"Sicut Cervus" is the sixth episode of the second season of Fear the Walking Dead. It aired on 15 may 2016 on AMC.
|“||Conflict arises as the Abigail approaches its destination; Chris makes a staggering decision; Nick meets a new maternal figure.||”|
— Official synopsis
At a Catholic church in Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, a Catholic Priest delivers a fiery sermon, exhorts his congregation to fight what is assumed to be The Dead; they don't fill the church but it's far from empty and they are neatly dressed and well fed - they are not homeless. After his sermon the parishioners receive Holy Communion from the priest one by one.
After the service, the parishioners arm themselves in the town square. Thomas Abigail arrives in his truck and urges the priest to stop and to think about what they are doing and that they will never reach their destination. “Do not protect her,” the priest says to Thomas. Behind the priest as he talks to Thomas, the mother of a young girl doubles over in pain and begins to cry tears of blood. Soon the rest of the churchgoers collapse and are dying, blood pouring out of their eyes. The priest blames Celia Flores, telling Thomas the she has killed them. Thomas stays with the priest as he dies.
Travis is talking with Chris on the rear of the Upper Deck about what happened with Reed (in the episode "Captive"). Chris asks why everyone is mad at him. Travis says that, according to Madison, Reed wasn’t infected when Chris shot him. Chris is devastated, he'd thought that Madison was on his side. They don't yet realise that everyone is infected, and that all dead bodies turn no matter how they've died, unless the brain is badly damaged.In The Wheelhouse, Luis prepares to meet with his military contact on the flotilla guarding the Mexican border and pay for their passage. Strand sees military officers approaching in a boat. Concerned that a second officer is coming as well as Luis’ contact, he orders Madison to hide everyone below decks.
From the engine room, Madison’s group, that is everyone aboard except Strand and Luis, listen to the conversation between Strand, Luis and two military officers (Miguel and Vazquez), as Daniel translating for the group. Gunfire erupts after the officers insist on searching the boat to make sure no Infected are aboard.
When the lights go up and the engines start again, Madison’s group charge upstairs. A mortally wounded Luis lies next to two dead officers. The Flotilla start to fire on them, the group take cover and Strand powers The Abigail away. Daniel stabs the officers in the head to prevent them from turning. Luis begs Daniel not to do the same to him, Daniel says he has no choice and prepares to do so anyway, but is stopped by Nick and Ofelia. Luis gives Ofelia a medallion with an owl’s face and asks her to give it to his mother. In temper at being stopped from killing Luis, Daniel flings the medallion into the ocean. Nick stays with Luis as he dies, listening to him.
Strand steers the Abigail toward the Mexican coastline, as they near the coast the flotilla stop firing on them, abandoning the two officers who boarded The Abigail, Strand says this is because the flotilla think that whatever is on land will kill them anyway.
On land, Strand leads the group inland, they go inland far enough for some members of the group to be asking Strand if it's much further. They find a pile of dead parishioners in front of the church, the bodies are being eaten by a dog. Strand spots Thomas’s truck and calls Thomas’s name, he runs around in panic looking for Thomas and calling out for him. The group fight off a herd of infected parishioners who arrive because of the noise. Daniel grabs a young infected boy and is paralyzed by the memory of clutching a young boy by the neck on an earlier occasion. Ofelia puts the zombified boy down for her father. After he's put down her mother, Nick has to "kill" a young infected girl, the girl we saw in the church with her mother. Afterwards he just sits there, stunned.
Madison is overcome by one of the Infected and is fighting for her life. Chris starts forward to help but then watches her struggle from a few steps away and does nothing, he doesn't appear to be frozen with fear, he just watches. Alicia screams at Chris and steps in to save Madison herself. The group piles into Thomas’s truck and leaves. Nick doesn't move until his mother calls him.
Strand drives them to the Abigail family's gated estate where the gate opens automatically as the car approaches. Inside the gate people are calmly working in the vineyard and near the main house, Celia, Luis’ mother, greets them. Strand tells her that Luis is dead. "He’s one of them now." Strand says. "Then he’ll find his way back" she replies; on hearing of the death of her son she is upset, but not grief stricken. Sofia, a member of the household asks the group to hand over their weapons. Everyone complies, Daniel somewhat reluctantly, but he does eventually hand over his knife and then his hand gun.
Celia takes Strand straight to Thomas’s bedroom. Thomas is bitten and has a blood-soaked bandage on his arm. Strand helps him into bed, he understands what the bite means and blames himself for not being there sooner.
Chris asks Alicia if she’s mad at him. She accuses him of standing by while Madison was attacked at the church. He insists he just froze. When Alicia presses him Chris threatens to hurt her if she tells anyone what she saw.
In the kitchen, Nick tells Celia that Luis asked for her when he died. Celia calmly explains that the dead have always walked amongst them. “The only difference is now we can see them,” she says. Madison overhears their conversation and later warns Celia that Nick is impressionable.
Daniel looks at photos of the dead posted at an outdoor shrine. He notices an owl carved into a tree trunk above them. It's similar to Luis’ medallion. Celia puts a photo of Luis on the shrine with the others already there and explains that Luis’ death does not faze her because he was not shot in the head.
