Fear the Walking Dead aired a shocking midseason 3 finale on Sunday night. Not only did the episode kill off a character in surprising fashion, narrowly avoiding a war which many fans were expecting, but Mercedes Mason returned as Ofelia Salazar after sitting out the entirety of Season 3 to that point.
While Ofelia is back on Fear the Walking Dead, her return was not what fans expected. The character was almost unrecognizable by comparison to the version fans knew in the first two seasons of Fear, siding with Walker and making difficult and vicious decisions to protect herself and her group. One might argue the return was on the level of introducing an entirely new character.
When Fear the Walking Dead returns for the back half of its third season in September, fans of the AMC series can expect a reunion between her and her fan-favorite father Daniel Salazar, played by Ruben Blades. Showrunner Dave Erickson spilled details of their potential reunion in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com. "I think we've established [Daniel] Salazar at the dam," Erickson said. "He's now developed his relationship with Lola. He left Strand to die. So there's no love lost between these two men as we move forward." Salazar, however, is holding out hope for his daughter's survival.
"I think it's an interesting dynamic for Salazar, because Ofelia is someone whom he protected from conception, on," Erickson said. "Somebody that he wanted to shield her from his ugly past and his violence, and she's had a very, relatively sheltered life up until the end of the world... Madison, in the pilot, talks about this darkness that she thinks is in the blood, and it's impacted her children and it's impacted Nick. And there is a certain inevitability perhaps to what Ofelia does."
While Ofelia seemed a bit taken aback by the fact Walker tricked her into poisoning the Broke Jaw Ranch community with anthrax when her understanding of the powder was that it would put the soldiers to sleep, Erickson's perspective is one which sees her as doing whatever it would have taken to survive.
"I think she was not totally aware of what the poison, what she was putting into the coffee, what she was poisoning the militia with," Erickson points out. "But she seems to adapt to that reality. She seems to be acknowledging that this is really part of this world, and the guilt she feels is not as strong as she had expected, so I think, to be honest, I think Salazar, if he learns about this, is going to be devastated, because I think his daughter will fail to escape his history. You know what I mean?"
Mason also weighed in on the reunion, sharing a bit of her own perspective of what Daniel's reaction to his newly evolved daughter might entail. "Here's the thing, right? Daniel knows that she's alive or has been told that she's alive," Mason said. "Ofelia has no idea yet. I think as we near the end of the season, that's exactly what we're going to be heading for, is their reunion. That's going to be big because they're not even going to recognize each other anymore, especially Daniel. He's not going to understand or recognize his daughter... She's a survivor for crying out loud. There's no baby doll."
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Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October with a trailer coming in July at San Diego Comic Con. For complete coverage and insider info all season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.