WARNING: Spoilers ahead
The undead shambled back into AMC’s programming yesterday with Fear The Walking Dead‘s season 2 midseason premiere. In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Fear the Walking Dead showrunner Dave Erickson (Sons of Anarchy, Marco Polo) gave a close analysis of the premiere, titled “Grotesque”. Erickson also discussed where the show and its beleaguered cast of characters might be heading over the next few episodes.
After scattering much of the main cast in the midseason finale, the premiere was almost entirely focused on Frank Dillane’s character, junkie Nick Clark, as he embarked on the long, dangerous road to Tijuana. Erickson described why they decided to start off the midseason with a solo episode:
“We took on a pretty significant amount of story in the first seven episodes. We made a conscious decision to slow things down a little bit in the back half, to let people settle into specific locations and not feel like we’re moving from port to port and from sanctuary to sanctuary quite so rapidly”.
In regards to specifically choosing Nick as the episode’s central character, Erickson said “after the midseason finale and Nick’s decision to abandon his family and move on, we owed a solid story that was Nick centric[…]We also just wanted to do something very clean with a specific line that would give us more insight into Nick”.
“Grotestque” also featured a few flashbacks to help flesh out Nick’s past, including one that showed the moment he learned about his father’s death. When asked why they decided to show this particular scene now, Erickson said “it’s not the death of his father that made him an addict[…]But it definitely spun him off into a much darker place[…]I think he’s still confused about why his father lost himself the way that he did. He’s very much in search of some kind of connection that’s going to replace that”.
Erickson also elaborated on how the second half of the season would be structured, saying that the storytelling would be more fractured now that the cast has been broken up into smaller groups. “We had a situation in the first seven episodes where our entire family was together, and it sometimes felt there were certain storylines that were not being served in specific episodes. By breaking up the family and fracturing the unit, it gives us an opportunity to spend more time and do more of a rotation”. He added that viewers probably wouldn’t see the family get back together again “until somewhere in season 3”.
The remaining episodes of Fear the Walking Dead‘s second season will air every Sunday on AMC. They should help satiate your bloodlust until season 7 of The Walking Dead premieres on October 23rd, also on AMC.