It’s hard to know exactly what Dave Erickson — the guy who ran Fear the Walking Dead through its first three seasons — might have thought of season four of the series. It’s clearly not how he envisioned the show going forward, and for better or worse (depending upon each individual perspective), season four is not the show that Erickson set into motion.
In fact, season four showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss almost completely ignored what Erickson had left them. Erickson left the lives of his characters hanging in the balance in Mexico, while Goldberg and Chambliss rebooted the story years later in Texas, all but neglecting what had happened in the season three finale. There were a few passing references to it, but the show never jumped back to show us what happened (or explain where Daniel Salazar or Proctor John (played by the phenomenal Ray McKinnon) ended up.
It’s abundantly clear, as well, that Goldberg and Chambliss did not take Fear the Walking Dead into the direction that Erickson would have preferred. In Erickson’s post-mortem with The Hollywood Reporter after the season three finale, the departing showrunner was specific about one thing, when asked, “Who would have lived through your version of the series finale?”
“For me,” Madison,” Erickson said. “For me, there’s a lot left for Madison specifically.” Erickson’s statement was practically a plea to the incoming showrunners to keep his favorite character around.
As we know, however, Chambliss and Goldberg ignored Erickson’s wishes for the show and killed off Madison Clark in the fourth midseason finale, a decision that has been met with a very mixed reaction from fans of the series.
However, Erickson, for his part, was all class about the death of Madison, paying tribute to Kim Dickens without passing judgment on the decision itself to kill her off.
I’m sure Erickson wasn’t thrilled with Dickens’ exit (as a few of his Twitter Likes suggested), but it’s classy of him to acknowledge the contributions that Dickens made to the show over three and a half seasons and what a terrific person she was to work with.
Fear the Walking Dead returns in August with the back half of season four.