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Recap / Fear The Walking Dead S 02 E 06 Sicut Cervus

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Season 2, Episode 06:

Sicut Cervus

In a Mexican church, a group of children sing choir songs. An older priest watches what's happening and solemnly looks on with a group of other people sitting in the pews. After the children finish, the priest rises and tells the crowd about how their faith is being tested by God. As he ends his speech by saying they need to rally and fight the dead themselves, the townspeople walk out, armed with guns.


Suddenly, a truck drives up blaring his horn... and Thomas Abigail steps out. He implores them not to fight the dead, and claims that there are enemies who would shoot them down before they even got close. The crowd suddenly begins to keel over in pain and fall down, with blood running out of their eyes. The priest falls down as Thomas catches him, and says that Celia "started all this" as Thomas looks on in shock...

Back on the Abigail, Travis is questioning Chris over why he shot Reed before the hostage exchange. When Chris once again claims he did because Reed was going to turn, Travis tells him that Madison says otherwise. Chris is hurt and betrayed by her telling on him and begins to suffer a breakdown as a result.

The Abigail nears a Mexican flotilla, and Strand tells the group that he'll send Luis over in the Zodiac to negotiate payment and safe passage.


Just as Luis is getting ready to leave, however, Strand sees a boat headed towards them and realizes that's not part of their arrangement. He orders Madison to get the rest of the family down below deck and tells Luis that they'll have to improvise. The rest of the group hides in the engine room while Strand and Luis negotiate with their contact, Miguel.

Daniel translates for the rest of the group as they hide. He tells them that he can hear the group above talking about trading gold bars for passage, but suddenly they hear shouting and gunshots above. The power comes back on and everyone heads back upstairs. They find Strand running up to the command deck, and he tells them that someone insulted the other in Spanish, and a gunfight broke out. Madison looks out and sees two dead Mexican officers alongside Luis, who is badly injured. Daniel tells everyone to stay in the cabin and goes outside as the yacht flees from the flotilla, which is now shooting at them.


Daniel stays low and sneaks to the dead soldiers to stab them in the head before they turn. When he reaches Luis, the latter begs him not to kill him and asks him and Ofelia (who has also snuck over to them) to give an owl medallion to his mother. After examining the medallion for a moment, Daniel throws it off the boat and walks off, while Nick arrives and Luis struggles to whisper something to him.

The Abigail continues towards the Baja coastline. Strand expresses relief that the flotilla has stopped shooting at them, and says they likely think that whatever's on land will kill them anyway.

As they reach land and walk towards the town, they discover the group of dead parishioners in front of the church. Strand sees Thomas' vehicle and runs inside the church shouting his name, and soon after, the group is besieged by the now-undead residents and parishioners stalking towards them. Chris throws several weapons left on the ground to the others and they begin to fight them off.

Strand runs back out to the group and helps them to fight off the parishioners, who continue to advance. Nick is forced to kill a zombified little girl with an axe. Daniel freezes up while holding off a young infected boy via a Neck Lift and has a flashback to holding someone in the exact same way, and Ofelia saves him by stabbing the boy from behind. At the same time, Madison falls to the ground and tries to fight off a walker, while Chris refuses to intervene. Alicia screams at him and saves Madison herself. After fighting them off, the group piles into the unmanned truck and they head towards Thomas' mansion.

When they arrive, the gates open up for them and they drive inside. They disembark, smiling, and meet Celia. She welcomes them and says that Thomas is inside. Strand mournfully tells her that Luis didn't make it. She calmly responds that Luis is "one of them now" and brings Strand inside, while the group surrenders their weapons to a maid.

Inside, Strand discovers that Thomas was attacked beforehand by the parishioners, and has a large bite mark on his right arm. He thanks Strand for arriving while the latter cries, and helps him into bed.

Alicia sits on a couch and watches a recorded program while Chris enters. When she calls him out for refusing to help Madison, he makes up another blatant excuse then begs her not to tell anyone about what happened during the fight. He tells her that he doesn't want to hurt anybody before walking off.

Nick finds Celia in the kitchen and tells her that Luis was talking about her before he died, and she thanks him for relaying the message. She tells Nick that the dead have always walked amongst the living, but the only difference is that they can now be seen. She goes outside and finds Daniel staring at a shrine filled with photos of the dead. As he stares at a tree carving of an owl that was on the medallion, Celia asks what happened to Luis. Daniel says he wasn't shot in the head, and she unusually responds that she's glad to hear it. Daniel stares in confusion as she walks off.

