Fear the Walking Dead left our head spinning as it races towards its season three finale next Monday.
Ahead of the upcoming double-bill, the show managed to squeeze in a heartbreaking death, a return to Nick’s dark druggy days and a fascinating new friend for Alicia.
El Matadero also hinted at a potential turn to the darkside from Strand and the arrival of the mysterious Proctor John looks like it could shake up the next two episodes and unite the survivors with a new dangerous big bad.
Here are the five key talking points for episode 14, El Matadero.
1. Goodbye Ofelia Salazar
We spent so much of the first half of season three wondering where Ofelia had disappeared to, it was heartbreaking for her return to the show to be so brief.
Bitten during the attack on Broke Jaw Ranch, she is another victim of Troy’s walker stampede. Madison vowed to get Ofelia back to Daniel before she turned, but failed in that mission by a matter of moments as the young Salazar slipped away just as her father’s truck arrived.
Daniel took his daughter’s death as the world repaying him for his own crimes, but that didn’t detract from the emotion and power of the scene as Ruben Blades’s character struggled to contain his anger and pain.
What impact this loss will have on Daniel for the rest of the season remains to be seen.
2. Hello Diana
Alicia’s one-woman adventure didn’t last long as her trip to an infected-filled fast food restaurant altered her course and introduced her to the pickaxe-wielding Diana (Edwina Findley).
The pair formed a quick bond and hopefully they will survive long into season 4 as a kick-ass zombie killing team.
Speaking about her character to AMC, Edwina said: “Unlike Alicia with her family, Diana’s has been surviving alone most of this time. She knows how to protect herself and she’s streetwise, but she’s also wounded. She’s had to fend for herself for a long time. I believe a lot of the people close to Diana have died.
“Alicia, whether she chooses to embrace them or not, still does have a family that loves her. I think they also have had different upbringings. I envision that in Diana’s previous life, she’s always had to be a fighter in some way and I think that explains why she’s survived for so long. The different dynamics are interesting and I think they can teach one another.”
3. Nick's high again
Whether it was the fall of the Ranch, Alicia’s forgiveness or simple temptation, Nick was triggered into taking drugs again and has rediscovered the naughty glint in his eye.
With a homeless and easily-influenced Troy by his side, Nick has decided to spend more time dabbling in his old favourite pastime and popping as many pills and downing as much tequila as possible.
Whether this is a deadly downward spiral for Nick and Troy or just a stumbling block that will be kicked out of them in the finale, will be fascinating to discover.
4. What next for Madison Clark?
She was forced to let her daughter go last week, Nick has abandoned her for drugs and quick thrills (again) and she’s no longer got Travis by her side, so for the first time in the show, Madison has no family driving her forward and no anchor.
Whatever impending danger is lurking in the finale, Madison’s response will be the most fascinating as we finally dig underneath the surface of the strong and protective matriarch.
5. What has Strand done?
Oh Strand. It’s not quite clear what he’s been plotting, but it looks like he’s going to sell out Madison, Daniel and the dam for a deal with Proctor John.
Would Strand really stand by if Madison was in danger or are we beginning to see a new side of Strand, who places survival, looking after number one and leverageable assets over friendships and loyalty.
The double bill finale of Fear the Walking Dead airs on Monday, October 16th at 9pm on AMC – exclusive to BT customers.
Watch AMC on BT TV channel 332/381 HD and BT Sport Pack subscribers can watch on Sky Guide channel 192.