‘The Walking Dead’ And ‘Fear The Walking Dead’: Who Did Zombie Herding Better?

Episode 11 of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead saw Madison and her daughter, Alicia, organize a zombie roundup to clear their hotel of the infected. Previously, in the show’s companion program, The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes did a similar thing with the massive herd of walkers in the quarry. So who was a better zombie herder?

Spoiler alert: This article discusses Season 2 of AMC’s Fear The Walking Dead and Season 6 of its companion show, The Walking Dead. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

AMC’s ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ Season 2, Episode 11, Madison herds the infected [Image via Richard Foreman, Jr./AMC]

Episode 11 of Fear the Walking Dead saw Madison Clarke (Kim Dickens) and her daughter, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), devise a clever way to get the infected out of the hotel they want to secure. Using all the available people living in the hotel, they attracted the attention of the undead and herded them towards the pier outside the hotel. Then, Madison helped guide them to the end of the pier where they fell into the water and would, hopefully get taken far out to sea by the riptide.

In the Season 6 premiere of Fear‘s companion program, The Walking Dead, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) devised a similar zombie herding plan when his group discovered a quarry filled with walkers. While the walkers were still mostly contained, Rick’s group were concerned about the potential threat if the walkers broke the containment line and wound up in Alexandria. Using Daryl (Norman Reedus) and his bike, along with Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and a car, this group attempted to herd the undead via a route that would steer them clear of Alexandria.

AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 6, Episode 1, Daryl herds the walkers [Image via Gene Page/AMC]

So which group was better at herding zombies?

Madison and Alicia worked out pretty quickly that going room by room to kill the infected would take too long. They know that secure locations are the new currency in the zombie apocalypse, so it was important to work fast to secure the hotel before others arrived and tried to take it from them.

Rick, on the other hand, had more time to work things out with the removal of their walker horde. While the trucks containing the walkers to the quarry were becoming compromised, it still brought them time in regards to a plan. Plus, they already had a secure location and were just trying to make sure this horde did not threaten it.

AMC’s ‘Fear the Walking Dead,’ Season 2, Episode 11, The infected being herded [Image via Richard Foreman, Jr./AMC]

Madison and Alicia devised a plan only a short time into the zombie apocalypse that relied on the knowledge they already had on the infected. Their plan depended on the fact the undead are generally slow and always stupid. So, using noise as their means to attract and move the undead, they managed to get their horde of the infected out of the hotel and into the water. There were no real threats and everything went according to plan.

Rick’s plan was more ambitious. Sure, he also had a much larger group than Madison’s. But he has been living through the zombie apocalypse for a much longer time as well. Also using noise to attract the walkers, his group attempted to guide the massive horde past Alexandria and further out where they could then be left to their own devices.

The biggest problem with Rick’s plan was the sheer size of it. And that was his downfall. While these sorts of plans rely on skill and luck in equal measures, Rick’s group lucked out when a horn was sounded and the walkers ended up right outside Alexandria when this happened. Rick literally brought the problem to his doorstep. Madison was lucky that there were no distractions that caused her plan to be compromised. Perhaps if there had been no other distracting noises, Rick’s plan would have worked and Alexandria would have been safe from the undead.

AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead,’ Season 6, Episode 1, the quarry filled with walkers [Image via AMC]

But did Rick really need to herd the undead? While Madison’s group had no choice but to secure their location from other human threats, Rick could have secured the quarry to buy him more time. Perhaps he never even needed to herd the walkers at all. As HitFix points out, if the quarry was fully secured, the threat would be removed or vastly delayed. Then Rick’s group could have either kept an eye on it and reinforced the perimeter as required or taken their time to dispatch the walkers via various means.

While Rick’s plan was ambitious, was his attention to detail and “over-engineering” of the problem his greatest fault? Madison, on the other hand, saw the problem, deduced what needed to be done and got the herd sorted. She didn’t have the luxury of time to mull over the threat. Also, she is new to the apocalypse, perhaps there was a little naivety on her behalf that was a luxury Rick couldn’t afford. He has seen many complications arise in the zombie apocalypse and his plan was devised with that in mind.

Who do you think did zombie herding better, Fear the Walking Dead or The Walking Dead? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

Season 2 of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead returns Sunday, September 18, with Episode 12 (entitled “Pillar of Salt”) at 9 p.m. ET. The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Season 7 on Sunday, October 23.

The official synopsis for Episode 12 of Fear the Walking Dead is below.

“Madison lays down the law.”

[Image via AMC]

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