HOLLYWOOD—The mid-season finale of “Fear the Walking Dead” picked up immediately where the last episode left off – with gunfire erupting and the crew awakening to rush towards the source of the commotion: Victor Strand and Thomas Abigail’s bedroom.
Strand killed Thomas mercifully – shooting him in the head so he wouldn’t turn. Viewers learned Thomas was infected in last week’s episode and watched as Strand laid beside him for days, mourning the mortal wound of his lover and saying his final goodbyes. Celia, however, was livid – not only did Strand not hold up his end of the bargain, but he shot Thomas in the head. Celia’s demented mind is catastrophic, being that she doesn’t perceive zombies as dead, just “changed,” and Thomas was like a son to her. In the midst of her fury, Celia demands the entire group leave the estate; she gives them until sunrise the next morning.
Elsewhere, Travis is in pursuit of Chris, who fled the estate at the end of last week’s episode when Madison and Alicia awoke to him bedside, holding a knife in his hands. Travis persists Chris would never hurt them and embarks into the Baja countryside to find him.
Nick appears at the front gate of the estate covered in camouflage (zombie guts) with a zombie Luis. He brought Luis back to Celia, who within her gratitude, reluctantly agrees that the gang can stay at the estate – everyone but Strand, however.
Madison meets Strand in the courtyard where he’s digging Thomas’ grave, seeking advice – she’s concerned about Nick and his infatuation with the dead. Strand puts it simply, “you take a vulnerable kid – an addict – and drop him in a mess of death and doubt, it won’t be long before he starts looking for something to cling towards,” indicating that Celia’s latched onto Nick. In the vulnerable state he’s in, he doesn’t have the capacity to rationalize that Celia’s fascination with the undead is psychopathy, not nobility.
Amongst the countryside, Travis stumbles across a seemingly abandoned shack – he hears a noise from inside and enters, assuming its Chris hiding out. A Mexican man with a metal rod charges towards him. Travis clarifies he means no harm and the man lowers his weapon, signaling Travis to leave. Travis tries to get up but collapses, his feet are bleeding and torn from trekking barefoot all night.
The man provides him with shoes and suggests he heads east, telling him that’s the direction in which Chris went. Travis is suspicious, however, when he sees a shadow beneath the bedroom door. He barges in to find Chris holding a young boy hostage at gunpoint. Upon a hostile, but brief, exchange, Travis knocks the gun out of Chris’ hands and chases him out the door and back into the countryside, where he finally detains him, tackling him to the ground.
Nick arrives to the scene to recover Travis and Chris upon Madison’s request. Travis informs him they won’t be returning to the estate, however, telling him, “my son needs me.” Travis pleads with Nick, asking him to tell Madison he never saw them – Nick hands Travis his knife, and takes off, back towards the estate, where chaos is ensuing.
Madison speaks with Celia, suggesting she let Strand stay – Celia refuses, reiterating that Strand, “killed my son.” Madison asks, “what about my son?” The conversation transitions into Nick, who Celia describes as a “remarkable soul,” she continues, emphasizing that if Madison and her people are to stay, they need to “understand’ the way Nick does. Madison asks to “understand” and Celia walks her down to the cellar, unlocking and entering the cage which keeps the infected captive.
She launches into a spiel, “if your child was hungry, would you not feed him? If your child couldn’t speak, would you not speak for him anyway? Even if your child could not love, would you not love him anyway? What wouldn’t you do for your children?” Madison replies, backing up slowly out of the cellar and behind the gate, “nothing” – she locks the cell shut and walks away, leaving Celia as bait for the zombies.
Elsewhere within the basement of the estate, Salazar is bonded and tied to a chair as the result of an incident earlier in the episode: he told Ofelia that her mother, Griselda (who has been dead since season one), is waiting for them at the gate. Ofelia resists and Salazar’s aggression heightens, prompting bystanders to restrain him – Salazar pulls out a knife, slashing one of the men, rendering him detained and locked in the basement.
The man Salazar injured comes by to help feed him – Salazar head-butts him, knocking him unconscious and breaking free of his restraints. Salazar grabs a lighter from the man’s pocket and heads towards the cellar with a gallon of gasoline, where he sets fire to the cell of infected, thus, the entire estate.
Nick sees the estate engulfed in flames from afar – he finds Strand, Madison, Alicia and Ofelia, who are fleeing the wreckage. Nick confronts Madison, infuriated, asking “who did this,” adding, “Celia was right about us – we destroy everything.” Madison urges him to get into the truck but Nick refuses, taking off into the night. Strand restrains her, forcing her into the truck. What’s left of the crew passes by Nick, who’s walking amongst the dead.
The season two mid-season finale of “Fear the Walking Dead” left our heroes dispersed and viewers wondering, what happens now? The second half of season 2 will premiere on Sunday, August 21 at 9 p.m. on AMC.