Friday, June 10, 2016

Pass the Posole and Hold the Ammunition

Episode 7, Season 2: “Shiva

A wet jungle. Dead bodies float in a river. Ruben-Daniel wakes up. He forces Ofelia to accompany him to the cellars that hold Celia’s dead. She can’t run anymore and stops, stripping the skin from her face with her fingers. Another bad dream! Ruben wakes up again. Double Nightmare.

Celia is pissed at Strand for shooting Thomas in the head. Now, he’ll never come back. She hits him in the face with the back of her hand. Mad Mom intervenes. Ruben is happy to find Ofelia and that her facial skin is intact. Travis finds out that Chris was wielding a knife whilst hovering over Mad Mom and Alicia. Back to Strand. Celia is still angry. Thomas would not want to have been buried! Ok, seriously, Celia is batshit crazy, I don’t care how tasty her posole is. She orders everyone off her property by the end of the next day. No more posole for YOU. Travis looks vainly for Chris, who ran off with his knife after Mad Mom and Alicia caught him in the act.

"Nobody puts Celia in the corner...NOBODY!"
Daybreak. Ruben sharpens a homemade weapon on a rock. Celia spies on him from an obscured window. Travis may have stumbled across Chris’ handiwork: a dead walker with a knife protruding from his skull. We see Chris.

Travis finds more dead bodies. He wanders through the Baja slums, armed only with a knife. He enters a hovel after hearing a noise. Oh, Travis, nothing good ever came from entering an abandoned hovel! An angry Mexican confronts him, but seems harmless. He offers Travis water. Too bad he speaks no English. Travs shows him his feet, which are bloody and disgusting from walking in homemade “shoes.”

Nick returns to the hacienda with a bound, very dead but sorta alive Luis in tow. Nick is wearing his fave outfit of late—a wife-beater and jeans shmeared in zombie blood n’ guts. Celia seems pleased, for once. A peace offering? Luis, for his part, doesn’t seem to recognize his surroundings. Mad Mom is not pleased by Nick’s efforts. Celia approaches Nick. She wants him to stay. Can his family remain, too? They don’t share her pro-death worldview. Nick assures her that his family won’t hurt anyone and may even change their minds. He assumes responsibility for their actions. However, Strand remains on her shit list.

Nick takes a much-needed shower. Mad Mom asks him what the heck is up with him and the zombie guts. Nick tells her he just brought Celia’s son back, that’s all. He claims he can move among the dead, “invisible.”

A panicked Ruben grabs Ofelia to lead her to the gate of the complex. Your mother is waiting there, he tells her excitedly. A bunch of Celia’s henchmen approach as Ofelia tries to pull away. Ruben lashes out with his homemade razor blade. Strand is digging a deep grave, presumably for Thomas. Mad Mom comes to see him about Nick. He confirms that Celia has sunk her talons into a vulnerable Nick. Strand states his intentions to return to the boat, if it indeed still exists.

Meanwhile, Travis’s host offers him boots for his seriously messed-up feet. The man tells him Chris went that-a way, but Travis figures out that Chris is, in fact, in the house. He is holding the man’s young son captive and told the man he will shoot the boy unless he can get his dad to leave. Chris is turning out to be the total douchebag that I always thought he was.

Thomas’ funeral. Celia was the hired help whose employers ignored their son Thomas, so she raised him. She’s then ready to kick Strand out. Ofelia asks Celia where her dad is. He’s safe, Celia says. Mad Mom puts on her best resting bitch face for Celia’s benefit.

Chris makes a run for it. Travis tackles him, and Chris tries to stab him. Chris affirms that he is bad, beyond help. They both look stunned.

Celia tries to spoon-feed a chained Ruben her very tasty posole. He says he’s not afraid of her, and she retorts that he’s afraid of the people he killed. She urges him to confess. Ruben hears the voice of his dead wife. He remains steadfast, revealing nothing. “There is a place for you here,” she tells him, and leaves him with the specter of his late wife, who is pretty chatty for a ghost.

A bloodied Nick finds Travis, who urges his stepdad to return to the complex.  Travis claims that he doesn’t want to return, because Chris needs a father figure. Nick sighs and hands him a knife.

