- "Yesterday, I lost everything I've ever known. My home, my friends, the bones of my forefathers scattered in a field with no meaning. I was raised on loss. I thought I was good at it. But there is such a thing as too much. Ofelia asked to see her father one last time. You're honoring that wish, which is all you can do. Return his daughter for him to bury. Put an end to this, even if it does get us all killed."
- —Qaletaqa to Madison Clark about Ofelia.[src]
Qaletaqa Walker (pronounced KA-let-TA-ka), also known as Taqa, is a former antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. He is the former chief of a Hopi tribe in the Black Hat Reservation, whom had a long-standing land conflict with the Broke Jaw Ranch long before the apocalypse, which claimed lives of his family and fellow tribesmen. As a result, the tribe became bent on destroying the Broke Jaw Ranch, and has a deep blood feud with the landowners, especially the leading Otto Family.
Over the course of the first half of the season, an imminent warpath boils between both sides, with the Natives threatening the Ranchers to leave or be decimated. In the mid-season finale, however, he seems to be satisfied when he ensures the death of Jeremiah Otto, called off the tribal warpath, and possibly agreed to negotiate for a peace agreement between both parties. He serves as the primary antagonist of the first half of Season 3.
Qaletaqa is a Hopi Native American from the Black Hat Reservation in California, close to the Broke Jaw Ranch which his tribe had a long-standing, unsettled land controversy with. Many of the deceased tribesmen, including his great-grandfather, are buried beneath the Ranch, and many tribesmen are forced to exhume and relocate their forebear's remains to prevent them being destroyed during developments. Also that the vendetta had claimed many lives of the tribesmen, with some of them harassed the ranch but being shot on site by the Ranchers, two of them being the father and uncle of Qaletaqa.
In his adulthood, he chose to study law as his profession, and used his professional knowledge for the cause of his tribe to wage a series of lawsuits against the Otto family, whose ancestors had purchased the lands and settled on it ever since. He lost all of the lawsuits, but he and his tribe never gave up on reclaiming the ranch, and they developed an immense hatred towards the Broke Jaw settlers during their struggle.
At some point before or after the apocalypse, Qaletaqa started to lead his tribe at the Black Hat Reservation and assumed the position as their "chief". After the apocalypse and thus the rule of law fell, he and his fellow tribesmen set out to repel the Broke Jaw settlers by force and reclaim the land that they believe rightfully belongs to them.
Qaletaqa and his tribesmen are featured indirectly in this episode. When the helicopter driven by Jake Otto flies directly over the Black Hat Reservation, Qaletaqa attacked it together with his tribesmen, which crippled the helicopter and fatally wounded Travis Manawa. The tribesmen's assault also caused the death of Charlene Daley, as she eventually got mauled off by walkers on her way back to the ranch.
Qaletaqa first appears after Troy, Madison and their group discover and kill the bound and tortured Phil McCarthy. Troy is furious at him for what he has done but Qaletaqa claims McCarthy deserved it as he killed two of his men the previous day and Troy counters that he and all the rest of his people will die as well. Qaletaqa orders Troy and the rest to drop their weapons and they comply once they realize they are surrounded by Qaletaqa's men. He then tells the group he will be taking all their weapons, their vehicles and their boots and that the time for justice has come and Troy and his people must abandon the ranch. Troy refuses and Qaletaqa threatens that he will feed them all to the crows (like McCarthy) if they do not leave.
Madison demands water from him in order to allow them to return to the ranch to deliver his message and after introducing herself, Qaletaqa tells her that she bought into a lost cause and Madison tells him it became her cause when he and his people shot down the helicopter that killed Travis.
When Alicia and Jake arrive at the Black Hat Cafe. Qaletaqa emerges with a machete in hand, and drops a severed pig’s head on the ground in front of them. Jake and Alicia join Qaletaqa for lunch. He looks confused when Alicia calls him out for killing the Trimbols. Jake asks Qaletaqa to honor their prior court agreements and end the violence, but Walker says court decisions are no longer relevant. He orders Jake to vacate Black Hat territory but agrees to discuss a parley after their meal.
