This week, Fear the Walking Dead managed to do something that not even The Walking Dead has done that often: String together three consecutive good episodes. It also says something about how badly we’ve been conditioned by The Walking Dead that I was hugely surprised that the episode, “Blood on the Streets,” didn’t end with a cliffhanger, when it would’ve been very easy to let us wonder between episodes if Victor Strand had survived being, uh, stranded in the ocean on deflated lifeboat. However, showrunner Dave Erickson added a 20-second coda to the episode to let us know that Madison and Co., had indeed saved Strand before he succumbed to hypothermia.
It was for the best, because Fear didn’t need a cliffhanger to keep us interested in returning, because they have an intriguing storyline with Strand, his backstory, and how the two will converge. Fear the Walking Dead also pulled off something unusual to The Walking Dead universe tonight: They flashed back to before the zombie virus. In fact, they flashed back to New Orleans after Katrina, where Victor Strand would met Thomas Abigail, the namesake of the yacht he, Madison, Travis, and Co. are now on.
Thomas Abigal and Victor Strand have an unusual relationship, to say the least. Strand meets Thomas in a bar, where they talk business and, after getting Thomas loaded, Victor dumps him in his hotel room and steals his credit cards. Thomas and his associate, Luis (Arturo Del Puerto), however, track Strand down the next morning, and instead of punishing him for theft, Thomas “obligates” him. They become business partners and, apparently, lovers. The house Strand and Co., are traveling to in Baja California is actually that of Thomas’.
The actor who plays Thomas Abigal, Dougray Scott, may be familiar to many viewers, although maybe not as familiar as he once was. Around the turn of the century, Scott was poised to possibly be an A-list action star. He had played Prince Henry in Drew Barrymore’s Ever After:
He also played a major role in Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible II. In fact, he was hand-picked by Tom Cruise.
That role, however, would be a blessing and a curse, because Dougray Scott was also chosen to play Wolverine in the X-Men. Unfortunately, Mission Impossible II ran over schedule, and Wolverine had to be recast. Hugh Jackman, of course, would take the role and play the character for half a dozen movies.
Dougray Scott, meanwhile, had been the leading contender to replace Pierce Brosnan after The World is Not Enough, but Brosnan decided to return to make one more Bond flick. Dougray Scott, once again, was considered the top choice to play Bond after Die Another Day, but by that point, Daniel Craig had come along, and the studio decided instead to go with him.
After missing out on two iconic film roles, Scott’s career faltered. He ended up in the short-lived (but very good) TV series Heist, which was cancelled after five episodes. He would then recur for two seasons on Desperate Housewives, before embarking on a decade of modest roles in mostly forgettable movie and television fare, like Hitman:
A one-off role in Doctor Who:
Two seasons on the forgettable Hemlock Grove:
And a smallish role in Taken 3, as the husband of the ex-wife of Liam Neeson (played by Scott’s Hemlock Grove co-star, Famke Janssen):
Just think: If Mission Impossible II had not ran over schedule, Dougray Scott could’ve ended up playing Wolverine and/or James Bond, and instead of showing up on Fear the Walking Dead in 2016, maybe we’d be seeing Daniel Craig or Hugh Jackman playing the lover and business partner of Victor Strand.