‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Daniel Isn’t Sure Whom to Trust.. Including Himself (RECAP)
[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Fear The Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 10, “Handle with Care.”]
If you’re a fan of the early seasons of Fear The Walking Dead, “Handle With Care” will feel the closest the show has come to the era of Madison (Kim Dickens), Travis (Cliff Curtis), Nick (Frank Dillane) and Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) in a very long time. That’s not only because it centers around one of the original characters, Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades), but also because it brings him back to his usual bada** personality… with a tragic twist.
The episode sees everyone struggling to work together to figure out how to fight back against the spray-painting group, who are, apparently, a huge and looming threat. Strand (Colman Domingo), Dwight (Austin Amelio), Sherry (Christine Evangelista) and Sarah (Mo Collins), among others, form a council of sorts while Morgan (Lennie James) goes to find a monitor to make sure Grace (Karen David) and her baby are okay. While Morgan’s away, the baddies strike and Daniel makes it his mission to determine who inside the walls is working with them. But there’s more than meets the eye to the goings-on in the settlement, and Daniel might not be able to trust those around him — or his own mind.
Old Enemies, New Suspicions
After Morgan leaves, people from Strand’s group in Lawton, Sherry’s group and Sarah’s group all assemble and hand over their weapons before meeting to discuss the threat. No one particularly likes each other, but there’s a tenuous peace as they attempt to get to the bottom of things. And then that peace literally blows up around them as an explosion goes off at the edge of the community and Daniel discovers the weapons he confiscated earlier are missing, all of which leads him to suspect there’s a traitor in their midst.
Given their less-than-pleasant history, it’s no surprise Daniel would accuse Strand. But it’s not like Strand doesn’t give him a reason; when everyone was ordered to turn over their guns, he kept his, which he uses to take down several walkers that entered the community after the explosion. Daniel reveals he let the walkers in so that he could discern who the traitor was, and now he knows. He locks Strand up and threatens to shoot him in the face the way Strand once shot him (resulting in some fabulous acting from both Domingo and Blades), but before he can pull the trigger, Morgan shows up and saves everyone from the walkers.
The Story Doesn’t Add Up
That’s where things get really interesting. Earlier, Daniel had sent Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) and Grace away from the community to a cabin where they would be safe. Except Morgan goes to the cabin and doesn’t find them there. Instead, they’re waiting on the outskirts of the caverns, which had previously been overrun with walkers, because they say that’s where Daniel told them to go. And they can prove it: They show him a map where he circled the caverns. And that’s not all. Eventually the missing guns are found… in Daniel’s quarters. He has no memory of taking them, just as he has no memory of telling anyone to go to the caverns.
The whole episode is framed by narration from Daniel as he explains his version of events, and toward the end of the installment, it’s revealed that he’s been talking to June (Jenna Elfman) the whole time. She has him repeat a series of words she’d told him to remember earlier, and she has him draw a clock, and he does each perfectly. This leads her to believe the issue is not neurological, but psychological. “Why is this happening to me now?” Daniel asks. Certainly a valid question, and June doesn’t have a solid answer, only theories. She says she’s going to learn more about it.
A New Home?
In the meantime, though, Daniel doesn’t want to remain at Morgan’s settlement. “The last time these things happened in my mind, I set a whole place on fire,” he tells Morgan and Charlie, who catch him attempting to leave on horseback. (That’s a reference to Celia’s place in Season 2, and how he burned it down after having hallucinations of his wife.) He says he’s going to go back to the warehouse where he was living before, but Strand interrupts and invites him to come to Lawton. Strand is visibly irked when Morgan asks him if his invitation is genuine — which is fair, because it must get tiring having people always assume the worst of you — but in the end, Morgan lets Daniel go and he rides off with Strand to Lawton.
- Skidmark is alive! Hooray!
- So, these spray-paint people have to be the same people Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) finds next episode, right? I’m really looking forward to that whole Alicia-and-Al (Maggie Grace) adventure. They haven’t interacted at length since Season 4, so it’ll be neat to see them spend time together again.
- The amount of times Ofelia, and Daniel’s past, were mentioned in this episode made me so happy. I’m truly enjoying how Season 6 has been going, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Seasons 1-3, and I’m happy the show has continued to reference events and characters from those seasons.
- That said, it would’ve been neat if Mercedes Mason could’ve returned for this episode. I was surprised they drew the parallel to Daniel burning down Celia’s community when that was tied to hallucinations, which didn’t seem to be happening here. Plus, how cool would it have been to see Ofelia again?
- Rating: 4.5/5. I wasn’t a fan of the narration throughout the episode (although at the end, I understood why it was used), but overall, there were some surprising twists and I’m looking forward to seeing where Daniel’s story goes from here. Especially now that he’s with Strand…
Fear The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC