REVIEW: Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Ep4 – 100

This week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead focused on Daniel’s journey back to life and in search of redemption for his past sins. It was a powerful, moving chapter that finally gave significant screentime to one of the most capable and compelling characters of the show.

Ruben Blades gave a mesmerizing performance as Daniel as he struggled to survive and somehow found himself being constantly saved by others and even by circumstances. When he surely would have died because of his injuries and his temporary bout of madness last season, he still managed to claw his way to survival. But more than the physical hardships he endured, Daniel was burdened by a spiritual crisis, as he tried to find redemption for all the crimes of his past. As the episode drew to a close, he had killed 100 people, and that will continue to weigh heavily on his conscience.

Some people may have found this episode dragging or unnecessary since it deviates from the main plot too much. But for someone who has always been fond of Daniel, this was a wonderful way to spend an episode of Fear the Walking Dead. It was painful to watch him seemingly betray the new friends who had saved his life, Efrain and Lola, especially after his emotional unburdening to the former. For a moment, I really believed that he would be forced to kill his new friend and it was truly heartbreaking.

But Daniel has always been a hard man, as Dante immediately identified. Daniel’s reputation as a cold-blooded killer in El Salvador helped him gain some status in the crew of tyrant and bully. He was very well-suited to the cutthroat world of Fear the Walking Dead but he mourns the fact. He has wanted to change his ways for his daughter, and so his protective streak comes out when he saves Lola and then begs her forgiveness at the end. He is also understandably suspicious of Strand but I am glad that they both got out of this ordeal alive. On a show like this, one can never be sure.

The episode was also mostly in Spanish which was refreshing and intriguing. With so many Mexican characters on the show, it would be strange to have it only in English, and the language gives the story a certain authenticity (as much as a zombie show could ever be authentic) and also helps bring more depth to the characters and their struggles.

In devoting an entire episode to Daniel as he continues to battle his demons and seek forgiveness for his scenes, Fear The Walking Dead has made us more invested in this character and more hopeful that he will last longer in that mad world. His skills will always come in handy, and the fight for his soul will always be a compelling journey. Here’s hoping that he will somehow be reunited with Ofelia. After all they have been through, they deserve that shred of happiness even in the world overrun by monsters.