Jake informs Alicia that Qaletaqa agreed to a parley. He asks Alicia to return to the ranch and tell Jeremiah that Qaletaqa will refrain from further violence in exchange for a tribute and a hostage swap. He plans to stay behind as Qaletaqa’s hostage but Alicia insists on being the hostage so that Jake can personally deliver the terms to Jeremiah.
Qaletaqa escorts Alicia into one of the homes. He shows her a fake skeleton which tourists would pay to see. He opens a box which is not for tourist eyes, uncovering his great grandfather's skull. He was once buried in a cave but Qaletaqa had to dig him up in order to protect him from the Otto family. "I hope one day my great-grandfather forgives me and I can put all of this back," he said, handing the skull to Alicia. Alicia says the idea of an after life doesn't make sense because it's hard enough to get out of this life. Walker says, "It's all part of a grand plan," before talking about the apocalypse and how it means "a great unveiling."
From a cabinet, Qaletaqa pulls out paintings which he calls "prophecies." They promise the land will be shed of "impure" which Alicia realizes are the Ottos and herself by Walker's perspective. When Jake returns to Walker's community, Jake is pulled from the truck and beaten. Ofelia watches. Walker emerges and insists Jake broke the parlay. Jake tries to reason with him but Walker cuts his forehead before raising the knife to the back of his head. Ofelia calls him off. Walker promises to finish the job the next time he sees him and for Jake to deliver such a message to his father and more threats. He later kicks out Ofelia because he suspected her of helping Alicia escape.
In a flashback, Qaletaqa finds Ofelia in this state. She is burnt and dehydrated. He gives her water and helps her onto his horse. She lays on it, covered by his jacket, as he guides the horse to his community on foot. At the Black Hat Motel, Walker rides in with Ofelia. He sees how badly she has been burnt and helps her into a bath tub. Later, he offers her food, before turning down a bed for her to sleep in.
In the present, Madison brings Ofelia to Qaletaqa and demands to know what the poison was. He tells her that the poison was anthrax but says that Nick will survive if he’s able-bodied. He warns that she and her family will die if they don’t leave the ranch. Later on, Ofelia approaches Qaletaqa and explains that she cared about the Clark family. She feels betrayed by not being told she was sent with anthrax. Qaletaqa credits her as a hero. He starts telling a story about the time he saved her with his horse. She was a woman who had faced death and wasn't afraid. He tells her the debt owed for saving her life has been paid. Suddenly, someone calls out about a fire outside.
Madison and Alicia hitch a wagon to her truck. Some of Qaletaqa's men spot the militia and begin gunning them down. Madison rushes back to the truck. Troy covers them and kills some of the Native Americans before leaping into the truck. The truck starts to pull away with Walker's trailer in tow.
Madison speaks with Qaletaqa at the gate of Broke Jaw Ranch. She offers to return the artifacts as long as Qaletaqa agrees to peace. Madison hands over Qaletaqa's father's skull. He still says this is not enough. "This isn't my father, this is an old white man's shame," Qaletaqa says before handing it over and sending her back.
Madison goes to Jeremiah's house and tells him that Walker is willing to offer peace in exchange for Jeremiah’s scalp. She puts her gun on his desk and urges him to kill himself. Jeremiah refuses. Nick walks in and shoots him in the head. Madison quickly begins to put a plan into action. Madison later meets with Qaletaqa and places a backpack at his feet. He opens it and finds Jeremiah’s head inside. He nods at Madison and walks away with the head.
Walker’s convoy approaches the ranch. Jake greets the convoy and shakes Walker’s hand. Troy and Nick look on, as does Ofelia from the other side. The ranchers warily look on as Walker waves the convoy through the gate: The Nation has officially come to live at Broke Jaw Ranch. Jake leads Walker into the pantry to discuss details of the Nation residing at the ranch. Troy walks out after voicing his disdain for the Nation and butting heads with Crazy Dog, Walker’s right-hand man. Jake assures Walker that, unlike Troy, most ranchers have accepted the peace deal.
