Previously on FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, Alicia and Travis were successfully saved from Connor by the survivors, led by Madison. Meanwhile, Chris killed Reid to make amends for not killing him earlier, which resulted in the yacht being taken over and Travis and Alicia being kidnapped. With the survivors back together, the Abigail set sail for Baja, Mexico where Strand’s love Thomas awaits.

READ: Get more on the previous episode of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD here!

“Sicut Cervus” is a fantastic episode for the series to turn to. We finally get to the destination FEAR THE WALKING DEAD has been building up to since the finale of season one: Mexico! The story is well written while the plot finally brings our survivors to a new environment. Also, the characters are strongly developed by the writer and performed incredibly well.

WARNING: Spoilers beyond this point!

Now that the group is in Mexico, the story completely shifts away from needing to find a safe place to stay and toward the conflicts they’ll face in this new location. The episode does a great job of keeping the suspense and tone from previous episodes. Though the safe haven seems like a… safe haven, we uncover the horrific nature of the housing complex through Salazar, played by Ruben Blades, after he explores the complex on his own. What he finds is a bit disappointing for the story. Salazar watches as a dog is thrown down a chute and investigates the cellar, only to find a jail cell full of walkers. I say “disappointing” because we’ve seen this in THE WALKING DEAD with Hershel’s barn (he kept walkers there instead of killing them), which means it isn’t that shocking of a reveal.

fear the walking dead

Blades does a fine job acting as Salazar in this episode, but the real star of the show is Colman Domingo as Victor Strand. After he gets to the house, he finds Thomas dying, having previously been bitten by a walker. Domingo’s transformation to pure sadness is remarkable at this moment. Through the rest of the episode, Strand is at Thomas’s side to share his last moments. These scenes from Domingo are absolutely heartbreaking. However, his best moment comes at the end of the episode when he convinces the audience that he will proceed with the suicide, but then does not. I truly expected Strand to go through with it and that expectation is credited to Domingo’s performance.

fear the walking dead

The characters in the episode are incredible as well, especially Nick Clark and Chris Manawa. Nick and Chris’ character development continues to be intriguing, and rightfully so given its amount of screen time. I feel like I write about their evolution every week, but it’s for a good reason. They are essentially polar opposites in their development. Chris is getting crazier by the episode. We last saw him killing Reid and lying about Reid turning as his justification. In “Sicut Cervus”, he gets even more psychotic when he just watches as Madison is pinned down by a walker, threatens Alicia, and hovers over Madison and Alicia with a knife while they sleep. On the other hand, Nick has been more of a hero this season by doing the bulk of the necessary dirty work. Also in this episode, Nick surprisingly shows his softer side when he tells Celia that he is “tired of killing” and continues to do so through flashbacks of his first encounter with a walker.

fear the walking dead

“Sicut Cervus” is well written as a whole. The plot build-up for Celia is smart and structured brilliantly. We first see her as a loving mother who tries to take care of the Baja safe haven. However, as the plot progresses, we find out that she is not what she seems. She believes that walkers are not monsters but are instead the next natural phase in life, leading her to kill the people of the church and hold the walkers in the jail cell instead of killing them. There are little hints of this dropped throughout the narrative. For example, her son, Luis, requests that Salazar not damage his brain. This is because he shares his mother’s belief and stabbing his brain would truly kill him. Celia’s ideology is a bit disappointing (like the jail cell reveal), since it was done in THE WALKING DEAD with Lizzie.

fear the walking dead

This episode sets up the next phase of FEAR THE WALKING DEAD’s story perfectly. It looks like the group now has a home with Celia as a big bad threat. It’ll be interesting to see how Celia reacts to Strand shooting Thomas in the head since she believes that he is still alive (as a walker). This conflict will come to a head next week when FEAR THE WALKING airs its mid-season finale!

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