Major Spoilers for last night’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead
Last night, Fear the Walking Dead not only delivered its best episode to date, it ended with the most surprising death in The Walking Dead universe, when a shy 12-year-old girl by the name of Charlie shot and killed Nick Clark (Frank Dillane).
The devastating loss of one of the original Fear characters and, to some, the face of the show, left fans on social media flabbergasted. In fact, I saw several people on Twitter blaming Nick’s sudden death on the influence of Scott Gimple, who was promoted from showrunner on The Walking Dead to the content head of the entire The Walking Dead universe.
As it turns out, however, Gimple did not have a hand in the death of Nick. That was Frank Dillane’s decision, as new Fear showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss told The Hollywood Reporter after the episode:
It actually goes back to season three, before Ian and I even came aboard. Frank Dillane had asked the producers and AMC if he could leave the show, because he wanted to pursue other opportunities. One of the first things we were tasked with when we came on to run season four was to really find a story that would give Nick a fitting sendoff. He’s been with the show from day one, so it was very important to us and to Frank to find a death for him that was emotional and one that would ripple forward throughout the storytelling.
The show, however, will not be rid of Dillane just yet. Much of this season’s story is set in a past timeline, where Nick is still alive, so we will continue to see him on the baseball field dealing with dying crops and the threat of the Vultures, who may or may not have already killed his mother, Madison Clark. Nick’s presence on the show, however, will continue to serve as a heartbreaking reminder that he is dead.