Major spoilers below for the midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead.

Though Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead started off somewhat slowly, the past few weeks have seen the intensity ramp up as the group reached Celia’s home, and Sunday night’s midseason finale totally splintered the core group of survivors. Of all the big moments, arguably the most powerful was Daniel’s descent into madness, which culminated in what looked like a self-immolation to kill off the familial zombies lurking around. But it doesn’t sound like Daniel is dead at all, at least when it comes to some surprisingly frank words from showrunner Dave Erickson.
Here’s the thing: What’s important for the story, specifically for Ofelia, is that all the characters believe that Daniel burned with the compound. We’re not going to see Rubén [Blades] in the back half [of Season 2], but my hope is that we will see him resurrected in Season 3 in an organic way. I think there’s more story to tell with that character and also more story to tell in that father/daughter relationship.

What the hell just happened? While many TV shows out there are rubbing their hands together and snickering over audiences being unable to tell where finale cliffhangers are going, Dave Erickson is just like, “I’m going to tell you the truth, probably because I’m interested in getting the awesome Rubén Blades back and I’d rather let everyone know now so that I don’t get harangued by the entire Internet if and when it happens.” And I’m actually okay with that in this particular situation, since I really liked Daniel and was peeved that his big exit rushed the deterioration of his mental state where Griselda was concerned.

It’s absolutely a damned shame that Rubén Blades won’t be around for the remainder of Season 2, though it works for the story well enough, now that separation has set in. Strand has the women with him, while Travis and Chris are bonding with each other and Nick is bonding with the dead. Daniel wasn’t ever that comfortable with such a large group anyway, so he inadvertently set in motion what he didn’t get to have. There’s something poetic about that, right?

fear the walking dead

We didn’t technically watch Daniel’s skin melting through his screams, so the possible reappearance Erickson told TVLine about for Season 3 wouldn’t need an exceedingly complex explanation. He “found his wife” and set the fire, and then suddenly regained clarity and escaped. Easy peasy. The more difficult part will be setting these characters up to realistically reconnect with each other when the show returns, and then having it not fly so far off base that Daniel can’t find them again in Season 3. I mean, if The Walking Dead’s Morgan can become a master-tracker, Daniel should have zero problems finding anything, but still.

We’ll have to wait until Sunday, August 21, to see Fear the Walking Dead back on AMC to finish out Season 2, and presumably until next April to possibly see Daniel Salazar tying people to chairs again. In the meantime, check out our summer TV schedule to see what’s premiering in the meantime, and let us know what you think about Daniel’s in-flux fate.

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