Major Spoilers for tonight’s episode of Fear The Walking Dead
It is almost impossible in this day and age to pull off a character death that is truly a surprise to everyone. With people hovering around sets, casting notices, leaks on forums, scores of speculative blog posts, and foreshadowing clues without a hint of subtlety, viewers are usually able to anticipate big character deaths and prepare for them.
That was decidedly not the case in tonight’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead, “Good Out Here,” where one of the series original characters was shot and killed by a 12-year-old girl named Charlie. Character deaths this surprising are so few and far between, the only times I can remember being as surprised as this was when Josh Charles was killed off of The Good Wife or Billy (Gil Bellows) died unexpectedly in Ally McBeal way back in 2002.
But it’s true. Nick Clark, aka, “Junkie Johnny Depp,” is gone. There is no ambiguity about it. He was killed in the final seconds of the episode in a scene so unexpected that many viewers probably didn’t realize what was happening until Nick had already expired.
In my brain, it registered like this:
Was that a gunshot off in the distance?
Nope. Wait, what? That bullet hit Nick in the chest.
Oh God! Is that Charlie? Did she shoot him? Nick is going to be so pissed that he got shot by someone he was trying to save. Chase after her, Nick!
Man, that looks like a lot of blood. I hope Alicia finds Nick fast enough to save him. Hurry Alicia!
Is he choking on his own blood? That’s going to be a difficult wound to treat. Someone should apply pressure immediately.
Wait, what is happening? Is Nick dying? Is Nick actually, really dying?
Oh My God, Nick is dead.
What the hell?
The sentiment on Twitter was similar. I mean, look at these tweets 2 minutes before it happened. So much hope!
And then: Bam. Hope is gone.
Fear the Walking Dead returns next Sunday, where Nick will continue to live on for a little while longer in flashbacks.