"El Matadero" is the fourteenth episode of the third season of AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. It is the thirty-fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on October 8, 2017. It was written by Alan Page and directed by Stefan Schwartz.
Madison, Strand and Walker drive a tanker to the trading outpost to meet with Lola and Daniel. Strand worries that things might go south when they show up to the trade empty-handed. Madison argues that they at least have Ofelia.
Ofelia and Crazy Dog ride on the back of the tanker. Ofelia grows weak and falls off of her perch. Madison checks on Ofelia and spots a bite wound. Ofelia asks for Madison’s word that she will take her to see Daniel. Madison promises.
Alicia eats dinner inside an abandoned building. She hears a car and readies her rifle. It’s Nick and Troy.
Nick tries to convince Alicia to rejoin the group, promising safety in numbers. Alicia points out that she nearly died in the pantry while surrounded by people.
Madison’s group arrives at the outpost a day early. Strand tells Madison that the outpost guards will kill Ofelia if they think she’s sick, but Madison insists they must enter to get Ofelia a bed and medicine.
Madison’s group hands over their weapons at the checkpoint. Ofelia steadies herself, and a guard waves her through. Madison sells part of their rifle stash to pay for entry.
Madison sets up Ofelia inside a room then goes to find painkillers. Walker stands guard over Ofelia.
Strand tells Madison that they’re wasting resources on Ofelia but agrees to see how things play out with Daniel.
Nick says goodbye to Alicia and gives her a map.
Nick and Troy drive to the outpost. Troy tells Nick that they’re more alike than Nick thinks.
Madison gives some Vicodin to Ofelia. As Ofelia sleeps, Walker tells Madison that she’s doing the right thing by honoring Ofelia’s request to see her father one last time.
Alicia scavenges for food inside a burger joint. She procures a tub of potatoes from the kitchen but hides in the playground ball pit when she sees a herd of walkers heading toward the restaurant. A walker attacks Alicia from within the pit. Alicia stabs her through the head and again hides in the ball pit. The walkers enter the restaurant. A woman strides in and slaughters the herd with a pickaxe. She severs their fingers, pulls their teeth and walks off with the potatoes.
Nick finds Madison sleeping by Ofelia’s side. He watches over Ofelia while Madison takes a break. He stares at the Vicodin pills and pops one in his mouth.
Alicia spots the woman’s car in a supermarket parking lot. She reaches inside to steal the potatoes. The woman, Diana, shows up and threatens to kill her. Alicia threatens to shoot up Diana’s gas tank then proposes they instead share the potatoes.
At the outpost cafeteria, Nick joins Troy at a table and orders tequila. Nick asks the waitress where they can find the slaughter yard. Nick pops another pill and downs the tequila. Troy joins him.
Guards capture Strand as he sneaks around the outpost. Strand demands to see Proctor John and says he has something that John will want.
Madison wakes Ofelia to meet Daniel. She suggests Walker stay behind.
Madison helps Ofelia walk to the parking lot. Ofelia asks Madison to tell Daniel that she was looking forward to getting to know him, dying soon after. Daniel arrives and goes straight to Ofelia. He cries and pulls a gun on Madison when he sees that Ofelia is dead. Madison explains what happened. Daniel sends her away and shoots Ofelia.
Nick and Troy walk around the outpost in a haze. Nick asks for directions to the slaughter yard.
Nick and Troy enter the slaughter yard, which is functioning as a drug den. A man offers an assortment of drugs, but Nick wants uppers. The man places mysterious animal glands in two shot glasses. Troy starts to leave in disgust, but Nick eats the gland. Troy caves in and eats his.
Alicia and Diana eat the potatoes inside an abandoned store. Diana explains that she sells the fingers and teeth to Mexicans at the outpost. Alicia tells Diana that she’s traveling alone to a place in the desert. Diana warns her that every town has been picked clean and declares that she doesn’t keep company.
Nick and Troy roam the streets in the middle of the night and encounter a herd. Nick smears his face in walker blood and instructs Troy to do the same. To Troy’s amazement, the herd walks right by them.
Madison cleans up Ofelia’s room and realizes that Nick took some of the Vicodin. Daniel stops by and informs her that she can still come to the dam, along with Strand, Walker, and the others.
Alicia wakes up and finds Diana fixing her car outside. A herd approaches. They decide to take on the herd together.
Madison prepares to return to the dam. Nick informs her that he and Troy will stay at the outpost to secure a toehold for future trading. Knowing that Nick has ulterior motives for staying, Madison simply tells him that he knows where to find her.
- Eddie Diaz as Riot Guard
- Brian Duffy as Proctor Nineteen
- Christel Klitbo as Waitress
- Teya Patt as Teller
- Unknown as Johnny
- First appearance of Diana.
- First appearance of El Matarife.
- First (and last) appearance of Johnny. (Unknown)
- Last appearance of Ofelia Salazar.
- "El Matadero" is Spanish for "The Slaughterhouse" and is the name of the place selling drugs in El Bazar.
- As of this episode, Sam Underwood (Jake Otto) has been removed from the opening credits.
- The Locus coeruleus is a part of the brainstem and is responsible for the physiological responses in the body related to stress and panic. The Locus coeruleus is one of the main areas where the neurotransmitter norepinephrine is produced, norepinephrine is one of the two main types of adrenaline found in the body and mainly plays a role in the "fight or flight" response. In the brain norepinephrine increases arousal and alertness, promotes vigilance, enhances formation and retrieval of memory, and focuses attention; it also increases restlessness and anxiety. In the rest of the body, norepinephrine increases heart rate and blood pressure.
- When Strand said that their "better angels are dead" he is paraphrasing a speech made by Abraham Lincoln during his inaugural address, Lincoln was admonishing the nation to put aside hate and anger and set aside their differences as his inauguration occurred at the outbreak of the civil war. "Better Angels" also makes use of this phrase.
- This episode has some similar scenes to "Grotesque":
- Nick tells Alicia that there are "safety in numbers", which is the same words he told Alejandro when they first met (the difference is the "numbers" Nick referred to this time is "people", unlike "zombies" in the previous one).
- Nick once again smears walker blood all over his body and walks into the herd.
- Nick once again imagines talking to the zombies.
- There are 2 scenes which were removed from the episode:
- One is a scene where Ofelia could be seen vomitting and struggling to stay alive to see her father for one last time.
- And the other one is a scene where Daniel's reaction to his daughter's death is more heart-breaking and painful. But in the end, the director chose the scene where his reaction is tougher to fit his character.
- Ingesting the Locus coeruleus would not produce a high as norepinephrine cannot be metabolized via the oral route. The only way to get a norepinephrine high, or "adrenaline rush" would be to inject it either intramuscularly or intravenously.