Fear the Walking Dead, S2 Ep7 – Shiva

Fear the Walking Dead went out with a bang during its mid-season finale, as the Mexican sanctuary went down in flames and the characters were harshly split up. While this was an action-packed chapter of the show, the story was facilitated by baffling character choices and some sudden, unaccountable decisions.

The clash continued between Celia and the rest of the group, particularly Daniel, when it came to defining the nature of the walkers. Celia believed that they were still the same people albeit in different forms, while Daniel and the others, of course, saw these reanimated dead as nothing more than monsters to be vanquished. Nick, however, was swayed into Celia’s way of thinking and developed a closer bond with the formidable lady, driving a rift between him and his mother.

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-207-travis-curtis-935Travis went in search of Chris (though why he decided to go without his shoes is a mystery to me) and saw firsthand just how messed up his son had become. Chris became extra terrible in this episode, going down a very dark path and going so far as to threaten the life of an innocent young boy just to get his way. After some scuffling and a tense confrontation, Travis decides that he will need to spend some one-on-one time with his son so that they can sort out all of his issues. When Nick comes to find them, Travis tells him to tell Madison and the others that he couldn’t find them. Where the troubled father and son are going to go and how they will move forward will probably be explored when Fear the Walking Dead returns later this year.

Nick was a puzzling spectacle in this episode, his behavior tricky to understand. He sided with Celia on the nature of the walkers, leading to him staying behind while Strand brought Madison, Alicia, and Ofelia away from the burning sanctuary. And he also got too comfortable with covering himself in walker guts just so he could walk among the dead. He claimed to be fearless and it showed, but how much this new daring could help him remains a mystery. He may be sober but he still exhibited the behavior of an addict, and it was worrisome to see him choose to be left behind.

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-207-celia-forte-935Madison had a big moment after her confrontation with Celia, proving the lengths she would go to protect her family. Disagreeing with the Mexican matron about how to treat the walkers, Madison realized that the safety of her loved ones depended on the whims of Celia. In a particularly cold move, Madison locked Celia in a cell full of walkers, leaving the woman to a cruel fate.

This vicious move, however impactful, was rendered less so when the whole compound erupted in flames after Daniel set it on fire. Daniel has been one of the most interesting characters of Fear the Walking Dead, so it was a shame to watch his mental decline in this episode. While we had glimpses of his tortured past before, he did not seem too burdened or bothered by it before this episode. In fact, he had always been one of the most level-headed members of the group. So to see him suddenly give in to hallucinations of his dead wife and the guilt of all the people he had executed felt a bit strange, despite Ruben Blades’ excellent performance.

fear-the-walking-dead-episode-207-daniel-blades-935He torched the cellar full of walkers, in a scene reminiscent once again of a similar situation in The Walking Dead season two. It’s a pity that this may be the last we see of Daniel (as a living human), one of the more capable and sensible characters of the show. But he was undone in the end by his guilt over being involved in so much death, and he seemed to welcome the release.

So the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead left the group fragmented with Travis and Chris on their own to try and lessen Chris’s craziness, Nick wandering alone covered in blood and guts and contemplating death, and Strand with the girls, fleeing to safety. We are going to have to wait until the show returns later this year to discover how they manage in the new world.