"The Portrait" is the seventh episode of the seventh season of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. It is the ninety-second episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 28, 2021, the same night as "Death and the Dead", the ninth episode of the second season of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. It was written by Nick Bernardone and directed by Heather Cappiello.
Strand sits still while a woman paints his portrait at the tower. He orders the artist to paint him the way he sees himself, not the way she sees him. Howard brings Strand the intake phone to speak with Arno, a prospective resident who offers his carpentry skills. Strand says they already have someone with Arno's skill set, then hangs up on him.
Throughout the week, Strand takes calls from prospective residents while he sits for his portrait. He rejects everyone. Howard suggests Strand at least meet some of the people, but Strand says he's following his instincts. One day, Howard tells Strand they have a caller that Strand will want to see with his own eyes.
The painter finally finishes Strand's portrait. Strand stares at it and hears walker sounds in his head.
Strand hurls the portrait off the roof. He orders Howard to find Morgan and grant him entry into the tower.
Inside the tower, Strand asks Morgan why he came. Morgan says he had no choice when Mo fell ill.
June examines Mo. Morgan accuses June of siding with Strand, but June defends her decision. She reports that Mo has a double ear infection and says it will take 36 to 48 hours to know if the antibiotics are working.
Strand pours a drink for himself and Morgan and starts to demand a favor. They're interrupted when a walker slams into the window. Strand sees a group of assailants flinging walkers at the building with a catapult. Another walker is catapulted through the window, followed by a large explosion that rocks the building. Howard runs in and says their assailants, the "Stalkers", want to talk to Strand.
Strand gets on the intake phone and speaks to the leader of the Stalkers: it's Arno. Arno says that he stuffed pieces of a leaking nuclear warhead into some of the walkers. He threatens to fling contaminated walkers at the tower unless Strand grants his group residency. He gives Strand an hour to decide. After hanging up, Strand doubles over in pain and gasps for breath.
Strand wakes up in bed and insists he was poisoned. Howard radios John Sr. for a status update from the roof.
John Sr. aims his rifle at the Stalkers, but warns that shooting them would cause a massive explosion. Morgan offers to radio Grace for help, but Strand says there are no radios in the tower. Morgan implores Strand to relay a message to the armory, where the walkies are located. Strand reluctantly agrees. Howard tries to radio the armory, but the line has been severed. Arno flings another walker at the tower as a warning after spotting John Sr.'s gun. Strand vomits blue liquid. June realizes he was indeed poisoned.
Strand tells Howard and John Sr. that there's a traitor in the tower and insists on going to the armory himself to radio Grace. He lets slip that he turned Sarah away from the tower, much to Wendell's surprise. Strand takes Mo and refuses to give her back unless Morgan accompanies him to the armory.
Morgan shimmies down the cable of an elevator shaft to reach the armory. Strand comforts Mo as she cries, then lowers her down to Morgan. Strand asks Morgan to find Alicia and says that he didn't personally look for her because he doesn't think Alicia wants to be found by him.
Strand wakes up almost fully recovered from the poisoning and finds June and Morgan at his side. Morgan says Grace and Sarah helped overtake the Stalkers. Strand realizes Morgan could have left him for dead and says maybe they'll find Alicia together. Morgan holds out his hand to help Strand up. Strand sees a blue stain on Morgan's thumb and realizes that Morgan poisoned his drink with methylene blue. He attacks Morgan. Morgan holds Strand over the edge of the elevator shaft, but Howard shows up and abducts Morgan at gunpoint.
Rangers hold Morgan over the edge of the roof. Grace calls to warn Strand that some of the radioactive walkers joined the herd around the tower and will either explode or leak radiation. She offers to remove the irradiated walkers in exchange for Morgan's life. Strand agrees but says she and Mo must live at the tower. He orders rangers to retrieve his painting.
Strand stares at the salvaged painting, now darkened with dirt and grime, and says this is the way people need to see him. He orders Howard to bring Mo so that she can get used to her new father.
Dwight and Sherry bring Morgan to a camp and escort him to the leader: it's Alicia. They embrace. Alicia says she asked Dwight and Sherry to find him. They're interrupted by an alarm as walkers approach the camp. Morgan sees a giant tumor on a walker's belly and realizes that it's irradiated. He warns everyone to hold their fire, but it's too late. Alicia's group fires at the walkers. The walkers explode into balls of fire and fill the air with radiation. Morgan orders everyone to run.
- Avaya White as Morgan
- Many unnamed Stalkers (5 Off-Screen; Several Confirmed Fate)
- 3 unnamed Tower residents (Alive; Zombified, Off-Screen)
- First appearance of Arnold.
- First (and last) appearance of Juliana. (Unknown)
- The title of the episode, "The Portrait", refers to the portrait of Victor Strand made by Juliana.
- This episode was made available for streaming to subscribers of AMC Premiere on November 21, 2021.
- The ninth episode of Season 2 of The Walking Dead: World Beyond is played directly after this episode.
- This episode marks the return of Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Clark) and Daryl Mitchell (Wendell) to the series.
- It's revealed that Howard's raid on the sub in "Six Hours" was for the sub's comms equipment which is how Strand has been able to create the hardlines inside of his Tower.
- It's revealed that the men who sought Dwight, Sherry and Mickey's help in "Till Death" were actually Alicia's men.
- It's revealed that the Stalkers are a rogue faction that split off from Alicia's group, meaning that they are former members of the Doomsday Cult.