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Daniel Salazar is a main character and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. He is the husband of Griselda and the father of Ofelia. He is Lola Guerrero's former chief security officer at the Gonzalez Dam.
Daniel is a highly intelligent, caring, cautious and formidable man who is a strong, determined survivor.
Daniel's past as a secret agent of the Salvadoran Junta and CIA has revealed him to be a highly trained killer, having directly killed 100 people himself (with many more killed indirectly). His training and survival skills have shaped him into a formidable combatant. He is highly adept with firearms and hands to hand combat. Daniel is also shown to be a skilled torturer with extensive knowledge of interrogation techniques and is willing, albeit reluctantly, to use this skill when he feel it is necessary to survive, as seen when he brutally tortured Andrew Adams. Daniel however does not appear to be pleased with the past atrocities he has committed or was forced to commit, and regrets being the monster that he was forced to become.
Despite his murderous past, Daniel has demonstrated that he cares about his family more than anything else and is a loving husband and father who vowed to give his daughter the best life possible in the United States. He hid from her the truth of his past life, and dealt with the trauma privately with his wife's support. Daniel was shown to be devastated by the loss of his beloved wife, the anchor that kept him stable. He subsequently came unhinged for a time and nearly killed himself.
Daniel is extremely cautious around those he does not trust, such as Victor Strand and appears to be highly skilled at identifying a potential threat from body language and social cues. While under the leadership of Dante Esquivel briefly re-embraces his cruel nature but ultimately turns on Dante and his men, saving his allies from certain death, demonstrating that he will never harm the innocent again and that he is ready to kill a threat without any hesitation.
El Salvador/Los Angeles, California
Daniel Salazar was born and raised in the war-ridden El Salvador. As a child, he witnessed the brutal nature of civil war in El Salvador, and was present when many members of his village were forcefully abducted by the military, later to be murdered with their corpses being washed up a river. An unknown man coerced him to mortally shoot one of the survivors, which became his first out of many kills and an event leaving him traumatized that still haunts him even after decades. It is likely that this event led to his involvement with the Salvadoran junta. In his adulthood, he was coerced into the notorious Sombra Negra, a highly-confidential and extremely brutal pro-junta vigilante death squad who is directly backed by the CIA to carry out ruthless extra-judical tortures, assassinations and murders in the Salvadoran Civil War. He became proficient in combat, murder and torture due to his professional trainings and battlefield experiences, something he is obviously not proud of as he didn't have a choice when he was enlisted. His inner lips were also tattooed with the mark of the squad as seen in "100". During this time, he met his wife Griselda, who was hardened by the war as he was, and helped keep him stable after the horrors of what he did. Daniel himself reveals that he killed around 96 people in El Salvador and still suffers the trauma of his actions.
He left his country after the war with his wife and emigrated to Los Angeles where he came to own and operate a barber shop. He raised an "American" daughter, Ofelia, in the hopes that she would not have to become what he had and that she would remain innocent throughout her life.
When a riot erupts after the people of Los Angeles think the police are randomly killing people, unaware of how the the emerging infection spreads and affects people, Travis Manawa, Liza Ortiz, and their son Chris, enter a shop. Inside, they find Daniel and his family. Daniel orders them to leave, but is persuaded by his wife Griselda to keep them inside due to the riot outside.
Daniel appears with his family. After a short conversation, Chris notes that the walls are burning, and all six realize that they need to leave. Daniel opens the door, letting looters come in but they leave the six alone. They make a run to Travis's truck, where on the way Griselda is pinned by collapsed scaffolding after riot officers unleash a high-pressure hose on it. After getting to the truck, they head to a nearby hospital but find that it is overrun with the infected, with the National Guard shooting the infected patients coming out of the hospital. Travis suggests to go to another hospital, but Daniel declines and asks him to go to his house, as the other hospitals would most likely be overrun also. He plans to use Travis' phone in their house so he can contact his cousin to pick them up tomorrow.
After heading inside Travis' house, they are attacked by an undead Peter Dawson. Daniel grabs the shotgun and kills him. After watching Travis drag Peter's body out, he suggests burning it but Travis declines, and immediately Daniel knows it is because Peter was a good friend of Travis. He watches as Travis' girlfriend Madison Clark is about to kill a zombified Susan Tran, but stops after Travis persuades her not to, and mutters that she is "weak" as a result.
When the National Guard arrives at the neighborhood, Daniel peers out a window and says that "it's already too late".
Dr. Bethany Exner examines Griselda and decides that she needs surgery in a military medical facility outside in order to save her foot. Daniel insists that he will go with Griselda, to which Bethany readily agrees.
Madison tells Daniel about what she saw outside the curfew zone. Daniel tells Madison about how naive he found his father to be and why he mistrusts governments, and then asks Madison to promise to look after Ofelia if for any reason they do not return.
