Note: The following article contains speculation about the final two episodes of Fear The Walking Dead and has spoilers for Episode 13, “Date of Death.” If you have yet to watch “Date of Death,” please be aware of spoilers and read with caution.
Despite struggles with ratings and some confusing plot decisions, Season 2 of Fear The Walking Dead has marched right on with interesting characters, a realistic reaction to the early weeks of the zombie apocalypse, and plenty of Alycia Debnam-Carey. Some issues that exist with the original show — including teleporting walkers and cringe-worthy dialogue — remain and bother fans, but Fear” has more than made up for it thanks to a different branch of storytelling that showrunner Dave Erickson has brought to the table.
This Sunday, Season 2 will come to an end in a unique way, as AMC will air Episodes 14 and 15, “Wrath” and “North,” back-to-back before having Talking Dead with Chris Hardwick at 11 p.m. ET. Whether this is a decision that arises from the low ratings (Fear hasn’t hit the four million viewer mark at all in the second half and has gone over 3.6 million viewers just twice since Episode 9) is unclear, though the storylines we enter the finale with should only add to the intensity that back-to-back episodes brings.
Between Madison and friends trying to make the Rosarito Beach Hotel into the new West Georgia Correctional Facility, Travis parting ways with Chris (who mysteriously is not with the frat brothers he left the farm with), Nick joining La Colonia and forming a friendship – or potential romance — with Luciana, Ofelia running off to find Daniel, and a possible war on the horizon between La Colonia and the Cartel, there’s no shortage of problems on hand. As the main group becomes bigger and the possibility of two major battles (La Colonia vs. the Cartel and the hotel survivors against the frat boys) becoming a reality, death is certainly on its way — or, as they might say in Baja, la muerte es sin duda en su camino.
For the sake of easiness, both ‘Wrath’ and ‘North’ will be referred to as the finale due to the two episodes airing back-to-back. For future Fear editorials, however, events in the episodes will obviously be referred to by the episode they were in.
As we said, the main group of characters is huge right now, closely resembling the numbers of the main show’s ‘Team Family.’ In addition to the main seven of Travis, Madison, Alicia, Chris (whose fate is unknown after ‘Date of Death’), Nick, Ofelia, and Victor Strand, the second half of season two has also introduced Luciana, Alejandro, Elena, Oscar, Ilene, Brandon, and Derek. Let’s not also forget that Daniel, last seen setting fire to a walker-infested compound after seeing hallucinations of his dead wife, has yet to be officially confirmed as dead and will almost certainly be seen in either of the final two episodes. All in all, that’s a large amount of characters that have not only been given screen time but fleshed out and used as more than redshirts.
Of the main characters that do not include the starring cast, however, only Luciana, Alejandro, and Elena currently are the only ones that are definitely in that category. We’re talking about a possible love interest for Nick, the only known survivor of a walker bite (if he’s not lying), and a woman who serves as a mirror to Madison and the person she’s becoming. Does that mean they’re safe? Well…
Right now, the only ones who seem like locks to survive the finale are Madison, Alicia, Travis, and Ofelia; all of these characters still have a story to explore and for Ofelia, killing her off would mean the eradication of the entire Salazar family. For those unfamiliar with the original The Walking Dead comic, Robert Kirkman does his best to avoid killing off entire families of major characters who we get to know unless it’s absolutely necessary. As for the others, Madison is safe due to being the protagonist, Alicia is locked in because her character left The 100, and Travis has so much potential as a character who has failed his late wife and his son.
The only reason I’m not putting Victor as a lock just yet is due to him currently being treated for a stab wound, but I’d be very surprised to see the showrunners kill him off so soon. Not only has Strand become a fan favorite thanks to his deadpan, sarcastic quips and the excellent acting from Coleman Domingo, but the presence of a battle-savvy, gay black male on television — really the first since The Wire‘s Omar Little — has won many people over.
Domingo, in an August interview with MYM Buzz, spoke about the importance of Victor Strand’s character and what he brings to the show.
