The return of Daniel Salazar. Yes, you read that right. One of our fan favorites is back! On tonight’s fourth episode of season 3 of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, we find out what has happened to Daniel since he set the hacienda ablaze and what he had to do to survive.
We see Daniel’s struggle with the man who he once was before he got married, had Ofelia and moved to Los Angeles. His need to be forgiven of his sins. What a person is capable of doing or sacrificing in order to stay alive or get what they need. We meet a couple of new characters and of course Strand still doing what he does best. At least he never disappoints, am I right?
Both Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead have been known to add a few filler episodes with little to no infected/walkers action. The purpose being to either build tension within the storyline or character build. Now, as for me, there are quite a few that I can do without in both series, but this episode, I feel, needed to happen. Especially finding out the Daniel was still alive. Fans would need to know how Daniel survived the fire and how he ended up at the dam working with Dante. This episode gives us those answers.
Season 3, Episode 4: 100
So the episode starts off with a glimpse of the burning hacienda, then we see Daniel (Ruben Blades) walking for what may seem like days. He obviously is severely dehydrated and burned on his hands, back of his neck, and right leg. He hides from a group of infected only to have one notice him. He tries to hide under a car but the infected grabs him by the leg. As soon as she is about to bite his charred leg, she is distracted by a barking dog. She leaves Daniel and the dog runs off. Daniel is saved.
Sometime later, he comes to and, from under the car, notices someone killing an infected. He pulls him from under the car and here is where we meet our first new character, Efrain Morales (Jesse Borrego). Daniel begs him for water and Efrain tells him that he has good and bad news. Good, that he has water and would be happy to share it, bad, that they will have to walk to get it. Efrain also tells Daniel that he is dying due to the look at the burns on his leg but knows someone that can help him.
They go to a hidden outdoor market where there is a fountain. When they reach it, it is dry and Daniel thinks that Efrain is playing him. Then like clockwork, at 5 pm, the fountain starts to flow, a slight stream but enough to get what they need. Daniel asks where the water is coming from and Efrain tells him that every day at the same time a little miracle happens.
(Okay…there’s a discrepancy here. In the episode, the subtitles say that the water is turned on “every Tuesday”, but if you know Spanish, then you know that he, in fact, says “every day”.) Just something for you trivia buffs like me who notice every detail and/or mistake.
Hiding from Dante’s men and dodging the infected, Efrain rides through the horde to deliver water to the survivors that remain in the town. Daniel collapses due to either pain or infection in his wounded leg. He wakes up to Efrain and our other new character, Lola Guerrero (Lisandra Tena), discussing whether to save his leg or not. Lola tries to save it by scraping the charred and infected skin off while Daniel screams in pain.
Some time has passed and Daniel is now healing from his wound but walking with a crutch and scavenging with Efrain. They talk and being a barber, Daniel cuts Efrain’s hair. Daniel admits that he feels that the time has come to pay for his sins of killing people…96 in all. But what is truly weighing on his mind is that he burned down the hacienda and while it was burning he heard Ofelia calling to him. He fought to escape and collapsed. When he woke up, he found everything and everyone burned and was not sure if his daughter was amongst the dead. He asks Efrain for forgiveness.
He goes out into the storm and fights of some infected. Loses his crutch in the process and just before he gives up, he kneels and begins to pray. He opens his eye to see lightning strike the infected in the head and they both fall back and collapse. In begins to rain on Daniel in the already flooded flood channel.
Dam workers find Daniel alive while clearing out a storm drain. Lola finds them and realizes it’s Daniel and offers him help by hiring him to work for the dam. It’s either that or Dante will find out that Lola is that one helping send water to the town. She takes him to the dam and gives him a quick rundown of how Dante is now in control of distributing water to people but at his own discretion. She gives him a uniform and tells him that they do not know each other in any way to keep their cover.
