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- "Then kill me! But your kids are here because this old prick had the balls to do what needed doing. Man, don't anybody knock? Here he is. Still clinging to his mama's teat. You know what your mama came here to do tonight, hmm? The reason why I like her so much, the reason she's tougher than you'll ever be is because she is exactly like --"
- —A drunk Jeremiah to Madison and Nick right before he is shot.[src]
Jeremiah Otto Sr. is a main character and later an antagonist as well as a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. He is the father of Jake and Troy. Jeremiah is also the former leader and one of the four founding fathers of the Broke Jaw Ranch community. He is rough and racist, with a darker and violent side. He served as the secondary antagonist of the first half of Season 3.
Rurals of San Diego, California
Jeremiah is the head of the Otto family and lives on Broke Jaw Ranch with his two sons Troy and Jake, both of which are of separate mothers. Described as a "patriotic border militiaman", Jeremiah predicted and planned for the fall of American society and democracy but not the "rise of the dead". Leading a Survivalist community, Jeremiah has linked Broke Jaw Ranch with a network of "other like-minded men and organizations throughout the Southwest".
Jeremiah is first seen walking along the Mexican-American border with his assault rifle, where he sees Ofelia Salazar walking in the desert. He begins shooting at her, firing at her until she hides behind a tree. Soon after, he approaches her and aims his gun at her, asking Ofelia to hand over her knife, before taking Ofelia away.
As they enter Broke Jaw Ranch, Jeremiah introduces himself to Madison and Nick and orders the guard to let them in. Jeremiah shows Madison and Nick around the ranch and explains that he initially started the camp to prepare for the fall of democracy. Madison is critical of Troy, but he defends his son’s behavior by stating that he was just carrying out his mission at the depot. Sensing Madison and Nick’s hostility, he points out that most people would be grateful to be at the ranch. Jeremiah brings Madison and Nick to their bunkhouse and leaves them with a key.
Ultimately, when Jake, Alicia and the others return, Troy wants to kill Luciana because she's so close to death, but Nick tricks him into giving him his gun and he points it at him. Jeremiah intervenes and agrees to treat Luciana in the infirmary if Nick hands back the gun and provided she has a pulse. Nick complies and Luciana is taken to the infirmary. Madison grieves in private over the death of Travis. Jeremiah finds her, offers his condolences, and then gently asks her to register the gun that she stole from them. She signs out the gun in his log book.
A montage video sees the world burning and tragedy striking various locations. Jeremiah narrates it, promising "out of the ashes, we start anew," before taking the screen to some upbeat piano music and promising to prepare people to protect their family. He offers a video to prepare for "TEOTWAWKI", his acronym for “the end of the world as we know it.” In the present, Ranchers demand an update on the helicopter attack, and Jeremiah assures the crowd that he is looking into the incident.
In the house, Jake gets concerned with about not hearing back from a squad that investigated the crash. Madison walks in. She asks Jeremiah to protect her family from Troy and other hostile community members. She tells them Troy broke into their place and threatened Nick, so she wants them to keep a leash on him. She tells Jeremiah that Troy murdered people and Jake saved them. Jeremiah refuses to tell people how to behave, says that if people don't like her, it's on her, but offers to teach her the culture of this ranch. He asks Jake to show her his video lectures.
Madison discovers a collection of outtakes from Jeremiah’s commercial. In the video, Jeremiah fights with his drunk wife and yells at a young Troy. She turns off the video when Jeremiah walks in the room. He explains that Jake and Troy are children from two different marriages. He admits that he and his second wife were alcoholics and that Troy took care of his mother towards the end of her life. Madison informs him that Nick is an addict. Jeremiah understands, having battled his own issues with alcohol. He offers to show Madison why he tolerates Troy.
Jeremiah escorts Madison under the house to the “pantry,” which is well-stocked with guns and supplies. He explains that he “broke” Troy in the old world, but that Troy now has a purpose in the new world. He has the killer instinct needed to survive. Madison pledges to help rebuild in Jeremiah's new world. Later, he announces to the community that it’s been 36 hours since they dispatched a unit to investigate the chopper attack. He asks for volunteers to accompany Troy on a search mission to find their men. Madison volunteers.