Jake shows Walker the arsenal and gives him one of the two keys required to access it, while he holds the other key. He explains they can only access the arsenal when the other is present. At the Ranch, night has fallen and Jake addresses everyone. "Our path has been hard," Jake said. "We've all suffered loss but we can't dwell on that and move forward. We can't hold grudges and forgive. This place has always been about building a better future. If we share our supplies and our skills we can have that. In a generation, we can be whole. It's what this place should be."
Walker chimes in. "You're afraid. Afraid as we are of you," he said. "My grudge died when Jeremiah made a sacrifice. We can be one now. We can fight against the hell outside. Give that our fear. Our fury." He raises a glass and many do the same with him. Walker privately asks Madison if she’s prepared to handle Troy, should he become a threat. She assures him that she is. The next day, Alicia spots Walker burying the relics given to him. He doesn't want his people to know because it will disturb the peace. Alicia wants Walker to go to Jake instead of her mother but Walker insists, "Your mother does what's necessary."
Terrence walks up to Crazy Dog and pulls a gun from his hoodie. Crazy Dog spins around knocking the gun away from him. A stray bullet hits a member of the nation. Crazy Dog locks Terrence in a choke hold and nearly chokes him to death, but releases his victim when Walker steps in. Alicia informs Walker that Terrence might asphyxiate from a crushed throat. Walker worries that other ranchers will follow Terrence’s example and demands the second arsenal key from Jake so that his people can arm themselves. Madison takes Walker’s side and urges Jake to let the Nation control the weapons and sweep the ranch for all remaining weapons. Jake reluctantly gives Walker the key and walks away. The militia and Walker’s warriors collect weapons from all the ranchers.
At night, Walker, Madison and Nick go to Jeremiah’s house to collect weapons from Troy. He is curious about his own safety. Nick helps convince him by saying, "You don't want to die on your doorstep." Troy allows everyone inside. He sits in his father's chair and discusses his father dying in it. When Walker heads upstairs to check the house, Troy grabs a gun from Jeremiah’s desk ordering everyone out. Nick stands in the way of Troy who fires a warning shot into the ceiling. Everyone clears out. Nick stays behind with Troy. Madison asks Walker not to attack Troy from the inside and promises Walker that she can fix the situation with Troy and Nick. Madison urges Troy and Nick to disarm, but they’re interrupted by gunfire from the Nation. Troy fires back. Someone pulls Madison out of harm’s way.
Walker’s men enter Jeremiah's home and open fire. Troy saves Nick from Crazy Dog and gets a knife through the hand in the process. Nick and Troy take cover in an upstairs bedroom. Troy prepares for his final stand. Nick pleads with Troy to give up the fight. Nick finally confesses to Troy that he killed Jeremiah. Troy is stunned and aims his gun at Nick but decides not to shoot. He's broken by the news about his father. Walker’s men barge into the room.
The next day, Madison talks with Walker. He wants justice. Madison says they can't kill Troy but she doesn't want them to kill him. "You can't martyr him," she said. Walker suggests exile before calling for Nick to be part of this as well, for his support of Troy. Madison forbids Walker from killing Nick or exiling him. Walker gives Troy provisions, a knife, a gun and one bullet, in case he doesn't want to live. A Nation warrior escorts Nick to an outhouse for imprisonment, where Walker promises he will suffer. Madison and Klah get in a truck to drive Troy into the desert.
Walker and Madison look upon a nearly depleted reservoir. Madison tells Walker that Jeremiah was aware of the low reserves. She insists they keep the water situation a secret in order to maintain peace at the ranch. Walker suggests they buy water from a trading post in Mexicali. Madison and Walker tell Alicia, Jake, Ofelia and Crazy Dog that they will be gone for a couple of days to secure a backup water supply. In the meantime, they instruct them to enforce water rationing across the ranch. Walker and Madison departs in a water tanker.
Madison and Walker make camp for the night. Madison touches base with Alicia over the radio and asks about Nick. Walker tells Madison that she is overprotective. Walker and Madison drive past some survivors who stand near bodies. They drive past and proceed to the Bazar. Walker has taken some precautions. At a gate, they are ordered to surrender their weapons. This market offers water for trade if they can get inside. Madison reluctantly trades her radio to pay for admission into the trading post. Madison and Walker enter the trading post. They find the outpost packed with bustling stalls and customers selling everything imaginable. Madison and Walker approach Maria Lu at the trading post and ask for 10,000 gallons of water. Walker presents her with the gold and offers to give her a dozen more canisters. Maria Lu agrees.
