The penultimate episode of "Fear the Walking Dead" season one introduced the most charismatic figure in the entire series thus far: Strand, a well-dressed closer with the ability to make grown men cry and sell completely useless items to people in power. He's intense, he's magnetic, and he is undoubtedly trouble for anyone who gets in his way — and we certainly hope he's here to stay.
This is what we know about Strand so far, based on his one-episode appearance:
He is Colman Domingo.AMC
The man behind Strand is an accomplished actor especially on stage, starring in musicals like "Chicago" and "Guys and Dolls." He's appeared in plenty of movies, too, like last year's "Selma," the year earlier in "42," and one year earlier still in "Lincoln."
He is the hottest dude on "Fear The Walking Dead," and it's not close.AMC
Don't be humble, Strand. It does not suit you.
He is the best-dressed character on the show, too, and it's not close.AMC
Do not bother arguing.
He has a way with words.AMC
Putting aside the content of the message, let's focus on the flow of Strand's monologue toward Doug:
"Fire. Earthquake. Flood. You bought it all, didn't you? That's not a question. I'm not asking. I'm telling you. I look at a person like you and I know. You are a buyer. How do I know? Because I am a closer. I can sell anything — everything — ask anyone. Except… insurance. Can't stomach it. Praying on people so weak, so frightened of the future that they entrust the protection of their family to a piece of paper, to some promise of a corporation. What kind of man does that? Puts his wife and children in the hands of strangers? People he's never even met? Then, one day, that man is gone. His family is alone. The wolf comes to the door, and… well, no one's covered for that."
See? Pure poetry.
He is the wolf.AMC
When he tells Douglas about "the wolf at the door," he speaks not just of the actual apocalypse here and now, but of himself walking into Doug's world. He's the beast that pushes this sad man over the edge.
He goes for the jugular.AMC
When Douglas is at the end of his rope, Strand takes no chances. He goes in for the kill. He opens up his jaws and sinks his teeth into Doug's weak spot — his beautiful wife. "With a body like that, it's just the ticket to help her latch onto the type of man that's going to help her through all this." BRUTAL.
He's a mean man.AMC
If that wasn't clear enough — and a dangerous one, too, capable of bringing grown men to full-blown hysterics. Not someone you want to go up against in the "Walking Dead" universe, or any universe, for that matter.
He's a picture of health.AMC
When the soldiers take his temperature, Strand appears to be in perfectly acceptable condition. So if he's not unhealthy, then why the heck is he in custody?
He's the scariest kind of monster.AMC
There's an episode of "Rick and Morty" called "The Ricks Must Be Crazy," in which Rick's car has to keep Summer safe, and pulls it off by waging psychological warfare on authority figures outside. Strand does not have a secret cache of melting ghost babies at his disposal, I don't think, but he uses his words and his wit to make men do his bidding — which makes him one of the deadlier people we have met in the "Walking Dead" world, and helps explain why someone would want to throw him behind bars while they can.
He could sell a ketchup popsicle to a woman in white gloves.AMC
That's a little "Tommy Boy" for you, and there's a little bit of Big Tom Callahan in Strand, too. A streak of James "Sawyer" Ford from "Lost," as well, in the sense that Strand can make golden watches and cuff links look like high-ticket items in the zombie apocalypse — a world where these objects are absolutely meaningless.
He still wants to keep what's his, if he can.AMC
Hence why he only tries to give up the one cuff link. He's not the kind of guy who gives up anything more than he absolutely has to.
He cares about the young.AMC
Well, only so far as the young care about him — which, if he has it his way, is a lot.
He won't save you.AMC
But he'll obligate you. There's a difference.
He sees what's coming.AMC
"The game has changed," Strand tells Nick, observing the coming new world order. "We return to the old rules. The people who won the last round with their grande lattes and their frequent flyer miles are about to become the buffet."
He picks up on subtleties.AMC
When Strand looks at Nick, he sees "someone who knows the meaning of necessity." Nick responds: "Well, I'm an addict." Strand shakes his head. "No, you're a heroin addict. That's the gold standard. Don't sell yourself short." Yet another sign that this is a detail-oriented man.
He has a plan.AMC
"The soldiers are leaving," he tells Nick, "and I'm going to require a man with your talents when I make my move." With that, he shows Nick that he has a key — something that'll help them escape before the coming Cobalt at oh-nine-hundred the next day.
Forget the wolf, he is a fox.AMC
Seriously, Strand is the best, and that's based on only a little less than ten minutes of screen time. In only three scenes, he has skyrocketed to the top of the list of best characters on "Fear TWD." Let's see where he goes from here.