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"The Holding" is the eleventh episode of the sixth season of AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. It is the eightieth episode of the series overall. It premiered on May 2, 2021. It was written by Channing Powell and directed by K.C. Colwell.
A worker stares at a walker on display in the Holding. It is tangled up in ivy. She tells another worker, Riley, that she's trying to see the walker the way Teddy sees it. Riley assures her she will eventually succeed.
Riley and a crew of workers wait for new arrivals that a patrol saved above ground. The elevator doors open: It's Al, Alicia, Luciana, and Wes. Riley welcomes them to the Holding. Al quietly confirms with Wes that this is the place they were looking for. "The End is the Beginning," reads a message spray-painted on the wall.
Riley interrogates Alicia's group and records their conversations for his leader, Teddy.
Alicia demands her weapon. Riley explains that no outsiders are allowed to carry weapons inside. Alicia tells Riley that her group had been scavenging when his patrol found them.
Wes tells Riley that his group comes from a place that they plan never to return to.
Alicia's group tries to question Riley about his community.
Riley takes Alicia's group on a tour of the Holding and explains that all living creatures eventually decompose into the earth. He reveals that his group is planning to close its doors forever, so that no one will need to go above ground again.
Riley deflects questions from Alicia's group. He tells Alicia he has one question for her: "Can you see?"
Riley takes Alicia to the walker in ivy and asks what she sees. Alicia says she sees a walker that needs to be killed. Riley says that Teddy will be able to guess what's troubling her.
Riley takes each member of Alicia's group to the displayed walker and asks what they see. Luciana says that Riley's question feels like a trick. Riley says that his group likes skeptics. Al asks Riley if everyone in the Holding must answer his question. Wes tells Riley he just sees a walker, then asks who painted the murals on the wall. He mentions that he used to be a painter, like his brother.
Alicia tells Riley that her mother gave her life so that her group could live. Riley points out that her death was their beginning.
Alicia's group convenes and decides they must win over Teddy's trust. Riley announces that Teddy has returned to the Holding.
Everyone gathers at the elevator. The doors open. A group steps out but Teddy is not among them. Wes recognizes one of the men as Derek, his brother. He cries and reunites with Derek.
Wes and Derek catch up with each other. Derek explains his disappearance to Wes, saying he got trapped and passed out in a shed during a food run then woke up in the Holding. Wes asks Derek what Teddy is planning, but Derek says Wes isn't ready to hear about it yet.
Over dinner, Wes tells his group that Derek didn't reveal anything suspicious and wonders if Virginia had been paranoid about Teddy's people. Derek joins them at the table but is urgently called away by Riley. Al suggests they search Derek's bunk.
Al and Wes search Derek's room and find a stash of maps. Al realizes that Derek's group has coordinates for Tank Town and other settlements and is trying to harm communities as much as possible. Some of the maps also reveal the whereabouts of Isabelle's people.
Wes confronts Derek and demands to know why his group is attacking settlements. Derek explains that the only way they can start over is by destroying everything and everyone above ground. Wes says that he nearly died during the attack on Tank Town. Derek insists he didn't know that Wes was at Tank Town. Wes invites Derek to join Morgan's community. Derek recognizes Morgan's name and asks what happened to Virginia. Wes says that Morgan helped bring her down.
Alicia's group escapes in the elevator with Derek. Alicia suspects that Derek is hiding something and refuses to take him back to their community. Riley captures Alicia's group as they exit the elevator.
Riley brings Alicia's group to an embalming room and threatens to kill and embalm them. He offers to spare their lives if they reveal Morgan's whereabouts. Wes realizes Derek betrayed them. Derek gets Riley's permission to try and show Wes the truth.
Derek brings Wes to the displayed walker and asks what he sees. Wes realizes that Derek knew he was at Tank Town during the attack. He tries to grab Derek's gun. A struggle ensues. Wes overpowers Derek and slams him into the walker. The walker mauls Derek, killing him. Wes shoots Derek in the head.
Riley and his crew hear the gunshot. Wes returns and holds Riley at gunpoint. His group escapes into a room filled with embalmed walkers suspended from the ceiling. Al spots a walker in black uniform and peeks under the helmet to make sure it's not Isabelle. The walker snaps at Al. Alicia kills the walker and slashes its throat to release embalming fluid. She orders her group to flee then lights the embalming fluid with a match, setting the room and the rest of the Holding on fire.
