How Does Ofelia Salazar Die? Why Did Mercedes Mason Leave Fear the Walking Dead?

In the second half of AMC’s post-apocalyptic series ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ season 8, Daniel Salazar tries to protect Charlie and Luciana after losing his daughter Ofelia. When Charlie dies, he realizes that he cannot let Luciana die the same way the former and Ofelia did. Throughout the season, he battles with the haunting thoughts of his daughter. Ofelia is one of the main characters of the show’s first three seasons. Her fate gets rewritten when Troy Otto, the same man who stands against Daniel in the current installment, directs a herd of walkers into his settlement in the third round! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Ofelia’s Death

Ofelia dies after Troy Otto directs an enormous herd of walkers to the Broke Jaw Ranch settlement. When the dead enter the community, Ofelia tries to fight the same with Alicia Clark and Lee, who end up in the pantry when they get outnumbered by the walkers. Ofelia discovers that the pantry’s air vent is broken, threatening their lives. She joins Lee and they climb into the air shaft, only to confront a walker who is stuck at the fan, hanging upside down. The walker then falls on the duo. Although they initially panic, Ofelia kills the walker with a gun and clears the airway. They join Madison Clark, Walker, Victor Strand, Nick Clark, and Troy as the latter group saves Alicia from the settlement.

While escaping from the ranch, Ofelia grows weak. Her companions soon notice a bite mark on her collarbone, which indicates that the walker in the shaft bit her. Although Madison tries to save her, Ofelia’s health deteriorates rapidly. She then succumbs to her wound without seeing her father Daniel, who arrives at the scene right after his daughter’s demise. He hugs the lifeless body of his daughter and shoots at her to make sure that she won’t reanimate as a walker.

Mercedes Mason’s Exit from Fear the Walking Dead

Ofelia’s death paved the way for Mercedes Mason’s exit from the series. The actress left the post-apocalyptic drama to start a family with her husband David Denman. During the broadcast of the third season, Mason was pregnant with their first child and she decided to take a break from acting to prioritize being there for her baby. The actress also wanted to focus on writing. At the time, she had completed a psychological thriller screenplay, in addition to a couple more screenplays to develop. At the time, the show had plans to shoot outside the country, which also influenced Mason to decide to leave the show.

“It was sort of a collaboration between myself and [then-showrunner] Dave. I don’t know where the show is going to go next year. They could be going out of the country, and my husband and I are trying to start a family, so it became a conversation of trying to figure out what we’re going to do here,” Mason told The Hollywood Reporter about her exit. Ofelia’s death was conceived to facilitate the exit, concluding the arc of Mason’s character. Filming the final scene of Ofelia was an emotional affair for Mason, who shot the same with Rubén Blades, who plays Daniel. “I’m supposed to be dead, and I’m trying desperately not to sob. I had tears running down my face. He moved me so much,” the actress added.

Mason returned to acting in 2018 by joining the cast of ABC’s police procedural seriesThe Rookie’ to play Zoe Andersen. In 2019, she joined ‘How to Get Away with Murder’ to play Cora in three episodes. In the same year, the actress returned to ‘NCIS: Los Angeles’ to continue portraying Talia Del Campo. Her recent credits also include ‘Little Dixie,’ ‘American Horror Stories,’ ‘Love by Drowning,’ and ‘The L Word: Generation Q.’ Mason recently completed the filming of ‘Man in the Long Black Coat,’ a crime thriller movie directed by Salvador Litvak.

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