'Fear the Walking Dead' season 3, episode 4 delivers jaw-dropping ending for Daniel Salazar


Daniel Salazar made his return to Fear the Walking Dead in season three, episode three after being presumed dead in season two — and the barber from El Salvador is just as badass as fans will remember.

Episode four of the AMC series, titled "100," picks up with an injured Daniel roaming the deserted streets of Mexico. He somehow managed to survive the fire at the Valle de Guadalupe compound but not without getting severely injured. Daniel is too weak to fight the dead and in need of water. Fortunately the right survivor stumbles across him.

Viewers meet Efrain, a man who loves vodka and says a prayer for the infected before he kills them. Although he doesn't know Daniel, Efrain takes him to his secret water supply and promises to get him the first aid he so desperately needs. But Daniel's condition is pretty serious. His leg is so badly burnt and stuck to his pants that the infection might kill him. A woman named Lola has to use a blade — similar to the one that Daniel used on the army officer in season one — to carefully peel off the dead skin. Karma, huh?

Richard Foreman Jr./AMC

An unclear amount of time passes and Daniel stays with Efrain. The man saved him and Daniel doesn't know why. He confesses that he's not a good man and admits to killing 96 people. But that doesn't scare Efrain. He tells Daniel that there is no one left to judge him.

Although Daniel is safe with Efrain, he ventures out at night. He's lost without his daughter, and the distraction almost costs him his life. A walker overpowers Daniel and the only thing left for him to do is pray. As he opens his eyes, ready to die, a bolt of lightening from a storm strikes the walker and knocks Daniel out into a stream of flowing water.

Did the power of prayer save Daniel? Quite possibly. When he wakes up discovers that a sewer line brought him to the Gonzalez Dam, the same place where Fear the Walking Dead viewers first saw him in episode three. Daniel's not safe there, but fortunately he's got friends. It turns out that Lola, the woman who helped save his leg earlier in the episode, works at the dam. She's in charge of the water quality and sneaks Daniel into the compound as a janitor.

Richard Foreman Jr./AMC

Of course, Daniel's not one to keep a low profile. A security guard named JC harasses him about showing respect when the boss, Dante, enters a room. Daniel responds by stabbing JC with a fork. Needless to say, that captures the attention of Dante. But Dante sees more than just an old man. After finding out that Daniel is from El Salvador, he grabs his lip and discovers a tattoo on the inside of it: "SN."

"SN" stands for Sombra Negra, a military "death squad" in El Salvador that kills criminals and gang members. Dante knows that having a trained killer on his side is a definite advantage, and Daniel quickly finds himself moving up the ranks at the dam — to the horror of Lola.

Lola's disgust for Daniel is similar to how his daughter Ofelia first reacted when she learned the truth about her father's identity. He finds himself torn with what to do when Dante tasks him with going out with his men to find a thief who has been stealing his water. That thief is Efrain, and Daniel is forced to turn him over to Dante's men.

Efrain might have saved his life, but right now, Daniel is trying to save his own. He tells Lola what he did and urges her to stop secretly releasing water outside of the dam. Lola argues that the people outside the compound won't die from gunshots or from the dead — they'll die from thirst. It's cruel, but Daniel warns her to stop worrying about others and save herself.

The plot eventually catches up to where viewers left off last week. Daniel sees Strand being taken in and pays a visit to his cell. He gives Strand water and inquires about Ofelia. Strand is grateful for the water, but he's so desperate to save himself that he lies about Ofelia. He explains that she left the Valle de Guadalupe compound with them when the fire happened; however, he doesn't tell Daniel that she ran off on her own. Instead, Strand tells Daniel that Ofelia is at the hotel waiting for him and that he can take him there if he breaks him out of the cell. Unfortunately for Strand, Daniel knows a liar when he sees one.

Richard Foreman Jr./AMC

Daniel leaves Strand and goes off to meet Dante, who has Efrain tied up. He wants Daniel to use his special skills to get Efrain to confess to who has been helping him steal water. Daniel doesn't want to, but he begins to beat Efrain, who refuses to give up Lola's name. Eventually Daniel is forced to grab a tool to persuade Efrain to speak, but that's when Lola runs forward to stop the torture.

Dante has found his thieves and now they must pay. He lines up the traitors — including Strand — and throws the first one off the dam and to his death. It's horrible to watch, and Daniel must be the one to throw Lola over next. But Daniel's no longer a part of the Sombra Negra. He's done hurting people — well, at least good people. In a surprising twist, Daniel knocks JC out and shoots him in the head. He quickly fires at the other guards before turning the gun on Dante.

In a blink of an eye Daniel manages to extinguish the threat of Dante. But where do things go from here? Daniel could stay and help distribute water to survivors, or he might enlist Strand's help in tracking down Ofelia.

Fear the Walking Dead airs on AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern. Check out our main Fear the Walking Dead hub here.