Fear The Walking Dead 3×14, “El Matadero”, took Ofelia from us and broke our hearts.
AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead tore into us this week with episode 3×14, “El Matadero”. We learned that Ofelia (Mercedes Mason) was bitten in the air vent in 3×13, and it is only a matter of time before she turns. She makes Madison (Kim Dickens) promise to bring her to her father after the group discovers this. They manage to get into El Bazar, the trading post we saw earlier this season, as they wait for Daniel (Ruben Blades) to arrive. Strand (Colman Domingo) is furious that Madison is risking all their lives by sneaking in the bitten Ofelia, and storms off in an attempt to meet with the mysterious Proctor John who is apparently running the show at the post. With Strand gone, Madison and Walker (Michael Greyeyes) try to ease Ofelia’s suffering with painkillers and Gatorade.
Elsewhere, Troy (Daniel Sharman) and Nick (Frank Dillane) have finally caught up with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), who set out on her own after the ranch fell. She refuses to go back with them, and absolves Nick of responsibility for her, and sends them packing. After Nick and Troy make it back to the trading post, Nick seeks out his mother who asks him to stay with Ofelia… and the pills Ofelia had taken. Unable to resist, Nick steals the pills and takes them with Troy to embark on a different sort of trip. The two set off to find The Butcher, a drug-dealer of sorts, who sets them up with adrenaline glands as the ultimate high. They sneak out, walking amongst the dead, all the while Troy – for once! – is trying to be the voice of reason and pull Nick back to some slight reality. Nick breaks slightly, hugging Troy, saying “I can’t go back.”
Back out in the desert, Alicia is scavenging on her own when she comes across another survivor – Diana (Edwina Findley). After a tense stand-off between the two, where Diana says she will “crack you open like a coconut”, they agree to share their finds of the day and stick together, despite each wanting to be alone. The episode ends with the reunion we waited all season for when Daniel and Ofelia would finally be together again. What many of us didn’t anticipate was that this reunion would be tragically heartbreaking, with Ofelia dying literally moments before Daniel’s arrival. He threatens Madison, he hugs and then shoots his daughter, and buries her. Daniel returns to Madison saying the trading post is no place for her and, after all that, invites her and her crew back to the dam. Nick and Troy stay behind at the trading post, trying to play it off like they’re doing Madison a favor, but she’s onto them. With neither of her kids wanting to be around her, she heads for the dam with Strand, Walker, Crazy Dog (Justin Rain), and Daniel.
Let’s try to get through this sad and confusing episode of Fear The Walking Dead together. Our roundtable is here to help:
Sandra (@iamthesandradee): Airport operations, avid FearTWD fan, and all around movie/tv nerd
Karina (@KarBar321): Founder of @feartheheda on Instagram, FearTWD/TWD fanatic, from New Jersey.
Tess (@chasinginsight): I’m a mental health counselor, and for self-care, I fangirl. An avid fan of FearTWD/TWD/GOT/Lexa.
Jeffrey (@TWalkingDWorld): TWD/FearTWD enthusiast and A&E Editor of the Niner Times
Bianca (@binkys711): TV and movie buff, a huge nerd from San Diego.
Cameron (@_TWDCam): Self-employed IT consultant, convention goer, comic enthusiast, huge FTWD/TWD fan
Max (@FTWD_Memes): I’m a Paramedic, FearTWD addict and the other half of FearSource
1. Alicia made a new friend in this episode, Diana. What do you want to see out of these two going forward? Carving their own path? Meeting up with the main group again?
Sandra (@iamthesandradee): They will inevitably meet up with the group, but I hope that doesn’t happen until season 4. I enjoyed seeing Nick striking out on his own away from everyone else last season and I hope to see more of Alicia’s journey apart from the core group for just a little while longer. I think her partnership with Diana has endless possibilities and it would open up the world of the series just a bit more keeping them on their own path for a few episodes.
Karina (@KarBar321): Going into this episode, knowing that it was the beginning of Alicia fully and finally embracing the apocalypse on her own, I was beyond excited. Diana and Alicia fit together like a glove. They’re both snarky and I’m already in love with this duo. They’re both badass women and I hope to see them to just be on their own together for a bit. Seeing how Alicia handled the dead in the bunker last week and Diana handling them in the restaurant, would for sure be an unstoppable force.
