With death, comes rebirth.
After a quick start to the season with Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 1 and a shocking death to kick off Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2, things were dialed down a bit on Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 3.
Sadly, Travis did officially die. However, it was not all for naught.
Travis' demise appears to have made Madison stronger than ever. Her character and survival skills were reinvigorated.
Killing people is not complicated, it's simple.Madison
And unsurprisingly, Madison is likable.
That is, except by most of the people at the ranch, who are extremely skeptical the addition of the Clark family.
Travis' death is the best thing that could happen for Madison as far as character development goes.
Through the first two seasons of Fear the Walking Dead, there were outcries and pleas to kill off Madison. Due to her numerous idiotic choices and her demeanor in general, those feelings were not unjust.
Losing her husband and best friend forced Madison to take over as the family's compass.
This heartbreaking loss drove Madison to adapt to this new ruthless world much more quickly, and it was needed.
She is already exercising her newfound strength by pushing her limits and doing whatever is necessary to protect her family. How fun was it when Madison forced Troy to remake the bed that he messed up after lying in it?
That was made this morning Troy.Madison
Nick and Alicia are also adjusting to life at the ranch in their own ways.
Alicia has made a friend in Gretchen, a seemingly innocent girl at first glance. Their little "Bible study" group turned into an evening of bongs, alcohol, and talking to a severed head named Jeff.
A feeling of unease quickly filled the room as Gretchen pulled out the bird cage for an awkward introduction between Alicia and "Jeff."
Because, you know, pulling out a severed head as if it's a pet is just a normal thing to do, especially with a person who you've just met.
Any tension in the room quickly subsided when Alicia burst into laughter at what she received.
It was almost like a bizarre initiation for Alicia into this little group.
Who knows what else is hiding down there? If they're stashing drugs and a severed head, what else is this place hiding? Whatever the case, it's not difficult to foresee Nick eventually stumbling upon the drugs and relapsing.
Speaking of Nick, what the heck is going on between him and Troy? They seem to have a little bit of a bromance brewing.
When Nick tackled Troy and held him at gunpoint, I legitimately thought Nick offed him offed him.
Generally, I don't approve of fake-outs. However, the camera angle set up the illusion, if only for a moment, that Nick had jeopardized his family's safety and security at the ranch.
As much as I despise Troy, I'm glad Nick once again showed restraint. That would have been bad.
The moments that followed were strange with Nick tussling with Troy over the journal, only for them both to end up playfully laughing with each other, and Troy declaring that they can now be friends. Huh?
That whole situation didn't make much sense. I understand that Nick and Troy are both a bit disturbed, so weirdly, they have something in common. It just seemed like it came out of nowhere.
I think we can be friends now.Troy
We also learned more about Jeremiah.
Like anyone else, Mr. Otto has some skeletons in the closet.
It was interesting to learn that Jake and Troy are only half brothers. We found out that Troy's mother was an alcoholic and that he tended to his ill mother during her final days. That obviously would take a toll on any child, likely playing a part in who Troy became as a man.
Jeremiah also showed Madison the "pantry." That's a massive bunker underneath Otto's home filled with food, water, and weapons. It's everything they need for years to come and help rebuild civilization.
Jeremiah: We will build something better than before. It won't be easy Madison, do you think your family's up to it?
After being ousted from the hotel on Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 2, Strand mentioned to Ilene that he had a "place in mind" where he might go.
That place ended up being a community led by a man named Dante, who supposedly goes way back with Strand.
Their friendly reunion was short-lived when Dante ordered his men to send Strand a message by dangling him off a ledge above a pile of infected. Whatever Strand did to piss off the guy, Dante holds a serious grudge.
Dante vowed to make Strand suffer, as he made others suffer from taking advantage of them.
I genuinely felt bad for Strand, who after having to flee the Rosarito with a brand new set of wheels thought he was heading to a place of shelter and salvation only to end up thrown into a cell.
That feeling of pity quickly turned into glee when "someone" paid him a visit with a canteen of water.
That's right, Daniel Salazar is back!
After suffering the loss of Travis, having one of the show's best characters return from the dead was a terrific way to close out the hour in a well-executed cliffhanger. It left me with goosebumps, and I have them again as I think about it while writing this review.
I'm very curious to find out how Daniel survived the fire in the cellar and how he ended up at the Gonzales Dam Community. The answers will come in due time, but I cannot wait!
This was a much slower paced hour, but given the infected-filled premiere and the loss of Travis, it was necessary to take a step back and allow the Clark family to adjust to their new life at the ranch without a key component of their family.
We may have lost Travis, but we gained back Daniel, who is a welcome return to the series. He couldn't have come at a better time.
What did you think of "Teotwawki"? Do you think the Clark family can make the ranch their home? Can the ranch itself even be a sustainable place to live? What did you think of Nick and Alicia's relationship with their new "friends"?
Are you excited by the return of Daniel Salazar? Will he be an ally to Strand? Let me know what you think!
You can always watch Fear the Walking Dead online right here at TV Fanatic.
Steven Ford is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.