‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Season 4: Why Is Nick So Afraid Of The Outside World?

Since last season of 'Fear the Walking Dead,' Nick Clark has changed from a walker-guts-wearing survivor to a farmer -- what caused this change?

AMC's 'Fear the Walking Dead,' Season 4, Episode 2, Another Day in the Diamond, Nick Clark
Richard Foreman, Jr. / AMC

Since last season of 'Fear the Walking Dead,' Nick Clark has changed from a walker-guts-wearing survivor to a farmer -- what caused this change?

Season 3 of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead saw Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) as a fearless survivor of the zombie apocalypse. Often, he was seen walking among the dead wearing their guts to mask his human scent. However, Season 4 of Fear has opened to reveal a much different version of Nick. While it was hinted at in the Season 4 premiere episode, fans got more of an insight in Episode 2, titled “Another Day in the Diamond.”

SPOILER ALERT: This article contains information about Episode 2, titled “Another Day in the Diamond,” of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead Season 4. Please proceed with caution if you have not yet viewed this episode and wish to avoid spoilers.

Nick is a farmer who reads books about organic gardening at the breakfast table and refuses to go outside the Diamond during a mission to find out what happened to a young survivor’s parents. As Forbes notes in their recap of Episode 2, Nick is “obviously still rattled and suffering from some PTSD.”

However, Episode 2 of Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 also shows Nick try to overcome his fear of the world outside the Diamond when his mother, Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), doesn’t return from a run and Nick hears music in the distance. He barely makes it outside the gates of the Diamond before his anxiety reaches such levels that he crashes the car he was driving.

So, what happened since the Season 3 finale of Fear the Walking Dead and the Season 4 premiere to make Nick like this?

When Nick was briefly outside the Diamond in Episode 2, there were flashbacks to the dam explosion he caused in the Season 3 finale of Fear. Viewers know from that episode that Nick was prepared to commit suicide in order to save his mother and sister from the Proctors. It was also evident from the end of the episode that Nick saw his family, along with Victor Strand (Colman Domingo), being sucked into the strong current caused by the explosion. Therefore, he might be feeling some guilt that he nearly killed them all.

AMC's 'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 4, Episode 2, Another Day in the Diamond, Nick and Luciana
  Richard Foreman, Jr / AMC

However, this doesn’t explain his fear of the outside world. Early on in Episode 2 of Fear the Walking Dead Season 4, Nick and Luciana (Danay Garcia) have a conversation before Luciana heads outside with Madison. Here, Nick implores of Luciana that “she” comes home, indicating he is likely talking about his mother. Luciana responds by indicating Nick will never let her forget. Likely, an incident occurred previously that viewers have not yet been made privy to involving Nick, Luciana, and Madison.

Later, in the car, it is discovered that Madison found Nick after the explosion. There is some indication that this might have something to do with Nick’s current fear of the outside world because Madison comments to Luciana that Nick just needs a safe place at the moment.

It is unclear yet just where Nick’s fear stemmed from other than these few hints. However, the official synopsis for Episode 3 of Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 indicates it might be explored further next week.

“Madison and Morgan try to help Nick find inner peace; a quest for revenge exacts its toll on the group.”

Already, we know from the synopsis that Morgan’s group must assimilate to some degree into Madison’s group if she is already allowing Morgan (Lennie James) to help with her son’s problems. However, fans will just have to tune into next week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead to discover if Nick’s fear of the outside world will be explained further.