Celia is tidying up Thomas’ bedroom. She knows how to make hospital corners with the sheets. Of course she does, she was a maid. Mad Mom tries to convince Celia to allow Strand to stay. Talk turns to Nick, whom Celia is a fan of because he understands her perspective. Mad Mom says she wants to understand, which is an open invitation to visit Celia’s Cellars infested with the walking dead.

Ruben talks with his dead wife. She’s mad that she never got a proper burial. Plus, she had to carry around his murderous guilt all those years. Also, he never put the toilet seat down after he peed. We see in a flashback that Daniel was a killer from an early age, like 7. He looks broken. Ruben never looks broken.

Celia gives Mad Mom a tour of the cellar where Luis is eating. Celia waxes eloquent about the beauty of taking care of one’s children, even after they turn. Mad Mom silently backs up and locks Celia in with the undead. She’s doing it for her kids, too, just like Celia! Then, she backs away. Celia tears up a bit, but seems accepting of her fate. There goes the best cook this side of Baja, posole and all. Sure, you’ll get sick of it after a while; how about a few tortilla chips to dip, or some fresh guac to mix it up a little?

A man comes to untie Ruben, who head butts him. The bowl of posole with his name on it spills all over the floor. He escapes. Strand is escorted to the gates under cover of night. He waves bye-bye.

Everybody Loves Ruben.
Ruben enters the cellar. He pours gasoline throughout. All the people Ruben killed—quite a motley crew!—notice him and ever so slowly approach. His late wife emerges from the crowd. He drops his lighter. Ruben is ready to die. Strand climbs in a truck. The fire overtakes the complex. Mad Mom searches for Daniel. Ofelia is distraught. Strand orders everyone into the pickup truck, but Mad Mom wants to wait for Nick and Travis. Nick reunites with Mad Mom. He observes that Celia was right about them all along; they destroy everything. Nick does not get on the truck. He joins the dead. Mad Mom can’t look and turns away. The truck slowly leaves the compound, with a smaller crew than they started with. See you in a few; this is the mid-season finale, so FWD will be back before you know it.

The End Is Nigh So Kill, Make Love, and Be Merry

Episode 6, Season 2: “Sicut Cervus

Sicut cervus is Latin, bitches. I looked it up. I have no idea how it relates to this week’s recap, except the opening scene has cute little Latino boys singing a sicut cervus (a Renaissance chorale they sing in church). A priest addresses his congregation in Spanish. He speaks of faith and doubt as everyone receives the sacrament (that’s a wafer and a sip of red wine—body and blood of Christ, for you heathens out there). The parishioners exit the church in a hurry. There’s a pile of guns outside. A man drives up to warn them about fighting back. Hey, he looks like Strand’s BF Thomas! The wafers were poisoned, so everyone drops dead, right after their eyes bleed. As usual, I’m totally confused. Is it just me? Sigh.

Travis chats with Chris. He confronts him about the rumors that Bieber wasn’t actually turning and that Chris shot him just for kicks. Mad Mom, Strand, and his Mexican henchman are arranging a deal with a speedboat approaching their boat. Mad Mom hustles everyone downstairs. Ruben translates the convo occurring above them. Some exchange of payment is being made. Angry Spanish words, then a volley of gunshots. When they reach Strand, Luis (henchman) is dead. Ruben goes on deck with his gun and stabs the dead in the head. Luis, though, is not dead. He gives Ruben a strange button to give to his mom, but Rubes tosses it overboard.

