The fourth season of Fear The Walking Dead has been a landmark season in the Walking Dead television universe with the crossover of Morgan Jones (played by Lennie James). The location for this season moved to from the west coast to Texas and with that brings a whole different set of challenges for the survivors of the zombie apocalypse like rain storms, raging rivers of filled with floating zombies, and maybe a tornado or two (have a look at the trailer at the bottom of this article and you will see what I mean).
This season has not been a walk in the park for the group as they had to deal with the threat of The Vultures, scavenging for food and supplies, and attempting to successfully to grow crops in order to feed their group fellow survivors within their stadium sanctuary. The Vultures were a patient bunch of scavengers who were more of a psychological threat than a physical threat like The Saviors on TWD.
The team also went through some big changes by the end of the first half of this season with the shocking demise of Nick and the heroic sacrifice of Madison, played by Frank Dillane and Kim Dickens respectively. While we were sad to see Madison and Nick go there are a few new faces to the group:
- Althea (Maggie Grace)
- John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt)
- Naomi (Jenna Elfman)
- Charlie (Alexa Nisenson)
I find that each season has a different look and feel with the story driving a major theme. The theme during the first half of this season is the struggle between revenge and forgiveness. Morgan is the personification of this struggle as he left Alexandria after being haunted by those he had killed. He then was able to persuade Nick to find peace after he exacted revenge on a Vulture. Nick’s peace was short-lived as he was killed by Charlie. At mid-season break the rest of the core group including Alicia forgive Charlie as they all sit at a campfire at the end of the mid-season finale.
The new additions add complexity to the dynamic and relations within group and there are new opportunities for great storytelling as we, the viewers, learn more about these characters and their motivations.
I had the pleasure of attending the Fear the Walking Dead press conference during San Diego Comic Con. In attendance were:
- Andrew Chambliss (Executive Producer & Showrunner)
- Ian Goldberg (Executive Producer & Showrunner)
- Scott M. Gimple (Executive Producer & Chief Content Officer – The Walking Dead & Fear the Walking Dead)
- Michael Satrazemis (Director)
- Lennie James (Morgan Jones)
- Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Clark)
- Colman Domingo (Victor Strand)
- Danay Garcia (Luciana Galvez)
- Jenna Elfman (Naomi)
- Garret Dillahunt (John Dorie)
- Maggie Grace (Althea)
I asked the producers what we can expect as a theme for the second half of the season. They responded that the theme will be that of redemption.
On the topic of crossovers Scott Gimple stated the he does not rule out crossovers for either series in the future. This brought noticeable whispers of amazement and excitement in response from many of us in the room and Gimple acknowledged that the reaction is exactly what he wanted to hear. James described being protective of the the character of Morgan and wanted his journey on this series to be meaningful.
The introduction of Althea, in my opinion, brings an interesting element and opportunity to expand on the storytelling for this series. Since Althea is a journalist and more importantly has library of tape recordings this can be a interesting opportunity to explore Althea’s past and possibly expand the story much like ‘The Red Machete’. As this topic was discussed the producers hinted at a story arc which will delve into why the tape mean so much to Althea.
The character of Alycia suffered a great deal during this season and at the same time need to seek revenge consumed her. Debnam-Carey discussed being the last Clark left and how exciting it is since Alicia’s journey now changes since she has no family for guidance or support. Alicia, like the other members of the group, are essentially orphans and she must now become her own person.
When asked about dealing with the departures of Frank Dillane and Kim Dickens Coleman summed up dealing with departures as treating the situation with dignity and respect. He also talked about being every one on the cast and crew being honest with each other about the process.
After attending the press conference, it was perfectly clear (to me) that each actor, as well as the producers grew to the respect for each other. The departures plus the hard work put into series season has created a familial bond.
Overall, I am looking forward to the second half of this season and excited to see what happens next for the group. Here is the trailer aired during San Diego Comic Con:
Fear the Walking Dead returns Sunday night August 12th on AMC!