Fear the Walking Dead: The rise of Daniel Salazar

Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) and Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) - Fear The Walking Dead,Photo by Richard Foreman Jr/AMC
Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) and Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) - Fear The Walking Dead,Photo by Richard Foreman Jr/AMC /

Daniel Salazar isn’t looking back in his return to Fear the Walking Dead. But things are very different these days, and he’s not taking the back seat anymore.

There was a time on Fear the Walking Dead when Travis looked at Daniel as someone who was dangerous, not much different than the soldiers keeping people locked up in the midst of the chaos. He slipped a little bit, letting his guilt get in the way of his good sense when he started hearing his dead wife’s voice at Thomas Abigail’s plantation. Now that he’s back, Daniel Salazar isn’t holding back anymore. He has demonstrated that he’s smart enough, fierce enough, and cunning enough to do what must be done, and that makes him the new power player.

As the Clark-Manawa family fled Los Angeles with the Salazar family, they cautiously trusted Nick’s new friend Victor Strand, who seemed to have all of the answers. Strand, however, is a con man. He’s a talker, but he’s not so great at action.

Now that Strand and Salazar have crossed paths, it is Daniel Salazar who has taken control of the situation. He has played his hand and there’s no going back from the incredible power play he demonstrated by killing Dante at the dam. Strand recognizes this and now that Daniel is ready to find Ofelia, Strand knows that his time as a conman is limited.

Strand’s limited time was seen in Fear the Walking Dead episode 305 “Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame” when Daniel sees through Strand’s lies. Though it’s clear something bad happened at the resort, Daniel knows that Strand will say anything to save himself, and unless Ofelia shows up, he’s not going to believe a word Strand says. 

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With Daniel cemented at the apex of the food chain, things will be interesting when he finally crosses paths with Madison, who is also learning to be in charge. Strand ceded authority to her (with disastrous results) and now Strand will be third behind Daniel and Madison.

The world is changing on Fear the Walking Dead and power is shifting. One thing is clear, though: Daniel Salazar is a rising star in the apocalypse.