'Fear the Walking Dead,' Season 2, Episode 6: Bienvenidos a Baja California
This is just what the Clark-Manawa family needs after battling apocalyptic pirates and failing to save a family of doomsday preppers: someone who doesn't believe the walking dead are actually dead. She's another Hershel Greene.
Meet Celia, matriarch of the safe house in Baja California that Strand has been desperate to get back to, and mother of Strand's beau, Thomas.
The upside is Madison, Travis and their children along with Daniel and Ofelia made it somewhat safely to Baja. The downside is the so-called safe house in Baja is not the paradise they imagined.
When they arrive, they find the village outside Celia's fortress home is deserted, save for the mound of bodies outside a church and the oncoming grunts of the undead parishioners. Surprisingly, the whole group is able to pick up weapons and take down the small herd of walkers coming for them.
Strand knew something bad had happened when he sees Thomas' truck abandoned at the church and the pile of bodies.
When they finally make it to Celia's compound, they're all forced to give up their weapons, but still warmly welcomed into the sandstone colored mansion surrounded by agave gardens.
It's a swanky place, full of crisp linens, airy rooms, warm colors and patterns and even running water and television. Just don't go in the cellar or ask where all the stray dogs have been disappearing to.
Strand and Thomas
Thomas is Strand's person. He seems to be the only one who can break through Strand's defenses to expose a soft, caring center. Seeing their bond and love made watching Thomas die slowly that much more painful.
In an attempt to help the people of the village, Thomas was bitten. Strand, of course, blames himself for not getting there sooner. Will he eventually put blame on Madison for holding them up an extra day?
Strand stayed with Thomas until the very end, reading to him, feeding him and even making an entry promise to die with him. In the end he couldn't do it, and instead shot Thomas before he could turn.
Like the owl carved into her prayer tree, Celia hovers over her tropical abode and its inhabitants with watchful and skeptical eyes.
She loves her sons, and just lost both of them within a day. She's the most gracious host to all these people she had no idea were coming.
Unfortunately, she also believed the undead aren't really dead. She has a bunch of them - some are her family - locked in a cellar near her home.
She means well, but she's still crazy in that protective mom sorta way.
We find out her belief in the walkers being "what comes next" for the living in a flashback to what happened to the village people.
The pastor is seen prompting his church members to fight back against the new evil in this world. After taking communion, they pick up arms to storm Celia's home and kill the walkers she is storing. They don't get far, because Celia poisoned their communion wafers. Thomas arrives in the village just in time
to watch them all die with bleeding eyes. This is probably where he was bitten.
Alicia and Chris
Chris is sick. First he murders Reid, claiming he was going to turn, then he just watched a walker almost kill Madison in the Baja village.
The second time, Alicia catches him "freezing" and later confronts him.
Instead of owning up, Chris fumbles for excuses then resorts to threatening Alicia.
His lack of mental stability is slowly tearing apart their already fragile family.
The last straw comes when Madison and Alicia wake up to see Chris standing over their bed with a knife.
Does he hate Madison and her family now? Is he trying to get revenge for what happened with Reid? Chris may be unstable, but I don't think he really wants to hurt anyone. He just has a funny way of showing he actually cares.
He could definitely use some of Nick's drugs.
Daniel and Ofelia
Daniel Salazar isn't doing so well either. He seems to keep having short flashbacks of his bloody El Salvador days, going so far as to hesitate in killing an undead altar boy.
For once, he was right in not trusting Celia and right in his curiosity for finding out what's really going on at the Baja estate. What he found isn't pretty. Not only is Celia keeping her undead friends and family locked in a cellar, she steadfastly believes they are not truly dead. She tells Nick, who she seems to have taken under her wing, "they are what comes next."
Ofelia obviously worries for her father, going so far as to seek the help of her dead mother in prayer. She asks Nick to join her at the prayer tree, where pictures of the dead are posted next to an altar under the watchful eye of the symbolic owl. Both Ofelia and Nick are damaged and fragile in their own way, and their budding friendship could easily turn into something more.
Thomas is dead, and so is Luis. Both were rocks who kept the Baja estate together, whether they knew of their mother's cellar full of the dead or not. More likely than not, Strand will have to come head to head with Celia, who he told he would join Thomas in death. She's not going to be happy that he actually killed her son and had no plans to lock him in the cellar with the others.
Madison, Travis and their children aren't going to last long in Baja. Chris's actions and lackthereof are creating a rift between him and his siblings and his father and Madison. Nick is still the one most likely to survive, but Celia's influence over him is going to become a problem.
At least they aren't stuck on the Abigail anymore.
Contact Chelsea Tatham at email@example.com. Follow @chelseatatham.