Tess (@chasinginsight): Like what Nick stated, there is safety in numbers and Alicia connecting with Diana is a positive thing. I enjoy the banter shared between them, and I hope to see friendship growing. Alicia is strong but I still feel she’s naïve to how it is out there, and if she continues to follow through on her initial plan or go elsewhere, I think having Diana part of that journey would be beneficial, for safety, support and some kind of human connection. People need people, and I think they’ll try to carve their own path however they’ll eventually reconnect with the main group.
Jeffrey (@TWalkingDWorld): Diana already has me so intrigued and I seriously hope she becomes a main character in the series. I would really like to see her and Alicia stick together and carve their own path, even though they have both stated that they want to be alone. They really seemed to hit it off with each other and I can definitely see them going to the cabin that Jake told Alicia about, but I think they will ultimately meet back up with the main group next season. I think it would be epic to see Diana teach Alicia how to use the pickaxe; what an epic weapon to have in the zombie apocalypse!
Bianca (@binkys711): I’m all for Alicia carving her own path and coming back later on as a moral warrior. I would like to see her actually be able to find a way to live in a world where her ideals aren’t completely compromised. Is it possible? Doubtful. But I have hope! I’m stoked to see what Diana can teach Alicia and visa-versa (friends are always good, Diana). They’re a good team for the foreseeable future.
Cameron (@_TWDCam): What an introduction for Diana into the main series, really enjoyed her coming in with the pickaxe and killing those walkers. Going forward I hope/expect to see them remain together at least until the end of this season. Get the sense of a very good dynamic between the pair.
Max (@FTWD_Memes): I want to see Alicia and Diana actually becoming friends. Diana is exactly the kind of person Alicia needs to be around right now. Diana is level-headed and has a way to get supplies and provisions. Alicia is smart and resourceful, they would make great partners for the apocalypse.
2. Nick and Troy solidified their bromance with blood and drugs. What do think they’ll get up to on their own in the Bazar?
Sandra: “I solemnly swear I am up to no good” seems to be their motto. If it isn’t Troy gleefully and recklessly doing stupid things, it’s Nick, and now he has relapsed into his old ways, which was incredibly disappointing. I did find it interesting watching Troy react to drugged up Nick. I never thought I’d see Troy trying to be the rational one in the group.
Karina: Oh boy. Just seeing Nick glance at the drugs made me upset that he’s relapsing. Troy is, for once, not in control of the situation. He doesn’t know this environment, but Nick does. With Nick being on drugs, he may persuade Troy to join him like he did this episode, but I’m hoping Troy will keep a leveled head this time. Who knows, maybe their bromance will spark into something more after this hmm?
Tess: They will continue to be reckless and destructive. Nick relapsed with the pills in this episode but I feel he had relapsed awhile back. I think Nick was drawn to Troy because of his risky and impulsive actions, that fed into his addict behaviors.
Jeffrey: I think Nick and Troy will get into some trouble at El Bazar. Nothing good can come from them experimenting with drugs in such a hostile and lawless environment. I am genuinely worried that one of the two will overdose, similarly to what happened to Nick’s girlfriend Gloria in the pilot episode. Nick really seems like he wants to be away from Madison for a bit, so it is definitely possible that this will just be a break for him, but I’m sure something bad will happen that will force him and Troy to the Dam.
Bianca: Shenanigans and then something really amazing that will help everybody, in doing so, I think Nick is going to get Troy killed. I think most believe Nick and Troy are two sides of the same coin, but they’re both equally deluded and selfish characters. Nick has defended and protected Troy thus far because he feels this need to protect someone that is like him. He has been trying to work off the pain he’s caused everyone this season, now that he’s been released from that burden, he’s taking Troy along for the ride. Being kindred spirits with such a destructive force of nature is going to kill Troy in the search of the next high or the next time Nick needs to rise to the occasion to help. The reflective loss of Troy will either snap Nick back into place or send him down an even darker apocalyptic rabbit hole of addiction. Time will tell. Anyone care for some brain stem while we wait?
Cameron: Whilst alone in Bazar I don’t really see them stepping up and becoming part of the setup there or have any major impact. They’ll probably just wait around, doing drugs or whatever until Madison comes back for supplies.
