Fear the Walking Dead: Sicut Cervus

"Are we there yet?"

There might have been just a bit of religious symbolism in this episode, don't you think? The "test of faith," the zombie parishioners, the poisoned communion wafers?

What a lovely farewell scene between Strand and his lover Tom Abigail. It appears that Strand really did love Tom deeply, and I think he was sincere when he said he wanted to die with him, although I'm glad he decided to live and that he didn't let Tom turn. I've always been intrigued by Strand but wary about liking him, but he actually did come through with getting the group to the Baja house (with a gun battle, yet) and he sounded like he was becoming fond of Madison when he described her to Tom as "fierce." Maybe Madison and her family are the reason why Strand decided to live. That would be interesting.

I like the contrast of light and dark of the two of them
in this shot, like they're two parts of a whole.
Okay, I'll acknowledge the resemblance to Hershel's farm, the barn full of walkers and the chickens, and I hope that they're not going to keep repeating storylines from the parent show. (Dogs! You don't sacrifice dogs!) But I think Celia is so incredibly creepy that she stands out as a massive threat to everyone. She doesn't seem to see much difference between real death and walker death, or possibly life and death at all. So she just killed a church full of parishioners with poisoned communion wafers because... they were hunting walkers?

The Baja house is as advertised. It's gorgeous and huge, has grounds with crops, and could be a safe haven for years. But Celia is the heart of that place, and she is actually scarier than Daniel. If she can smile and laugh and sing when her son has just died and the man she raised from childhood is also dying, she is deeply disturbed. Our group isn't safe there. Duh.

So Celia is a dangerous loon. How about Chris? Just as it seemed that our three families were coming together, this new problem with Chris is splitting them apart. Yes, Chris didn't help Madison when she was attacked by dead parishioners, but is he lying about why? Even Nick, our golden child of the apocalypse, said that he was sick of all the killing; having to take out the parishioner walkers when many of them were kids upset Nick a lot. And Chris is having a much worse time adjusting than Nick.

Did Chris simply want to talk to Alicia? When he went into Alicia's bedroom and picked up the knife, I didn't get the impression that he was planning to use it. It was like, oh, here's a knife, look at that, and Madison woke at the wrong time, and now she'll never be convinced that Chris isn't a danger. Of course, I don't know what's going on in Chris's head. Maybe he really was thinking about murder.

In this week's bit of helicopter parenting, Travis defended Chris's actions (or inaction) by saying that they should help Chris like they helped Nick. But you know, Nick's addiction wasn't actively putting their lives in danger.

Daniel was having some serious flashbacks to a dying child. Don't tell me he's losing it, too? Actually, I got the impression that as soon as the running stopped, Daniel and Ofelia had time to think about the loss of Griselda. Ofelia prayed, while Daniel retreated from the group and said he was tired. Grief is exhausting. So is killing, as Nick told Celia.

Bits and pieces:

-- "Sicut Cervus" means "like a deer" in Latin, but it also appears in a Psalm and might mean a "thirsty soul." Or maybe someone who is hunted.

-- It's interesting and circular (and upsetting) that they showed dogs feasting on dead bodies in front of the church, and then the sacrifice of a dog to walkers.

-- Daniel tossed the weird coin that Luis wanted him to give to Celia into the water. It looked like it had an infinity symbol on it. Maybe it was a prop from Revenge.

-- The "no weapons" thing was probably a deliberate callback to The Walking Dead's Alexandria. And we all know how that turned out. (Unless you're watching Fear the Walking Dead and are unfamiliar with the parent show.)

-- Ofelia asked Nick about the last time he was in a church, and he flashed back to the pilot episode and the shooting gallery, his first encounter with a walker. Another indication that our guys are tired and traumatized, that they need a break. I don't think they're going to get one.

Quotes:

Nick: "Are we there yet?"
Considering that a continuing theme in this series is our teenage characters as adults, I thought that was funny.

Celia: "You have a heavy smile. Why?"
Nick: "I'm just a bit sick of it."
Celia: "Of what?"
Nick: "Of all the killing."

Celia: "We are just visitors. Our dead, and they are our dead, they have always walked amongst us. The only difference is, now we can see them."
Madison: "Pretty big difference."

Tom: (re: Madison) "Do we like her?"
Strand: "She's fierce."

Alicia: "It's kind of pathetic how much I miss TV."
I'd be going nuts.

Strand: "I could go with you."
Tom: "How very Shakespearean of you."

Nick: "Shoulda known. Shoulda known. A woman says come with me, and she doesn't tell you where you're going, she's taking you to Jesus. It's always Jesus."
They're giving us little couple scenes with Nick and Ofelia in pretty much every episode.

Celia: "They are what comes next."

This episode was full of interesting symbolism, but it mostly felt like set-up for next week's finale. It is next week, right? Two out of four poisoned communion wafers (you knew that was coming),

Billie
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Billie Doux loves science fiction but hates horror, and is confused about why she loves The Walking Dead so much.

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