That night, Madison brings some food to Strand, who is sitting in bed reading with Thomas. She introduces herself to him, and he asks her to look after Strand when he's gone. Ofelia also visits Daniel, who tells her that he's tired and not interested in eating. After Ofelia leaves, Daniel stares ahead, clearly bothered with what he remembered during the fight earlier.

Madison finds Alicia laid up in a chair, clearly still bothered with what Chris said to her earlier. She relays what happened to Madison, who confronts Travis with the information soon after. Travis claims that all they talked about was whether or not Reed turned, and wonders why Chris would act like that towards her. He asks for her help, but she dodges the issue and says her priority is Alicia. With their relationship clearly strained, they both go off to deal with their respective children.

Strand is still looking after Thomas when the latter responds that he can't get to sleep, not wanting to leave Strand behind. Strand proposes that both of them die in a Suicide Pact, so that they'll be together in death.

At the same time, Daniel is walking outside when he sees one of the estate residents, Juan, dumping a dog into a garbage chute. He wonders aloud what the hell is going on and follows Juan into the estate's wine cellar. Once there, Juan sees him and says that he's "talking to his mother". Daniel looks inside the cellar and sees a number of infected people.

He confronts Celia with the information, and she tells him that the undead are family members who died and turned. Daniel realizes that she poisoned the parishioners with communion wafers, and she tells him that he needs to make peace with the dead before leaving. Inside, she gives Strand and Thomas two poisoned wafers and lauds them for deciding to die together. Later, Thomas stops breathing, at which point Strand gets up and walks past the poisoned wafers to reach into a dresser.

Chris wakes up and sneaks into Alicia's room, where she's sharing a bed with Madison. After trying to wake Alicia up, he sees a knife by their bed and picks it up. Before he can do anything else, a gunshot rings out. Alicia wakes and sees Chris with the knife and screams at him to leave.

Upstairs, we find Strand sitting with a gun, and discover that he shot Thomas in the head. Strand drops the gun and stares in shock at what's happened...