Madison spots Strand getting roughed up by a gang of men who work for Proctor, the man who runs the trading post. She tries to help Strand. Maria Lu calls off the deal once she realizes that Madison is friends with Strand, who owes a debt to Proctor. Madison attacks the men and flees with Strand and Walker. Strand leads Madison and Walker to a hideout. He starts trying to smooth things over with flattering words to Walker. He is trapped here until his debts are paid. He reveals the dam's existence and tells Walker there is a good reason he has survived this far. Walker goes undercover and he follows Maria Lu around the trading post, trying to keep a low profile. Guards barge in with Walker as their captive. Walker says the guards had threatened to kill them. As Strand is taken away, he urges Madison to leave him and return to Nick and Alicia.
Madison sits at a bar at the Bazar. Walker approaches and tells her he repaired the water deal with Maria Lu. They will have the water for their community and their children. The next morning, Walker brings the gold to Maria Lu only to find that all the canisters are empty. Walker waits at the truck, and confronts Madison about using his gold to pay off Strand’s debt. She reasons that the water tanker was just a short-term solution and that Strand can lead them to a longer-term solution: a dam.
Walker, Madison and Strand cruise down a highway in their truck to the dam. They are 30 kilometers from Tijuana. Qaletaqa insists they won't go there and Strand promises they are not. After a while, they come upon a herd of walkers blocking the road near abandoned cars. Strand, however, has a plan. He tosses a beeping key on the side of the road and the noise attracts the infected. Slowly, Walker pushes the truck forward and literally through the cars.
Madison, Strand and Walker pull into a gated parking lot. Strand pushes a car aside to reveal a sewage grate. Walker does not like the idea of heading underground, but Madison reassures him this is the fastest way. The group descends into the tunnels. Strand leads Madison and Walker through sewage tunnels but appears to lose his way. Strand tells Madison and Walker that he’s looking for a symbol that Proctor’s scouts used to mark the tunnel that leads to the dam. Walker decides to head back to the surface and leaves them.
As they head down the tunnel they run into Walker who is fleeing from a group of Infected. Walker, Madison and Strand emerges from the sewers, and encounters Daniel Salazar and his group. Madison asks Daniel to lower the gun. Walker lowers his first. Madison is surprised to see Daniel is alive. He tells her he is better now before asking about Ofelia. She tells him she is alive. He is reluctant to trust her because of Strand, but Madison reveals Walker helped her and is now living with them and now they need Daniel's help. She tells them they’ve come for water. Daniel holsters his gun and brings them inside the dam.
He insists on talking to Lola first. The gang waits outside and sees an argument ensue through the glass. Walker tells Madison she doesn't speak for him. Madison wants to handle the negotiation with Daniel, insisting she knows Daniel will help them. Moments later, Daniel invites them inside. Lola offers Madison a seat while the men in the room remain standing. "Our camp is running out of water but we have resources that can benefit you," she says. Lola, however, is completely disinterested, and orders Madison and her group to leave the next morning.
Elsewhere, Walker talks with Strand. He tells him when there is no water for the Ranch, his side will come first. He tells Strand that he intends to kick Madison, Alicia, Nick and the ranchers off the ranch since Madison has ruined their chance to replenish the water supply. In another room, Walker is eating. Daniel goes to him and thanks him for caring for Ofelia before questioning what she does at the Ranch. "She walks with me, as a soldier," Walker tells him. Daniel insists he did not raise a soldier. Walker informs Daniel that Ofelia saved his people by poisoning an enemy group, “By taking others,” Daniel says.
Walker leaves the dam. Madison questions where he is going, but he insists she lied and there will be consequences. He warns Madison that he is kicking out the ranchers. "They can leave peacefully or we can force them. Your choice." Walker says. He refuses to reason with her and leaves. Later on, Madison and Strand spot Walker on the road with water on their truck. "Thirsty?" Madison asks him. Walker smiles and gets inside the cab.
