“We are constantly striving to change what Fear is and reinvent it,” co-showrunner said at Comic-Con last month. “So just as soon as everyone thinks they’ve figured out what we’re doing, we change things up and that’s gonna continue through season five. There’ll be a big change at the end of season five.” (Emphasis mine)
Viewers of Fear the Walking Dead aren’t quite sure what to expect by the “big change” at the end of season five, but in the last couple of episodes in season 5A and in the midseason premiere this week, the writers appear to possibly be setting up one of two things: Either Alicia dies (likely) or her mother, Madison, returns (less likely).
In the opening half of the season, we see Alicia exposed to the blood of a contaminated zombie, which can be lethal. We see that in Grace, who is already beginning to succumb to the radiation in the beginning of season 5b. She probably will not survive until season 6. That may also be true of Alicia who, in the midseason premiere, seems to be separating herself from the rest of the group to some extent. She cannot bring herself to kill more zombies. Meanwhile, she’s decided against continuing to train with Morgan and decided, instead, to search for whomever it is that is leaving uplifting messages carved into trees.