Spoilers ahead for the latest episode of Fear The Walking Dead.
Season 3 of Fear The Walking Dead has been a doozy, as the world has been expanding and major characters have unfortunately bitten the dust. The latest of these is Ofelia Salazar, who was in the show since the second episode of the spinoff. Her death no doubt shocked the fans, as we hadn't been aware that she was bit when attempting to clear the bunker's air supply. Since Ofelia was one of the few original characters who were still kicking, her death is especially heartbreaking. And now Fear's showrunner David Erickson has revealed why it needed to happen:
Mercedes is wonderful, and Ofelia had grown a lot from when we first met her back in Season 1. But she needed to have something of a redemptive arc in the back half of the season coming off of her association with the Nation and the poisoning of the ranchers, so she definitely go that. She got that, and then just when we think she's reunited with Alicia and things are moving forward, the zombies come and bite us on the ass.
Fear The Walking Dead just loves this move. While separating the characters and making us long for their reunion, they seemingly get back together-- only for someone to end up biting the bullet. (Hey, Travis).
While David Erickson comments to EW complimented actress Mercedes Mason's performance as Ofelia Salazar, he ultimately breaks down exactly why he needed to die in the penultimate episode of Season 3. bBth Ofelia and her father Daniel have had redemptive arcs in the back half of the season. While Ofelia became a murderous soldier for Walker and The Reservation, she was able to pitch into the Otto Ranch and bury the hatchet with her former enemies. Additionally, Daniel seems to have reconciled his issues with Madison (and maybe Strand), which should factor into the finale and future seasons.
Daniel's story in particular has been both fascinating and heartbreaking in Season 3. After being MIA for about a season, he returned and quickly made a name for himself as The Dam. But he continued to search for Ofelia, with her unknown fate haunting him. And when Madison promised to reunite the father and daughter, both seemed emotional and thankful. Unfortunately, Ofelia died like... 8 seconds before her father arrived at the Trading Post, and Daniel was appropriately devastated. But he agreed to take everyone back to The Dam, including Strand.
Next week's season finale will no doubt throw more surprises and deaths into the mix of Fear. It looks like much of the drama will come from whatever shady deal Stand made at The Trading Post that will likely bring armed forces to the gates of the safe house. Plus Nick and Troy are rolling face, so that can't help.