“I don’t even think the intention was for it to be a character that we haven’t seen before or a character that would eschew certain tropes. I think that they were just building this character of, ‘What is the strongest character for this show?’ I don’t even think that Victor Strand was meant to be African-American at all. From what I know with the showrunner, the intention was that the character, it’s written, it’s in the language, and whether he is white, black, Asian, or other, I think Victor Strand possibly could have been a woman, or gay, straight, you name it. But I think that’s the cool thing about it. All I can do is try to be honest and sincere, and work hard, and try and bring something complex that people respond to in some way.”
Chances are, Victor’s staying alive but may have to deal with some sort of handicap as a result of his stabbing come season three; maybe it’s a limp or a need to always be changing his wounds, something that could prove to slow the group down and result in karma for the man who didn’t want to ever help other survivors. There’s also the “bury your gays” criticism that the show would have to deal with if Victor were to be killed off, though I don’t think that’s on the showrunners’ minds right now.
But wait, what about Nick and Chris? Because Chris wasn’t with Brandon and Derek outside the hotel’s gates, we don’t know if he’s dead, if they left him for dead, or what; for that, I can’t give any type of educated guess. However, regardless of where Chris currently is, I don’t see him suddenly re-joining the group and making amends with Travis. There’s only two possible outcomes for Chris come the ending of season two: either he ends up on his own a la Andrea at the end of the original show’s second season or he dies, most likely being murdered by Travis or Alicia.
Fans have been commenting for months that Chris is the new Shane Walsh (Liam O’Leary of Undead Walking, the No. 1 The Walking Dead fan site, did an excellent piece on this in May) and his actor, Lorenzo James Henrie, even joked about it during his recent appearance on Talking Dead. When all is said and done, however, Chris is likely to end up exactly like Shane: being put down like a rabid dog by someone he doubted would make it in this new world, which would either be Travis or Alicia.
Talk about irony, huh? Alicia killing
Shane Chris would be a nice amount of karma since he tried to sneak up on her earlier in the season and kill her.
As for Nick, I’ll just flat out admit that I’m unsure what direction he’s going in. On one hand, his recklessness is sure to get him killed at some point but on the other hand, he’s one of the most human characters this entire show has; he’s a flawed man who is still trying to figure his demons out and build a new life where he doesn’t need to rely on drugs to keep him happy or alive.
Watching the second half of Nick’s Season 2 reminds me a bit of Andrea in Season 3 of the original show; both are characters who have battled demons since the early days of the apocalypse — Nick being a junkie and Andrea being suicidal — but each has grown and matured in order to keep their new home safe; at times, this means going against what the leader and his ‘cult’ might want, with Nick stealing the pastry for the little girl and Andrea trying to help Woodbury and the prison group make nice. Both are also in a type of close relationship with a higher-up, as Andrea was sleeping with The Governor and Nick seems to be approaching the point of being more than just friends with Luciana.
What led to Andrea’s death, however, was her stubbornness and her internal belief that everything could work together in this brand new world. One of Nick’s biggest traits that makes him so human, and one we’ve seen since the pilot episode? His stubbornness.
Things also aren’t helped by all of the references to Nick’s father, Steven, that we’ve had in the second half of Season 2. Madison sees a lot of Steven, who died prior to the outbreak in a suicidal car crash, in her son, and she even admits to Alicia in “Date of Death” that Nick was a large reason why her husband killed himself. It’s essentially become a common television trope that when you start getting a lot of backstory for a character, it means they’re going to die, and when they start talking about a dead relative, then a relative is going to be the one that dies.
Madison is so devoted to finding Nick that the idea of her finding him alive and healthy only to lose him makes perfect sense from a storytelling point of view. For a character who’s been so strong throughout, Madison is losing herself about Nick to the point where Alicia had to give her a mini “the reason you suck” speech in “Pillar of Salt.” Nick’s death for Madison would be her breaking point, which may remind some viewers of a line she had earlier in the season.
“To kill the monster, you become the monster. Stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back. It is alive.”
If I was a betting man, then I would take three main characters dying in the final two episodes: Nick Clark, Chris Manawa, and Alejandro, who admits in his final moments that he was lying about the walker bite. Alejandro is a better character than I think people expected him to be, but if La Colonia falls, I think he falls with them. Of course, Fear could also pull a page from its companion’s book and not kill anyone in the finale or even worse: not tell us until the start of Season 3.
Who do you have dying in the final two episodes of Fear The Walking Dead?
[Featured Image by AMC]