While eating, Daniel fails to stand as Dante walks in. J. C., one of Dante’s officers, confronts Daniel but Daniel tries his best to ignore the situation. J. C. pushes and Daniel takes his fork and stabs him in the hand. Dante stops J. C. from killing Daniel because he is intrigued by Daniel. He knows there is something different about him especially coming from San Salvador. He right away puts 2 and 2 together and figures out that Daniel is a member of “Sombra Negra” which in English means “Black Shadow.” He tells J. C. that he shouldn’t be picking fights with an assassin, especially one trained by the C.I.A. Daniel is now treated like royalty.
Dante asks Daniel want he wants and tells him to speak freely. Daniels asks for a Jeep to look for someone. Dante agrees and offers him whatever he wants if he will help him find who is stealing his water. Dante gives Daniels his word.
Daniel goes out with Dante’s men to search for the water thief. They come across the fountain which is dry. They are about to leave and Daniel notices the clock which reads 10 seconds to 5 pm. He knows that they men are headed back towards the fountain and will find it, he decides to do the unthinkable. He sells out Efrain.
He tries to explain to Lola that it had to be done or the men would have found the fountain. She doesn’t understand. He tries to tell her that he was protecting her but she thinks he did it for his own selfish reason to stay alive and get what he wants. What he is warning her to do is to stop sending water to the fountain. If she doesn’t and they find her, they will kill her and he won’t be able to help her.
While outside guarding, Daniel sees that a familiar face has arrived at the dam. Strand (Colman Domingo) from the previous episode. He watches as he is captured but says nothing about knowing him. This leads to the final scene in last week’s episode where he tells Strand in the cell that he knew he would be his guardian angel to which Strand replies, “or his angel of death.” He asks for Ofelia. Strand hesitates but tells him that they all fled the hacienda. All believing he was dead. Before he tells him that she took off on her own, you see his face suddenly change and he instead tells Daniel what he wants to hear in order to save himself. He tells him that she is at the hotel in Rosarito and that he will take him to her, that she is waiting for him and all he has to do is free him. Daniel realizes he is lying to save his own ass and tells him that he will say anything to save himself. He tells Strand that he will rot there and walks away.
Daniel is called by Dante and walks in on Dante torturing Efrain to make him talk. He hands him off to Daniel. Daniel approaches Efrain who is strapped to the chair and bleeding. He tells Efrain that if he talks, He and Lola will both die, but if he doesn’t talk, he will have to kill him himself. Efrain tells him that that doesn’t leave him with many options and Daniel realizes his choice. He asks for forgiveness for what he is about to do and Efrain responds, “again?” Daniel beats him and tells him to confess. Efrain remains silent. Daniel picks up a pick hammer and is about to hit Efrain when Lola steps in to stop him, giving up their cover.
Dante, his men, and Daniel take Efrain, Lola, her 2 workers and Strand to where Dante throws violators over the side of the dam. Dante tells them that this is what happens to those who steal from him. He throws a Pablito over the side and Lola is next. Daniel hesitates to push Lola. Dante grows impatient and asks J.C.to step in. Daniel shoots him in the head and then shoots the 2nd guard. The 3rd guard is knocked down and out by Efrain. Daniel aims at Dante who pleads a little but then insults Daniel. Daniel doesn’t hesitate to shoot him in the head. Strand, Efrain, Lola and the remaining worker stare at Daniel, confused. He walks up to Lola, hands her his gun and cuts her tied hands. He kneels before her, looks up at her and asks for forgiveness. She reaches out her hand to him and he takes it.
So, why is the episode entitled 100? The episode is all about Daniel. Him dealing with his demons from his past, him needing to be forgiven, and him deciding to do something terrible for the greater good. We know that he tells Efrain that he has killed 96 people. Who those people were or if he includes Ofelia in that total because he is unsure if she died in the fire, we may never know. So I am concluding that with Dante and his men, Daniel’s kill count adds up to 100.
Hopefully, now that he is close to the border, maybe he and Strand will eventually reunite with Madison, Nick, Alicia, and Ofelia, wherever the hell she is. I still think that she is with the group that the ranch encounters in the next episode.
New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead premiere Sunday nights at 9 pm on AMC.