The entire Broke Jaw community rushes and finds the burning house. Jake is dishing out orders, calling for more water. Jeremiah steps forward and orders them to stop, the people inside are gone. "Save the water, let it burn," he says. Nick is later shown cleaning the burnt home while Jeremiah approaches him. Jeremiah says the community works together and insists Nick is a part of it now. Jeremiah reflects on living here before the big house. Nick hands him the photograph he found and Jeremiah is very grateful. Jeremiah admires the craftsmanship of a gun. They have different views on beauty, apparently, like they do most things. Jeremiah gave this gun to Russell when he first moved into the house. They hung it on the wall. "Every home needs a gun," Jeremiah said. Nick is very suspicious of Jeremiah.
Nick sits with Jeremiah and continues to talk. He talks about lessons he learned from his father. He sees his Luciana. Nick questions how the living could be worse than the dead and people should stick together. Jeremiah tells a story about Troy throwing a fit and being locked away in the basement. He wasn't angry, he only apologizes for Jeremiah's errors. Jeremiah had been an alcoholic and forgot he locked him there. "Your mama wants to stay and your lady wants to go. What do you want?" Jeremiah said. Nick questions why Jeremiah quit drinking. "I was shooting deer one day drunk," Jeremiah said. "Damn near blew my dick off."
Jeremiah approaches Nick at the house. He puts the gun, now cleaned, down for him and consoles him over Luciana's departure with a pat on the shoulder.
Jeremiah and Nick have a little target practice on the edge of Broke Jaw Ranch. Jeremiah catches Nick's distraction and encourages him to stop worrying, prompting him to start shooting. Suddenly, Madison and the group are soon walking to the Ranch barefoot. The community rushes to them and many collapse. Troy pushes on and walks in. Alicia and Nick give Madison water. Troy wants to talk privately with Jeremiah. Others want to hear about what happened. One soldier bursts and out and says, "They were Indians. They slaughtered them." Troy insists he stop yelling at everyone but he tells everyone, "If we stay, we die!"
Jeremiah, Troy, Jake and Madison discuss a course of action. Later, Troy is being scolded by Jeremiah for leading the group to a bad situation. Madison defends him. Troy insists they fight Walker, but Jeremiah believes Walker is bluffing and refuses to go to war. Madison asks about the Ranch and if they stole Walker’s land. Jeremiah insists it was rightfully given to him. Jake explains Walker is a tribal lawyer who lost several times. Jeremiah rattles off some belittling phrases about the man but Madison insists this man is a threat. Jeremiah sends Jake to talk to Walker, armed with threats, before storming out of the room.
Jeremiah sits by himself in his office and pulls out a bottle of liquor. He stares at it for a moment, contemplating a drink. He walks outside, hearing something. Then, Nick walks outside. There are fires lit all around the Broke Jaw Ranch. The community is scared and huddle together. Jeremiah looks on from his balcony. The next day, the fires have burnt out. Jeremiah, Jake and Madison examine the charred wood. Jeremiah insists that if Walker was going to come, he would have, but he isn't capable of taking the place over.
Moments later, Jeremiah is approached by Madison, experiencing a migraine. Vernon approaches and wants to have a word. He starts by recalling the long-lasting friendship and says his priority is his family and to protect them he will leave. Jeremiah encourages him to leave if that's what he wants. Troy asks if Mike is going, too, and Vernon says, "My family's leaving Troy!" Jeremiah says men have kids and it turns them into women. Madison encourages him to provide a reason to stay and Jeremiah thinks he offered enough already. Troy runs after the Trimbol family's RV and yells at Mike for leaving. Jake stops Troy and they fight. Jeremiah rushes in and punches Troy as a result and Madison breaks it up. The gate is opened and Vernon leaves with his family.
Nick enters the house to find a drunk Jeremiah moving furniture. Nick turns down a drink and request Jeremiah slow down the drinking. Nick asks what happened to his hand and he insists it distracts from the headaches. Jeremiah begins discussing how important this ranch is to him. He flips the table in anger. Nick goes to pick it up but Jeremiah brings his gun over and shoots three holes through it. Nick is startled and takes the gun from him. "I'm sorry," Jeremiah said. "Your home, your gun. There's blood in it. It's in the Earth." The next morning, Jeremiah finds Nick outside the house and Nick relieves him by saying he wasn't around last night, clearly playing along. Jeremiah sees a horse outside of the gate. It's Vernon's. He yells to Nick to go get his mother.
