Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 10 was both compelling and frustrating. Ruben Blades always shines as Daniel Salazar. And Colman Domingo played a strong co-starring role as Victor Strand. The deep-dive into Daniel’s psyche and his complicated relationship with Victor was phenomenal. However, I disagreed with many decisions that the characters were making, and some didn’t make a lot of sense. If I had to rate this episode, I’d have a tough time choosing a number of stars. Thankfully, I don’t have to do that here. I can just recommend that you watch the episode for yourself, knowing that you’ll have to take the bad with the good on this one.
This is a review of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 10, “Handle with Care,” so there will be spoilers.
That ‘No Weapons’ Rule Made Me So Mad
Let me just start with the glaring plot point that made me so mad, I had to keep complaining to my husband throughout the episode. Morgan’s instituted one rule for his community, and that’s a rule we’ve seen used in The Walking Dead with little success. He requires everyone who enters his community to give up not only their guns, but even their knives too.
Let me say first that I would have 100% acted like Strand, and kept a gun hidden on me while pretending to go along with the rule. This is a ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE and I feel like Morgan keeps forgetting that. We learned in this episode that the community isn’t completely sealed off from invasion. Walkers were able to stumble in over a hill! Not to mention, everyone in this universe is infected. If anyone dies in their sleep, they wake up as a walker. (This is a plot point that is often forgotten.) In a world like this, you simply do not give up your weapons. You don’t.
At least it played out showing us why this is a bad idea. Daniel was able to take all the weapons and hide them while he was in the middle of his psychosis. I kind of doubt this is going to lead to Morgan lightening up on the rule, sadly. But Morgan’s made a few questionable decisions of late.
Why Does Everyone Dislike Strand?
Which brings up another question: why can Morgan act “holier than thou” with Strand? As Strand forgives Daniel for nearly killing him and offers to take him to Lawton, Morgan tells him that he’s going to hold him to his word. I know Strand’s had some questionable decisions in previous episodes, but everyone is literally only alive right now because Strand saved them. (I’m excusing Daniel from this rant though, he has plenty of reason to distrust Strand.) Just a few episodes ago, Strand had played the long game with Virginia, built up an army that was almost completely on HIS side, and was able to successfully execute a coup on her when the time was right. Instead, everyone’s still doubting him and acting like he can’t be trusted. Meanwhile, it was Morgan who betrayed a lot of people in order to spare Virginia’s life. This doesn’t make sense to me. Strand should be the one seen as the leader right now…
But moving on…
Daniel Really Shined in This Episode
Ruben Blades really shined in this episode as he portrayed Daniel slowly coming to the realization that he had lost his mind again. His old psychosis is catching up to him, and it’s no surprise given what he’s been through lately. His story didn’t really have any plotholes (except for when he was let out of his prison at the end.) I really didn’t suspect Daniel until the very end, because I too had forgotten how he had lost his mind several seasons earlier.
They really stayed true to Daniel’s character and gave him a lot of motivation underlying his every move. I felt confused like him when Charlie and Grace confronted him, revealing that he had sent them to the caverns and not to the shack. His intense reaction to Strand also made sense. In fact, he’s the only one whom I can really understand not trusting Strand. In Season 4, Strand betrayed him and the two fought over a gun. In the process, Strand shot Daniel in the chin in front of Lola, leaving Daniel with a bullet hole in his cheek. After the dam explosion, we don’t see Daniel again until he’s seen later in Season 5 at a warehouse, leaving with his cat Skidmark. (And oh my gosh, I’m SO happy that Skidmark is alive!!)
We’ve known previously that Daniel had a tough time trusting Strand. He reminded Stran in Season 5 Episode 2 about how Strand had shot him and left him for dead on the exploding dam. Of course, Daniel would be suspicious of Strand.
Then in Season 6, we learn that Daniel was able to pretend to have lost his memory because of a punishment he got for not wanting to give up his cat. So he likely suffered yet another head injury of some sort, even though he was faking it with Virginia all along.
Whatever it was, it’s all been enough to bring back his psychosis that caused him to completely lose his mind in Season 2. I’m glad that storyline wasn’t dropped. In the Season 2 episode “Sicut Cervus,” he began breaking down mentally. Interestingly, the breakdown started around the time he was staying somewhere where the people confiscated his group’s weapons in order to let them stay. While there, he had learned that Celia kept walkers in a basement because she believed they were still alive in some way. After that, in the “Shiva” episode, he’s having nightmares and unravelling even more, which Strand himself witnesses. When Daniel’s later tied up in a storage room in Season 2, he sees the ghost of Griselda talking to him. He sets fire to the undead in the basement, believing they are the victims he’s killed. He isn’t seen again until Season 3, when he’s living at the Gonzalez Dam, where Strand later shoots him.
So it’s interesting. Strand knew firsthand about Daniel’s previous psychosis and witnessed it. And Daniel witnessed Strand’s own morality breakdown when he tried to kill Daniel. They both have seen each other at their worst, and I believe that’s why we will see an uneasy truce between them now, as Strand tries to help Daniel regain his sanity. June did emphasize that it’s psychological and not neurological, so there’s hope for a cure. That’s good.
Can We Just Get Rid of Dakota?
But I would be remiss to end this review without talking about Dakota and how her storyline just doesn’t make sense. She just killed John Dorie a few episodes ago. But we see Morgan sharing a little smile with her when she comes up with an idea about where the cult could be? And she’s just sitting in the group meeting, as if she’s one of the leaders?
Honestly, it makes no sense. She should be handcuffed wherever she goes and watched closely. And yet, Morgan is treating her better than he’s treating Strand. 🙄
So What’s the Deal with the Cult Anyway?
Some viewers are wondering if there’s a spy in Morgan’s town connected to the cult. I’ve heard some people theorizing that maybe Charlie and Grace are spies and Daniel never lost his mind in the first place. But I don’t believe that for a second. Charlie is too bonded with Daniel to turn on him like that.
Others think maybe it’s Luciana, and I think there would be at least more grounds for that possibility. She was at Tank Town when it was attacked by the same cult. She hasn’t had many lines this season, which could lead us to sympathize with her less.
But I personally think the most suspect of the group is Wes. He doesn’t have a deep background with the rest of the crew. His closest connection is Alicia. She was looking for the person who painted the trees, and at first Wes told her that trying to find the person was a waste of time. But we later learn he was painting the trees. However, at the beginning of Season 6, when he was at Tank Town when it exploded, he was suspected of being part of the cult. He was found with spray paint, which he said was not at all connected to this group. Still, I have to wonder if his other paintings were more of a cover story and he’s been deep under cover for some time.
Wes, followed by Luciana, are my top bets for who could be a spy for the cult group. But it’s also possible that no one is a spy and that particular question won’t have a resolution.
In the end, I really enjoyed this episode. I liked how Daniel’s psychosis tied back to his Season 2 breakdown and the time that Strand shot him in the face. So many threads came together for this episode. I just wish that some other things made more sense, like the sudden trust of Dakota or the other people’s mistrust of Strand.