Review: Fear the Walking Dead Ep. 311: La Serpiente

RubÈn Blades as Daniel Salazar- Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

Fear the Walking Dead Ep. 311: La Serpiente

La Serpiente takes the low road when Walker, Madison and Strand run into a roadblock of walkers on the road to the dam. After abandoning the truck the trio take to the sewers where viewers are no doubt thankful their 4K televisions don’t come with Smell-O-Vision technology.

With Strand doing his best to get them lost and Walker losing some of his mojo being chased in the dark, scrambling on his hands and knees through raw sewage it’s up to the ever resourceful Madison to save the day. With their path blocked by a bloated, decaying walker Madison proceeds to hack away at it piece by piece until it erupts in a surge of blood and guts. For a series that has been a little light on the walker gore of late, FTWD certainly made up for it in La Serpiente’s opening moments.

The episode features a reunion as Madison comes face to face with Daniel. News of Ofelia’s survival softens Daniel until he remembers his hatred for Strand. Madison eases the situation and then informs Daniel that they have come to the dam seeking water for the Ranch. Daniel agrees to run the idea by Lola but after a brief consultation their request is flatly denied. She’s having enough trouble sharing water to those who need it without violence breaking out. Sending water to the Ranch would just complicate matters even more.

Daniel is faced with a dilemma: seek out Ofelia or remain with Lola and help her protect the dam. A man of his word, Daniel pledges his allegiance to Lola but the decision weighs on him. Scarred by his past, Ofelia offered him hope of a better tomorrow, but like all parents he learns that kids don’t always follow the path set out for them. Walker’s revelation that Ofelia is hailed as a hero for poisoning the ranchers only pushes Daniel deeper into darkness.

La Serpiente casts Lola, Walker and Daniel in similar positions but how they’re viewed depends on whose side you’re on. Walker wants the water to keep his people alive, Madison is looking out for her kids and Lola’s first responsibility is to those who live in and around the dam. Similar goals lead to conflict however, particularly when needs aren’t met. Lola though presents an olive branch and offers to take Alicia and Nick into her community.

The title of the episode, serpent in English, is Daniel’s name for Strand and although it’s a fitting moniker there’s another side to the sometimes-loveable rogue. There’s a genuine friendship between Strand and Madison and its true beginnings can probably be traced back to last season when they got wasted at the hotel bar. They share a level of trust and understanding that doesn’t exist among any of the other characters on the show. There’s a method to La Serpiente’s madness though and Fear the Walking Dead is better for it.