a bad situation. Strand and Madison share a moment between each other without speaking any words, they have a respect for each other and care about what happens to one another. Before she leaves Tom asks her to promise him something. To look after Strand when he’s gone. Strand jokes about him being malevolent and laughs. “He won’t make it easy” and Tom tells her that’s why he’s asking her and she shakes her head and smiles.

Ofelia tries to get her dad to go eat dinner with everyone but he tells her he isn’t hungry. She explains that Celia is an amazing cook but he replies that her mother was an amazing cook. Ofelia looks very concerned about Daniel and asks if everything is ok and he tells her yes and asks if she’s hungry. She tells him she is and he tells her that’s good, it means the infection is gone. He tells her to tell them he’s tired.

Alicia is asleep on the couch in front of the TV and Madison wakes her up. Alicia tells her mom how much she missed TV and Madison says to her that’s how they used to find her when she was little and they’d go out and a sitter would be watching her, they’d come home to her asleep on the couch by the TV. Alicia tells her mom she was always afraid she would never come back and Madison asks her what she’s afraid of now. Alicia tells Madison what happened earlier with Chris.

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Madison goes in to talk to Travis and asks him what they talked about earlier on the boat. He tells her that Chris thought he was a threat and that he thought he was going to turn. She tells him that Chris threatened Alicia and that he was going to hurt her. Travis gets mad and doesn’t believe it and says it makes no sense and that he’d never hurt her. Madison tells Travis what happened at the church earlier with him and how she almost died and Chris could have helped but he didn’t. Alicia seen him just watching and Travis looks Confused by everything she’s telling him. Travis asks if she thinks he wants them both dead and she says she just thinks he’s sick. she tells him that he needs help and Travis says let’s help him then like we do with Nick. They argue, Madison says it’s not the same where Travis says it is. When Nick was at his worst Travis was there for her and that he was always there for Nick. Travis believed he could get better because Madison believed it and he believed in her. Travis asks if something is wrong with Chris, she should help him like he does with Nick. Madison tells him she’s trying but he threatened her daughter and Travis corrects her, “our daughter” he tells her they need to be a united front like she’s been telling him and that she needs to help him with this now. He can see she is distant and she tells him that she’s going to stay with Alicia tonight and he says he’ll be with Chris. This fight has really gotten to Travis, you can see it and see how upset he is about the division between him and Madison.

Strand is still with Tom and Tom’s fever is getting worse and asks if he could take the sheet off of him. Strand tells Tom to go to sleep now but he tells him he can’t. Strand begs him to and that the world was never good enough for him and to let it go. Thomas begins crying and tells Victor he doesn’t want to leave him. Strand tells Tom what if he could go with him since there’s nothing left for him after he’s gone. Tom questions how he’d do it and Strand explains Celia will take care of them and watch over them and he’ll take care of it. Strand kisses Tom passionately.

It’s dark and Daniel is looking around the property and sees a kid put a dog in a grape chute and he hears the dog whimper and hears sounds of it suffering. He wants to know what’s going on.

Ofelia and Nick are out on a late night stroll and she’s taking him somewhere. Nick laughs when he sees where she brought him and tells her he should have known, “when a woman says come with me and doesn’t tell you where you’re going, she’s taking you to Jesus. It’s always Jesus” Ofelia becomes serious and says she needs to talk to her mom. She lights a candle and kneels in front of the altar and holds on to the prayer beads Nick gave her. She looks back at Nick and he comes over and kneels beside her. She smiles and asks him when the last time he was inside a church was and he withholds from her and tells her he can’t remember and tells her to do her thing. Ofelia closes her eyes and begins talking to her mother and says that she’s worried about her dad and that he’s lost his way without her, he’s frail.

As Ofelia talks to her mother, Nick looks up at the owl carving in the tree above the alter. Everything around him goes quiet and he zones completely out and sees flashes of what happened to him last time he was at a church. Nick sees all those memory’s flooding back to him. He sees all the carnage inside the church; he sees his friends all dead and eaten and Gloria eating someone. He sees himself running and being hit by the car he’s focused and zoned in on the owl carving and then slowly comes back out of it as he hears Ofelia saying thank you for doing this with me. Nick just smiles at her

Ofelia has done a lot of growing since losing her mother and seeing her father for who he really is. She used to be daddy’s little girl and always did what her parents told her; sheltered. After she seen what her father was capable of, she lost trust in him but still is by his side because she knows he needs her. After being shot by Andrew; she keeps more to herself and observes everyone and judges who she can trust and who she needs to watch. Nick is the only person she connects with and trusts and she knows that he looks out for her as well. She’s toughening up as the days pass and she knows she needs thick skin to survive in the new world. Nick and Ofelia have a connection and they both care a lot about each other.

