Fear The Walking Dead season 7’s finale offers a first taste of PADRE – and one popular theory appears to have been disproved already. By far the biggest mystery of Fear The Walking Dead season 7 has been PADRE – an elusive community spoken of in hushed tones by the survivors of Texas’ now-nuclear zombie apocalypse. Allegedly stocked with supplies and the means to build a brighter future, PADRE remains hidden until Morgan Jones encounters Madison Clark in the season finale… but these supposed saviors aren’t quite what Morgan imagined.
PADRE is a super-secretive community that hires “collectors” to steal children from their parents under the pretense of offering a better home. Where these children go afterwards remains a mystery, and what lies at the end of PADRE’s trail even Madison doesn’t know. Perhaps the most popular theory from Fear The Walking Dead season 7 claims PADRE is actually franchise big-bad, the CRM (Civic Republic Military). These dystopian soldiers have featured across all three The Walking Dead TV shows, and cast an unfathomably large shadow over the entire zombie apocalypse. Given their immense power and influence, the CRM and PADRE look like natural bedfellows.
Unfortunately, PADRE’s grand reveal all but puts paid to that theory. Whenever CRM soldiers have featured in The Walking Dead previously, they’ve arrived dressed in those infamous black uniforms, complete with face-covering helmets and guns carrying a zombie-killing bolt. The folks from PADRE in Fear The Walking Dead season 7’s finale are dressed and armed in far more rudimentary fashion, with rags half-covering their faces and no consistency in their arsenal. The mismatched getup and equipment points towards a far more amateurish operation compared to the ruthless professionalism of the CRM and, consequently, a completely different set of villains. CRM troops don’t go “undercover” either – they simply hide, then kill whoever spots them. PADRE can’t just be the CRM on dress-down Fridays.
PADRE’s motives don’t quite match the CRM’s either. Admittedly, the Civic Republic is obsessed with secrecy and rebuilding for the future, and also recruits children to serve future generations, just like our PADRE pals. But whereas PADRE is making Madison collect any and all youngsters, the CRM cherry-picks only the very best and brightest, holding zero qualms about killing children deemed surplus to requirements. Furthermore, it’s difficult to imagine CRM soldiers leaving a pamphlet titled “PADRE” lying around where anybody could read it – which is precisely what Morgan does in Fear The Walking Dead season 7. Based on appearance, capabilities, motives and actions, the theory claiming PADRE is the CRM now hangs by a thread.
Hope isn’t lost quite yet, however. Though traditional CRM soldiers are virtually impossible to miss, the Civic Republic is known to work alongside other groups in a very detached, loosely-associated fashion. Jadis and her Scavengers couldn’t have looked or acted less like the CRM, but were secretly supplying kidnapped test subjects labelled “A” and “B” via helicopter nonetheless. PADRE may not be comprised of CRM soldiers, but it might still be doing the Civic Republic’s dirty work. And where the junkyard scavengers kidnapped adults, could PADRE be smuggling youngsters? Maybe collectors like Madison steal children for PADRE, then PADRE hands the cleverest. most promising brats over to the CRM in exchange for supplies, keeping leftover little ones for themselves.
Fear The Walking Dead’s PADRE would certainly benefit from a CRM connection. Despite a string of key reveals in Walking Dead: World Beyond, the Civic Republic is largely still an unknown quantity in The Walking Dead, and the main show is rapidly running out of episodes to answer those lingering questions. Drawing a connective thread to PADRE not only coaxes the truth out faster, but adds more gravity to Fear The Walking Dead season 8 as Morgan and Madison prepare for battle.