It's the usual suspects when Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) gets to the bottom of a walker whodunit in Sunday's Fear the Walking Dead. Spoilers for Season 6 Episode 10, "Handle With Care." Narrating the episode as he recounts its events from behind bars, Daniel describes a peace-keeping meeting about an emerging threat to the survivors that's interrupted by an explosion of dynamite he suspects was no accident. When it's discovered someone stole the weapons checked-in by the visitors to Morgan's (Lennie James) weapon-free dam community, Daniel's old enemy Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) is caught with a smuggled gun that makes him the prime suspect as the traitor inside the dam's walls.
Daniel jails Strand for stealing the weapons from the lock-up, refusing to believe his innocence because the smooth-talking conman is "always lying. I don't think you can tell the difference anymore."
"This coming from the man who kept the truth about what he'd been doing from me for months," Strand retorts, referring to the revelation that Daniel faked amnesia when they were reunited inside the Lawton settlement where a seemingly feeble Daniel acted as Ginny's (Colby Minifie) barber.
"I did what was needed to be done in order to free us from Virginia," says Daniel, an ex-Sombra Negra operative. "And it worked."
Daniel's deception was for the greater good, but Strand's is tearing the group apart. Strand again rejects the accusation that he's a spy for the underground community behind the "the end is the beginning" messaging spray-painted across the spooked settlements.
As finger-pointing and paranoia among the group grows, Sherry (Christine Evangelista) questions the absences of Grace (Karen David) and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson). Daniel sent them to safety, directing them to an old fishing shack in the woods he's marked on a map.
But as a walker horde drawn by the explosion encroaches on the dam, Daniel is more aggressive in his interrogation of Strand. While recounting the events to an as-yet-revealed person, Daniel confesses why he's so desperate to protect the community:
"When I was cutting hair for Virginia, pretending that I didn't remember anything or anybody... I realized that the situation was not different from when I was running that barbershop in Los Angeles, pretending that the life I had led before arriving there didn't exist. My daughter Ofelia spent her entire existence without really knowing who her father was, so our whole relationship was based on a lie. A deception. Morgan's idea made me believe that I could help create the kind of home I wanted Los Angeles to be for Ofelia and myself, a place where you would not need to pretend to be what you weren't. I hoped that by doing that, I could redeem myself from all the lies I told. And for Ofelia's death."
The situation worsens when Grace and Charlie don't check-in. After a short search, Grace and Charlie dispute Daniel's claims he told them to go to the shack: he told her to avoid the shack because it was unsafe and to go to the caverns. The mixup ends with Grace revealing proof: Daniel circled the caverns on his map.
Luciana (Danay Garcia) radios in damning proof that it was Daniel who hid the weapons when she finds a cart full of them stashed in his shed. "Somebody moved them there," Daniel says, blaming Strand, or the person working with him. When Morgan asks if he made a mistake, Daniel admits, "I'm not sure. It's confusing."
Daniel is revealed to be an unreliable narrator as he recounts his story to ICU nurse June (Jenna Elfman), who has returned to perform cognitive tests on Daniel.
"It's not neurological. I think it's psychological," June determines. She explains: "It means symptomatically, you're experiencing memory loss, dissociative thinking, but there doesn't appear to be any underlying physical cause. Which is good. It means we can treat this."
Daniel suffered a mental breakdown in Season 2 episode "Shiva," which culminated in his burning down the Abigail Estate. Asked why he's suffering these effects now, June explains: "Because you have something to lose? Were you worried about that? About something happening here? Could that be why you moved the weapons?"
He doesn't know the answer. "You spend your whole life giving people a reason not to trust you... and then one day, you cannot even trust yourself," Daniel says. "I deserve this." When Morgan asks June in private if Daniel could be lying, she says they'd get people like him in the ER who were just as confused: "It's hard to fake."0comments
Daniel ends his seasons-long feud with Strand and exiles himself from the dam. "The last time these things happened in my mind... I set a whole place on fire," Daniel recalls. "I can't risk that happening now." As he prepares to leave alone, Strand invites him to Lawton as a goodwill gesture in honor of Ofelia (Mercedes Mason). Strand says, "We can keep you safe. And everyone around you." They ride off together to Lawton, where Daniel can live an honest life.
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.