Max: Since Nick has returned to his junkie ways, I’m assuming that’s pretty much what he will drag Troy into. Troy will probably be more of a babysitter though, he doesn’t seem to be the drug type. I’m sure Nick will give him plenty to deal with.
3. What do you think Strand is planning behind everyone’s back?
Sandra: Who knows when it comes to Victor Strand? The man is a walking enigma. It’s both enjoyable and frustrating never knowing what he is up to. I’m sure the man is a brilliant chess player.
Karina: For this, I have absolutely no clue. I love Strand with all my heart, but he is a sneaky man. Daniel is right in the sense that, Strand truly can’t be trusted. The things he does, he only does them if it benefits him in the end. I just hope that whatever he’s planning, won’t hurt our beloved characters.
Tess: Strand is always coming up with plans that are a step ahead of others. I’m hoping it’s not about the dam, but it’s probably about the dam. lol Strand is a smart guy, and I hope he learned not to cross Daniel.
Jeffrey: We know that Strand is one sneaky man, but I am seriously shocked to see him working behind Madison’s back. Whatever he is doing, it doesn’t seem like it will help her or the group, which is strange considering it seemed like he had become more of a team player. I think it is definitely possible that Strand will create some kind of a deal to feed information about the Dam to Proctor John or maybe even help him assist in taking it over. This could possibly be the start of Strand’s evolution into a villain for the series, pitting him against those at the Dam.
Bianca: He doesn’t trust Daniel that much is clear. To a further extent he fears him. Strand on a good day can barely be trusted to not backstab someone to further his needs, couple that with his fear of Daniel? He’s definitely going to be the brains in trying to take over that dam. It’s an odd thing to me that he would choose to go with the Proctor versus the devil-he-knows. That being said, Daniel can be a loose cannon with a murderous rampage while the Proctor holds and maintains a viable and well stocked trade post that can be crucial. I’m not sure it’s going to end well for Strand. He keeps juggling fire and one of these days he’s going to engulf himself in the flames. Oh no wait, that was Daniel. Haaaaarr! That didn’t end well for him either.
Cameron: My initial thoughts for Strand and his actions this episode was that he set up the drug situation for Nick and the Butcher. I think he had some kind of influence on the Butcher, in hope that if Nick was back on drugs then Madison wouldn’t want to leave him and go to the dam with Daniel. Come the end of the episode and seeing the promo for next week, maybe even Strand told the Bazar people about the water and the dam and they are the new threat for the dam.
Max: I honestly have no idea, but knowing Strand will do or promise anything that will put him on top I think he may have made a deal with Proctor John for the dam. Proctor John didn’t seem interested in the dam when Dante was there somebody must have alerted him to it and I bet it was Strand.
4. This week we lost Ofelia. What has been your favorite moment of hers this season?
Sandra: I can’t pinpoint it to just one moment. I did, however, enjoy her evolution into the fearless survivor she became; she was such a long way from the young woman we were introduced to back in LA in her father’s shop. Her quiet strength was something I came to admire. I am glad we had a few more moments between her and Alicia because I’ve always loved their relationship and I’m grateful they were able to reconcile with each other. I also really came to love Ofelia’s relationship with Qaletaqa and Crazy Dog, particularly the latter after the last couple of episodes, and I am disappointed we didn’t learn more about her time with the Nation before she was reunited with the group at the ranch.
Karina: I’m going to miss Ofelia on the show. She’s an incredible character that rose to be an amazing woman and fighter, even after her mother’s death and her father’s death (at the time). My favorite moment of hers this season has got to be when she tricked the ranch and got most of their militia poisoned. It was a risky move, but in my opinion was bad ass. She finally found herself in Walker’s group, when before in season 2, she contemplated not living anymore. She has grown so much over the 3 seasons and it’s unfortunate we won’t be able to see her anymore.
Tess: My favorite moment of Ofelia this season was in Episode 8 when Nick visited her and they talked about guilt. That is when she stated, “I guess I am my father’s daughter.”
