The season 4 midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead made some big moves that’s sure to create big shifts for the rest of the season.
Over the course of season 4’s seven episodes, Fear the Walking Dead ended up killing off two of the show’s main characters and big players. In the show timeline, we first lost Nick, one of the most complex characters the show had to offer. Then we lost Madison, the leader of the show since episode 1. What happens to Fear the Walking Dead now that these two Clarks are no longer around?
For the moment, Nick’s role of the good-hearted but misguided doesn’t have an obvious replacement. Despite ethical progress Strand has made since season 1, some of his motives and decisions continue to be morally ambiguous.
That said, recent events will likely tip Strand to a more honest lifestyle. The deaths of both Nick and Madison will create a closer bond between himself, Luci, and to a larger extent, Alicia. They’ve been through so much together. If they haven’t separated by this point, death is probably the only thing that would make them.
Who’s most likely to take up the mantle of creating inner turmoil within the group? Fresh-faced veteran Morgan Jones has already played this role on The Walking Dead, so he’s the obvious choice. Constantly flip flopping between what codes to live by, Morgan is sure to cause tension amongst the group. Alicia, Strand, and Luci already have an established relationship and way of living, as does Morgan. Somehow they’ll have to jive if they’ve any hope of staying together.
Head Bitch In Charge
Madison has been leading her group, and every other group she’s come across, since the beginning of Fear the Walking Dead. Now that she’s gone, who’s going to take over all the communities they stumble upon on their travels?
Consciously or not, Madison had been training Alicia to take over for her. She neglected Alicia for much of her upbringing because Nick required so much of her attention, and she thought Alicia was fine. Because she’s had to grow on her own so much, Alicia has matured quickly.
Accordingly, she had a particular knack for adapting to this new world. Break down after Madison’s death aside, Alicia would make a great new leader. In season 3, episode 13, “This Land Is Your Land,” Alicia proved she’s capable of the leadership position and making tough decisions. What she’s suffered since then has only helped her grow.
However, Alicia’s savage side wasn’t brought under control through her own reflections. It was a total stranger, Morgan, who gave her a speech on humanity that made her realize how much she’d lost her way. If Morgan is the lone person in this group with the sanity and ability to retain his humanity, then maybe he should be the new leader.
Indeed, it’s possible The Walking Dead brought Morgan onto Fear the Walking Dead with the sole intent of him replacing Madison. Morgan began this series refusing to join any group, but after John Dory and company’s influence, he’s decided to stay. We know Morgan has steadfast
yet ever-changing beliefs, so it’s not hard to assume he’d take any opportunity he could to try and instill those beliefs onto the group.
It mustn’t be forgotten though that Daniel Salazar is still out and about somewhere. He’s been a leader for most of his life. Daniel is the epitome of knowing how to make the hard call and doing what it takes to keep people alive. He’s a politician, soldier, and honorary father. Should he reunite with our group, he’s the natural choice to take charge.
Removing Madison from the show was an interesting decision, especially when her character was becoming likeable this season. Why give her positive development if she’s only to last half a season?
And what do they hope to accomplish without her? Killing characters, particularly major players, should be to progress story or because their arc had run its course.
Given Nick had to die because actor Frank Dillane wanted out, had Madison have lived, Nick could have been the one to die saving everyone instead. We know how much Madison treasures Nick, so the rest of the season (or half season) could have been about Madison dealing with her grief. Instead, we got half a season with villains who were villainous for no reason, and are already eliminated from the equation.
With the inclusion of three new characters, do they think there are too many characters to balance? Do they want Alicia to be in charge? Was Morgan relocated so he could be in charge? But with both Maggie and Rick departing the parent show next season, why not just promote Morgan there?