Al tells Dwight that she must warn Isabelle about Teddy.
Riley and his associate corner Alicia in the partially burned-out embalming room as charred bodies of Riley's other associates lay nearby. Alicia kills the associate with an embalming tool. Teddy joins them and tells Alicia that he wants to save her, even though she destroyed everything they've been working towards. Alicia says she doesn't need saving. Teddy reaches out his hand and explains that he's been looking for someone like her for a long time.
- Mallory Thompson as CRM Soldier
- Bobby Hernandez as Holding Cultist
- Paul Michael Bloodgood as Holding Cultist
- Maxie Ginn as Valley Town Resident
- Carmella Harper as Valley Town Resident
- Eric Sandell as Valley Town Resident
- Ken Edwards as Office Survivor
- Mallory Thompson as Valley Town Resident
- Nevada Newman as Valley Town Resident
- Pamela Weaver as Office Survivor
- Tim Jones as Valley Town Resident
- Gary Teague as Valley Town Resident
- 1 unnamed CRM soldier (Zombified)
- Many unnamed captives of the Doomsday Cult (Zombified)
- Many unnamed cultists (Off-Screen)
- First appearance of Sabrina.
- First appearance of Jason Riley.
- First appearance of Theodore Maddox.
- First (and last) appearance of Derek.
- First (and last) appearance of Harvey.
- First (and last) appearance of the Holding.
- The title of the episode, "The Holding", refers to the underground bunker that the Doomsday Cult is based in.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on April 29, 2021.
- As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, production had to limit the number of background extras present on set. In an attempt to depict a large population in the Holding, production filmed background extras in different outfits to represent more than one character, and spliced together scenes to show as if more people were present in the scene than in reality.
- Wes briefly references the events of "Channel 4" and "You're Still Here" when he tells Derek that the destruction of his motorcycle is a long story.
- It's revealed that the Doomsday Cult were responsible for the destruction of the funeral home seen in "Alaska".
- Al discovers CRM maps in Derek's possession identical to the ones that she had found on Beckett in "Here to Help". As a result, Al believes that the plague infestation of the Creative Visionaries Agency was aimed at the CRM drop site, not Nora's group.
- A few callbacks to "Here to Help" and "The End of Everything" are made:
- The maps presumably came from a zombified CRM soldier that Al finds in the bunker similar to how Al found them on the zombified Beckett.
- Isabelle had warned Al that if someone finds the maps or Al's tape of them and figures out how to read them, they could do a lot of damage to CRM and what they are trying to build. Using the maps, the cult has been targeting CRM drop sites and attempting to destroy the group.
- Al takes matches from the dead CRM soldier to set the fire in the Holding. Isabelle had previously carried matches that she had used to destroy Al's tape and Beckett's corpse. The match container is also identical to Isabelle's and Al witnessing Isabelle using them is most likely how she knew to find them on the walker.
- Al and Dwight discuss Isabelle and her being "Beer Lady" which is presumably a reference to the beer that Al and Isabelle had shared during their night on the CRM Fuel Drop.
- Alicia setting the Holding on fire is similar to Daniel Salazar's actions in "Shiva" and Madison Clark's in "No One's Gone". Alicia also briefly mentions Madison's sacrifice while talking with Riley.
- Derek is revealed to have been the one to organize the attack on Tank Town and other communities. He was also the one behind at least some of "The End Is the Beginning" messages.
- Despite having attacked the funeral home, it is not shown in Derek's mural of all the locations that have been attacked. However, the mural is not yet completed when Wes finds it.
- Several other communities destroyed by the cult include a bridge camp, a motel, an elementary school, and at least one other community.
- This marks the first time since "The Wrong Side of Where You Are Now" where Alicia has directly killed living people.
- Alicia stabbing Harvey in the eye mimics Madison stabbing Troy Otto in the eye in "Eye of the Beholder".
- When Al shows Wes Derek's notes as proof that he knew about the Tank Town attack, the book is open to his notes about the elementary school, not Tank Town.