The Fear the Walking Dead premiere started off on a strained note with the enigmatic Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) setting rules for living aboard his luxury yacht in an attempt to outlast the zombie apocalypse. For those Fear the Walking Dead fans that have already forgotten, the rules are: “Rule number one, it’s my boat. Rule number two, it is my boat. And if there remains any confusion about rules one and two, I offer rule number three, it’s my godd— boat.”
While Strand may seem heartless and cynical, Fear the Walking Dead viewers can’t help but to understand and, at times, agree with the strange millionaire’s reasoning. Yet the relationship between Strand and the rest of the survivors seems to already be growing more tense. How long before there’s a mutiny, a situation for which Strand must already have prepared?
Fear the Walking Dead executive producer Dave Erickson says this story arc along with more perils yet to be introduced will work together to build up to a mid-season cliffhanger, worthy of competing with The Walking Dead‘s Negan cliffhanger.
Dave Erickson Says Season 2 of Fear The Walking Dead Is Really Two Seasons In One
The first season of Fear the Walking Dead was a short six-episode introduction into the spin-off series, but Erickson says Season 2 of Fear the Walking Dead is much longer and, as such, has been broken down into two halves. The first half of the series will consist of seven episodes, while the second half will be comprised of the remaining eight episodes. For this to work in the show’s favor, Erickson recognizes the need for ending the first half of Fear the Walking Dead‘s current season with an emotional cliffhanger.
“You want something monumental that will beg people to come back,” Fear the Walking Dead‘s showrunner says.
Erickson adds that the parent series was an excellent bit of storytelling that left off with a truly compelling season finale.
“You also need something that feels organic and driven. The ideal cliffhanger, the ideal churn for any show — and this can be a novel or a TV show or a movie — but you want it to feel inevitable. You want that moment of shock and surprise but when you catch your breath, you want to feel that yes, there’s no other way that could have gone down. That’s always the goal.”
Fear The Walking Dead‘s Showrunner Says Strand Isn’t The Only Threat Facing The Survivors Aboard Abigail
Alicia, played by Alycia Debnam-Carey, has already set a dangerous series of events in motion, when she befriended Jack via Strand’s two-way radio. Alicia thought she had made a new friend, getting to know Jack throughout the first episode of Fear the Walking Dead‘s second season and discovering that she may have found someone that had gone through as much as she has since the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. When Jack asked for help and Strand refused to assist, it seemed their host was a heartless, cruel sort, but Erickson suggests that Strand may be foreseeing threats that the others aren’t quite grasping.
“We know someone is on the water and shot up that capsized boat and killed the dead that are now in the water,” says Erickson. “And there’s a suggestion that that could very well be connected to Jack.”
The Fear the Walking Dead executive producer also reveals that the series as it is now is exploring a sort of a coming of age for each of the characters, and Erickson says each of them will have to come to terms with the zombie apocalypse in his or her own way. Erickson suggests that this will lead to the Fear the Walking Dead characters to go off on their own journeys.
Even as the people aboard the Abigail face exterior threats, Erickson reminds fans that there are still threats facing them from within, namely Mr. Strand. As trust is the overriding theme on Fear the Walking Dead, that particular issue becomes a primary point in dealing with their host.
“What is Strand’s agenda?” Erickson said. “Clearly he has an idea of where he’s going. Daniel points out that he was packing before the bombs fell and had no intention of staying in that house. So where is he taking them? Strand suggests San Diego but we don’t know if San Diego is safer than L.A. It’s quite tenuous. There’s an initial relief mixed with mourning and grief but the initial relief to be clear of land and get way from that catastrophe. And now it shifts to the question of: Who who can we trust? If we can’t trust Strand, who is the captain of the boat, what do we do?”
The next episode of Fear the Walking Dead airs on Sunday, April 17, on AMC.
[Image by AMC]