Fear the Walking Dead Episode 3.4 Recap: Salazar Strikes Back
Fear the Walking Dead delivers its best episode yet in 100. It's no surprise this banner installment has nothing to do with the Clark family. Last week's cliffhanger revealed that Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) had not perished in the fire at Abigail Estate. He resurfaces as a gun-toting henchman for Dante. 100 refers to the number of people Salazar has killed. He begins the episode at 96, as we learn how he ended up at the dam.
A lone figure is seen walking gingerly from the burnt remains of Abigail Estate. It is Daniel Salazar. We then get a montage of Salazar walking down a long highway and through empty towns. He hobbles up a street before being confronted by walkers. He hides under a car to escape attack. A stranger kills the walker by driving a nail through its head, then blesses it with alcohol.
Salazar is saved by Efrain (Jesse Borrego), a kind soul who secretly gets water from a fountain in Tijuana. Every Tuesday at 5:02 PM, the fountain turns on, giving life outside the clutches of Dante's men. Efrain takes Daniel on his bike to Lola Guerrero (Lisandre Tena), who scrapes the rotting flesh from his leg.
At Efrain's hideout, Daniel is racked with guilt for the people he has killed. He confesses to Efrain that he has killed 96 men. He also tells him that he may have burnt his daughter alive. Efrain comforts him with kind words. Daniel gives him a haircut as repayment. He then sneaks away after Efrain drinks himself to sleep.
Daniel, still injured, walks into a gully. He makes noise to attract walkers. Just as he is about to be killed, a lightning bolt strikes the attacking walker in the head. Both he and Daniel fall into the gully. Daniel wakes up in a drain pipe by the dam. He is pulled free by two of Dante's janitors. They take him to see Dante's doctor, who turns out to be Lola.
Lola tells Dante's security that Daniel is a new janitor. She will be killed if Dante finds out she is helping people outside the dam. Daniel begins his work clearing bodies from the drains. That night at dinner, everyone except Daniel stands as Dante enters the room. The guard comes over and sticks a finger in Daniel's food. He stabs him with a fork. Dante confronts Daniel. He is surprised by his courage. Daniel tells Dante his name and that he worked for the military in El Salvador. Dante pulls down Daniel's front lip to reveal the tattoo of the Sombre Negro. He turns to his men, "We have a killer, trained by the CIA, in our midst."
Daniel agrees to work for Dante, if he gives him a jeep to find Ofelia. His first job is to find the thief that has been stealing water in Tijuana. They take him to the fountain. Daniel knows it's almost time for the water to go off. He betrays Efrain and leads Dante's men to his hideout. Back at the dam, Lola is outraged. Daniel says he had to give him up or the people would die of thirst.
We then get the scene where Daniel confronts Victor (Coleman Domingo) at the cell window. Victor tells him that Ofelia is alive, they she escaped with them, and is waiting for him at the hotel. Daniel is at first overwhelmed with happiness, then thinks that Victor is lying to manipulate him. He is called away by Dante's men for a job.
Dante is torturing Efrain to find his conspirators. Lola watches helplessly. Dante beckons for Daniel to take a turn. Daniel whispers to Efrain that he must kill him. He can die quickly without revealing Lola. He rains blows on Efrain, who says nothing. Daniel then reaches for a hammer. He is about to swing and finish him off when Lola speaks up. She reveals herself and embraces the bloodied Efrain.
The group are taken to the top of the dam. Dante gives his speech about traitors, then proceeds to throw the janitor that worked with Lola over the edge. Lola, Efrain, and Victor are lined up to receive the same fate. Daniel cannot throw Lola over. He delays for a second, then uses his gun to kill the guards. Dante is stunned, he begs for mercy, but is shot in the head by Daniel. The episode ends with Daniel kneeling in front of Lola, Efrain, and Victor, begging for forgiveness. He gives her his gun to finish him off, instead she takes his hand and stands him up.
The odyssey of Daniel Salazar was riveting and brutal. He fought his true nature as a killer, begging for forgiveness throughout the episode. He gave up Efrain initially. But in the end, killed Dante, his men, and liberated the dam. The lightning strike that killed the walker was indeed divine providence. Ruben Blades was fantastic here. He injects desperately needed lifeblood in the series. While the Clark's bumble about at Broke Jaw Ranch; we now have Victor and Daniel, in positions of power, at the dam. Fear the Walking Dead is heating up on AMC.