As Ofelia says her farewells to her parents, Daniel tells her that he can't guess how long he will be away. At the last moment, however, Daniel is denied leave and the soldiers take Nicholas instead. Liza is reluctantly convinced to go with the soldiers as well.
Daniel first appears when Madison thinks that her daughter Alicia is at the Trans' house again after finding Mrs. Tran's suicide note. Madison opens a door to find Ofelia and Daniel, who have kidnapped Andrew Adams, a soldier with whom Ofelia previously flirted. Daniel supposedly agrees to Ofelia's decision to use him as a hostage to free Griselda and Madison's son Nick. But when she leaves, Daniel tells Madison that he is going to torture him instead as he believes the army will not exchange and ignores her suggestion for a peaceful method.
Daniel talks with Adams about the war in the 80s and what he did to keep both himself and Griselda alive. He takes out some shaves, which Adams immediately recognizes as a torture attempt and discloses her location in an attempt to avoid being tortured. Daniel does not stop there and flays his arm. He knows that Adams is a good person and tells him that the deeper he goes, the more sensitive the nerve becomes, resulting in more pain. He demands to know what the code "Cobalt" means as from his radio, he notes that the word is said often.
Adams tells him more about his experience with the infected and how he still hears the screams of those in the arena. After Ofelia sees what he does to him, she leaves the house crying, and he tells Madison that she will be unable to understand why he had to torture him. Madison then asks if they got the information they needed, possibly surprising him as he thought of her as "weak".
After Adams relays his story about the civilians in the arena to Travis, Daniel goes to the arena to validate his story. As he approaches the doors, the herd of infected inside senses his presence and begins banging on the doors.
Daniel and Ofelia have an argument about the situation with Andrew. She says that he lied to her, but Daniel challenges this by stating that he was protecting her. Daniel's past activities in El Salvador are brought up, and he claims that he did what was necessary to survive and that he kept Ofelia in the dark to protect her.
Daniel wants to kill Andrew, but Travis talks him out of it and convinces him to take Andrew with them instead, pointing out that he will be helpful in finding Griselda's exact location.
As the three families leave in three different vehicles, Daniel has to briefly step out in order to open the gates, which have been left unguarded as the soldiers took their leave.
Andrew convinces Travis to release him, arguing that he can tell him where to find Ofelia and Nicholas and that Daniel will kill him if given the chance.
Daniel later walks casually towards the command post and seeks the sentinels' attention. They order him to stop and threaten to shoot, but he advises them to spare their ammunition, a puzzling statement that is shortly clarified when the infected from the arena are seen following him. Daniel has released some two thousand undead, forcing the soldiers into defense and creating a distraction for his party.
At the medical facility, Ofelia, Daniel, Madison, and Travis search for Nick. They come across his holding cell, but he isn't there. They continue to search for Nick, until they discover him trapped behind some locked doors, trying to get away from incoming infected. Liza reunites with the group, trying and succeeding to unlock the doors with her key card.
As the group escapes from the mess hall, Daniel and Ofelia stop Liza to find out where Griselda is. Liza has trouble answering, and Daniel realizes that Griselda is dead. Liza says that everything that could be done was and that she is sorry. Continuing to flee, Daniel and Ofelia soon pass through a pile of human cinders on the outside that they can't help but see as the resting place of Griselda. Daniel does his best to comfort Ofelia as she starts crying.
Shortly thereafter, the group returns to the parking space where they left the three cars. Alicia and Christopher are there, but their car was taken away by a few soldiers in the meantime. Andrew reappears and threatens Daniel with a gun. Ofelia tries to talk Andrew out of shooting him, but he instead shoots her in the arm.
Travis beats Andrew viciously in return, while Liza tends to Ofelia's gunshot wound, successfully stabilizing her.
The group enters the two remaining vehicles and heads east, Daniel in the back of the truck with Liza and Ofelia. At Strand's house, Daniel is instructed by Liza to change Ofelia's bandages regularly and told that the wound is clotting. Daniel hears the gunshot that killed Liza as he sits with a sleeping Ofelia.
Daniel is first shown boarding the Abigail as Los Angeles is being firebombed by military jet planes with him noting the massive destruction taking place. He is seen helping Travis and Madison on board alongside Chris with Liza's corpse. When a life raft of survivors is spotted at sea, he takes his double barreled shotgun and keeps it at the ready as a safety precaution, he remains quiet on whether to bring the survivors onto the boat. He later appears fishing by himself. He see's Chris and welcomes him, and encourages him to help him fish. Daniel questions Chris on how he learned how to fish with him explaining he used to do it when he was younger. Daniel expresses his condolences to Chris about Liza's sudden death with Chris offering his sympathies to his wife that also recently died. Daniel catches a eel and explains that they will have it for dinner Travis later walks over to Daniel and asks what him and Chris talked about. Daniel explains it was about Liza and Griselda to which Daniel expresses sympathy to Travis stating what he did for Liza was merciful and that one day Chris will understand why he shot her.
