REVIEW: Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Ep 14 – El Matadero

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Ep 14 – El Matadero

This week’s Fear the Walking Dead saw the long-awaited reunion between Ofelia and Daniel Salazar irrevocably struck by tragedy. Meanwhile, Nick leaves behind his sobriety (dragging Troy into the abyss with him) and Alicia makes an awesome new friend.

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Ep 14 – El MataderoThe real focus of the episode is Ofelia’s dire fate. In an unexpected development, Ofelia turns out to have been bitten during last week’s attack by the horde of walkers. Madison and Walker struggle to keep her alive, at least until she can say a proper good-bye to her father, while Strand, ever the pragmatist, scrambles to make a deal that could ensure his (and maybe their) survival.

After all, they won’t be needing all that water from the dam now that most of the members of the ranch are dead. In the end, for all her shifting allegiances and shady actions this season, Madison insists that she is just trying to keep her word to Daniel.

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Ep 14 – El MataderoOfelia struggles on for a while but eventually dies in Madison’s arms, moments before her father arrives. As another reviewer notes, this is even more tragic because we barely got to know the compelling character before she died so suddenly. Daniel later laments that this latest loss is yet another price to pay for the sins of his past. With the only other person he loves now dead, it’s hard to see how Daniel, as compelling a character as he is, will continue in Fear the Walking Dead, but I do hope this is not the last we will see of him.

Fear the Walking Dead, S3 Ep 14 – El MataderoMeanwhile, Alicia continues her solo journey, after insisting to her brother that this is something she needs to do. She manages to find some potatoes, kill a zombie child in a ball pit (Fear the Walking Dead has some pretty creative sets for zombies nowadays), and make a new, awesome fighter friend. Well, it’s a bit too soon to call them friends but the fact that they both did not end up killing each other by the end of the episode is, by this show’s standards, already a promising start. I’m already intrigued by this new character and I look forward to seeing Alicia spend more time in such fascinating company.

Nick decides for some reason to spiral out of control and resume his drug habit, seeking out El Matadero of the episode’s title for some really hard-core drugs. He drags Troy along with him as they continue their weird bonding over how ruthless they need to be to survive. Nick even introduces him to that classic Fear the Walking Dead move of smearing one’s self with walker blood in order to blend in and walk among the dead.

It has become clear that the Clark kids are distancing themselves from Madison and we’ll have to see how much more fragmented this family becomes in the two-part finale of Fear the Walking Dead next week.