Fear the Walking Dead showrunner on airing a Spanish language episode

It’s really sort of a… it’s almost the trials of Job for this guy over the course of season 3. Did you know all the way back when he set the compound on fire, or did it come together later? With the exception of one scene between Daniel Salazar and Victor Strand, the rest of the episode — which told the backstory of what happened to Daniel after he set fire to the Mexican compound back in season 2 —   was entirely in Spanish. That’s the only thing, really, that gives him any hope. Since we hadn’t seen him for so long, we wanted to make sure that we had a good, surprising return for him, which I think we got at the end of last week. I am who I am.” He does his best to protect them. He has the tools that he needs to do this, and it’s pushing him to the point where he’s forced to confront Lola. We go into that a bit deeper when we get into the next episode, obviously, because Strand has made some suggestions, made some claims as to her whereabouts, and Strand’s working a con to a certain degree and is trying to get himself out of jail and protect his own interests, but that’s something we continue to hit as we move into episode 5. He wants her forgiveness. We asked Fear showrunner Dave Erickson about that decision, as well as mapping out Daniel’s backstory and his moment-of-truth choice at the very end. There’s a moment in the episode, a stretch of time where he’s kind of saying, “F— it. That was really Travis’ big goal in the beginning of the season: I’ve lost my son, how do I protect the surrogate? Show Full Article But I think he wants absolution. It’s something that really clarifies for him. I was wondering whether he wanted to live at that point still too. At that point the guy is just exhausted. Alan Page wrote the episode and I thought he did a brilliant job. He’s offering himself up. But then we really wanted to afford Daniel a full episode just to sort of catch up with where he was at, what his headspace was, how he had recovered from the fire and from that chapter of madness, and then sort of put him back on track. I mean, it’s when you’re doing a show that centers around a blended family. There’s still a moral direction as he tries to cover for Efrain and then he tries to cover for Lola, but he puts himself in something of an unwinnable position because he says essentially when he’s torturing Efrain, “If you confess, they’re going to kill you both, and if you don’t confess, I’m going to kill you.” He’s in a position where he has the skill set, which Dante has recognized. The thing that really struck me about the episode is that almost the entire episode is in Spanish with subtitles, which is no small thing. This sense that for a man who has committed such atrocities and killed so many people, his burden and what he suffers for is he does not seem able to die. So he’s not asking to be put out of his misery. When did you come up with his story in terms of what had happened to him? He tries to find some salvation, and he gets into the lightening zombie scene. He’s had a very intense several days and he commits a violent act which he knows will not be his last but he does it in a righteous cause. If we had thrown in a character who was English-speaking just to make sure we had some balance between the languages, that would have felt a little bit cheesy, a little bit forced. That was not something that I was concerned with and it’s not something that the network ever expressed any worry over either, so it’s just what it is. As we move forward, he doesn’t know what happened to Ofelia. He did actually unlock it. Tell me about that decision and any discussions you guys had along those lines about doing that. It clarifies him emotionally and mentally. What he wants from Lola is recognition of that and that’s the lesson he asks for. I think that’s the straw that will break the camel’s back and he can’t go there because there’s something about Lola that reminds him of Ofelia, and she saved his life. This is a man who’s worried and suspecting that he might have been responsible for his own daughter’s death. I mean, he’ll be up against a number of things going into this season as well that will test him. DAVE ERICKSON: There are a lot of circumstances creatively and practically that went into the decision for this supposed death back in episode 207, and then here’s Daniel’s resurrection. I think it’s two things. She has this sort of saintly quality and in her he sees a surrogate, which is a theme we’ve played a number of times. It gives him more reason to do right by Lola and then ultimately he’s also always keeping an eye out for the possibility that she might be alive. I think he’s horrified by the possibility of what could have happened and that he might have been responsible for it but that gives him a need even more so as the season progresses to atone. It was really just a question of when we wanted to drop him in and how we wanted to integrate him into the story again. I knew I wanted Daniel to have his own episode, and since that episode took place in Mexico and obviously he was coming into contact with Mexican characters, there was no reason for him to speak English. I think Daniel’s in that same boat right now where he’s lacking any idea of whether Ofelia is dead or alive, wondering if he’s responsible. What he latches on to at the very end is the promise and the innocence of this woman and this refusal to become the man that he used to be, and he sort of walks that fine line up until the very end. He does bad things for Dante in the hopes that it will ward off worse things. He’s asking for some connection and some understanding. I wanted to do it. I mean, if you’re telling a story that’s set in Mexico and the characters are all Spanish-speaking characters, there’s no reason to play it in English. That’s something that’ll be sort of a tug of war between Daniel and Lola as we continue. But he’s faced with that choice there at the end to throw Lola off the dam and he doesn’t. And ultimately, he becomes her soldier and that is going to be one of our big themes this season when it comes to violence and its use and at what point does it corrupt you morally. The fact that she doesn’t reject him is enough for him in that moment. Which has nothing to do with the Spanish. It is final. SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead,   “100.”
Having scenes in different languages with subtitles is becoming more commonplace on television — but they are usually just that: individual scenes. Is that just because he found a line he would not cross, or because he saw an opportunity to use the weapon to take out Dante and his men, or a little bit of both? He’s ready to cash in, and when he survives for him, he finds himself in this new scenario. There was also a point where he did walk in with the key. He seeks forgiveness and he doesn’t get it. He wants her to forgive him of his sins and he wants her to accept him. I think he’s giving himself to her. He doesn’t quite have her forgiveness but that’s something he continues to work towards as we go forward. He gets down on his knees, gives her the gun. We’ve seen a lot of shows have sections and scenes in different languages, yet this is a 95 percent non-English episode. He’s prepared to die. There was a shoot that we included, which would have been a grave shoot back in the day, and that was one possible version of escape. I knew he was coming back, and we started talking about that last season. Here’s the thing: Daniel is an important character and I just love the way Ruben plays him, and I do think with all the trauma and drama from his death last season it was important just to give him a very soulful, spiritual episode where he sort of reconnects with himself and you also get a sense of what his great burden now is as he articulates it to Efrain. However, for Sunday night’s “100” episode of Fear the Walking Dead, AMC went even further, airing an almost completely Spanish-language episode. Je’s a very haunted man, but I think the survival and the question, which I know a lot of people have, which is, where is Ofelia? [Laughs]
Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC
It seems Daniel is just trying to limit the damage as much as possible during the episode. He doesn’t know if he killed his own daughter. Then after he turns on Dante and after he saves Lola and Strand, he seeks from her what he’s been seeking the entire episode, which is her forgiveness. One of the great upsides of the show last season and this season is because we are in Mexico, it has become something of a bilingual show, which I like. I hope that people don’t get frustrated by the subtitles, but creatively, it just made sense. He knows how to get in and out, but that didn’t seem terribly dramatic, so we landed on this sort of quality about Daniel that’s interesting — and it’s actually something that carries out through the season — is this sense that he’s death-proof. ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We haven’t seen Daniel since the season 2 midseason finale, so it’s been a while. In that moment, he gets a modicum of absolution. I think the only thing he has left in him, and we’ll see this as it moves forward at least for the time being, is the possibility of serving this woman and in some respects if she accepts him. What’s going on there? But the story itself in terms of how he got out and where he was going didn’t really manifest until we got to the [writers’ room] this season. He doesn’t know if Ofelia is alive or not. Does he want her to sort of put him out of his misery? He suspects. Then as far as the actual escape, there were a number of different options. Does he think for a minute,   I don’t deserve to live? For more Fear the Walking Dead intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.