He is later present at dinner when he and everyone else hear Chris jump overboard, for a swim. He later witness the aftermath of the attack on a sailing boat, and stands on guard with the shotgun in hand again.
Daniel first appears when the group decides to dock the boat at an island to lose being spotted by a nearby hostile boat. Daniel elected to remain on the boat with his daughter once the boat docked, still suspicious of Strands intentions.
During a conversation with his daughter later that night, he said he remained on the boat because he was not "invited" into the house by the Geary family, which seemed strange to Ofelia. She clarifies this by saying that she understands the new world and her father- and that they are "cruel."
The following day, still suspicious of Strand, he begins searching the captains room of the boat, eventually finding a sealed compartment. He successfully picks the lock and discovers a hidden compartment. In the compartment he finds a loaded MP5 sub-machine gun and maps of the Mexican coast.
Daniel first appears this episode alongside Travis and Madison when they discuss a possible problem with the water filtration system on the boat. Daniel watches Strand's increasing stress to get the filtration system up and running. Daniel is later seen with Ofelia, noticing that her wound is infected and expresses concern for her. She notes that they ran out of antibiotics and Daniel sternly tells her not to tell Madison insisting that they have to care for one another. Daniel is later present when they find aircraft luggage on a nearby island. After Chris, Alicia and Nick express that they want to grab supplies on the island but Madison and Travis say its too dangerous, Daniel offers he will go with them and keep watch. As they reach the island Daniel with his M9 beretta in hand tells everyone to remain in eye length with one an another. Daniel rummages through luggage in search of antibiotics for Ofelia. Nick informs Daniel that Ofelia needs Amoxicillin, Oxycodone, or something similar. Daniel tells Nick he will leave the medicine up to him. Daniel quickly realizes that Chris is missing and goes to search for him inland. As Daniel moves inland, he spots a survivor from the plane, Alex, she quickly runs to him informing him to run quickly. Daniel spots a small herd of zombies approaching him over the sand dune and pulls out his M9 and shoots a few of the zombies. Alicia, Chris and Alex help Daniel fight off the herd, but are quickly getting cornered. Nick however joins them camouflaged in blood keeping him disguised from the walkers. Daniel makes it to the life raft and they make it back to the Abigail. Daniel later witness the drama unfolding on the Abigail regarding Alex and Jake and that they cannot stay aboard.
After 3 unknown survivors, 2 men and a woman, board the ship, Daniel, Travis and Madison rush upstairs to interrogate the strangers. The strangers claim that Vida is having pregnancy complications. Alicia goes downstairs and recognises one of the men's voices as Jack from the radio she was talking to. "Jack?" she asks. Daniel asks her what did she do but before she can answer Reed takes the advantage by throwing a punch to Travis. Vida is also able to overpower Madison. They then tie them all together. Alicia is forced by Reed to bind Daniel. As Alicia is binding Daniel, he asks her how did they know their names to which she just replies "I don't know". Later, Vida brings back a tied Madison to the group. She tells that she heard gunshots and Daniel says that they shot down his boat. Daniel tells Madison to keep talking to Vida as a distraction as he attempts to loose the binds. Madison asks Vida if the baby is moving. She baits her by telling her if a dead baby would turn inside her belly. Angered, Vida threatens to shoot Madison. Reed and Travis return from the engine room and as Vida punches Madison. As Reed stops her from doing any more damage, Travis slips a crowbar behind a seat cushion. After Luis Flores shoots both Ben and Breannah with an assault rifle, this gives time for Daniel to slip his binds and grab his gun back from Reed's hand as Ofelia slams him on the door before Madison stabs him with the crowbar. Upon seeing Luis, he aims him and orders to drop his gun though Nick tells him that he's a friend of Strand. When Luis mentions that they cannot cross the boarder without Strand, Daniel tells him they don't need him as Luis tells him back without Strand they're not going to Mexico.
Daniel treats the wound that Reed sustained from the crowbar. Reed tells Daniel that his brother, Connor, has a dozen men and five boats and will come looking for him. Daniel leaves Reed tied up in a chair. Daniel agrees to let Chris stand outside Reed's door. Daniel tells Madison that they can use Reed’s relationship to Connor as leverage over Connor.
Daniel listens into Luis and Strand's plan on how to get across the border and advises Madison to let Nick and Chris help fight Connor's group, urging her to stop treating them like children. Madison ignores his advice.
When Reed turns after death. Daniel stabs Reed and pins him to a wall, leaving him alive. Daniel places a hood over Reed's head, devising a plan to use the undead Reed. "Take the gun, Daniel," says a voice, but the room is empty. He snaps out of his daze when Ofelia arrives, and together they escort Reed out of the room to deliver to the pirates to save Alicia and Travis.