Daniel followed the boy and can hear him talking to someone but can’t see who it is. He hears the boy telling whoever it is that he’s getting better with his juggling but has no one to play with. Daniel asks the boy who he’s talking to and that its ok to tell him. The boy tells him it’s his mom and that she’s in there. Daniel asks if he will introduce him and the boy agrees and let’s Daniel in and shows him. There’s a bunch of walkers locked inside a wine cellar and it makes Daniel question the safety of this place. He leaves and sees Celia in the kitchen and tells her he just came from the cellar and if she’s responsible. She explains to him that they are family and that they are children, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers of the people who worked here for years and she wouldn’t refuse them shelter. “It wasn’t safe for them out there, they were being hunted. Like monsters.” Daniel notices the sacramental bread on the tray and questions her about the parishioners. He knows she poisoned them and killed them all. She says no you killed them all and Daniel argues and says that by bringing death close, you endanger us all. Celia asks him why does he fear death and why is he so obsessed. She tells him he needs to make peace with his dead and as she walks away she asks him what he’s afraid of.

Celia has a completely different view on the infected and it’s interesting to see that not everyone sees them as monsters. They are not just the hunters but the hunted as well. She doesn’t fear death but almost embraces it.

This vineyard/farm has a lot of secrets like Hershel’s farm di; a lot of similarities between Celia’s farm and Hershel’s. They both kept their loved ones locked up for their safety. Hershel believed they were just sick and could be cured but Celia believes that that’s the next step for everyone is to become them. They feed them animals so they aren’t starved.

Celia cleans Thomas’ body as she sings to him a beautiful lullaby from his childhood. Strand watches her and tells her that was lovely. She explains that when Thomas was young he was afraid of the dark and that would be the only way she could get him to go to sleep. It had to be that song and nothing else would work and strand laughs and says “creature of habit from the start.” Celia holds Strands’ hand and tells him she never thought he was good enough for Tom and Strand says he knew. She tells him it’s a brave and beautiful thing he’s going to do and that she’s proud of him and was wrong about him. He asks her how long will it take and she tells him not long. She kisses Strand on the forehead and says, “sleep, my boy” and leaves him alone with Thomas.

Nick sees Celia and joins her outside. She’s drinking wine and she asks if his mom knows he’s talking to her and he answers that she’s asleep. She tells him Madison worries about him and he explains that he’s given her reasons to. She knows there’s something on his mind and asks what he wants to know. “They’re not really dead, are they?” She says no they are not and he asks “So what are they?” “They are what comes next.” Nick is intrigued by what Celia is telling him.

Strand lays holding Thomas’ hand as he takes his last breaths. He whispers something under his breath and caresses Thomas’ face and kisses him. He knows what he must do now, they had a promise; a pact and he will follow through with it. Since Thomas was bitten it ended their agreement and obligation to each other. They agreed to put one another out of their misery if anything were to happen. I don’t think Strand ever planned on killing himself but said it so Thomas could pass on peacefully. Strand is a very good negotiator and knows how to convince people of what they want to hear but he is always looking out for himself.

Chris quietly rises from his bed and stares at his dad sleeping. Chris has something on his mind and leaves the room quietly, trying not to wake his dad up. Chris opens the door to the room where Alicia and Madison are sleeping and he tries to wake Alicia by calling her name out. When she doesn’t wake, Chris walks into the room and sees a knife lying on the table by the bed and walks over and picks it up. As he picks it up, a gunshot goes off and startles him and wakes up Madison and Alicia. Madison sees Chris with the knife and asks him what the hell is he doing and Alicia yells his name and to get out. Madison and Alicia are freaked out and he takes off outside.

Chris isn’t himself and he’s only getting worse as the days go on. Nothing anyone is saying is comforting him and he has come unhinged. Was he going to use the knife and hurt Madison and Alicia, is he to far gone? As Morgan says everyone can be saved. Wonder if Chris can be.

Strand placed a pillow over Thomas’ head and put a bullet in His brain so he wouldn’t turn into one of them. Strand stays sitting beside Thomas, distraught and heartbroken. Strand is no longer obligated to Thomas. He had genuine emotions for him, that he wasn’t faking.

It appears that the village people from the church (not the band lol) knew what Celia was doing and they didn’t agree with her ways and wanted to stop her or perhaps just want to kill their loved ones in her wine cellar.

Our group found a safe place but it turns out it isn’t as safe as they thought. Celia is very dangerous but I don’t think they know just how much, besides Daniel. She’s going to be very mad at Strand for shooting Thomas, since she wants her loved ones to walk among them; dead or alive. Like Luis told Nick about his mother, she’s tough and is a survivor no matter what. Looks like trouble is coming to our group next episode.

Next episode is the mid-season finale which is going to be intense!