The opening of the mid-season finale begins with a nightmare, as HollywoodLife.com originally suspected when the preview was released. First we see a little boy standing in the woods, the same little boy Daniel saw during a flashback in the previous episode, and then we hear the same voice that Daniel once heard saying, “Take the gun, Daniel.” Then, suddenly, Daniel wakes up to the sound of a gunshot. In a panic he and Ofelia go running outside, only to be stopped when Ofelia feels she can’t go on. Daniel turns to her and is horrified to see her ripping the skin off of her own face. Gross. But, what does it mean?
When Daniel does, finally, wake up… it’s to the sound of Victor’s gunshot. He notices that Ofelia is not in her bed and then goes to see what’s going on. Almost everyone has gathered in Victor’s room where he is sitting next to Thomas’ dead body as Celia berates him for killing her son. She is unusually cruel to Victor, but her attitude spikes when Madison and Nick get involved. Once Victor announces he has to bury Thomas, Celia demands that they all leave by sundown the next day. Now where will they go?
As this is happening Travis goes looking for Chris, who as you might remember snuck out of his room in the middle of the night while his father slept next to him. When Victor’s gunshot woke everyone up, Madison and Alicia were stunned to find Chris standing over their bed with a large knife in his hand. When Alicia tries to tell Travis about this he more or less calls her a liar, then goes to find Chris. He spots his son out in the field, but Chris goes running when he sees his father coming. Naturally, Travis runs after him… but Chris is, as per usual, putting both of them in grave danger.
While looking for Chris, Travis discovers a small building where he hears noises coming from inside. Likely assuming it’s Chris, Travis goes inside to check it out only to be nearly pummeled by a terrified man. Once they both realize they are not a threat to one another things calm down, but Travis is very injured. It’s unclear if it was the landscape or just the hot temperature, but his feet are bloodied and definitely hurting him. Not great considering he’s out there on his own.
The man seems eager to get Travis out of there, so he gives him a glass of water and a pair of shoes. Travis is finally able to help the man understand that he’s looking for his son, so the man tells him that Chris went “east.” As he’s leaving he notices a shadow move under a door and tells the man that there’s someone in there. The man then reveals that he does, in fact, speak english and that the man in that room has threatened to hurt his son if he doesn’t get him to leave. Travis knows immediately that it’s Chris and storms the door, only to find his son grasping a little boy and pointing a gun directly at his face. Ugh, Chris.
Nick Brings Celia A Present
Meanwhile, Madison goes into straight panic mode about having to leave. She tells Alicia and Nick they need to start gathering supplies and steal the truck, but both of her kids couldn’t be bothered. Nick is convinced he can get Celia to let them stay, but Madison believes she is dangerous and that they all need to stay away from her. If only she knew how right she was.
Instead of listening to Madison, Nick goes out to find her son, Luis, and brings him back safe and sound. Well, except for that part where he’s dead… and a walker. Celia is pleased when Luis is returned to her, though Madison is obviously horrified to see Nick covered in walker blood — his secret weapon to moving around in the apocalypse. Celia invites Nick to stay, but she puts up resistance when he asks if his family can stay, too. When she finally gives in she tells Nick he will be responsible for his family, but that Victor is not. Victor is fine with this and tells Madison he’s going back to the boat, and even though she wants to come she tells him she can’t go anywhere without Travis.
Speaking of Victor, we find him shoveling a plot on the compound to bury Thomas as Daniel watches over. Daniel is trying to convince him that burying the body on the compound is a bad idea. He tells Victor that the place is not holy, and that Thomas will return and haunt him if he can’t rest properly. Victor doesn’t seem very religious so he ignores Daniel and just assumes something is wrong with him.
When Madison finally confronts Nick about what he’s done, he doesn’t want to hear it. He explains to her that she understands what Celia was going through because all she wanted was her son back. Then, in a terrifying turn, he tells her that he “walks among them” because of his little blood-covering trick. It’s clear that he’s cocky about it, and that he feels invincible when he’s out there. This is just as dangerous as Chris.
Little does everyone know that Daniel is totally losing it on the compound. He comes for Ofelia and tells her that her mother is waiting for them outside of the gates because the place is evil, but she freaks out because he is scaring her. A few of the men that live and work on the compound stop Daniel from taking Ofelia, but the only way they can calm him down is by beating him to a bloody pulp.
Travis Makes A Difficult Decision
When we finally return to Chris and Travis, they come to blows inside the boy’s room before Chris makes a run for it. Travis chases after him and then tackles him to the ground, only for his son to grab the knife from his belt and swipe at him. Travis grabs a hold of the knife and tosses it, and once they stop physically fighting each other Chris tells his dad that he’s “no good.” Travis appears overcome with guilt, as if this is all his fault somehow, and Chris just wants to be set free so he stops hurting people he is supposed to help protect.