With his wife gone and a lack of understanding and acceptance from Ofelia, Daniel begins to mentally break down during the course of the episode. When the Abigail is attacked by remnants of the Mexican Navy, he stabs several of the attackers in the head to prevent reanimation, but when he comes to Luis, he is startled when the dying man gives him a pendant with symbols on it that Daniel seems to recognize. He angrily tries to put the man down but is stopped by Ofelia and Nick. He grabs the pendant and throws it overboard.
Later on, Daniel is suspicious when the servants working for Celia confiscate the group's weapons. He remains on his guard the entire time, continually observing goings on and the activities of the residents. He searches the premises of Celia's home and discovers she keeps walkers in her basement as she believes they are still alive but changed. Daniel finds Celia praying near a monument with the same symbol on it as Luis's pendant. He is left considerably shaken as Celia tries to get him to contemplate making peace with the dead.
In a flashback, a young Daniel Salazar stands beside a pond full of dead bodies in the Salvadoran jungle. "Take the gun, Daniel," a man tells him. He wakes up to the sound of a gunshot. Daniel runs outside with Ofelia. Ofelia starts to peel the skin off of her face. Daniel wakes up: It was a nightmare. He hears people running in the hall. Daniel finds Ofelia and hugs her fiercely.
The next day, Daniel secretly sharpens a razor blade and pockets it, and he urges Strand not to bury Thomas in such an unholy place. Strand sees that he is clearly unravelling very quickly. Later, he has a mental breakdown and grabs Ofelia, trying to discretely lead her away, believing that Griselda is waiting for them and that they are in danger. When Ofelia resists and tries to calm him down, he becomes agitated and more insistent. Several of the workers immediately intervene and Daniel panics, drawing his barber's blade and slashing one of them across the face. In the frenzy, he is overwhelmed by their numbers, punched several times in the face and subdued.
Later on, Celia brings food to Daniel, who is tied up in a storage room, and urges him to seek forgiveness from his Dead. He hears Griselda's voice. After Celia leaves, Griselda's ghost appears before him. He talks to Griselda and reflects on all of the people he’s killed. "What about the one that haunts you now?" Griselda asks. In a flashback, young Daniel looks at the pool of dead bodies and notices one of the men is still alive. A man hands him a gun and tells him to shoot. Daniel complies. "The first victim was you," Griselda tells Daniel.
Jorge unties Daniel to give him some food. Daniel attacks and kills him and escapes. "I'm waiting for you," Griselda tells Daniel. Inside the infected-filled wine cellar, Daniel pours gasoline lights it on fire. Instead of seeing the infected, he hallucinates all of the people he has killed when Griselda emerges from the crowd and smiles. The flames barely start to touch Daniel's feet as he watches the cellar burn, entranced. Because he does not make it out in time to reunite with his family, they think he perished in the fire when in reality he was able to escape. This is the last time Daniel is seen for the rest of the second season.
At some point between "Shiva" and "TEOTWAWKI", Daniel was discovered by Efraín and Lola, and found refuge in the Gonzalez Dam. After meeting Dante and hearing his accent, Dante realizes that Daniel is from El Salvador. He infers that Daniel is a “sombra negra” and was in the fearsome El Salvadoran military. He pulls Daniel's lower lip down to reveal a tattoo indicating "Sombra Negra". He tells his enforcer he was picking a fight with a killer. Dante is impressed by Daniel’s background and welcomes him as a guest to his place.
Three weeks after the Abigail farm was abandoned, While Strand sits in a cell imprisoned by Dante Esquivel, someone brings him a canteen of water. Strand notices that the person is Daniel, who tells Strand that he told him he'd be his guardian angel, referring to a time he had said as much to Strand while growing suspicious of him on The Abigail.
Daniel, having survived the fire at the Abigail Estate, and barely clinging to his life, hobbles through the streets of Tijuana, skillfully avoiding the Infected. He's searching for water with little luck. When one of the Infected notices him, he flees and hides under a car. A stray dog barks at the Infected, then runs away. The Infected follows the dog. Daniel, who has fallen asleep under the car, awakens to the sound of a growling Infected next to the car. Daniel lays down, laughing. Later, Daniel wakes up and sees footsteps approaching. He thinks it is a walker until the man uses a nail and hammer to put down a walker. A man named Efraín pulls Daniel out and insists he calm down, getting a look at his burnt leg. "You're dying," the man tells him in Spanish. Daniel yells out for water. Efraín is willing to give him water but they have to walk, which Daniel agrees to.
