*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The Abigail arrives at the Mexico coastline and Strand leads the group through a town to Thomas’s gated estate.
Director Kate Dennis delivers an important sixth episode of the second series. While writer Brian Buckner retreads George A. Romero’s ideas and the second season of The Walking Dead with the living keeping the dead, here in a wine cellar, it breaks ground in terms of what means to die, love and loss.
The opening where parishioners take their communion and die one by one this sets up the group’s action driven standoff later after an ill fated run-in with a Mexican flotilla which is guarding the border. Talking suicide notably is the emotional set up of Strand (Colman Domingo) shooting lover Thomas (Dougray Scott) in the head. But interesting there is a bit of misdirection with them at one point contemplating committing suicide with the help of Celia, Luis’s mother. Both Scott and Domingo really give outstanding performances here.
In addition, you have the topic of living being more dangerous than the dead; Chris contemplates killing Madison and Alicia after letting Madison almost get eaten just out of interest and Celia’s divisive view on death and the dead saying the infected are simply “what comes next.” Dennis and Buckner also give an insight into Nick’s tired state of mind, as well as Kim Dickens’ Madison Clark and Cliff Curtis’ Travis Manawa relationship strains.
Overall, “Sicut Cervus” is one of the standout episodes, not only does it develop the characters, including a flashback of Daniel (Rubén Blades) in the Salvadorian Junta, holistically it gets under the skin of the undead themes as well as offering a rounded story of both drama and action.