The weary crew makes it ashore. Is this Baja? A black dog munches on a pile of dead bodies as flies buzz around their heads. Not quite the idyllic hideaway that Strand described. Strand sees his boyfriend’s car. Turns out there are quite a few zombies. Even those cute little Mexican choirboys and a little girl with bows in her hair are now amongst the walking dead. The crew gets to stabbing. Ruben finishes off the priest, and then freezes when one of the altar boys tries to bite him. He had a flashback from his days as a contra, or a contranista, whatever he was back in the Old Country. Yeah, he’s killed his share of little boys! Luckily, Ofelia steps in. Chris watches as Mad Mom is nearly overcome by an angry walker—is he turned on by death, or what?—but Alicia rescues her at the last second. Nick is bummed; I think he had to kill one of the cute little girls.
Ruben and Celia refuse to play nice.
They pile in back of the pickup truck. The gates open and it’s a new world. A beautiful hacienda beckons. Fields surround the house, maybe vineyards? They walk through a garden of succulents. Luis’ mom finds out her son was killed by the military. Women in white uniforms greet the newcomers. They have to turn in their weapons. Ruben balks, and says not so fast. She refuses to let him in with the arms and hands over a knife, then another pointy implement. She lets him in. But we know that Ruben is hiding a gun up his butt! It’s what he does. Strand finds Thomas, who has been bitten. They put a bandage on it, but that will not help things any. Strand offers to “help him into bed,” which is guy code for “let’s have sex one more time.”

"I'll slide it in quietly."
Alicia is lounging on a leather sofa and watching…TV? Chris waltzes in. Alicia accuses him of letting Mad Mom get attacked. He denies it, but warns her not to tell anyone. Huh? He froze, that’s all. Psychopathic. Luis’ mother chops cilantro. Nick enters the kitchen and tries to introduce himself in Spanish. “Scusi?” Oy vey. Nick lived in Los Angeles his entire life, yet he learned no Spanish. He’s hungry. Nick brings up Luis’ last moments on the boat. He, unlike Chris, is tired of “all the killing.” She reassures him that the dead were always here, but now we can see them. It’s like Day of the Dead, but a lot more real. Mad Mom walks in, pissed off of course. My son is vulnerable; back off, Luis’ mom!

Then she brings a tray of food for Strand and Thomas, who will need to get stabbed in the head fairly soon. Thomas asks Mad Mom Madison to take care of Strand after his death. Ofelia looks for her Papa Ruben, who is sitting on the edge of a bed with a vacant look in his eyes. He’s not hungry.

Alicia is still watching Elvis movies on the TV. Mad Mom finds her all cozy on the couch. Cut to Mad Mom yelling at Travis about Chris. She fills him in on Chris watching her get attacked. Travis is too busy sailing on a body of water known as de-Nile. Chris needs help. They yell at each other. Chris is probably pressing his ear to the door right now. I know! Let’s take Chris to a psychiatrist. Baja is probably lousy with them.

Strand, meanwhile, is keeping vigil at Thomas’ bedside. His boyfriend does not look well: sweaty and rashy. Strand suggests that they can be gay zombies together. Celia, Luis’ mom, can be their caretaker. Sounds like a plan that everyone can get behind.

In the darkness, Ruben sees a little boy drop a live dog down a chute. Sounds like someone had Strand’s bright idea already!

Ofelia and Nick hang out by the candle-lit memorial shrine. She talks to her deceased mother, while Nick flashes back to season one, episode one, when he discovered a group of half-eaten heroin addicts in an abandoned church.

Ruben follows a little boy. He’s talking to someone who doesn’t answer. It’s his mommy, who just happens to be…behind a secure gate with lots and lots of other walkers. Ruben finds Celia: What gives? She says she knew them, felt sorry for them, and is giving them shelter. She happens to be whipping up some sacrament wafers; Ruben deduces that she is the one who poisoned the churchgoers. Baaah! She tells Rubes that he’s the one with the hang-up about the dead. But for whom are these wafers intended?

Celia is singing to Thomas and applying cool compresses to his head. Strand admires the song, which sounds like a children’s Spanish lullaby. Turns out Celia raised Thomas. The poisoned wafer is for Strand, who as you recall wants to be with Thomas for-evah. This makes little sense, because there’s no such thing as zombie pals, let alone zombie gay lovers.

Nick reconnects with Celia again to talk about the Big Issues. Walkers aren’t really dead, she tells him, “they are what comes next,” which would be a very interesting philosophical observation if walkers weren’t so darn intent on chomping on anything and anyone with a pulse.

The poisoned wafer beckons to Strand. Mad Mom arises in the middle of the night. Strand locks Thomas’ bedroom door. Chris stands over Alicia’s bed as she sleeps with Mad Mom. They both wake up and tell him to scram. A shot rings out: Strand could not go through with it and has shot Thomas in the head.