Efraín takes Daniel to a dry water fountain. Daniel is angry and skeptical that the water will come, but at exactly 5 PM, water begins to flow. Daniel laps up the water. Efraín fills a jug and explains that water flows from the fountain at 5 PM every Tuesday. Efraín loads Daniel into a rickshaw and peddles through town, expertly dodging Infected along the way. Efraín delivers water to a family. They hide as a vehicle of armed men drive by. Unable to take the pain in his legs, Daniel passes out. Daniel fades in and out of consciousness. Then the group evaluates Daniel, with a woman named Lola ruling he is going to lose his leg.
Daniel awakens as Lola is pulling out a knife. He screams in pain as Lola scrapes off the charred skin with a blade. After Daniel has had some time to heal, he helps Efraín scavenge for goods. Efraín stops their work to say a prayer before driving a nail into an Infected's skull. Daniel asks Efraín whether he used to be a priest. "I've been many things. But then I found my true calling," replies Efraín, shaking his flask of alcohol.
Efraín and Daniel eat dinner at Efraín's hideout. Daniel wants to repay Efraín for saving his life. The only thing he can offer Efraín is a proper haircut. Daniel cuts Efraín’s hair and admits that he’s killed many people in his life.
Daniel is carrying guilt of killing 96 people to be specific. Efraín insists this is not what is weighing on him. Daniel recalls leaving El Salvador with his wife and daughter, heading to Los Angeles. He regrets lying to his daughter but Efraín insists it was the best thing to do. Daniel admits he is looking for her. "I woke up in a fire," Daniel said, which is where he heard Ofelia calling for him. "The ceiling was collapsing. I fought, I fought, and I got out. I don't know how but I got out." When he woke up, everyone was dead and burned. Efraín questions what he is saying. Daniel says he doesn't know if he burned his daughter alive and begs forgiveness from Efraín. He has good news and bad news. Good: no one is left to judge him. Just as he is about to say the bad news, he falls asleep. Daniel covers him with a blanket and leaves on the rainy night.
Dismayed, Daniel leaves Efraín's home in the middle of the night and forges out into a rain storm. An Infected attacks Daniel, and he is nearly overpowered, but he is saved when a bolt of lightning strikes the Infected. Daniel is knocked back, unconscious. Two dam workers, Pablito and Everardo, discover Daniel while cleaning out litter from a sewage pipe. They take Daniel to Lola, who works at the Gonzalez Dam. She immediately recognizes Daniel. Lola explains that municipal president Dante Esquivel took over the dam after Tijuana fell. She hints at her disapproval of his water distribution system. At the dam, Lola orders Daniel to pretend that he met her when he came begging for work. J.C., Dante's head of security, questions Lola's decision to hire Daniel as a new janitor. She insists she needs more janitors to help keep the water clean. Daniel and Pablito drag dead Infected out of a sewer. Daniel sees all the people lined up outside the dam exchanging goods for water. He then questions Dante's methods.
Daniel eats in the cafeteria. Everyone except Daniel stands as Dante enters the room. J.C. orders Daniel to stand and sticks his finger in Daniel's food. Daniel stabs J.C.'s hand with a fork, prompting J.C. to pull his gun. Dante notices the commotion and grills Daniel about his background. After hearing his accent, Dante realizes that Daniel is from El Salvador. He infers that Daniel is a "sombra negra" and was in the fearsome El Salvadoran military. Dante is impressed by Daniel’s background and welcomes him as a guest to his table.
In a private meeting, Dante asks for Daniel's help tracking down a water thief. Daniel demands a Jeep in exchange for his help. Dante obliges, but implores Daniel to stay here, promising to take care of him.
Outside the dam, Daniel is escorted around the community. J.C. tells him someone is robbing them. Daniel sees people nearby as the truck plows through a door and into a seemingly abandoned mall. It's where Daniel got his water from Efraín. The man search the place, guns drawn. The leader elects there is nothing here. Daniel looks at a clock and realizes it is almost 5 PM as the men walk away. Water starts to drip from the fountain, leaving Daniel torn on what to do, if they see the water flow from the fountain they will know that it was Lola's doing. Daniel distracts J.C. from the fountain by directing him to Efraín’s hideout.
Daniel tells Lola that he led J.C. to Efraín's hideout because J.C. was about to discover the fountain. He insists that he was protecting her. Lola is appaulled by his decision, and is infuriated. Daniel insists they are going to find Efraín and Lola and kill them. She has been running water to them from the dam. He insists when they find her, though, there will be nothing they can do. Lola is disappointed, saying this place is perfect for him.
While on patrol, Daniel is armed and watching the door. He sees Victor Strand getting tackled at the gate, watching with a smirk, and seeing Dante approach. He goes on to give Strand water. Strand is shocked to see Daniel. Daniel goes straight to asking about Ofelia. He tells Daniel she is alive and holed up in a hotel down the coast. It's a day away. "She's waiting for you," Strand lies. Daniel doesn't believe him. "You'd say anything to save your life," Daniel said. "This place is perfect for you. You will rot here, like the dead, Ofelia is dead. Her father is dead. And so are you." Daniel abandons Strand and walks away.
