strand fear the walking dead

Spoilers are lurking below for anyone who hasn't yet watched the third episode of Fear the Walking Dead Season 3.

For last week's big premiere night, the first two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 set up the new directions that the core group of characters are headed in. (At least, the ones that are left, considering Travis was killed off.) But while Madison and others are dealing with the eccentricities of the doomsday-prepping Otto family, Colmon Domingo's Victor Strand was off on his own adventure, and by the episode's end, he was put face to face with someone we haven't seen since Season 1 came to a close: Daniel Salazar.

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While it would have been awesome to see Rubén Blades return to Fear the Walking Dead's universe by kicking a door open and punching someone's head clean off of their body, things were slightly more subdued. Daniel arrived in the final moments by offering the newly imprisoned Strand a canteen of water, along with a reminder of his past claim to be Strand's guardian angel. Daniel remains a fan favorite character, so as big reveals go, this was a strong one for Fear the Walking Dead, which has killed off all of the Manawa family, and hasn't exactly been very showy with the surviving Salazars. In that respect, though, the reveal was also a pretty confusing one.

daniel salazar returns to fear the walking dead season 3

Given his freedom to walk around handing out water, Daniel is apparently now aligned with Dante, Victor's former associate who is currently in a commanding position at the community surrounding the Gonzales Dam. Already laying out his plan to make Strand miserable and powerless, Dante is certainly not a protagonist in any sense, and he caused one of Fear the Walking Dead's most gruesome moments, when one man was thrown from the dam, where he landed on the giant pile of broken-limbed walkers whose former selves had suffered the same fate. (All the nightmares; all of them.)

As Strand put it, they're in a place where "water is currency," so Dante is in a powerful position, but is Daniel really on his side? If so, that can't be good for Strand. It's technically possible that Daniel did do some door-kicking and head-blasting offscreen before bringing Strand's water, taking out all of Dante's enforcers by his lonesome. That would be pretty great, assuming we'd get to watch it all go down next week, The Raid-style.

But that's probably not the case, and even beyond that situation, what does this return mean for Ofelia, who hasn't been around since last season when she was first approached by Dayton Callie's then-unnamed Jeremiah Otto? Viewers have been inside the Otto's camp for three episodes now, without a peep or a mention of Ofelia or her fate, but Daniel's resurgence almost necessarily implies she'll be back soon, right? Did she stick around with the Otto clan (for better or worse), or did she move on, somehow ending up at the Gonzalez Dam with her father? Hopefully next week brings answers, although I guess I wouldn't mind a bottle episode focused entirely on Alicia's new group of oddball stoners, because WTF was that all about?

With more shocking deaths and shocking arrivals left to come in Season 3, Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. Check out what actress Kim Dickens told CinemaBlend about how Travis' death affects her character in Season 3, and if you need more guidance for where your primetime viewing should go in the coming months, check out our summer premiere schedule.

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