Wow. What just happened?
Is Daniel really dead? Did he immolate himself on purpose? Was the guilt of his past combined with the apocalypse finally too much for him? He was most certainly hallucinating, seeing his wife Griselda, seeing the walkers turning into the people he'd killed during his life.
The episode began with a dream flashback to Daniel as a child when he found the bodies of the missing men in the water; later, someone handed him a gun and he shot one of them himself. Actually, I'm a little confused about what happened there, but as "Griselda" told him, "The first victim was you." She was the keeper of his secrets; we got a little frightening insight into the Daniel/Griselda marriage where every night he would confess to her, probably so that he could sleep (and she probably could not). There was a second dream within a dream where Ofelia peeled off her face. I think it's pretty obvious what sort of symbolism they were going for there.
This episode was full of all sorts of interesting mysticism. Celia was the queen of mystics. Her world view was that the walking dead were like a sort of rapture, that it was the beginning instead of the end, with the dead walking among us. She didn't even seem upset when Madison locked her in with the walkers. And how cool was that? Madison is indeed fierce and there's nothing she wouldn't do for her children, including locking Celia in a cellar full of her own walkers. And I was thinking Celia was the real threat, and Daniel would be the one to kill her. Silly me.
I was so pleased that Strand really does care about Madison after all, and I think he did choose to live because of her. Strand doesn't believe in the afterlife, which is of course why he ultimately wouldn't commit suicide when Tom died. Honestly, I think Strand is a better partner for Madison in the apocalypse than Travis, who at least is finally taking full responsibility for the cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs lunatic that is now his son Chris. What else could Travis do? He can't take Chris back to Madison and endanger her and Alicia, can he? I wasn't that upset about Travis and Chris going on walkabout, although I'm assuming we're going to still follow their part of the story. The cast on The Walking Dead tend to do that, split apart and come back together again. Or die.
I'm more concerned about Nick. It's absolutely fascinating that Nick has found something to replace his addiction, a new sort of high, a belief that he has acquired superpowers, that he can walk among the dead in bloodface and cannot die. Nick may be crazier than Daniel was, crazier than Chris is. But at least he's likely to survive. Just not with his mother and sister. I'm sure we're going to follow Nick in future episodes, too, and I hope that he finds his way back to sanity as well as his family. As I've said before, he's my favorite character.
Where will Strand, Madison, Alicia and Ofelia go? Back to the yacht? Where else? The angry former servants at the Baja house certainly won't want them back. How will they ever meet up with Travis and Chris again? Or more importantly, Nick? Are Celia and Daniel really dead? Because we didn't see the bodies. If you don't see the body, never believe that a character is dead.
This episode looked amazing. The photography was moody, gorgeous and otherworldly; the shots of the empty fields looked like an eerie version of the graves of Flanders Fields, between the crosses, row on row. When the house burned, so did the shrine. Lots of burning in this series.
-- The title of the episode, the word "shiva," has more than one meaning, of course, both of which apply to this episode: in Judaism, a week of mourning, and in Hinduism, the destroyer deity.
-- Nick really did "get" Celia. He brought her her son Luis, and figured out a way for them to stay. Too bad the place burned down. Like Strand initially, Celia wanted Nick, but not his family.
-- Travis forgot his shoes when he ran out after Nick. His feet looked horrible. Antiseptic, Travis. Right now.
-- The book in the small house where Chris was holding the boy hostage had a book: We Found a Plane in the Barn. I don't think there is such a book. Although it did remind me of the surprise in Hershel's barn.
-- On Talking Dead after this episode, Ruben Blades said that he thought Nick decided to stay with the dead because they don't judge him, like his family does. I thought that was astute. Blades was also asked by a fan why Daniel, a barber, never fixed Nick's hair. His answer was, "I'm a barber, not a magician." Laugh out loud.
-- The second half of the season will return on Sunday, August 21. It will probably conclude a week before the return of the parent show.
Celia: "This is not apocalypse. This is our beginning, Nicholas. The end of death itself. Life eternal."
Daniel: "This place is unholy."
Strand: (to Madison) "Let's not go confusing things with vague terms like 'friend'."
Chris: "Look at me. I'm not good."
Celia: "It is not my dead you fear, viejo. It is your own."
Celia: "What wouldn't you do for your children?"
What a punch line.
Strand: "Don't worry about me. I'll hail a cab."
I love Strand. I'm glad he became a friend to Madison, even if he doesn't like the word.
I really liked this one the first time; on rewatch, it fell down a little but was still impressive. Three out of four bowls of pozole,
Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.
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