Daniel later finds Dante interrogating Efraín. Dante questions who is helping Efraín. He orders Daniel to torture Efraín until he reveals the person who helps him steal the water, amd offers Daniel weapons to torture Efraín with. He asks for space. Daniel quietly advises Efraín against talking and offers to kill him quickly. He punches Efraín repeatedly and commands him to confess. A beaten Efraín is begged to confess. "I don't have anything to confess," Efraín said. Dante orders Daniel to continue. He grabs a hammer for his next act. As he prepares to swing a hammer at Efraín, Lola runs over and stops him, outing herself as Efraín's accomplice. Dante and J.C. take Efraín, Lola, Strand and Pablito to the dam catwalk for execution. Dante pushes Pablito over the edge despite his pleas of innocence.
Lola is next up to be executed, but Daniel has a different plan. He turns on Dante and his men, killing J.C. and two guards. Dante pleads that Daniel cannot kill him as Daniel owes Dante for letting him into the group and pulling him off the streets. Realizing Daniel's mind is made up, Dante insults him by saying that he will always be a "goddamn dog" and is promptly shot in the head. Daniel asks Lola to be forgiven, then hands over his gun to her and kneels before her. Lola holds out her hand to Daniel.
Daniel and Strand sit in Strand’s car as a herd crosses the road ahead. Strand warns Daniel to prepare himself in case Ofelia is no longer at the hotel when they arrive. Daniel's suspicion of Strand grows, as he orders him to drive through the herd.
At a pit stop on the way to the Rosarito Beach Hotel, Strand questions how Daniel survived the fire. Daniel says he was spared and suggests it was the devil who helped him. Daniel is still not trusting Strand as he promises to take them to the hotel. Daniel asks Strand why he left the hotel. Strand tells more lies about why he left the hotel; he doesn't mention that he was kicked out and decides to say that he left on his own accord to try and meet up with Dante. Daniel doubts Strand's story, causing Strand to lash out, and tells Daniel to kill him now if he wants to. Daniel is not intimidated and again orders him to drive him to the hotel.
Daniel and Strand arrive at the hotel only to find the entrance abandoned. Strand became concerned when he noticed that the gates were lying open and nobody was in sight, leaving Strand hesitant to enter, but Daniel is determined to find Ofelia. The two survivors entered through the main entrance of the building to find only blood, there were no people around. Daniel sensed Strand's nervousness, working out that he hasn't a clue where Ofelia is.
Daniel and Strand enter the hotel and find blood all over the ground. Daniel points his gun at Victor upon realizing Ofelia isn't here. Victor's attempt to defuse the situation can't stop the wrath of Daniel, as he rings a bell, bringing the Dead upon them. With the dead closing in, Daniel pressures Strand to tell the truth about where Ofelia is. Strand finally admits that she left the hotel while he was still there. He leaves Victor behind and his words echo as Victor watches him speed away: "Let's see how you get out of this one."
The Infected attack Strand. Daniel drives off in the car, abandoning Strand. He runs away on his own.
While he doesn't physically appear, Daniel appears as a hallucination to Ofelia while she is nearly passed out, insisting she stay awake.
At the dam, Daniel and Lola discusses their plans now that Dante is dead. Daniel rules she is the new leader of Gonzalez Dam and is the new "Dante" now. Daniel and Efraín urge her to stay behind for her safety, but she insists on joining them. Daniel observes the people they are helping. They are welcoming new people to the community. They spot a number of infected approaching which sends the group into a chaotic sprint in different directions. At night, Daniel notices more infected have gotten in. Lola elects they will deal with them later. He is thinking about Ofelia but she tells him the world is gone in every direction. Lola counsels Daniel to stop looking for Ofelia. She needs him and is worried his hope will only lead to heartbreak. "Nothing breaks me, Lola," he tells her. "I'm immortal."
The next day, Daniel helps split up the water. Lola and Efraín distribute water to a crowd. People are demanding more and claiming Daniel took it for himself. A man accuses them of controlling the dam for personal gain and scolds them for killing Dante and his group. The angry mob hits Lola on the head, and Daniel rushes Lola to the truck as the crowd turns on them and attacks. Luckly, A truck pulls up and rescues them from the angry mob.
Daniel, Efraín and an injured Everado race down the road in a water tanker with an angry mob in pursuit. Daniel attempts to shoot at the mob, but Efraín orders him to stop. Back at the dam, they rush inside. Efraín admonishes Daniel for shooting at the crowd. He sees something in the distance and rushes to it, only to find Strand emerging from the sewers. He is not happy to see him, but Madison emerges and asks Daniel to lower the gun. Walker lowers his first. Madison is surprised to see Daniel is alive. He tells her he is better now before asking about Ofelia. "She's alive, Daniel," Madison tells him. He is reluctant to trust her because of Strand, but Madison reveals Walker helped her and now they need Daniel's help. She tells them they’ve come for water. Daniel holsters his gun and brings them inside.
