Yes, he’s alive — and now we know how. In the fourth episode of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’s third season, we learn exactly what happened to Daniel Salazar after Celia’s compound burned to the ground.
The opening of Fear The Walking Dead’s fourth episode in the third season takes us back in time. We see Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) limping his way through Mexico, covered in his own blood and soot from the fire he started at Celia’s (Marlene Forte) home in season two. After a run-in with a walker that ends up leaving him alone to chase after a dog instead, Daniel falls asleep underneath a car. He’s woken up when a strange man pulls him out from under the car and helps him by bringing him to get some fresh water. He tells Daniel that he can take him to someone who can help him, but that he needs to “hold on”. Little did Daniel know that the man meant literally, as he puts him in his bicycle basket and rides through Mexico attracting the infected with his radio.
He eventually stops at a building where a group of people appear to be waiting for him. He hands out water to them as Daniel gets out of the basket, only to scream and fall in pain. The group hushes him and then they all hide behind a dumpster as a pickup truck slowly passes by with an armed man on top. It seems there are a group of people acting like militia, giving the civilians a reason to hide. Daniel passes out and when he wakes up he’s inside, mumbling about losing someone. The woman, Lola, says that they need to scrape his pants and burnt skin off of his leg because it’s “rotting”. When Daniel notices she’s holding a knife he panics… but then understands what needs to happen. The strange man has to hold his hand over Daniel’s mouth as he screams in agony while Lola starts to scrape his leg. Gross.
Later we see Daniel and the strange man, whose name we finally find out is Efrain, scavenging on their own. Daniel is using a crutch to walk, so it’s clear his leg still isn’t well. When they are done for the day Daniel repays his new friend by cutting his hair. As you remember we first met Daniel and his family inside his barber shop, so he’s a professional. But after the haircut Efrain tells Daniel he knows he’s going to leave him behind. Daniel tells Efrain he’s not a good man and that he’s killed people, and when Efrain asks how many Daniel knows the exact number: 96. Then he tells Efrain about the fire at the house and reveals he doesn’t know whether or not he killed his own daughter, Ofelia (Mercedes Mason).
When Efrain finally falls asleep, Daniel sneaks out in the middle of the night. He encounters two infected, and one of them is just too big to kill. Daniel drops to his knees and prays to God for help, and at the very last moment lightning strikes down and kills the infected. It’s bizarre, but it works — and also knocks Daniel out.
Daniel Finds Refuge At Dante’s Dam
Daniel’s body somehow floats through the tunnels and is found by two men. When they realize he’s alive they hide him, and we learn that he’s now inside Dante’s (Jason Manuel Olazabal) compound. They are afraid for Dante to find him so they give him a job as a janitor, which means he has to clean bodies out of the tunnels. During lunch he refuses to stand when Dante comes in the room, which catches the guard’s attention. They get into a physical altercation and eventually Dante intervenes and asks Daniel for his name. As soon as Daniel introduces himself we learn that Dante knows who he is because of his status as a trained killer for the CIA.
Dante immediately takes Daniel under his wing and offers to give him a “position of stature” among his people if he’ll help him with something. Daniel asks for a Jeep, and Dante promises to give him that, too, once he’s done helping. This is when we learn that it’s Dante’s men who are driving around in trucks patrolling the area. They bring Daniel along and we find out they are looking for one man in particular: Efrain. While searching for him they eventually find the building where he first took Daniel to get some water, and after some very serious consideration Daniel helps lead them right to the strange man that saved his life.
Later we watch as Daniel witnesses the moment that Victor (Colman Domingo) shows up at Dante’s gate. He watches as the thugs throw him to the ground, then we catch up to the moment that ended the previous episode: Daniel showing up at Victor’s cell window. When Victor sees who it is he gets excited, immediately asking the old friend how he survived the fire at the compound. Daniel doesn’t care to answer, instead he wants to know if his daughter, Ofelia, is alive. Victor tells Daniel that they thought he was dead when they fled the compound. He also tells him that Ofelia is alive and “waiting” for him at the hotel down on the coast. At first Daniel believes him, so much so that it brings tears to his eyes to hear his little girl is alive. But then he sees right through Victor and remembers that he would say absolutely anything to be freed. Victor tells him again that Ofelia is alive and that he’ll help him find her, but Daniel doesn’t want to hear it. He tells Victor that Ofelia is dead, her father is dead, and that now he, too, is dead.
Daniel Turns The Tables On Dante
When Daniel is called by Dante, he arrives to find the man beating up Efrain in a dark, wet room. Dante wants to know who is helping Efrain get water at the fountain, which we already know is the woman that helped save Daniel. Daniel asks for space to talk to Efrain alone because Dante doesn’t know that they know each other. Daniel tells Efrain that if he talks, they’ll kill both him and the woman helping him. If he doesn’t talk then he’ll still be killed, but Daniel promises to make it as quick as possible. Efrain refuses to speak so Daniel is forced to start beating on him. After a few hard hits to the face Daniel turns to Dante and says he doesn’t think Efrain will speak, but Dante encourages him to keep going. Daniel grabs a hammer and prepares to swing it at Efrain, likely in hopes of “accidentally” killing him and putting him out of his misery, but the woman freaks out and shoves Daniel away so she can hug Efrain. She gave herself away to save Efrain, but now they are both going to die anyway.
The next time we see everyone they are standing on the ledge of the dam where Dante almost tossed over Victor in a previous episode. For some reason, Victor is also present as Dante has Daniel bring him the people one-by-one so he can toss them over the banister. For the woman, Dante wants Daniel to do it. He hesitates, so Dante asks someone else to do it. That’s when Daniel strikes, pulling out a handgun and popping both armed guards right in the head. He tosses them over the banister and then turns the gun on Dante. Within moments Dante, too, is dead, as Efrain and Victor watch in shock. Daniel then cuts the ropes around the woman’s hands, gives her his gun and drops to his knees to beg for forgiveness. The last thing we see is the woman reach her hand out to Daniel who of course takes it.
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