Jeffrey: Ofelia wasn’t featured all that heavily in Season 3, but her standout moment for me is the small scene between her and Crazy Dog in the vent. She has really hardened over the course of the series, but her humanity is still intact, as seen in her care for Crazy Dog’s well-being. I’ve always viewed Ofelia as a calmer presence in the series and this scene is the epitome of that.
Bianca: This season has been interesting for me as a viewer to try to grapple with Ofelia’s decisions. Seeing her side with Taka so much over people she had known and survived with since the fall of civilization; so much happened to her off-screen that I could never really reconcile her new allegiances. My favorite scene was her goodbye scene. Her saying she wished she had gotten to know her dad. She had known one man her whole life with brief glimpses of the other. She had been grappling in how to come to terms that they were one and the same. Her struggle with his dual identity and believing she had lost this semi-stranger she loved for is what fueled her character this season I believe, finding a new home, finding a new male figure to look up to and seeing how her father’s darkness was inside of her (Anthrax anyone?) and trying to fight that. A second favorite was the scene she has with Nick in episode 10 this season, where they talk about guilt for their actions and the extent of that, if any. It was heartbreaking to see her final breath was still in a sense an existential crisis and the hope of a reconciliation of those identities. Major props to Mercedes Mason for having us root and care for Ofelia, she will be missed!
Cameron: Such a shame to lose Ofelia, going into this season I wanted to see much more of her and in honesty we never got the amount I had hoped for. With her going away back in S2 I thought it would be good to get a standalone episode for her this season about the journey other than just the few minutes we got in the first half. She’s had some decent scenes this season, especially when she has been by Alicia’s side.
Max: Attacking the militia with Anthrax. If she had succeeded and gotten Troy then the ranch would still be around. That episode also showed how far Ofelia has come from the first time we saw her in S1.
5. What were your thoughts on the tragic Ofelia and Daniel reunion? Talk us through your feelings on this scene.
Sandra: Last week I commented that I didn’t think we’d see a Salazar reunion until the finale, so Ofelia being killed off moments before Daniel arrived this week was something I never expected. While I’m feeling somewhat bitter they weren’t able to say a proper goodbye, Ofelia’s parting words to Madison for her father and Daniel’s reactions were beautifully heartbreaking. This is the second week in a row this show has made me cry. They need to stop that. No one from the main cast is allowed to die in the finale next week!
Karina: This scene, literally broke my heart. All season, since season two even, when I knew Daniel survived that fire, I have been waiting for the moment Daniel and Ofelia could finally reunite. Daniel was a few seconds too late to say goodbye to her daughter and it was an extremely emotional moment. The fact that Daniel has now lost both his wife and daughter and couldn’t actually say his goodbyes to either of them, breaks my heart. For a second, I thought Daniel might have turned the gun on himself rather than his daughter due to being overcome by grief, but thankfully, he didn’t. Daniel Salazar is an amazing character that has had to deal with so much pain, and I hope he gets to relax soon. My man needs a nap.
Tess: I actually tweeted about this earlier in the week, hoping it would not be similar to the reunion on TWD with Maggie and Beth. Mercedes also liked that tweet. Talk about foreshadowing. Throughout the season, I was looking forward to a Salazar reunion and for it to happen this way, was heartbreaking. I gasped when Ofelia fell off the truck and learned she was bitten. My thoughts ran back and forth to whether or not Ofelia and Daniel would be able to talk to each other before the inevitable. There was a sense of urgency on my part but like Ofelia and Madison, we all had to wait for Daniel. My tears were running when Ofelia died and when Daniel finally appeared, I was sobbing. Daniel lost his daughter twice, and it breaks my heart. I’m going to miss Ofelia so much. 🙁
Jeffrey: The Ofelia/Daniel reunion really reminds me of the tragic Beth/Maggie scene in “The Walking Dead,” but this didn’t have the same shocking feel to it. I have been predicting for a while that one of the two would die before their reunion and unfortunately it came true. Daniel calling out Ofelia’s name as he slowly realized that she was dead had me in tears. While I’m not happy that they decided to kill Ofelia off, I have to commend the powerful performances in this scene; I seriously felt like I was watching a father saying goodbye to his daughter.