Walker arrives back at the ranch with Madison and Strand to find it overrun by walkers. After Ofelia and Crazy Dog blow up the ranch's fuel reserve to destroy the horde, Walker joins Madison, Strand, Nick and Troy in rescuing Alicia from the pantry. However, they are too late to save the majority of the ranch's residents and Natives who either died in the walker attack or suffocated in the pantry. With Broke Jaw Ranch destroyed, Madison decides to return to the dam accompanied by Walker, Strand, Ofelia and Crazy Dog while Alicia goes her own way followed by Nick and Troy to ensure her safety.
Walker, Madison and Strand drive a tanker to the trading outpost to meet with Lola and Daniel. Strand worries that things might go south when they show up to the trade empty-handed. Madison argues that they at least have Ofelia. Meanwhile, on the back of the truck, Ofelia is falling unconscious. She falls off the truck. The group notices a bite mark on Ofelia's collar bone. Madison wants to talk to her, but Ofelia just wants to see her father. Madison promises.
Walker and the group arrives at El Bazar. Madison insists Ofelia play it cool and work her way in with everyone. A man checks Ofelia, who is struggling to stand, and doesn't find the bite. Meanwhile, Strand and Madison accept a lower trade rate and everyone heads inside.
Walker lays Ofelia down and tells Madison she is burning up. Before heading out to find pain medicine for Ofelia, Madison hands Walker a knife to put Ofelia down if necessary.
Madison gives some Vicodin to Ofelia. As Ofelia sleeps, Walker tells Madison that she’s doing the right thing by honoring Ofelia’s request to see her father one last time.
Madison wakes Ofelia to meet Daniel. She suggests Walker stay behind and Ofelia endorses the suggestion. Walker hugs her as a goodbye and Madison helps her out through the night.
The next day, Walker prepares to return to the dam with Madison and Strand while Nick and Troy stay behind.
Walker gives Daniel Ofelia's necklace and expresses his sorrow for Ofelia's death. Walker admits that he doesn't know how Ofelia got bit as he was on the road and not at the ranch.
Madison later find Walker and Crazy Dog packing up. Walker tells Madison that they have heard rumors that some of their people went north before the infection and the two intend to seek them out. Walker and Madison share a warm goodbye with each other before Walker and Crazy Dog leave.
Walker appears in Madison's dream sequence where he joins her family dinner. Suddenly, Walker chops off Jeremiah Otto's head while no one but Madison reacts.
In reality, Walker and Crazy Dog provide Nick covering fire from a nearby hilltop, allowing him to destroy the Gonzalez Dam. The two witness Madison, Strand and Alicia's boat get drawn into the flood from the destroyed dam and sadly realize that they can do nothing to help them. The two depart to search for their people to the north.
This list shows the victims Qaletaqa has killed:
- Travis Manawa (Indirectly Caused)
- Charlene Daley (Indirectly Caused)
- Phil McCarthy (Caused)
- Jimmie (Alive, Caused)
- Joseph (Alive, Caused)
- Paul (Assumed, Caused)
- Jeremiah Otto (Caused)
- At least 7 unnamed Broke Jaw Ranch militiamen (Direct and/or Caused)
- Several Broke Jaw Ranch residents (Caused and Zombified)
- Several unnamed Black Hat Reservation Residents (Zombified)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people
- "Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame"
- "The Unveiling"
- "Children of Wrath"
- "The Diviner"
- "La Serpiente"
- "This Land Is Your Land"
- "El Matadero"
- "Things Bad Begun"
- "Sleigh Ride"
- Qaletaqa is the first Native-American character to appear in the television continuity.
- His name Qaletaqa means "Guardian of the People" in Hopi language.
- Judging from this and also the geographic location of the setting, he is very possibly from a Hopi tribe.
- It is revealed in "The Unveiling" that Qaletaqa keeps the remains of his great-grandfather in a box, out of tribal belief that his spirit would be safer there than buried under the land owned by the Otto Family.