  • Armies Are Evil: Briefly, during the negotiation scene with Strand and Luis at the beginning of the episode. The Mexican military changes the deal by sending over two representatives instead of one, attempts to claim the boat for themselves, and a gunfight breaks out when someone calls the other an "asshole" in Spanish. After this, the militia shoots at the yacht before they escape.
  • Badass Preacher: The episode opens up with a priest declaring war against the walkers and rallying his people for one last communion before heading out to kill the zombies that are being gathered on the Abigail residence. Sadly, Celia had him and the others poisoned before they could go through with their plan.
  • Batter Up!: Travis grabs a baseball bat Chris throws to him during the fight with the undead parishioners.
  • Cannot Keep a Secret: Both Travis and Alicia blab about Chris' Sanity Slippage moments to Madison, leading Chris to show up in Alicia and Madison's bedroom at night, and pick up a knife.
  • Character Death: Luis and Thomas Abigail.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The communion wafers the parishioners are seen eating during the opening sermon are later revealed to be part of a plan by Celia Abigail to murder them before they could come after the zombies that she's been storing.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Nick has a flashback to his encounter with Gloria in the church when he and Ofelia pray at the shrine.
    • Ofelia and Daniel discuss Griselda several times, and she later prays to her mother at the shrine outside the estate.
  • Creepy Basement: Celia stores walkers in her wine cellar.
  • Creepy Monotone: Celia runs into this, as she shows no emotion when Daniel informs her that Luis died before they arrived at the estate. She seems to be glad that he wasn't shot in the head. It's later revealed that she has been keeping a number of undead family members in the wine cellar outside the estate, as she believes that becoming undead is the next step in life.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: It's implied that something in Daniel's past is seriously bothering him, as he has a flashback to a traumatic point in his life, and suffers a Heroic BSoD during the fight with the undead parishioners when he's attacked by a zombified child.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Celia objects to the group carrying firearms on her property and has them surrender them to her staff. It's later revealed that there is a hidden gun inside the house anyway, which Strand uses to Mercy Kill Thomas at the end.
  • Dropped a Bridge on Him: Luis is killed rather suddenly early into the episode.
  • Due to the Dead: Occurs several times throughout the episode, as several characters pay their respects to the dead at a shrine outside the estate.
  • Flashback: Daniel has a brief one to his childhood, holding someone by the neck during (presumably) his initiation into the Salvadorian army.
  • Heroic BSoD: Half the group becomes paralyzed with shock after dealing with the infected parishioners outside the church. Nick sits down in stunned silence after putting down a young infected girl, while Daniel freezes when he has a flashback of holding someone by the neck while doing the same to an infected boy.
  • Hope Spot: The arrival at Thomas' estate has everyone finally smiling for the first time since they left the L.A. coastline. However, their happiness is short-lived, as they discover Celia's machinations and Thomas is a Zombie Infectee.
  • I Cannot Self-Terminate: Thomas gets hit with this, as he claims that he can't go to sleep and doesn't want to leave Strand alone.
  • Implied Death Threat: Chris subtly tells Alicia that she'd better not talk to others about his actions or else he'll have to do something about it.
  • Improvised Weapon: The group uses several such weapons left behind, including crowbars and a baseball bat, while fighting the undead parishioners.
  • Infant Immortality: Once again averted. The entire congregation seen in the opening are poisoned by Celia, including young boys and girls. Nick nearly has a breakdown after dispatching a young girl who tries to attack him. Daniel also has one and cannot bring himself to put down an infected child.
  • Manly Tears: Strand, once he sees that Thomas has been bit.
  • Mercy Kill:
    • Strand delivers one to Thomas to keep him from coming back as one of the undead
  • My Beloved Smother: Madison once again has shades of this, as she and Alicia sleep in the same bed when Chris tries to attack the latter with a knife.
  • Mythology Gag: The notion of an older individual keeping undead members of their family in a sealed space and feeding animals to them is very similar to what happened on Hershel Greene's farm in the comic series and the second season of the main show. Unlike Hershel, who believe the undead are sick and is waiting for a cure, Celia belives they are the next stage in life.
  • Oh, Crap!: Thomas gets this when he realizes that the entire church congregation has been poisoned and will soon turn. This eventually results in him getting infected too.
  • Rousing Speech: The priest in the opening gives one to his followers, urging them to fight the dead that Celia has been hording and not rely on God for salvation. This is subverted a few moments later, though, when they all victim to the poisoned communion wafers Celia provided before they even have a chance to fight.
  • Rule of Symbolism: Nick comes to believe that he is the owl seen in Luis' medallion and the shrine outside the estate, as it symbolizes death. The episode even intercuts rapidly between the owl and himself lying on the bed in the church from the pilot episode.
  • Sanity Slippage: Chris is beginning to run into this, as he gets so angered over Madison telling on him to Travis that he tries to let her die by not intervening during the fight with the undead parishioners, and threatens Alicia if she tells on him.
  • Ship Tease: The show once again shipteases Ofelia and Nick.
  • Shout-Out: When the group arrives in Mexico, they encounter a group of innocent villagers infected by the zombie virus coming from out of every corner of their isolated community and the group has to fend them off with improvised weapons. A similar thing was done in Resident Evil 4, but in Spain.
  • Suicide Pact: Strand and Thomas pledge to do this so they can stay Together in Death, but Strand seemingly changes his mind at the last minute and shoots Thomas in the head instead. It is left ambiguous whether Strand ever intended on killing himself or whether he just made the promise to comfort Thomas.
  • Together in Death: Strand claims that he wants to do this so he can stay with Thomas in the afterlife, and Celia allows them to take two poisoned wafers to kill themselves. However, he doesn't go through with the act and mercy-kills Thomas instead.
  • Took a Level in Cynic: Chris is starting to continue his Sanity Slippage, to the point of near villainous levels.
  • We Hardly Knew Ye:
    • Luis gets one scene of screentime in the episode before being mortally wounded (off-screen), and is last seen begging for Celia before he presumably dies (again, off-screen).
    • Thomas gets bit by the undead parishioners just before Strand and the others arrive, and is forced to lay infirmed in bed for the majority of the episode before Strand performs a Mercy Kill on him.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Alicia rails at Chris for refusing to save Madison during the fight with the undead parishioners.
  • Zombie Advocate: Celia is keeping her wine cellar full of zombies because she believes becoming undead is the next stage in life. She shares her belief with Daniel and Nick.
  • Zombie Infectee: Thomas, which leads Strand to perform a Mercy Kill on him.


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