Jeremiah, Madison and Nick leave the ranch on a pickup to search for Vernon's family on the road. Madison reasons that the horse may have escaped on its own but Jeremiah predicts that the Trimbol family is dead. They exit their truck having found Vernon's RV. It's been shot and ravaged. There is a zombie slamming around inside. Jeremiah puts two down with two shots. Nick examines the gunshots on the side of the RV. The zombies inside were Vernon and Kathy. Mike is dead behind the RV. Behind the RV, Gretchen and other walkers are eating a horse on the trailer. Madison freezes. Nick puts Gretchen down. Moments later, they have gathered the bodies. Madison is taken aback by the fact that Gretchen is Alicia's age. Jeremiah suspects Troy killed the family in an effort to scare everyone. Jeremiah tries to believe Troy couldn't do this. Madison insists everyone turn around and go back, so they do.
Jeremiah, Madison and Nick return to the ranch with the bodies. Madison speaks to the crowd that's gathered to see hem return and covers for Troy; she declares that the people who killed Travis and Phil have now killed the Trimbols. She warns that anyone who leaves the ranch will die and urges them to stay together. The crowd murmurs in support.
Jeremiah approaches Madison and suggests Alicia left with Jake to speak with Walker. Nick wants to look for them but Jeremiah insists they can't spare people to look for them. Nick doesn't want to sit around like Jeremiah, which prompts Jeremiah to suggest Nick joining Troy's army.
Later, Jake returns to Broke Jaw Ranch with Ofelia. Madison asks where Alicia is and Jake explains the hostage trade situation. Jake promises she is safe. Jake and Jeremiah speak about what to do. "Let them come," Jeremiah insists. Jeremiah doesn't want to give them anything. Madison barges in to ask if he was aware of Alicia. He was and insists 18 is the age of adults. Jake goes back out to continue negotiations and Jeremiah insists the parlay is not an option.
Ofelia is in Jeremiah's supply basement. He enters and wants to have a chat with her. She recognizes him from the desert, "I got nothing to say to you," she tells him. Jeremiah tries to explain his side of the story. She asks what he wants and he says he doesn't want to complicate matters with old business. She agrees this is fair.
When Madison and Troy's group returns after saving Alicia, Jake walks out and tells him, "Congratulations, you just declared war on Walker's people." Madison insists she was rescuing Alicia. Jake argues that it is not Madison's place to make calls. Jeremiah says this was Jake's place and "them that don't listen have to be brought to heel someday." When Ofelia has been cast out for not providing information about Broke Jaw Ranch. Jeremiah orders she be taken out of his office and to the infirmary. When she leaves, Jake takes the blame for Ofelia's situation. Jeremiah suggests putting Ofelia to work within the community.
In a flashback, taking place between "Wrath" and "The Unveiling", Ofelia readies herself for an attack but Jeremiah stops her with a gun drawn. He takes the gun and welcomes her to America. Not far, he pushes her to the ground in front of his truck. She says she is heading to Santa Fe to find her fiance. Jeremiah gives her water and tells her she is free to go. She asks for a ride but he says there is no use for "brown people" on the ranch. She spits at his feet before he leaves her to die.
In the present, Troy and his group load bodies into a truck. Alicia and others help manage the infirmary. Nick is very sick. Jeremiah enters and sees Joseph reanimating beside Nick. He puts him down with his gun. Everyone looks on. Madison reveals that Ofelia put powder in the coffee. Madison orders Jake to give Nick antibiotics. He watches Jeremiah and several ranchers bury the dead in a mass grave. He rips up the floorboards in his house.
Nick enters Jeremiah's house and finds him drinking. Nick reveals the skull which was in his floor, asking who it is. Jeremiah shuts it down by calling it a long story. "Tell it to me," Nick said. The "local Indian tribe" decided this land belonged to them when Jake and Troy were boys. The young Native Americans decided to start trouble by stealing from him and killing his cattle. Him, Phil, Russell and Vernon killed three of them. One of them turned out to be Walker's uncle. The skull in Nick's floor was Walker's father. Nick begins calling Jeremiah out but Jeremiah insists he is a guest here. "Get right with the past or get off my land," Jeremiah said. "The land belongs to whoever can hold it."
Jeremiah is fortifying his office. Madison walks in. He believes himself to be prepared for the battle. Jeremiah offers Madison a drink and pours himself a little more. He thanks her for protecting his boys and standing by them. She tells Jeremiah the only way to secure the peace is if Walker wants his scalp. She doesn't respond so he questions if she is here to kill him.
