AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
6×11: “The Holding”
Directed by K.C. Colwell
Written by Channing Powell
* For a recap & review of 6×10, click here.
* For a recap & review of 6×12, click here.
“Everything‘s winding down,” a voice tells us. Things like “death, destruction, and decay” are not new, they’re as old as time itself. The modern world wasn’t particularly built to last anyway. We see a somewhat return to the modern world as people cut vegetables, cook food, and serve trays of food. We also see a zombie caught in a growth of vines around a tree in the middle of a room, not far from the kitchen. Where is this place? What is it? Then, in an elevator, we see Luciana, Wes, Al, and Alicia. They’re greeted by Riley (Nick Stahl). He calls this “the Holding.” There’s a mural of THE END IS THE BEGINNING and a tree on the wall, too. Quite the familiar image when Wes sees it.
The place is run by Teddy Maddox (John Glover). Or, well, “his presence” keeps the place going. Whatever that means. He’s the voice we hear over the speakers everywhere. We see Alicia being interviewed, and taped, by Riley; the others are, too. Riley asks them all about what led them there, how they came to seek out that place. Afterwards, he shows Alicia and the others around, how they run the place, what they do there. But what do they really DO? They’re mulching zombies, apparently. They’re recycling the dead to feed chickens that fertilise their soil. Creepy. Riley then tells Alicia and Al that they’re planning to close the doors “for good.” They’re locking themselves underground to like, restart civilisation, I guess? Who the hell knows.
“Can you see?”
Riley takes Alicia to look at the zombie caught in the tree and its vines. She’s not quite enthralled by the image. What’s the purpose of this? Riley does this with all the others, too. He keeps on taping, for Teddy. They’re seeking a “true believer.” They like believers there. But, believers in what? Wes and the others talk about their family, as Riley continues asking questions from the Teddy handbook. When the group get a chance to talk with each other they confirm they’re not learning anything just yet. Teddy’s faithful aren’t what you’d call giving with information.
Then, Wes is unexpectedly reunited with his brother Derek (Chinaza Uche), after all this time.
Apart from Wes being excited to see his brother alive it’s good for the crew to have a potential way in through Derek. Maybe this will give them a better idea of what’s going on at the Holding. Wes can’t get much out of his brother yet. Is Derek brainwashed into a cult? Or, are Wes and the others being too paranoid about these people? Al, Alicia, and Luciana are pretty reluctant to trust, though. The Tank Town situation doesn’t bode overly well. For now, the crew attempt to ingratiate themselves to Derek and the group. Although they never stop being suspicious. That evening, Al and Wes go snooping around his brother’s bunk. They find things like a map with coordinates to Tank Town, and we see the familiar symbol from the Civic Republic Military helicopters.
Wes wants to get his brother out of that place. He confronts his brother about the attacks and Derek being involved. He wants to know why Derek would do such things. The whole objective of Teddy and the Holding seems to be to wipe everything out above ground so they can begin anew below. Wes confronts Derek with his own wounds from the attacks. He sees the fanatical look in his brother’s eyes, how they’re following Teddy in a cult. He tries to snap his brother out of it. Derek says they’ll all be killed if they’re caught trying to leave. Hopefully Wes and his friends can get them out of there. Can they get free?
Despite Derek seemingly going along with the group he isn’t trusted. Alicia refuses to bring him, even if Wes doesn’t agree. They’re all stopped in their tracks anyway, once Riley and his people catch the group on their way up the elevator. Riley takes them to a room with “embalming equipment.” He’s going to use it on them, so they won’t be part of the “new beginning.” Unless they tell him where to find Morgan. Nobody’s willing to give information. Therefore, Wes is the first to be prepared for embalming. And he finds out that Derek played them, just as Alicia expected. Derek is fully mentally gone. But he takes Wes to the zombie tree, hoping his brother will “see” what they all see. The two brothers talk about Tank Town and Wes realises that his brother knew he was there. So Wes grabs for Derek’s gun and they wrestle, until Wes pushes his brother into the zombie tree and Derek gets a big bite. “I loved you, man,” Wes tells his brother before putting Derek out with a bullet.
Thankfully, Wes stops Riley and his men from embalming his friends.
This begins their hopeful escape from the Holding.
Only they wind up in a room of chained zombies, each of them embalmed, their mouths sewn up and their jaws wired shut. A haunting image; yikes! Alicia and the crew make their way through the crowd. Al notices a military zombie, checking to see if it’s her friend from the helicopter, which it isn’t. But soon Riley’s men are busting in the door, and the crew’s got to make a fast exit. They decide to use the embalming fluid in the zombies to destroy the place. Alicia sticks behind to get the job done while the others reluctantly rush on ahead. She cuts a bunch of dead throats and then sets fire to the embalming fluid pouring out of them.
Back at the community, Al tells Morgan the fire was bad. Nobody knows if Alicia made it out alive. At least now Morgan’s aware of the plans down there, and that he’s being sought out by Teddy’s cult. He’s only concerned with locating Alicia at the moment. Speaking of, Alicia has been trapped by Riley and his men. They’re going to have her embalmed, like all the others who seem to go against the cult. Alicia manages to stab one guy and pump him full of embalming fluid before he can get to her.
Soon she meets Teddy, “king of the crazies.” He tries to work his cult family mumbo jumbo on her. He thinks he can ‘save’ Alicia, but she doesn’t need someone to save her, especially not an old man. Teddy’s convinced he’ll make a believer out of Alicia. He sees something in her.
“Out of death springs new life.
For most; not for you.”