‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 3, Episode 14 RECAP & REVIEW: ‘El Matadero’

Image credit: Richard Foreman Jr / AMC

It’s a miracle that it took 14 whole episodes for me to be truly disappointed about something this season. For that, Fear deserves some praise. This season has been brilliantly done so far, which needs commending, considering a lot of shows fall flat in their third season in particular. However, this episode felt like it took a few steps backwards in a lot of ways.

Season 3’s fourteenth chapter marks the end for Ofelia. It’s not the death itself that bothers me (even if Ofelia was one of my favourites), because it’s probable that Mercedes Mason’s pregnancy was a factor in the decision. However, the careless manner in which she’s killed calls a lot into question. The least they could’ve done was given her a proper goodbye with her father, since it was a reunion that was teased for over a year. Not only that, but she was never given a chance to completely reach her potential. We saw her slowly climb from the mild-mannered daddy’s girl to zombie killing machine, yet we were never given a chance to truly get to know her. Much like Chris’ death last season, it seems weak and unfinished. Unfortunately, Fear has a problem with making its characters forgettable.

Image credit: Richard Foreman Jr / AMC

The episode begins with the group driving towards the dam. Ofelia and Crazy Dog are sitting on the back of the truck, which you can see is a really bad idea to begin with. Eventually, Ofelia just falls off and onto the road (ouch), and it’s then revealed that she was bitten in the previous episode when the walker fell on top of her. Now the group has to keep her alive long enough to honour her last wish, which is to see her father. They take Ofelia back to the bazaar and manage to trick their way inside. Daniel won’t be arriving for a while, so they use medication to help with Ofelia’s pain.

Meanwhile, Alicia is off on her own and Nick and Troy are following her. It doesn’t take long for them to catch up to her, and Nick tries to talk her out of leaving. Eventually, he gives up and leaves, but the Nick and Troy bromance is still on in full force. They make it back to the bazaar and Nick reunites with Madison. Madison seems to not be in a good place, and tells Nick that she doesn’t know what she’d do without him. Lines like that in The Walking Dead always seem ominous, but if they keep killing off main characters here, they won’t have any left.

Nick takes over watching Ofelia, which turns out to be a bad idea, because he spots Ofelia’s painkillers. It’s been a while since we’ve seen a glimpse of Nick as a drug addict, but it’s obvious he’s been replacing drugs with other things since the outbreak. He does end up taking one, then he and Troy spend the rest of the episode completely tripping out, even managing to get more drugs. Meanwhile, Strand reunites with the men he encountered the last time he was at the bazaar. He asks to see Proctor John, the owner of the bazaar, and it all seems very suspicious. It wouldn’t surprise me if he was ready to betray Madison in some way or form.

Image credit: Richard Foreman Jr / AMC

Alicia continues on her own, and proves she is quite capable of taking care of herself. There’s a cool scene of her with walkers in a ball pit, which probably could be a lot of fun if it wasn’t deadly. Thankfully, an unknown woman comes swinging through with a pickaxe to save the day, but she steals the food Alicia is about to take. Alicia eventually catches up to her, trying to steal it back, but they agree to share the food instead. The next morning, Alicia decides to go along with her.

Once it’s time for Ofelia to go see her father, she shares a final goodbye with Walker, and goes outside with Madison to wait for him. However, she dies on Madison’s shoulder just as Daniel pulls up, and obviously, he’s not happy. He pulls a gun on her and demands to know what happened. He tells Madison to leave and as she’s walking away, you can hear Daniel shooting Ofelia in the head. The only good thing about Ofelia’s death is Rubén Blades’ acting, which is phenomenal. Daniel buries Ofelia under an olive tree before returning to Madison.

By the end of the episode, Daniel has offered Madison sanctuary at the dam, while Nick and Troy choose to stay at the bazaar. Nick makes up an excuse as to why, but it’s clear he’s attracted to the idea of having drugs close by. Next week is the two-part season finale, so there’s no doubt it’s going to be big, especially with the group scattered once again.


Next week…

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