Fear The Walking Dead “El Matadero” review

Ofelia Salazar (Mercedes Mason) and Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) in Fear The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 14Photo by Richard Foreman Jr/AMC
Ofelia Salazar (Mercedes Mason) and Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) in Fear The Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 14Photo by Richard Foreman Jr/AMC /

Once again the Clarks are separated and their old dynamics are going to jeopardize their chances of survival.

Fear The Walking Dead is rapidly approaching the end of an absolutely electric season. Based on the intensity of this season, season 4 should take the show to a whole new level. There will be a new showrunner. Also, Scott Gimple is coming on board as an Executive Producer.

And just recently at NYCC it was confirmed that a Fear The Walking Dead and The Walking Dead crossover is going to happen next season. Who do you think the character will be?

But before we get to season 4 there’s a lot of storylines to untangle, a lot of family dysfunction to process, and one very big loss to mourn as season 3 of Fear The Walking Dead leaves the characters homeless and scattered.

At the end of the last episode Alicia was going off on her own to process what she had been through. Troy and Nick were following her to keep an eye on her. And Madison, Strand, Walker, Ofelia and Crazy Dog were heading for the water trade and to reunite Ofelia with her father.

Reunion Denied

The biggest shock of this episode came when Ofelia, looking sick, fell out of the truck when they were driving to the bazaar. As Crazy Dog, Walker and Strand picked her up she revealed a bite on her shoulder. Ofelia was bitten while trying to clear the air duct in the pantry.

The others tried to keep her alive long enough to see Daniel but of course she died as Daniel was arriving at the bazaar and walking towards her. After the amazing storytelling and character development so far this year to be denied that reunion felt like lazy storytelling and kind of a slap in the face. Teasing the reunion all season only to have it end this way was really a letdown.

Alicia Makes A Friend

Alicia does seem to be pretty capable of taking care of herself. But on her travels she met a new acquaintance, Diana. They have a great dynamic and Diana seems like an interesting character so it will be exciting to see if they develop a friendship that involves Diana sticking around for more than one episode. Diana also has a pickaxe, which is a great weapon for killing the infected. They bond over shared mashed potatoes and killing the dead, which is the perfect basis for any great friendship.

Strand Is Playing All The Angles, As Usual

When Strand, Madison, Walker and Crazy Dog get Ofelia to the trading post they find the stall that Strand was staying in before and try to do whatever they can to keep Ofelia alive long enough to see Daniel. Strand runs into some old enemies, who take him to the Proctor.

Apparently he has some unfinished business with the Proctor and he appears to make a deal that involves the dam. Leave it to Strand to put their new home in jeopardy before they even know if they’re going to be allowed to stay. But Strand is the man with the plan and he’s a master of the long game so he probably already had some ideas on how to protect the dam.

Nick Out Troys Troy

Nick and Troy have such a great relationship. I would love to see that friendship become more. But in this episode Nick, who has been the voice of reason for Troy, manages to out crazy Troy.

Nick and Troy head for the trading post after making sure that Alicia is ok because they know the others are going there. When they get there and find out what’s really available at the bazaar it was only a matter of time before Nick’s addiction flared up.

He took the pain meds that the others had gotten for Ofelia. And then he obviously found some other drugs too, which aren’t really that hard to find at the bazaar. Nick goes to Troy, who is at the bar getting a brains quesadilla. Troy mentions he doesn’t drink, which is interesting. But Nick definitely does. He and Troy get high and go in search of more drugs and more alcohol. Both of which are plentiful.

Brain Cocktails Anyone?

They end up doing “shots” of brain stem. Yes, they ate pieces of brain stem which the bartender tells them are essentially pure adrenalin. Personally, if I was in world where people were reanimating after they died thanks to something in their brain stem I wouldn’t eat a brain stem of dubious origin. But Nick lives on the edge and he’s taking Troy there with him.

As they are enjoying the effects of the substances they’ve ingested and the rush of adrenalin they wander outside and find a small group of walkers heading towards the bazaar. Troy smashes the brain of a walker in a truck and smears the blood all over himself and all over Troy. He lets Troy in on the secret of moving among the dead.

But Troy, who is usually the unhinged scary one in any situation, is the scared one this time. He’s visibly uneasy as Troy starts to walk fearlessly among the dead. It must be a new experience for Troy to be the sane one in any scenario.

That juxtaposition is what makes their relationship so fantastic though. I really hope we see that develop more in season 4.

The Dam Isn’t Safe Either

Daniel is distraught of course about Ofelia. But after he calms down he says that Madison and the others can still go to the dam. But, Strand has already told the Proctor about the dam. So in the season finale it looks like they will once again be fighting for a place to call home. It seems like wherever this little group goes they destroy any kind of security or possible safety that they find.

More from Undead Walking

Fear The Walking Dead wraps up a stellar season next week with two back to back episodes. Based on how exceptional this season has been I’m really excited to see the finale and to see what season 4 brings.