Fear the Walking Dead: 100 Review
AMC‘s Fear the Walking Dead, season 3, episodes 4, ‘100’ was a bottle episode. I wouldn’t kick that bottle, however – what’s inside may have been the best delivery of the season, so far. Granted, it’s early; but that doesn’t change what I just said.
Daniel Salazar (Rubén Blades) was a sight for more sore eyes than just those of Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), last episode. I may be overdue with my eye exam, but after what seemed like some character tail-sliding, this season – and one hasty exit – Daniel’s living visage practically glowed on my screen (oh, wait… my settings were off – was still happy to see him, though).
In before Strand’s inevitable question, of how he got to the right side of the Dam’s prison bars, was the question of how did he get over himself, back at his own hasty exit.
So they skipped over Daniel’s miracle moment, escaping the fire he was the flash-point for. I made do with his harrowing hobble, from inferno to Dante (Jason Manuel Olazabal) – complete with occasional God-send (and dog-send).
There may have been one miracle too many; but since that was how his story began, in the first place, a little more faith-based viewing wasn’t too much to ask.
He’s had something of a Phoenix moment – his experience having burned off the madness that brought his character to arson, in the first place. His time with God-send Walker Slayer, Efrain (Jesse Borrego), was the refresher course to his backstory (with Efrain providing the inspired lunacy for both of them); so it didn’t take too long getting to the answer to Strand’s inevitable question.
His arrival at Dante’s side, however, was particularly enjoyable. For the first time, he was able to own that backstory of his, alongside a Capitalist-Nationalist (better Undead than Red?) both knowledgeable & appreciative of it. From there, however, things took a depressingly predictable, ironic downturn.
There was simply no way for Daniel to own what he was in the past, without making it a part of his present. That meant a cruel twist to returning his God-sent favors. I guess I was enjoying his rise too much to realize just how inevitable this outcome really was. I’m just not sure if that was the reason I found it so hard to watch.
Then the once-and-future Officer Salazar turned the dial one more time, and (dammit) that was hard to watch, too. He did it as act of self-sacrificial atonement, this most wretched of series anti-heroes.
Somewhere between his decent into the flames, the search for Ofelia, the kindness of strangers, the Dante enabling, and the reunion with Strand, Daniel may have found an equilibrium to who he was, who he wants to be, and who he has to be, at any given moment. The fact that he was allowed to live beyond this point of discovery – one last act of kindness, from fellow God-send, Lola (Lisandra Tena) – hopefully means a Daniel with a much freer hand in how he deals with this world, and with others.
If any one character deserved a bottle episode, on this show (other than Strand), it’s been Daniel. ‘100’ didn’t disappoint, in that regard. It will be interesting to see how he reconnects with Strand, going forward. I’m hoping he sticks around long enough to reconnect with the others – but I’m not caring about them, right now (sorry, not sorry).
At least now I got one more character to root for, on this show. That’s a hobble in the right direction.
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