Daniel takes Madison’s group to Lola's office. They wait outside as Daniel speaks to Lola. Madison assures Walker, Daniel will help them. Moments later, Daniel invites them inside. Lola offers Madison a seat while the men in the room remain standing. Madison asks Lola for water in exchange for resources such as cattle or guns. Lola refuses to make a deal and orders Madison to leave the next morning.
Later that night, Lola talks with Daniel. She asks about Ofelia. Daniel tells her they have her at their camp and he believes their word. Lola questions whether or not he is going to go back with Madison to see Ofelia but he swears his allegiance to Lola and vows to fulfill his promise to Lola by staying at the dam, and he believes Ofelia is better off without him. Strand helps Efraín treat Everado's wound. Efraín criticizes Daniel for attacking the people, who he believes are merely thirsty and scared. He rejects Daniel's belief that people are plotting to overtake the dam and maintains that Lola should release the water to everyone.
Daniel thanks Walker for saving Ofelia and asks what she does at the ranch. To Daniel's dismay, Walker tells him she is a soldier. Daniel insists he did not raise a soldier. Walker explains that she poisoned their enemies and saved many lives. "By taking others," Daniel says. This deeply upsets Daniel.
In the headquarters of the dam, Lola and Daniel debate plans for preparing for attacks. Lola wants to continue providing water to the people but Daniel wants to be more careful. Lola criticizes Daniel for having killed. He tells her, though, that these people will attack and drag them out of the dam. Lola insists the people will eventually appreciate what she is doing, but Daniel fears he lacks the guns to protect her from those who are disgruntled. There is a clear divide between them on how the dam should be operated.
On the edge of the dam, Strand is joined by Daniel while watching people load the water truck. "I don't know what you're thinking but I'm sure that serpent brain of yours is coiling around an idea," Daniel says. Strand plays dumb saying, "Whatever it is, if it benefits both of us, I'll look the other way. If not, I'll have you in my sights." Daniel walks away singing "down with the water queen" in Spanish.
Daniel and Madison catch up. Daniel tried to change Lola's mind but couldn't, but he won't abandon her because she saved his life and tells her that he plans to stay at the dam to protect Lola. Madison, however, questions whether the truth of it is Daniel being afraid to face his daughter. "Ofelia will always be my daughter, no matter what that man had her do," Daniel said. They walk past the wreckage of the truck putting down infected. Daniel aids their efforts. Lola is down there, now. Daniel says all but, "I told you so." People are heard chanting at the dam as they approach. Daniel calls Strand and Madison over so the crew can fix the fence.
In her office, Lola asks Daniel how many guns and munitions they will need to protect the dam. Daniel writes down a number. Madison agrees to provide them with the required armaments in exchange for 10,000 gallons of water a week until the rains come. Madison suggests they make the first trade in five days at the trading post in Mexicali. Lola also demands that Ofelia show up at the exchange. Daniel sends off Madison and Strand in a water tanker provided by Lola. Madison thanks Daniel before leaving. Daniel warns her Strand will double cross her as he know this.
Daniel arrives at a large trading post at a stadium to meet with Madison and Ofelia, who died from her wound before he arrives. Daniel marches toward her asking where Ofelia is. Madison begs him to stop and listen, but he doesn't. He finds Ofelia in her lifeless body and hugs her. He demands to know what kind of sick joke this is and points the gun at Madison as he breaks down in tears, demanding an answer. Madison tells him the ranch was overrun and Ofelia saved them, but she got bit. Daniel is devastated. He lowers his gun. "This is the price," he says in Spanish. He tells Madison to get away from them or he'll kill her. Madison realizes that they’re done and walks away. As she walks away, Daniel shoots Ofelia prevent her from reanimation.
The next day, Madison has returned to El Bazar and finds the empty bag of painkillers. Daniel comes in and looks around. Madison watches as he leans against a pole and tells her that he was walking all night. He carried Ofelia away and buried her. Madison says Alicia saved Ofelia's life, and Daniel asks where she it. She tells him that Alicia went off on her own. Daniel isn't surprised. He asks if Madison was with her when she died and if she said anything. Madison says she wanted him to know she loved him, and that she was looking forward to getting to know her. She tells Daniel their conversation and he says she only saw the real man for a moment. "She never did know the man that brought her to the United States," Daniel said. "She saw him once, for a moment, and it frightened her". He says that she should pack up and come along. Madison asks him to bring her group. He agrees to take the others as well.
