It’s hard to believe that The Walking Dead spin-off, Fear the Walking Dead, has been around nearly half as long as the parent series. As The Walking Dead concludes its ninth season, Fear is ramping up for its fifth season, which means that by the conclusion of this season, Fear will have more than half the number of The Walking Dead episodes.
Unlike The Walking Dead, however, Fear the Walking Dead seems like it’s been trying to reinvent itself every season, which might be why it still feels like a “new” show. It began as a prequel, of sorts, showing what happened during the initial outbreak, but that idea ran its course in the six-episode first season. The second season tried moving to the sea, but that misfired in a big way, so the series moved to the American-Mexican border. Just as the show had finally seemed to find its legs, however, it changed showrunners, jumped ahead in time, moved to Texas, and basically replaced most of the cast while also adding Morgan from The Walking Dead.
This fifth season, however, feels like the first time that the show will get a chance to exist as the same show it was in the prior season. There will be two additions — characters with whom we are already familiar. Daniel, not seen since the third season, will return, and Dwight will also move over from The Walking Dead. Based on the trailer, however, the hopeful tone of the show remains the same, while there doesn’t expect to be too much turnover.
Ian Chambliss and Andrew Goldberg will finally get to make a full season of their show with their cast and their own storylines. That could be good or bad. The front half of the fourth season was probably the best stretch of episodes during Fear’s entire run, but the season ran out of gas in the back half, delivering some of its worst episode as it sought to spread too little story over too long a stretch of time (and the old, homeless woman was a terrible villain).
All the same, I am hopeful about season 5 of Fear and hope that it can not just find its voice, but finally maintain it. Here’s the trailer, which reintroduces Daniel and features an appearance from Dwight.
Fear the Walking Dead returns on June 2nd.