Lately, I’ve really come around on Fear the Walking Dead, which has been doing exceptional work over the last few weeks. This week’s episode, “El Matadero,” is no exception, except in one respect: The series killed off the wrong character.
Ofelia is gone, and once again, Fear goes to emotional depths that the parent series rarely travels. While The Walking Dead has never been shy about killing off characters, often brutally, Fear somehow takes it a step further. On The Walking Dead, characters have to kill off loved ones after they turn; on Fear, they have to kill them before they turn. On The Walking Dead, one character may be reunited with another mere minutes before she dies; on Fear, the character shows up minutes after. It’s cruel to deprive fans of a Daniel and Ofelia reunion, but it tracks with reality. How many stories have we heard about friends or family members who drove all night to say goodbye to a loved one on her deathbed only to show up an hour too late?
I’m not mad at Fear for robbing us of a reunion we’d been looking forward to since the moment Daniel returned to the series, and I’m not necessarily mad at the series for killing off Ofelia. It was a great cap to her season-long arc. She evolved from Daniel’s weak, whiny daughter to a brave, unyielding bad-ass killer and she ultimately sacrificed herself to save Alicia and Crazy Dog. She’s like Carol, if Carol had died when Rick sent her away in season four. She is definitely the season’s most improved character, which brings me to what does make me mad: That Fear killed off Ofelia instead of Daniel or Madison.