Daniel is approached by Walker and presented with a cross pendant necklace. Daniel has questions about Ofelia's death. Walker asks himself the same questions, saying he wasn't at the ranch when it got overrun. Then, Daniel informs Madison that Nick has arrived at the dam. Nick and Troy relay what they learned at the Bazar to Madison, Strand, Daniel, Lola and Efraín: The Proctors are planning to raid the dam. Troy offers his help in laying charges despite Daniel's doubts. Efraín proposes using C-4 explosives to blow up the dam and release the water to the people. Daniel suggests they post guards at the dam's entryways and use the explosives as a bargaining chip, threatening to blow up the dam if the Proctors don't negotiate with them.
Daniel corners Nick and demands to know how the horde found the ranch. Nick insists he and Troy tried to redirect the Infected after spotting them on the outskirts. Daniel senses Nick is lying and locks the door to the room.
Daniel asks Nick if he is familiar with his background. He places a chair on the ground and hopes this will go easier, having a conversation and not an interrogation. Nick asks torture is what Ofelia would want. "No, she wouldn't, but she's dead," Daniel said. "People don't change. We just walk in circles." Daniel orders Nick to sit down and he does.
Daniel continues to interrogate Nick, who is covering for Troy. Daniel believes Nick did not kill Ofelia but insists someone lead the horde to the Ranch. "Don't force me," Daniel says before standing up and taking his coat off. Daniel claims either Nick ot Troy had to lead the herd to the Ranch. "It was Jake," Nick said. Daniel insists it way Troy. Daniel wants Nick to admit it so he can "get justice for his dead daughter." Still, Nick insists Troy would never destroy the Ranch. Nick finally says that Jake led the herd to the ranch after learning that Nick killed his father. Daniel appears to believe Nick's lie and dismisses Nick to his mother. Nick leaves and Daniel sits alone with his thoughts.
At the dam, Daniel talks with Strand. He notices dam water pumping in the wrong direction. Strand insists Lola has it taken care of. Daniel and Lola rush to the pump room to determine why the dam water is flowing the wrong way. Strand approaches with a gun drawn and orders her to step away. She realizes the entrance in unprotected. Strand reveals his plans and turns the gun to Daniel who says, "You are not a killer, you're a con man." Strand stands his gun while Daniel orders he hand over the gun. Daniel eventually attacks him and they fight for the gun. Strand shoots Daniel in the chin in front of Lola. Daniel slowly rises up with a bullet hole in his cheek, spitting blood and teeth from his mouth. Lola escorts him out of the room.
Daniel is treated by Lola. She applies pressure to Daniel’s gunshot wound and she insists he should be dead. She leaves him in an underground room while she goes to find Efraín, while he falls asleep. Later, Daniel awakens in the depths of the dam. Daniel stumbles John's men before taking their gun and killing them all.
Daniel comes upon Lola's body on the bridge with a note on it. He puts a rosary in her hands before continuing on his path. Daniel reaches the group and starts shooting more of John's men. Nick flips the switch and detonates the explosives. The dam breaks apart as John and his men flee. Daniel reaches Nick. They teeter on the dam bridge as water fills the valley.
This list shows the victims Daniel has killed:
- 95 unnamed people (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Wounded Man (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Peter Dawson (Zombified)
- Willimas (Caused)
- Shih (Caused)
- Melvin Allen (Caused)
- Hector Ramirez (Indirectly Caused)
- Elizabeth Ortiz (Indirectly Caused)
- Priest (Zombified)
- Miguel (Before Reanimation)
- Vazquez (Before Reanimation)
- Jorge (Caused)
- Luis Flores (Zombified)
- Celia Flores (Either Before or After Reanimation)
- Pablito (Indirectly Caused)
- Dante Esquivel
- Ofelia Salazar (Before Reanimation)
- Proctor Eleven
- 1 unnamed Gonzalez Dam bodyguard (Caused)
- 4 unnamed Proctors
- Many unnamed soldiers and Los Angeles citizens (Indirectly Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies
- The casting call for this character used the name Salvador Pena.
- His name may be a homage to Miguel Salazar, a soldier who suffered from an emotional and mental breakdown in George Romero's Day of the Dead (1985).
- In "Ouroboros", he is shown to be a proficient shooter, probably due to his military experience back in El Salvador.
- Daniel's younger self in the flashbacks in "Sicut Cervus" and "Shiva" is credited as Brown Eyed Boy.
- Daniel currently possess the highest direct kill count on Fear The Walking Dead with a total of 112 living people killed directly.
- Additionally he possesses the highest pre-apocalypse kill count with a total of 96 victims in his service of the Sombra Negra death squads.
- As of Ofelia's death, Daniel is the last surviving member of his family.
- Daniel was a main character from Season 1 to Season 3 whereas he is set to be featured as a "recurring character" when he returns.
- This makes him the first living character to be demoted from series regular status.
- Daniel, Alicia and Strand are the only Season 1 characters confirmed alive.
- Season 4 is currently the only season where Daniel has not made an appearance.