The seasons-long feud between Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) and Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) reaches its climax in an explosive episode of Fear the Walking Dead. Spoilers for Season 6 Episode 10, "Handle With Care." When Morgan (Lennie James) summons the fractured family of survivors to meet about the existential threat facing them all after Ginny's (Colby Minifie) death, Daniel suspects Strand is the saboteur seemingly attacking the dam community from the inside. Strand is the prime suspect of Daniel's whodunit after a walker herd, drawn by an explosion of dynamite, descends on the dam just as its confiscated weapons cache — to which only Morgan and Daniel have the key — goes missing.
Daniel sends Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) and the heavily pregnant Grace (Karen David) to the safety of a fishing shack in the nearby woods just before a small pack of walkers attack Luciana (Danay Garcia), Sarah (Mo Collins), Dwight (Austin Amelio), and Wes (Colby Hollman), who fend off the dead with makeshift weapons: a saw, a stool, a paint can, a screwdriver, anything they can get their hands on.
Strand shoots two walkers with a smuggled gun, saving Dwight but confirming Daniel's suspicions that he's the traitor of the group. Daniel reveals he let the dead into the dam: "I needed to figure out who stole the weapons from lock-up. Now I know."
Daniel puts Strand behind bars and interrogates him about the missing weapons. He claims innocence, but the debonair and duplicitous Strand is "always lying," Daniel tells him. "Ha," scoffs Strand, "this coming from the man who kept the truth about what he'd been doing from me for months." (The former spy posed as a harmless amnesiac while undercover behind Ginny's walls in Lawton.)
The interrogation continues, but Strand denies the accusation he's working with the "they" behind the spray-painted messages defacing the various settlements.
"'They' didn't offer me anything because I don't know who 'they' are," Strand says. "I broke a rule. I brought a weapon inside the gates. But if I hadn't, someone out there might be dead right now."
"You continue to give me every reason to hurt you," Daniel tells his old enemy. "Are we here again, Daniel?" Strand asks, referring to the last time they found themselves on opposite sides of a jail cell (in Season 3 episode "TEOTWAWKI").
As more of the dead threaten to force their way into the dam, Daniel determines Strand — who was present for the meeting about the new enemy group — could not have blown the dynamite without an accomplice. "Whichever one of you is working with him, I warn you... the betrayal of those closest to you comes with a cost," he tells a paranoid group before him. "It will come back to haunt you. There will be consequences." With a growing number of walkers encroaching the dam, Daniel fires off a single shot at Strand and demands to know what he did with the weapons.
"I don't need to remind you that you can survive a shot in the face," Daniel, gun in hand, tells Strand about the time Strand shot Daniel during a scuffle inside the Gonzalez Dam in Season 3 episode "Things Bad Begun."
"You've seen it. What you don't know is what it does to you later," Daniel says, removing a dental prosthetic. Strand nearly recoils at the damage of Daniel's collapsed jaw. "You'll wince every time you take a sip of water. You will eat soup for the rest of your life. You will learn to hide the pain when you talk. You will wheeze at night when you breathe. But mostly, you will never forget who did all of that to you." He asks again, ready to fire: Where are the weapons?
"Daniel. Forgive me. You have to forgive me," Strand begs. "Please. I don't know!"
After Charlie and Grace turn up at the caverns — not the fishing shack Daniel said was safe — Luciana radios they've found the weapons stashed in a cart in Daniel's shed.
Daniel doesn't know how they got inside the locked shed. It was Strand, or whoever is working with Strand, but Daniel knows what he did. When Morgan asks if he might have made a mistake, Daniel admits to feeling confused and consults with former nurse June (Jenna Elfman).
Testing reveals Daniel's confusion isn't neurological, but psychological. June explains: symptomatically, he's experiencing memory loss and dissociative thinking without any underlying physical cause. Daniel doesn't know why he moved the weapons, telling June, "You know, you spend your whole life giving people a reason not to trust you... and then one day, you cannot even trust yourself. I deserve this."
Fearing he's a danger to the community, Daniel exiles himself. "I'm not worried about me. I'm worried about you. I let the dead in. I would've shot Strand if you hadn't returned," he tells Morgan. To Charlie, "I put Grace in danger, her baby, you. The last time these things happened in my mind... I set a whole place on fire. I can't risk that happening now."
Daniel, experiencing PTSD-fueled nightmares and haunting visions, suffered a mental breakdown in Season 2 episode "Shiva" and seemingly perished in a fiery blaze when he set fire to the Abigail Estate. He plans to return to his warehouse hideout from Season 5 until Strand offers Daniel a place in Lawton.
"Staying at Lawton offers a better chance of survival than you wandering around alone out here. We can keep you safe. And everyone around you. I'm not doing this for you. I'm doing this for Ofelia," Strand says about Daniel's late daughter (Mercedes Mason). "So you can live an honest life. Settled. Shall we?"0comments
When Morgan asks if Strand is really going to help Daniel — "That man just put a gun in your face," he says, "I have a right to ask" — Strand says he's better off at Lawton than the dam. Morgan is going to hold him to it.
"This is for the best. I promise," Daniel assures Charlie. "I'll get better. Don't worry." Daniel rides off with Strand, their feud settled — at least for now.
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.