Madison brings food to Thomas and Strand in their room. Thomas asks Madison to look after Strand when he dies, she doesn't refuse exactly, but she stops short of promising to care for Strand.
Ofelia summons Daniel to dinner and finds him sitting on his bed in a daze, he tells here to leave him alone.
Alicia tells her mother about Chris’s threat.
Madison confers with Travis about Chris and worries that Chris is sick. Travis defends Chris and angrily wonders why Madison won’t offer the same support to Chris that he always gave Nick. They argue and end up sleeping apart; Madison decides to sleep in Alicia’s room for protection while Travis sleeps with Chris.
Strand urges Thomas to end the suffering and let go of life. “I could go with you,” Strand says, offering to kill himself so that they can remain together after death.
Daniel takes a nighttime stroll and sees a young boy, Juan, place a dog down a chute that leads to the wine cellar.
Nick accompanies Ofelia to the shrine, where Ofelia prays to her mother. Nick sees the owl carving and has a flashback to the drug den at the Los Angeles church. In the flashback, he sees his then girlfriend Gloria eating the body of a dead man.
Daniel follows Juan to the wine cellar, where Juan explains that he’s talking to his mother. Daniel enters the cellar and sees a cell full of Infected.
Daniel confronts Celia about the Infected. She explains that they are all family members of people who work on the estate. As she prepares two communion wafers, Daniel realizes that she killed the parishioners with poisoned wafers. “They were killed by you,” she corrects, then urges him to make peace with his dead.
Celia brings the wafers to Strand and Thomas and commends Strand for deciding to die with Thomas. She leaves the room and locks it.
Nick finds Celia drinking wine in the courtyard. “They’re not really dead, are they?” he asks. She shakes her head and says the Infected are simply “what comes next.”
Thomas dies and stops breathing. Strand kisses him.
Chris wakes up as Travis sleeps in the adjacent bed.
Strand searches Thomas’s bedroom drawers.
Chris enters Alicia’s room and says Alicia’s name. He picks up a knife from the bedside table, as he does so a gunshot wakes Madison and Alicia. The women see Chris holding the knife and Alicia screams at Chris to get out; he runs outside.
In Thomas' room Strand sits next to Thomas with a gun: Thomas has been shot in the head through a pillow, the two communion wafers are still where Celia left them.
- Kim Dickens as Madison Clark
- Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa
- Frank Dillane as Nick Clark
- Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark
- Colman Domingo as Victor Strand
- Mercedes Mason as Ofelia Salazar
- Lorenzo James Henrie as Chris Manawa
- Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar
- Jose Sefami as Priest
- Lexi Johnson as Gloria (in flashback)
- Moisses Arath Leyva as Juan
- Sebastiàn Cano as Brown Eyed Boy
- Diana Lein as Sofia
- Ramón Medína as Jorge
- Alex Perazza as Vazquez
- Julio Umana as Green Eyed Boy
- Unknown actor as Miguel
- Casting by Wendy O'Brien-Cabrera
- Music by Paul Haslinger
- Edited by Tad Dennis
- Production Designer Bernardo Trujillo
- Director of Photography Michael McDonough
- Produced by Frank Hildebrand
- Consulting Producer Brian Buckner
- Consulting Producer Brett C. Leonard
- Producer Alan Page
- Producers Pablo Cruz, Arturo Sampson
- Co-Executive Producer Andrew Bernstein
- Co-Executive Producer David Wiener
- Co-Executive Producer Kate Barnow
- Executive Producer Robert Kirkman
- Executive Producer David Alpert
- Executive Producer Greg Nicotero
- Executive Producer Gale Anne Hurd
- Executive Producer Dave Erickson
- Written by Brian Buckner
- Directed by Kate Dennis
- Thomas Abigail, bitten by an infected, shot in the head after death by Victor Strand, to prevent him from turning.
- Luis Flores, shot by a Mexican Flotilla Officer, left to turn at his own request.
- Two Mexican Flotilla Officers, on The Abigail
- When Ofelia Salazar comes to her father's aid she uses her badly wounded arm to stab the young boy in the head.
- The owl medallion and later the owl carving - have a look at Johhny's Owl Article
- The sign, by the houses that were being built that the group passes, reads "por un mejor manana", this translates as "for a better tomorrow" Hmmm. Probably written before the zombie apocalypse really took hold.
- The title of this episode "Sicut Cervus" is a Latin phrase meaning - literally "Like a deer." The Latin phrase is the start of Psalm 42 and is more usually translated as:
- "As pants the hart" - the metrical version by Tate and Brady (1698) or
- "As the hart panteth" - the King James English text (1611)
- The "hart" is a deer, and it's being hunted. The first verse reads:
- As pants the hart for cooling streams
- when heated in the chase,
- so longs my soul, O God, for thee,
- and thy refreshing grace.
- The psalm was most popular in the 18th century and least so in the first half of the 20th when fewer then 10% of hymn books included it. More recently, in the last quarter of the 20th century and beginning of the 21st, it's had a modest revival and become more popular again.
- The situation of Celia Flores locking the walkers inside of a cellar and proclaiming them as relatives and close friends seems reminiscent of Hershel Greene locking his family and friends up inside of the barn in The Walking Dead. However, Celia is doing this to protect them from being hunted as monsters while Hershel did it in hopes that the virus could be potentially cured.