In a more surprising turn of events, Travis and Chris decide to go off on their own instead of going home. When Nick finds them out there in the wild, Travis tells him to go back to Madison and tell her that he didn’t find them. Nick fights it, but Travis tells Nick that he owes it to his son to take care of him. He makes it sound as if they’ll come back one day, but when? How? Is that even possible? Nick must think so, because he hands Travis his knife and then walks away without a word.
As that’s happening, we find out that Daniel is being held captive somewhere under the compound. Celia goes to visit him as he’s tied up to a chair. As she’s talking to him he also hears another voice, and Celia calls him out for being haunted. Talk about hitting the nail on the head with that one. Celia begs him to confess his sins before it’s too late, but he refuses to do so. Once she’s done, Celia promises Daniel that she’ll “take care of him” — likely as she takes care of the walkers she’s hiding from everyone else.
Once Daniel is left alone we see that he is talking to his dead wife, Griselda, about Celia being a demon. Then Griselda chastises Daniel for not burying her, telling him that she’s still waiting for him to come and do so. Unfortunately, Griselda’s body is inside a military compound somewhere in Los Angeles that is likely being run over by walkers now. But, again, this is just Daniel’s broken mind punishing himself. Griselda brings up what’s been haunting him now, the visions of the boy, the bodies in the water, all of the things we’ve seen through his eyes throughout the season. We finally learn that the boy was Daniel, as many viewers have speculated, and that it was flashbacks to the very first time he killed someone: a man in the river, after someone handed him a gun and told him what to do.
This talk has somehow inspired him to escape, so he makes the man watching him from down the hall think he’s hungry. The man stupidly falls for it, then unties one of his ropes and tries to feed him. Daniel head butts the man, knocks him out completely, and breaks the chair over the man’s back to escape.
Madison Tricks Celia & The Compound Burns
Upstairs, Madison finds Celia cleaning up the bed that Thomas died in, and they start to have a heart-to-heart about the walkers. Celia is so convinced that they are still alive, and Madison finally caves — hopefully to figure out what Celia’s hiding on the compound — asking to understand what the walkers really are. Celia believes Madison, then takes her down to the cellar where she has walkers locked up, including her son, Luis. Celia is unafraid of the walkers, so much so that she opens the gate and walks right inside as they are eating whatever poor animal someone dropped into the room before they got there. Madison follows her inside, but then slowly starts to back out as Celia is mesmerized by her son who thankfully, for her sake, is distracted by the body part he’s eating. When Madison finally makes it outside the gate she closes it, to which Celia doesn’t seem very surprised. Madison turns the key, locks it, and walks away… leaving Celia helpless in the room full of walkers.
It was too late to save Victor though, because we watch as a group of men from the house walk him to the front gate and let him leave. It’s dark out, he doesn’t appear to have any weapons, and he’s all alone.
The next time we see Daniel he is opening the gate to the cellar. Celia is nowhere to be found, and he obviously doesn’t know that she’s even been locked in there so he’s not looking for her. He has a can of gas, which he pours all over the floor until it’s empty. Using the lighter he took from the guard he knocked out, he waits until he sees Griselda come out of the crowd and then drops it and watches as the room and the walkers burn. The last we see of Daniel, he’s standing over the flames and doesn’t appear to be leaving.
The compound goes up in flames quick, like a book of matches, so it’s unclear if Daniel started fires anywhere else before hitting the cellar. The first person Madison goes to look for is Daniel, but all she finds is the man he knocked out. When she runs out into the field she finds Alicia holding back Ofelia, who is screaming crying for her father who is now missing. As if on cue, Victor comes rolling through the field in his pick up truck and puts Ofelia and Alicia in the back. Madison refuses to get in though, because she’s still waiting for Nick and Travis.
Suddenly she sees Nick, still covered in blood, walking through the field towards them. The first thing he tells Madison is that he couldn’t find Travis and Chris, which we already know is a lie. He’s pissed about the house, and he immediately blames Madison and tells her that Celia was right about them, they destroy everything. Madison begs him to get into the truck but he refuses, and instead he runs in the opposite direction towards a group of walkers. At that point, Madison has no other choice but to get in the truck and let Victor take them wherever for safety.
As the truck passes Nick, he doesn’t even bother to look at them, while Madison and Alicia stare at him until they can no longer see him. Now, nearly everyone has been split up, and we don’t even know if Daniel is alive.
Tell us, HollywoodLifers — Do YOU think Daniel is dead? Do you think Nick, Chris, and Travis will be safe out there without the rest of the group? Comment below with your thoughts on this wild mid-season finale!