Meet Lexi Johnson. She plays Gloria in Fear the Walking Dead. You may have seen her in trailers or in some of the show’s promotional materials.
What you may not realize, however, is that she’s also Patient Zero, or, at least, the zombie that starts it all in Los Angeles on Fear the Walking Dead, as she recently revealed in an interview with ComicBook.com. The interview also seems to suggest that Gloria is more than the “first zombie” on Fear the Walking Dead. She may even be “the one that starts it all in the world of The Walking Dead.”
That may be true, but don’t expect any backstory. Don’t expect to find out how Gloria was infected, or any of the details behind the virus responsible for the zombies. Not that showrunner Dave Erickson didn’t consider it. In fact, the first idea that Erickson pitched to creator Robert Kirkman when it came to The Walking Dead spin-off was the idea of a Patient Zero story, an idea that was ultimately nixed, as Erickson told TheWrap:
“There were certain things I pitched to Robert in the very beginning,” Erickson said. “That was my initial thinking. OK, we need a big swing. We need something that’s radically different. I pitched a version of Patient Zero. And Robert said, ‘eh, that’s not really what this show is.”
Erickson ultimately conceded the point, however, noting that “it’s never going to be about how did it start.” He adds, “I can’t speak for the comic and what [Robert Kirkman] has planned for that side of things, but, from my understanding, that has never been interesting to him.”
Nevertheless, the conspiracy nuts among us may keep a closer eye on Gloria in the pilot episode of Fear the Walking Dead. They may not explain how the virus started, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there won’t be a hint or an Easter Egg surrounding her character that Kirkman may plant, but that won’t pay off until The Walking Dead ends its run.