Fear the Walking Dead season 3: Showrunner on subtitle decision

subtitleThe vast majority of Sunday night’s Fear the Walking Dead episode with Daniel Salazar was fantastic entertainment, but there was also a controversial decision at the heart of it: Almost the entire episode was in Spanish with English subtitles. One of the only exceptions was a scene with Salazar and Victor Strand, and we ended up seeing much of that in the form of a scene from last week’s episode.

In justifying that decision, we actually don’t think it’s all that controversial at all given that this is a Mexican-American character who speaks Spanish, and he’s in a location where the language would be spoken. Maybe not everyone out there appreciated it, but it was perfect for what is a fairly realistic world.

Speaking to Entertainment Weekly in a new postmortem, showrunner Dave Erickson had the following to say about this decision:

“I wanted to do it. One of the great upsides of the show last season and this season is because we are in Mexico, it has become something of a bilingual show, which I like. I knew I wanted Daniel to have his own episode, and since that episode took place in Mexico and obviously he was coming into contact with Mexican characters, there was no reason for him to speak English … it just made sense. That was not something that I was concerned with and it’s not something that the network ever expressed any worry over either, so it’s just what it is. I mean, if you’re telling a story that’s set in Mexico and the characters are all Spanish-speaking characters, there’s no reason to play it in English. If we had thrown in a character who was English-speaking just to make sure we had some balance between the languages, that would have felt a little bit cheesy, a little bit forced.”

Also, putting that character into the episode would have made the story feel somewhat inorganic and different than what it was for the first two seasons of the show. After all, we’ve seen several episodes where we had a chance to see Daniel speak Spanish regularly already, so why change things up now? It’d go completely against the structure of the show to date. You can’t start changing that sort of stuff now, can you?

What did you think: Was the decision to put the entire episode in another language a smart one? Share in the comments!

If you missed it, you can head over here to read a full review for Sunday night’s episode. (Photo: AMC.)

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