He tries to reason with her. She puts her gun on the table and says she isn't going to kill him. She pushes the gun to him and insists he kill himself. "I didn't outlive Phil and Russell and two good women to die like some rabbit with no resistance," he said. She insists if he doesn't do it, he loses the ranch, and therefore his legacy as everyone including his sons dies. He orders her out of the room and insists she does it herself if that's what has to happen. Nick suddenly enters the room, Jeremiah mocks him and says his mom is "exactly like" and doesn't finish the sentence before Nick shoots him in the head. She tells Nick, "I need you to do exactly as I say!" Troy and Jake rush into the room. Troy finds his father and rushes to him, emotionally. Moments later, they carry his body to the pick-up truck. Madison, Alicia and Nick stand on the ranch's balcony where Jeremiah used to overlook the community. They watch Jake and Troy deliver Jeremiah's body to a coffin.
In the barn, later, Madison observes the coffin. As the sun comes up, she delivers a bag to Walker. He looks inside of it to find a Jeremiah's head. They part ways, peacefully.
In Madison's dream sequence, Jeremiah is part of Madison's Christmas dinner party. Suddenly a serving dish is opened revealing Jeremiah's head. As no one reacts, Walker goes on to cut off Jake's arm.
Later in the dream, Madison visits Jeremiah's grave only to have hands reach up and pull her under. After briefly being pulled to the surface by Travis, Madison is pulled down again. She eventually manages to pull herself free.
- Killed By
Madison proposes the skull of Qaletaqa's father to him as a peace offering but he denies it, so instead, she offers to bring him the head of Jeremiah Otto.
- Himself (Caused)
- Nicholas Clark
After Jeremiah refuses Madison's offer of committing suicide and insults her, Nick shoots him in the head.
This list shows the victims Jeremiah has killed:
- Qaletaqa Walker's Uncle (Alongside Vernon, Phil, and Russell, Pre-Apocalypse)
- Qaletaqa Walker's Father (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Vernon Trimbol (Zombified, Off-Screen)
- Kathy Trimbol (Zombified, Off-Screen)
- Joseph (Zombified)
- Himself (Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies and possibly unnamed people
- "The New Frontier"
- "Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame"
- "Red Dirt"
- "The Unveiling"
- "Children of Wrath"
- "Sleigh Ride" (Dream, No Lines)
- The character was previously named Russell Otto, but for unknown reasons was renamed.
- In an interview, the showrunner revealed that in the scene between Ofelia and Jeremiah, they purposefully chose an actor who somewhat resembled Rubén Blades, who plays Daniel Salazar, Ofelia's father, to deceive viewers into believing the man may be Daniel at first glance.
- It's hinted in "Red Dirt" that he may have been a conservative Republican.
- Interestingly, Jeremiah's introduction episode and death episode share very similar titles, being "Wrath" and "Children of Wrath", respectively.
- As of Jeremiah's death, all four founders of the Broke Jaw Ranch are now deceased.
- Jeremiah is the second main character who later becomes an antagonist, the first being Christopher Manawa.
- Jeremiah is the first main character to die in a mid-season finale, with the second one being Madison Clark.
- ↑ Davis, Brandon (30 May 2017) "Meet Fear The Walking Dead's Most Interesting New Character" ComicBook, Valnet Inc, Retrieved on 30 May 2017
- ↑ Hannam, Laura (23 May 2017) "Fear the Walking Dead season 3: Meet the cast and characters", BT, Retrieved on 28 May 2017
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ "Jeremiah Otto Sr. Profile, Fear The Walking Dead" AMC, Retrieved on 30 May 2017
- ↑ Fletcher, Alex (3 April 2017) "Fear the Walking Dead season 3 air date, new characters and images revealed" BT, Retrieved on 30 May 2017
- ↑ Briers, Michael (May 2017) "The Crew Seeks Shelter On The Ranch In Extended Preview For Fear The Walking Dead Season 3" We Got This Covered, Retrieved on 30 May 2017.
- ↑ Ridgely, Charlie (10 February 2016) "After The Dead: Live Fear The Walking Dead Interview With Executive Producer Dave Erickson And Surprise Cast Member" CBR, Valnet Inc. Retrieved on 28 May 2017.