‘The Walking Dead’ May Borrow A Timeline Trick From ‘Fear The Walking Dead’

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(Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead and the 9th Season of The Walking Dead)

Fans of Fear the Walking Dead will recall that one of the show’s original cast members, Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) was killed off in the third episode of the fourth season. He was shot and subsequently died in the arms of his sister, Alicia. And yet, Nick Clark continued to appear in the remaining five episodes of the front half of the season. Likewise, Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) was dead when the season opened, though viewers at home didn’t know it until the midseason finale, when the series finally revealed her demise.

Fear managed this feat by running on two timelines — a present timeline (in which Nick and Alicia were dead) and a past timeline, in which a huge time jump was gradually filled in over the course of the first eight episodes. At least where it concerned Nick, whose death we witnessed early in the season, it added an extra layer of sadness, as flashbacks continued to drop Nick into the series even as his character’s death had already been presented.

The Walking Dead seems likely to pull off a similar fear with Jesus, whose character was killed off in the midseason finale of The Walking Dead a few weeks ago. But that doesn’t mean that Tom Payne’s arc is over.

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