Fear the Walking Dead returned tonight with its midseason premiere, and for the third time this season, so did Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s novella, The Little Prince.
What is the deal with that children’s book? And why does The Little Prince keep following Charlie around?
Symbolically speaking, this entire season of Fear the Walking Dead borrows a major theme from the most famous passage in The Little Prince: “Here is my secret. It is very simple: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
This line from the book, of course, refers to the predicament that the Fear characters have faced all season: They’re looking for a “home,” as in a physical place to live (like the Dell Baseball Diamond), but a “home” can be seen only with their hearts. For these characters, they can’t seem to see the “home” that is right in front of their very eyes — themselves — because they’ve been too preoccupied with looking for the right shelter instead of forging a bond.
In many ways, the midseason premiere returns to that motif: Morgan wants to return to his home in Virginia; John believes the home for him, June and Charlie is back at his cabin; and Strand and Luciana have found a big, huge lovely house (with a wine cellar), but they still have not found a “home.” The back half of this season of Fear the Walking Dead is likely about finding that “home” by bringing these disparate people back together in an effort to build a community. Where is irrelevant; together is what matters.
In a more literal sense, however, Charlie returning The Little Prince to Luciana is meant to symbolize a peace offering, of sorts. It’s the book that Nick and Luci found and gave to Charlie at the beginning of the season; the book that was charred in the Dell Diamond fire. Charlie finding a new copy and leaving it with Luci is meant to be her way of apologizing for killing Nick, an act that has clearly weighed heavily on her conscious since she pulled that trigger. It’s a small gesture, but based on Luci’s reaction, it clearly had the desired effect. Luci seems ready to forgive Charlie, or at least protect her from the coming storm.
Whether she’ll be able to, however, remains TBD.