Bianca: OKAY. UGH. Breathe. I had issues, a lot of issues with this “reunion”. It’s already a known death sentence when you know there’s going to be a long-awaited reunion, it’s falling to the same traps as TWD. The surprise now for audiences is when characters DO survive enough to reunite and it NOT end in tragedy 2.5 seconds later. This one particularly hurt because he was so damn close. It was to a lesser extent almost like Beth, except less shocking since we knew right off the bat she was going to die but I just kept yelling for her to hold on just a little more JUST HOLD ON GURL and then she literally drew her last breath as the car pulled up. Like, really? REALLY?! I feel jipped…again. I just kept whining at the TV how it wasn’t fair. Yes, I know what universe I’m watching, but for once, it would be incredibly refreshing to have an actual proper goodbye in a reunion. I’m looking at you writers! At this point, these kinds of events are sure-fire death sentences, throw me for a loop here and actually make a reunion stick. Plot. Twist.
Cameron: I didn’t think we would be losing Ofelia this season but the moment I saw the bite at the front end of the episode I knew there was no way she would remain alive to see her father one last time. The feelings were, of course, sad, I think the reaction of Daniel was greatly performed by Ruben Blades.
Max: The stress that Daniel hasn’t arrived and Ofelia is going downhill quickly. Madison having a tender moment with Ofelia it’s so sad, they had survived so much together. Daniel arrived just a few seconds too late, that was heart-wrenching. ‘That doesn’t count as a reunion’ was pretty much all I thought, that was not at all how I thought that scene would go down. I really wanted Ofelia and Daniel to at least get a chance to say their goodbyes.
6. How do you think Daniel will cope with Ofelia’s death?
Sandra: He truly has nothing to lose now and that makes him even more dangerous than ever.
Karina: I have no idea how Daniel will cope with Ofelia’s death. Knowing how he was with Griselda’s death, I hope he doesn’t go through that again. My only wish is that he remains alive and happy and if being happy to him means protecting Lola, then may he keep on protecting her. I simply hope for the best. He deserves it.
Tess: I think we’ve seen glimpses of Daniel surrendering and accepting things he has no control over and would like to cope with Ofelia’s death by tapping into his new sense of spirituality however the control and power of his old ways of thinking and behaving are always on the surface. I am ready to see Daniel’s ruthlessness.
Jeffrey: I actually don’t think Daniel will be broken by the death of Ofelia. He had already come to accept the possibility that she was dead and he was willing to keep his distance from her after he learned that she was alive. That being said, I am sure he will become a darker and potentially a more reckless person now that he has lost everyone he cares about; he really has nothing to lose other than his own life. Hopefully he is able to turn his grief and guilt into a drive to protect the Dam, because we know something bad is coming.
Bianca: I think Daniel is going to try to be the man Ofelia wanted him to be. He’s fought long and hard to bury his demons, now with nothing left to lose it would seem he would be more lethal than ever, and while that’s true, I doubt that’s the path he will take. When Ofelia died he said, “This is the price”, essentially the price for all the atrocities he had done up until this point. He sees now how much that cost, he’s paid it. I don’t think he wants to revert back to it, but it’s definitely going to be his struggle moving forward.
Cameron: Daniel will cope as well as anyone could, I think he will certainly try and get the full truth regarding her death and primarily the horde. He will most certainly find out about Nick covering for Troy. I think it was a little disappointing that we didn’t get to see Daniel burying his daughter, that should’ve been included rather than him just telling Madison at the end.
Max: Since Daniel seems to be very fond of Lola I think he will become extra protective of her and the dam. He is also not a very forgiving guy, so if he ever finds out Troy is responsible for the infected herd babysitting Nick will be the least of Troy’s worries.
7. There were many touching moments and deep conversations in episode 3×14. Which one was your favorite and why?
Sandra: You’re right, there were so many great moments and conversations between many of the characters. If I have to narrow it down to one, though, I’d have to pick the moments between Nick and Alicia at the beginning of the episode. I loved Nick trying to be a good big brother to his little sister. It was especially touching after Alicia’s admission last week that once upon a time she looked up to Nick very much when they were younger so that tugged all my heartstrings.
Karina: Overall, my favorite moment this episode has to be the scene with Ofelia and Madison, right before her death. Ofelia mentioned that she was looking forward to getting to know her father, but Madison comforted her in her final moments, telling her she did. That kids know everything even when their parents didn’t tell them. Ofelia knew her father, and she loved him regardless and I believe that, then and there, she was happy to have known him and was off at last, in peace from the pain.
