Ladies and Gentlemen, we have reached land! Travis, Victor, and the rest of the crew of the Abigail finally reached their destination, and with only minimal deaths! “Sicut Cervus” is the penultimate episode in the first half of this second season of Fear the Walking Dead, so it goes without saying that many of us were hoping for a pretty explosive episode. Let’s see how it stacks up against what we’ve seen so far.
First off I would like to point out that I was intrigued by the name of this episode and as such I have provided a link to some information on what the phrase means here for anyone who is interested. It seems the phrase plays into a couple of aspects of this episode, perhaps with the singing altar boys from the intro, and with Victor and Thomas’ bittersweet reunion.
Anyway, we got a fair amount of craziness in “Sicut Cervus,” and I don’t mean zombie-action-mayhem-carnage type craziness. Nope, I’m talking about the fact that many of the characters in this show seem to be losing their minds. Last week we learned that Daniel hears voices, and in this most recent installment of Fear the Walking Dead his dissent into madness appears to be going just swimmingly with some bizarre behavior.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. The episode begins with a church congregation that appears to have been infected by some sort of mystery illness where the victim bleeds from the eyes. I’m willing to bet everything in my wallet (receipt from CVS and Food Lion frequent buyer’s card) that this illness is in no way connected to the zombie apocalypse; I’m hoping it isn’t, anyway.
When Victor and Louis rendezvous with their guys, Travis and the remaining Abigail crew members are sent below to the engine room to hide. Of course things go south rather quickly and they can only listen as gun fire erupts on the deck of the boat. It turns out that Louis was mortally wounded in the scuffle (that we didn’t actually get to see) and Ofelia and Nick stop Daniel from putting the poor guy out of his misery, which will come into play a little later.
After the attack on the Abigail suddenly (and oddly, possibly lazily) ceases, Victor is able to bring the group to land. Finally, we’re off that accursed boat and onto some dry land! As the group approach their destination they are greeted by that church congregation from earlier, and would you look at that? They’re all zombies! Ever wanted to see an altar boy get hit with a baseball bat? Well in “Sicut Cervus” you can!
During the church-going-zombies battle, some more of Daniel’s dark past comes into play as he has a flashback about choking a little boy which causes him to hesitate and almost get himself killed. But wait, that’s not where the craziness ends! Chris also “hesitates” (READ: watches) as Madison is being attacked by a zombie which almost causes her to also be killed! What’s going on with Chris?
Once the group is all settled in their new digs (complete with color television), Alicia confronts Chris about the little incident with Madison and her near demise that he almost facilitated. In classic Chris fashion, he threatens her and tells her to shut her yap. Yeah, because we all know that Chris only likes to kill the living, which brings us to our next Chris-related problem. It appears as though Travis and Madison already had a little talk about the whole “Chris killing Reed thing,” and it is revealed that Madison isn’t so sure about Chris’ claim that Reed was about to turn; then again, who was?
Later, Chris (yes, more Chris) is caught standing next to Madison and Alicia as they sleep while he is holding a knife. This may have been one of those “it’s not what it looks like” moments, but it’s just not a good look for Chris at this point since everyone is already properly freaked out by him. But enough about Chris, there’s some more crazy to discuss.
In this episode we also meet Louis’ mother, Celia, and boy is she nuts! First she exchanges some very odd glances and flirtations with Nick as she showers him with delicious food (and it’s not even dinner time yet!), then she seems completely unaffected by her son’s demise as he wasn’t shot in the head. So, she still believes there is a “cure” for whatever is happening? She’s in for quite the surprise! Worse yet, Celia, the zombie sympathizer, has Nick drinking her kool-aid!
While wandering the compound at night, Daniel stumbles upon some strange activity and decides to investigate. He discovers that Celia has been storing zombies in a cellar the entire time! What’s wrong with all these characters? Oh and another thing; where have we seen this sort of thing before? You guessed it. Season two of The Walking Dead at Hershel’s farm! Ah yes, Fear the Walking Dead continues to brazenly ride the coattails of its superior predecessor.
When Thomas and Victor reunite we get some more of Victor’s good side which I thought worked quite well in this episode. Of course this is all short lived as it is revealed that Thomas was bitten by one of the aforementioned undead church-goers and now has a death sentence. I thought the scenes with Thomas and Victor were some of the best this episode had to offer (besides anything with Chris because he’s just hilarious), and I hope that Fear the Walking Dead can capture some of the emotion of The Walking Dead moving forward.
Lastly, we heard nothing more from Connor and his gang in “Sicut Cervus,” and I’m hoping that story arc didn’t just simply end with a whimper in the previous episode. Furthermore, if the big action of the mid-season finale is Celia’s zombie pals escaping or somehow being released and subsequently wreaking havoc, I will be very, very disappointed. Ugh. Okay let’s grade this thing.
Final Grade: B-
+ Chris is getting awesome.
+ Lots of loose cannons in this episode. I like it.
+ No more boat!
– This episode really needed more action.
– More ripping off The Walking Dead.
– Nick and Celia romance fear. No, just no.
This show really needs a shot in the arm. The preview for next week’s episode looked promising, but then again what ad doesn’t make anything look promising? I’m really starting to feel like this show will never pick up, which is a shame because I like some of the actors and there are little things here and there that have my interest (all involve Chris).
What did you think of this week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead? Was it the best yet? Let us know in the comments section or on our Twitter page!