Season 2 Episode 6: "Sicut Servus"
Finally the group makes it to Baja, but not without a few snags along the way. A handful of locals receive the word of God before taking up arms and almost storming Abigail’s villa, and while Thomas Abigail himself tries to intervene, a nasty illness takes over the church goers and before he expires, the priest warns Thomas of “the evil he protects,” namely Celia. It seems the unassuming maid is much more than she was made out to be.
At sea, Luis’ deal with the Mexican military, an exchange of gold for safe passage to shore, goes awry and Luis finds himself shot and dying while the boat comes under fire. Before he dies he tries to hand a mysterious coin to Ofelia to give to his mother, but an unsympathetic and constantly suspicious Daniel chucks it into the ocean. So much for last requests. Nick stays with Luis for a bit, who mumbles something about his mother once again.
Once ashore, the group is accosted by the dead and newly risen congregation. It’s a standard zombie melee affair, but with Daniel having a flashback and Chris purposely hesitating to help Maddie, things have become strange and irreversibly complicated. No matter, they get to chill in a big ass house for a bit until the next pile of shit hits the fan. The shit, as it tends to do in the zombie apocalypse, piles up almost immediately after our heroes enter the villa. The workers are friendly, but odd. Strand finds Thomas bitten and dying, and settles in with him. Chris tries to make nice with Alicia but she calls him out on his earlier hesitation, to which he makes a creepy school shooter type threat. Nick meets Celia and they automatically hit it off, to Maddie’s dismay, and perhaps ours, since we know something about Celia the rest of the group doesn’t.
Daniel also gets a weird vibe from Celia, and the villa in general, as he spots the same strange owl symbol carved in a tree above a memorial. He himself is starting to crack up, but he manages to do some more snooping and discovers that the workers in the villa are keeping their undead in the cellar. It’s Hershel’s farm all over again! But this time with a creepy matriarch instead of a sweet old man. Things come to a head as Thomas’ condition worsens: Maddie confronts Travis about Chris’ behavior and Daniel confronts Celia about her collection of walkers. Travis and Maddie separate to be with their respective kids and Daniel realizes that Celia poisoned the church congregation with communion wafers, and leaves Daniel to his thoughts to help both Strand and Thomas ease into undeath.
Nick and Celia have another little chat as she celebrates her twisted ritual, but a gunshot rings out and reveals two things: Strand doesn’t go quietly into that good night with Thomas, opting to shoot him in the head instead. The poisoned wafers remain untouched. And the noise wakes Maddie and Alicia, who find Chris standing over them with a knife… DUN DUN DUNNNNN
I think we’ve reached a point where something has to give, and since next episode is the mid season finale, something will give. Chris is obviously disturbed, so is Celia. With Daniel onto her weird death cult, who of the two will lose that struggle? Can Chris remain a part of the group after this? Will Travis choose his son or his girlfriend? Someone is going to have to pay the price for knowing too much.
Season 2 Episode 7: "Shiva"
In the mid-season finale, we begin by seeing just how deep Daniel’s demons are rooted. The “killing” of Thomas has everyone in a confused uproar, but Celia is inconsolably upset. She rebukes Strand, his character and his friends and tells them they have to leave the villa by sunset of the next day. Chris’ failed double murder has sent him into the wind and Travis after him, and while Strand digs a grave for Thomas, Daniel acts like a paranoid weirdo and sharpens a blade. Perhaps his paranoia isn’t completely unfounded, as Celia watches all from her window...like an owl.
Travis demonstrates exactly how not to go looking for someone by going after Chris barefoot. Basics of the zombie apocalypse: stamina and good footwear. Nick makes a smart play by bringing Luis back to Celia, all dead and shit, but a mother’s love knows no end. This earns the group a place in the villa once again, but Strand still has to go. In trying to explain his motives to Maddie, it seems like Nick may be under Celia’s spell. Daniel cracks up a little more and gets himself beat up and taken captive by the villa workers.
However no one is more disturbed than Chris, who holds a father and son hostage while Travis gets off his bloodied feet. I’ve said it since season one, this kid has to go. Travis seems to realize this and it’s up in the air as to what he’ll do. Daniel meanwhile is Celia’s hostage, and while she is perhaps an insane bruja (a witch/witch doctor), she does manage to get inside of his head. It becomes clear that this new world has given new strength to the ghosts that haunt him. If there was one perfect moment this season so far, it would be him confessing his first sin to his phantasmal wife. It’s scenes like this that keep me a fan of the show.
Meanwhile, Maddie plays Celia for a stone cold fool and locks her in her own walker storage room. However she’s nowhere to be seen when Daniel, having escaped his ropes, sets fire to the cellar. Conveniently, Strand had just been exiled so he was ready with the truck as the world record for fastest spreading fire overwhelms the villa and Maddie, Alicia and Ofelia narrowly escape. This leaves Daniel’s fate uncertain, as well as Celia’s perhaps. Travis is still leading Chris to hopefully look at the flowers, and disillusioned by the destruction, Nick wanders off to go be with his people, the walkers. So ends the first half of the season.
I think this was a good, if a bit anticlimactic episode. I suppose I might be spoiled by TWD, being treated to a shocking death almost by clockwork. Though Nick did touch on a recurring theme in both shows, that the supposed “good guys” are the ones that cause the most destruction. Life at the villa was mostly an idyllic separation from the madness overtaking the world, and I suppose anyone could get used to being a part of a Mexican death cult, but noooo… our heroes had to go fuck it all up. And for what reason? Misguided morality, some kind of religious conviction, both of which have no place at the end of the world, or is it just pure survival? Burn it all down and kill and ruin lives if it means you get one more day, or in Daniel’s case, some kind of empty absolution. Say what you will about this show in comparison to TWD but I think both have managed to blur the lines of good and evil, and make you wonder if you’re rooting for the right group of people. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next half of the season, all I know is I’m going to be proper pissed off if Chris doesn’t die.
Written by A Play On Nerds contributor, Jerry Herrera - Lover of horror, sci fi, and fantasy in that order. Semi-permanent Disneyland resident. I'm at least one of the droids you're looking for. Twitter: @FrankenJerry - Instagram: @GeraldoPedro