Fear the Walking Dead: Our Plan to Save TWD Spinoff Is a Bit Drastic

As a fan of AMC and Skybound's The Walking Dead universe since Rick first woke up out of his coma and I first thought the doors read, "DON'T DEAD OPEN INSIDE" (like you didn't), what I'm about to write isn't being done so lightly and with a heavy heart. The best way to save TWD spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead is to end its run with the sixth season. That's right. Wrap up as many storylines as possible, give viewers an amazingly insane final season, and make sure the door doesn't hit our characters on their asses on the way out. And I mean that as a good thing.

Fear the Walking Dead
A horde of walkers attack our heroes in the sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead, courtesy of AMC.

First, a confession. I checked out of Fear the Walking Dead partway through the second season and didn't return until the fourth. My reason for leaving and then coming back is the exact opposite, almost Bizarro world version of the reason most of you kept with it and then started leaving mid-season 4. I hated the characters, save for Madison (Kim Dickens). Nick (Frank Dillane) was an obnoxious little shit from the jump, and I found Travis (Cliff Curtis) to be as annoying as his name. He was like an extra-preachy Rick without the fear that comes from knowing that person could kick your ass. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Strand (Colman Domingo) were much stronger characters from fourth season until now. I just didn't find myself caring that much about these people, so much so that I think I was starting to see the walkers' perspective.

Then they decided to bring Morgan (Lennie James) over from the mothership post-Saviors war, as well as a killer cast with characters I actually cared about from the start. From Maggie Grace's Al and Garret Dillahunt's John Dorie to the truck driving duo of Sarah (Mo Collins) and Wendell (Daryl Mitchell), I suddenly found myself giving two rats' asses about the series. That's high praise considering I had absolutely no rats' asses to give about it before. Throw in some great "big bads" like Tonya Pinkins' Martha and Colby Minifie's Virginia with a little CRM conspiracy, and I was actually having fun again.

So why get rid of it? Well, I'm not looking to get rid of it, but we'll get to that in a second. See, the problem the series ran into was it wouldn't completely cut ties to its past self so it couldn't fully commit to being something completely its own. A big part of that had to do with how they went the "no body" route with Madison's "death": a number of fans are still expecting her to return (with a mysterious figure in a prison cell in the FTWD season 6 teaser causing people to speculate). Leaving a question mark that big hanging around was always going to be a distraction, but bringing her back now feels more like a cheap move to appease loudly loyal fans than something natural and sensible to the story.

So what do I want to see instead? First, we keep the name because from a marketing standpoint its a known commodity. And contrary to what people may piss-and-moan about, it still has a positive connotation to it. Then, we turn it into a Walking Dead anthology series that could explore storylines set before, during, and after what we've already seen from TWD, FTWD, and new spinoff The Walking Dead: World Beyond. We could have multi-episode or season-long storylines involving current or past characters, and it would be a great way to bring dead-and-buried characters like Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Glenn (Steven Yeun), and others for new runs focused on past adventures. It would even be a great way to expand the focus of the Walking Dead universe beyond the U.S. borders, with an international look and flavor opening up about eight other doors of creative possibilities.

Fear the Walking Dead
A mysterious prisoner waits patiently in the sixth season of Fear the Walking Dead, courtesy of AMC.

While I wait for AMC and Robert Kirkman to start sending me that sweet, sweet consultant money, let me know how misguided you are by telling me how wrong I am in the comments section below. If you agree with me, you are wise beyond your years and previous lives so make sure to leave a comment below to remind us of how great we truly are.

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought on board as staff in 2017.

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