On AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead, which is currently airing its fifth season (and already renewed for a sixth) characters have come and gone. But one that remains solid since the first season is Victor Strand, played by Colman Domingo.
He’s eloquent and charming, but also cunning and calculated. Always quick with a remark, he’s prophetic, speaking the truth (or sometimes simply a truth he has fabricated in his own mind to be as such), but deep down, is a good person who simply finds it difficult to be himself.
During his time with the old group and new, Victor has uttered some interesting, humorous, and philosophical words. Sometimes, they’ve puzzled others, sometimes angered them, and other times made them think.
Here are his 10 best quotes thus far, ranked.
10 Save Yourself
“Save yourself, Nick. Let others drop behind.”
This statement is very telling as to the kind of person Victor is, or perhaps was before the apocalypse since softened him over the last few years. He spoke this line early on to Nick when retrieving a key to help break him out of a quarantine zone. When Nick asked him if he was just going to leave the others without helping them, this is how Victor replied, noting that helping others could hurt them – there was no value added in doing so.
This is the way Victor saw the world, tit for tat. You do for me, I do for you. If there’s nothing in it for me, it isn’t worth my time to help you.
9 Coffee is for Closers
“I look at a person like you and I think. You are a buyer. How do I know? Because I am a closer. I can sell anything, everything.”
In the first season, Victor showed just what a cunning and manipulative person he could be. With the typical salesman attitude, mixed in with some con man flair, he could convince pretty much anyone of anything to get what he wanted. It was a skill he had perfected in the world before, and one he was trying to leverage now that the world had changed.
Victor is fully confident in his abilities to get whatever he wants, because, well, he’s a closer. And he’s not afraid to let anyone and everyone know it.
8 People Are The Danger
“You know what the real danger is on the ocean? It’s people. Strangers. Friends.”
This line, spoken in the second season, showed that Victor recognized early on what was most dangerous in this new world, and it wasn’t the dead, but rather the living. While others fought to connect, help, and trust survivors, Victor wanted to steer clear of anyone who wasn’t part of his inner circle.
Perhaps because of the type of person Victor was, he knew what desperation could do to a person, and how easy it could be to present yourself to someone as something you’re not, then stab them in the back. And in this world, that could mean quite literally.
7 People Don’t Change
“People don’t change. When pressed, when cornered, the artifice falls and the curtain drops. They always show you who they really are.”
Is Victor right or just a cynic? He believes that you are who you are, and while your attitude and actions might change due to circumstance, in the end, your true colors will always shine through.
Fitting given the theatrical way he often speaks, as though he’s reciting a monologue from a Shakespearean play, he uses the analogy of a curtain dropping as someone shows who they really are behind the mask of their performance when they are backed into a corner. Ironically, the statement sort of applies to Victor himself as well, who wears many masks when he needs to, while no one truly knows who the real Victor is, perhaps not even himself.
6 With Tragedy Comes Humor
“It’s not possible to have a sense of tragedy without having a sense of humor.”
Victor is often prophetic in his statements, like this one, which has some truth to it. Sometimes, you have to have a sense of humor about tragic events in order to help you get through them. Victor, like others in the new world, has shared his own sense of tragedy and deals with it in the way he knows best.
Sometimes people might deem his actions or reactions inappropriate or selfish. And sometimes they are. But when you really stop to think about it, he really makes sense with this comment, spoken in the third season. Interesting, the episode is titled “la serpiente” which translates to “The Snake,” a name that Daniel gave to Victor after he betrayed him.
5 Beware of the Revolt
“Dissatisfaction breeds dissent, and dissent leads to revolt.”
Victor knows what people are like, and when they are not happy with their current situation, particularly in large groups, they will speak up. There’s power in numbers. This conflict can breed and grow as dissatisfaction rises, and eventually, as Victor suggests, lead to people rebelling against the system.
We’ve seen it happen time and time again throughout Fear the Walking Dead and the sister series on which it is based, The Walking Dead. Victor is far wiser than people give him credit for, though sometimes slightly too pessimistic.
4 I Like to Drink
“I was an amateur. I’ve gone pro.”
During Victor’s downward spiral following the takedown of the baseball stadium and the sacrificial death of Madison, John Dorie catches him drowning in booze and casually asks if Victor was a drinker even before all of the world went to heck. Victor’s response is typical Victor, adding some humor to his own personal tragedy.
Likening being an amateur to being a casual drinker and being a “pro” to burgeoning on being an alcoholic, Victor makes light of his dire circumstance. Thankfully, it seems he has since gotten out of his funk and has put the liquor behind him, but for celebratory occasions.
3 We’re Just Like Them
“The only difference between us and the passed is a few day’s rations.”
When you stop to think about it, Victor is terrifyingly correct about this statement. Without food to sustain them, the group would most certainly eventually perish. And as any fan of the show knows, once you pass on, regardless of how (with the exception of a significant blow to the brain) you reanimate and become the walking dead.
So those beings walking about aimlessly, with the sole need to feed on human flesh are really just like humans, who are also walking around aimlessly, seeking out sustenance and water to keep themselves alive.
2 The Rules of the Boat
“Please, let me explain the rules of the boat. Rule number one, it’s my boat. Rule number two, it is my boat. And if there remains any confusion about rules one and two, I offer rule number three, it’s my goddamn boat.”
In the second season when Victor leads to the group to his wonderful boat in hopes of escaping on the water and finding refuge somewhere safe, everyone seems to have an opinion. And Victor wants to make it clear that he’s in charge.
That means don’t touch his things, don’t try and boss people around, particularly him, and he makes the decision. Because, well, it’s his goddamn boat.
1 Embrace the Madness
“The only way to survive a mad world is to embrace the madness.”
Arguably the most well-known and truthful statement uttered from Victor through the series’ run thus far, he speaks these words to Nick when the young man asks if he’s insane. If you don’t embrace the madness and simply try to run from it or pretend it doesn’t exist, you can’t survive.
Just like any problem in life or dire circumstance, you must embrace it in order to get through. It has worked so far for Victor, though he has been near death more than once. But embracing the madness at this point is the only choice left to make.