With Jeremiah dead, the ranch is leaderless. But on Fear the Walking Dead, the most obvious replacement isn’t necessarily the best.
There are a lot of leader type figures on Fear the Walking Dead, but some are more experienced than others. However, while experience is important, it isn’t the only thing that makes a good leader. The ‘experienced’ adults aren’t the only ones qualified to lead Broke Jaw Ranch. In fact, it might even be better to have a fresher, more youthful view of the world to lead this community.
Let’s take a look at viable candidates to lead the ranch, and see who shapes up to be the most worthy.
“Haha, Katie, you’re so funny. Who should actually be the next leader?” No, guys, I’m kind of serious. Troy is a violent, racist dictator, but he does display some valuable leadership qualities that are worth looking at.
Troy’s most valuable leadership ability is his consistency. You can’t say you’re ever that surprised by Troy’s actions. As awful as he is, he’s consistently awful. His beliefs, though violent and discriminatory, are unwavering, and when he sets his mind on a task, he sees it through. Scheming and duplicity aren’t Troy’s M.O. Even if you don’t like what he’s saying, at least you always know where you stand. The same can’t be said for everyone on this list.
Should Troy be the next leader of Broke Jaw Ranch? No. Troy probably shouldn’t lead anything. Not because he isn’t capable, but because he’s crazy. However, Troy has qualities that are valuable in a good leader, qualities that other people on this list could learn from.
Jake seems like a real stand-up guy and all, but he hasn’t proven himself to be leadership potential. He’s unable to control situations, even if he has the right intentions. He can’t even control his own brother.
By default, Jake should be the leader of Broke Jaw, given that his father was the leader before him. Jake is too much of a pushover, though. He lets Madison and Walker steamroll his decisions, helped by Alicia’s
Jake wants what’s best for Broke Jaw and the Black Hat community, but he’s unable to execute his intentions. If Madison wasn’t present, perhaps Jake would be a stronger leader. But a good leader should be strong willed at all times, even in the presence of an equally strong leader.
After three seasons, we’re used to seeing Madison take the leadership role, so she’s the obvious candidate to lead Broke Jaw Ranch. She’s made tough and smart decisions in the past, and can negotiate decently well, qualities any good leader should have, but she’s never had the right motives.
Madison’s primary goal is to take care of her family, which is admirable, but it doesn’t make a great group leader. Her interests aren’t for the community; they’re selfish interests. Take the water shortage situation. When presented with an opportunity to barter for more water with Taqa’s gold, Madison instead trades the gold for Strand’s life. Without consulting Taqa, she freed her own friend with Taqa’s gold. Does that sound like someone who’s thinking of people other than herself?
For whatever reason, Madison is also becoming less inclined to make difficult decisions. Where once she didn’t hesitate to lock an old lady in a barn to burn to death, now she doesn’t have it in her to kill Jeremiah and Troy. Having the intention is one thing, but following through on the plan is what makes a good leader.
Madison’s strongest asset is her ability to read people, to negotiate. Strand may think he’s the smoothest talker, but Madison has gotten them out of more problematic situations than he has. Good people skills doesn’t make a good leader, but it does make a strong right hand to one.
Related: Fear the Walking Dead: Can the Clarks hold onto their humanity?
Nick has charisma in spades, and seemingly everyone likes him. It’s a quality that’s important in a strong leader. If people like you, they’re more likely to do what you say. Fortunately, Nick has a good heart and is all for keeping as many people alive as possible with minimal bloodshed. For a peacekeeper, though, he’s also becoming more comfortable executing difficult decisions. Indeed, literal execution is apparently now in his job description.
But once an addict, always an addict, and we’ve yet to see what Nick will latch onto next. Given the consistency of which he’s handled a gun, and the men who’ve chosen him as their new leader, it’s highly possible Nick could become trigger-happy. The last thing Fear the Walking Dead needs is another character who shoots first, asks questions later.
Nick has a realistic view of the world, and the ability to draw people to him, but he’d greatly benefit from supervision from Alicia. Without her to keep him in check, he might stray too far in a particular direction, and anything in extremes, good or bad, won’t keep you alive for long.
Alicia is developing her mother’s ability of diminishing conflict with words, but she still has a lot to learn about people. Expecting the best of people is admirable, particularly in this new world, but it’s unrealistic and will get her in trouble. Madison knew the people of Broke Jaw would riot once they found out the water supply was running low, but Alicia expected more from them. She informed them of the shortage, hoping they would subsequently comply with the water rationing, but it was naive thinking.
Despite Alicia’s somewhat flawed view of people, she’s becoming a strong leader. She’s able to keep composure under hot-blooded conversations, and she doesn’t let her personal relationships get in the way of making objective decisions. She genuinely wants to do what’s best for everyone, even if she still isn’t quite adept at accomplishing that.
Alicia would do well to have Nick beside her, to keep tabs on those she’s unable to connect with, and to remind her that not everyone is as reasonable as she is.
It’s difficult to gauge Taqa’s leadership because we know very little about him.
We know Taqa is no pushover, as retaliation doesn’t seem to be a problem for him. He’s also not senselessly violent, agreeing to talk about problems with Madison or Jake instead of attacking them first. Taqa seems to be respected by his people as well, given that we have yet to see internal conflict or arguing within his group.
The only problem with Taqa’s ability to lead Broke Jaw is how people would respond to his leadership. That is to say, many people of Broke Jaw are unaccepting of this new alliance, and would definitely not be okay with him leading them. Other than this factor that he has no control over, Taqa does seem to be a decent leader.
Obviously Daniel is the best choice to lead anyone and anything. He may not have ever stepped foot in Broke Jaw Ranch, but he’s a natural leader who can take control of any situation.
Daniel sees the bigger picture. He’s lived long enough to have learned from mistakes; he’s lived through brutality and come out the other side without having lost his humanity; he’s compassionate when he needs to be, but he won’t hesitate in offing someone if it means bettering the community.
Daniel also kind of died, and if the guy who defeated death isn’t your kind of leader, then I don’t know what is.