TV

‘Fear The Walking Dead’ Teases A Major Death That’s Going To Upset A Lot Of Fans

AMC

It’s no secret that the Fear The Walking Dead cast has gotten a bit bloated in its fifth season and is in desperate need of some culling. Moreover, the show has also forgotten what makes The Walking Dead so good: The element of surprise and shocking deaths.

This week’s episode “Still Standing” may have addressed both of problems, but not in the way that anyone might have wanted. At the end of the episode, while battling walkers, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) stabs what appears to have been a zombie infected with radiation (as signified by the geiger counter on a chain around its neck). When she pulls out her weapon, the irradiated blood spews all over her face.

The suggestions is that Alicia has been infected by nuclear radiation, which — according to the new character, Grace — means that she may not have long to live. Weeks? Months? The midseason finale? Or, more likely, the season finale? Or it could all be a fake-out?

There are two realistic scenarios here, and both are terrible. In one scenario, Alicia hangs on and eventually succumbs to radiation poisoning at the end of the season. For a lot of Fear the Walking Dead fans, this would be devastating. Alicia is not only the last remaining Clark family member, but she is the best character on the series. She and Garret Dillahunt, at this point, are the biggest selling points for this series, and losing Alicia is tantamount to losing Rick on The Walking Dead, except Fear, unlike TWD, doesn’t have a deep roster of great characters to fall back on. Alicia’s death would be hugely detrimental to the series. However, after five years on the series (and an almost complete turnover of the cast), Alycia Debnam-Carey may be ready to move on to other opportunities.

On the other hand, if the zombie isn’t actually contaminated and this was a big fake out, that’s really bad, too. Fans of The Walking Dead universe were hugely upset about the Glenn/fake-out death scene back in season 6 of The Walking Dead, but at least that series had a lot of good will to spend. Fear has no such goodwill with fans (in fact, the series has already been skating on thin ice since the deaths of Madison and Nick). If Alicia doesn’t die, fans are going to be almost as ticked off as they would if Alicia did die.

I’m not sure how this situation is going to shake out, ultimately, but unless Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss have a rabbit they can pull out of their hat in the season finale to save the character without upsetting fans with a fake-out, there are going to be a lot of very upset fans.

The mid-season finale is set to air next Sunday. It’s unclear when the back half will air.

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