Sunday night’s episode, 100 was masterful. Not only did a prominent character make his long-awaited return, we got to see a little glimpse into how he might have operated in the past. Before we dive in,
It begins with Daniel making his way from the burning Abigail ranch to the streets of Mexico (possibly Tijuana) infested with the non-living. Daniel is burned and bloodied–as we saw in the preview. He dives under an abandoned truck to get away from an infected woman.
*****New Character Efrain*****
The 5th Beatle: Daniel wakes up to someone at his feet. He hears what is an infected just behind him. He is too exhausted to do anything. He hears something else; it turns out to be a living man, who tugs at Daniel’s boot. Turns out to be Efrain–a stranger willing to help Daniel, who yells for water. Efrain loads Daniel into his rickshaw and peddles through the zombie infested streets where he literally clubs his way through. I like Efrain.
*****New Character Lola*****
Lola is among the people who inhabit the area where Efrain makes his home. She notices Daniel’s leg needs immediate attention. Daniel wakes up, and after a moment realizes what she intends to do, he says it takes a steady hand. A callback from season 1. Lola tries to sing to help Daniel deal with the incoming pain as she prepares to cut his pants from his skin.
Noventa y seis: Efrain takes in Daniel, feeds him, and helps him get back on his feet. They go out on daily runs to clear the area of infected. Efrain says a little prayer as he drives large nails through the heads of the infected. Daniel in return, offers to give Efrain a proper haircut. Efrain accepts. The two then share stories of each others past, and share a drink. Daniel tells Efrain about Ofelia and that he plans to find her. We find out Daniel knows exactly how many people he has killed (96), from El Salvador to present day. Keep this in mind for later.
*****New Community: Gonzalez Dam*****
A couple of workers are clearing out a drainage tunnel when they stumble upon Daniel. They bring him to a building where Lola enters and immediately recognizes the man she helped. She then helps him clean up and takes him to see if he can get a job. Lola, besides being pretty intelligent, is very convincing. She introduces Daniel to the head of security (J.C.) who doesn’t like newcomers. I like Lola.
Finger food: The boss (Dante) comes into the dining area and everyone immediately stands up–except Daniel, who keeps on munching on his meal. JC comes over and lets Daniel know he was not pleased. He does this by sticking a meaty finger into Daniel’s portion of spam. Daniel responds by beating JC up. This catches the attention of Dante, who introduces himself to Daniel. Dante immediately knows Daniel is not a local, and after asking him his name, recognizes who and what Daniel is, and was. He is impressed enough to offer Daniel a job. Daniel lies about knowing how many people he has killed.
Water patrol: Daniel is put on water patrol with JC and his goons. They are the same ones that passed Daniel when Efrain took him to his place. They enter the same structure that the “magic fountain” is in. Daniel knows how this story plays out before it does, so he acts quickly to save the water.
L-O-L-A Lola, la la la Lola! Lola is pretty upset when Daniel tells her he sacrificed Efrain to save the water. She doesn’t want to hear any of it and condemns him as a thug–who is perfect for this place. Daniel is once again in a bad situation. Not quite as bad as El Salvador, but similar.
We see the scene where Daniel sees Strand being brought into the Dam. Daniel then goes to where Strand is being kept in a cell. Daniel brings him some water and says “I knew you would drink it all”. Daniel asks about Ofelia and Strand quickly says she is alive in a hotel and he can take him to her. Daniel reads Strand and calls his bluff. Strand tries to play the “You owe me” card, and fails.
Those aren’t options brother: Dante calls on Daniel to make Efrain confess to stealing water. Daniel tells him if he talks, he and Lola will be killed. If he doesn’t talk, Daniel will have to kill him. Efrain says that those aren’t options. Daniel is prompted to begin the ‘inquiry’, and Daniel starts punching Efrain. After he sees it’s not working, he tells Dante he doesn’t think he will talk. Dante tells Daniel to keep going. This time Daniel picks up a hammer. Before he can use it, Lola runs over to Efrain and hugs him.
100: Dante has Efrain, Lola, her two janitors, and Strand brought out to the area of the dam he likes to toss people off of. You know what’s going to happen. Dante has Daniel bring out the first person, one of the janitors. Dante then tosses him off, and calls for the next in line–Lola. Daniel slowly brings her up, and hesitates. You can see he is struggling with his new duty. Dante then tells JC to handle it, which gets JC headbutted, then shot in the head. Daniel takes out another goon with a rifle before he walks over to Dante and shoots him in the head. This makes Daniel’s kill total 99. I must have missed number 100 somewhere. Unless it will be revealed later, or he blames himself for the janitors death.
This was probably my favorite episode of FTWD to date. One of my favorite characters is back, really back, and he is clearly changed. He has a purpose. He might not be a good guy per se, but he risked a lot to do the right thing. It will be interesting to see how he and Strand get along.
I didn’t even notice the majority of the episode was in Spanish with English subtitles until they mentioned it on Talking Dead. It was so well acted and written. I actually found myself wanting to speak Spanish (took 2 years in high school) afterwards. Quite well played.
Questions: Really don’t have a lot of questions after this episode. Who will take over the Dam? I have a feeling Efrain and Lola might, not sure they have the power. They could let more people in I suppose. They are quite resourceful. I hope they will stick with Daniel and eventually be a part of the core group.
The other stuff I want to talk about was in the preview for next week’s episode, so that is kind of it for this week’s questions. It looks like the story will jump ahead again in a big way next week. If you want to know more, check out the trailer.
Zombie Kill of the Week: In addition to his illustrious credentials, Efrain manages to club a walker as he peddled his rickshaw through the mean streets of Tijuana. A one-handed baseball style kill is not original, but considering he did it while navigating a rickshaw with a passenger–he gets the gold! Did I mention he was the 5th Beatle?