Tess: My favorite was the conversation between Alicia and Nick. The dynamic between siblings have always interested me, and I liked when Alicia mentioned atonement or making amends. She forgave Nick and told him that he doesn’t owe her or Madison anything, and that he deserves what he can make out of this life. Alicia and Nick, like always, are on different paths, but this time they seemed to have switched roles in their family dynamics. Alicia is now out on her own and Nick is trying to be there for Madison, which I feel is one of the reasons why he relapsed. He probably felt overwhelmed about that role or responsibility and could not cope.
Jeffrey: The most touching moment was the conversation between Madison and Ofelia just moments before she slipped away. Ofelia asking Madison to put her down in the case that she turned really reminded me of the promise made between Liza and Madison in Season 1. The idea of literally becoming a monster when you die and turn is frightening and Ofelia is right, no one should have to see their loved one like that. Unfortunately, as we have seen, the brutality of the world places our characters in situations where they are forced to see their loved ones in horrific situations.
Bianca: There were two very important ones here for me, the first in the episode was Alicia and Nick. Her saying she forgives him and releasing him from his burdens. I think it was something we all needed to hear from her, especially Nick, whether he believed it or not. It’s also what’s now catapulted him to relapse and will move his character arc forward again, or in a vicious addict-like cycle. She has allowed him to atone and his fortitude for keeping it together has crumbled because he, at least in his eyes, is no longer needed. It reminded me of Nurse Jackie in a sense, where she was sober when all the shit hit the fan and high as a kite when everything was calm. Nick said when he was rejoinining the zombie horde, “don’t fight it” and with the power of forgiveness he’s definitely riding that relapse train straight to guiltville later on. He keeps teetering on that edge, now with a co-addict (in a different sense) and every time he does, it brings him that much closer to death. The second was Ofelia’s death scene, again because it just brings a lot of things to light while leaving a sense of “what the hell is going to happen now”. The Salazar’s changed a lot this season as a byproduct of believing they had lost each other, each fighting their darkness, but in the end they had already created a moral debt and that debt needed to be paid. It was painful and poignant and just great character dynamics.
Cameron: My favourite touching moment from this episode is the conversation between Ofelia and Madison just before Ofelia died. At this moment I knew she wasn’t going to make it and too see the van with Daniel inside pull up seconds/minutes later was both infuriating and saddening for me.
Max: I loved Diana saying “The problem ain’t the killing, it’s the friends. This is the life.” I think Alicia thought she would reach the cabin Jake told her about and try to live a normal life and forget the world. Diana understands that the world she is in is the new normal, there is no escape. Any relationships that are formed will end in tragedy sooner or later.
Final Verdict: Pass the tissues, we’re still sad. But at least we have a new buddy now.
Fear The Walking Dead 3×14 was a trip. After last week’s episode, we don’t know what we were expecting, but it wasn’t this. We figured we’d be hit with another death in the finale (which of course is still possible) but felt blindsided by Ofelia’s death. But then, this is the world of Fear. Anyone can go at any time and no one is really all that special to survive, it all comes down to luck. All we wanted this entire season was the reunion of Daniel and Ofelia, and now that we got it, we just feel empty and sad. Mercedes Mason was incredible in this role, and we will miss seeing her every week. We would have loved to see Ofelia and Daniel become a badass, no-nonsense team similar to Rick and Carl in The Walking Dead, but alas, they were meant to be Maggie and Beth all along. Ruben Blades’ acting in this episode was breathtaking. We’ve mentioned before that he steals whatever scene he’s in, but oh man. You were right there with him through his suspicion, confusion, grief, and anger. You felt everything Daniel was feeling in those scenes, and he definitely brought out the waterworks for us. What an actor. What a scene.
We also welcomed a new member to our Fear family, Edwina Findley. Talk about a great introduction scene! She swooped into that fast food joint, slew all the infected with a pickaxe (a weapon we haven’t seen yet in this world), and held her own when confronting Alicia. We don’t know much about her, but we can’t wait to learn more. With Ofelia gone, the show needs more kickass ladies around, and we hope Edwina’s Diana is around for a long time.