The Walking Dead

Fear the Walking Dead Is Setting up a Reboot – And Piling Up the Deaths

Fear the Walking Dead could be headed in a whole new direction after "Sonny Boy" -- and that makes sense with Madison Clark about to return.

At the end of Season 6, Fear the Walking Dead rapidly changed course. The maniacal Teddy (who was right, by the way) fired nuclear missiles from the USS Pennsylvania, laying waste to anything and everything. Season 7 took a totally different tone in which everyone was simply trying to survive and forge a new, radiation-filled life. To accommodate that, Season 7A adopted an anthology-style format, where each episode focused on one or two characters. Unfortunately, the early part of Season 7B continued that format past its expiration date.

The first two episodes were below par, but Season 7, Episode 11, “Ofelia” showed a little bit of promise. While the central conflict still doesn’t make sense, fans saw the first signs that Morgan and Alicia’s group was ready to go to war against Victor Strand and his tower. While fans will be delighted to see that finally happen in the coming weeks, “Sonny Boy” hinted that what happens after the battle for the tower could be the real shock.

FTWD’s first three seasons were successful — then co-creator and showrunner Dave Erickson left the series. When Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg signed on as the new showrunners, they essentially rebooted the show. The existing conflict with Proctor John disappeared, and Madison Clark was “killed off.” New characters like Morgan Jones (who crossed over from The Walking Dead), John Dorie and Al made their debuts. Chambliss and Goldberg’s direction for the series has had its ups and downs, but now it looks like they’re about to do the same thing over again.

“Sonny Boy” was about John Dorie Sr. trying to instigate positive change in the tower. He killed Howard in his efforts, but he failed to influence Strand in any way — so he sacrificed himself to smuggle Baby Mo out of the tower. While his and Howard’s deaths are big deals, they might have signaled a turning point when looked at in combination with the rest of Season 7B.

It looks like FTWD is about to seriously whittle down its cast. Howard and John Dorie Sr. are already dead, and Charlie looked awful in this episode. There’s no way that she survives the season. Luciana lying to Daniel about Ofelia indicates that one of them will die soon; either Daniel will kill her for lying or the lie will break him. On top of that, Alicia has been “dying” for a while now, and actress Alycia Debnam-Carey’s new starring role in Hulu’s Saint X may or may not indicate that her demise is approaching.

But why stop there? Strand is beyond redemption, as he’s become a crazed and paranoid villain. He likely won’t die, but this version of his character needs to go — and take one last victim with him. In “Sonny Boy,” Wes offered himself as Strand’s new partner, and that could indicate that he (like Howard) is cannon fodder for Strand’s war. Beyond that, much of FTWD’s secondary cast has become useless in the overall story. Characters such Grace, Sarah, Wendel, Dwight and Sherry either need some screen time, or they need to go. Everyone is tired of them just sitting in the tower as Strand’s hostages.

With all of those possible deaths on the horizon, it really does look like FTWD is positioning itself for a reboot, just like it did between Seasons 3 and 4. Since Madison is officially returning, it would make sense to use her return as a jumping-off point to take the series in a whole new direction. TWD is ending with Season 11, so all eyes will be on FTWD Season 8 to see if it can carry the franchise’s mantle and that means making some bold storytelling moves.

To see if the series is planning a reboot, tune into Fear the Walking Dead Season 7. New episodes air Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on AMC and are available to stream early on AMC+.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button