Photos of Alycia attending the HBO after party for the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards have been added to the gallery.
Photos of Alycia attending the HBO after party for the 70th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards have been added to the gallery.
Fear the Walking Dead episode 4×14 screencaps & episode 4×15 stills have been added to the gallery.
Fear the Walking Dead episode 4×13 screencaps & episode 4×14 stills have been added to the gallery.
** Article Contains Spoilers **
SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday’s “Close Your Eyes” episode of Fear the Walking Dead.
Alicia and Charlie not only had to survive each other when they both holed up in an abandoned house to escape the storm outside this week on Fear the Walking Dead, but they had to survive the zombies and deluge of water making their way in as well. While Alicia threatened to kill Charlie at one point and then almost gave her a mercy killing at another when they found themselves trapped in a flooded basement, the two eventually made it out alive — and possibly as friends instead of foes.
What was the inspiration for what felt like a contained two-character horror movie? How did they shoot that flooded basement scene? And what happens next for these two — along with everybody else? We asked showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss all that and more.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Usually your episodes have a lot of characters and go back and forth between an A and B story, but you’ve had a few of these almost two-person play type episodes. First off, tell me about embracing that structure, which we also saw earlier with the “ Laura” episode?
IAN GOLDBERG: The two-character episodes are some of Andrew’s and my favorite ones because it really allows them to focus on the emotions and the characters and to put characters into situations where we can really just explore new textures to them. They’re in their own movies. That was something we found so exciting about episode 405, “Laura.” One of my favorite episodes from The Walking Dead is “The Grove” — the episode with Carol and Tyreese. That’s a common reference point for us. So it’s a challenge to craft those episodes because you really have to hone in on the very specific emotional moments between the characters.
And “The Grove” was directed by Michael Satrazemis, who directed this episode and the “Laura” episode you guys were just talking about. So, clearly, that’s no accident to have him working on these.
ANDREW CHAMBLISS: No, it’s not. We knew we wanted to tell this story between Alicia and Charlie and we knew we wanted someone to direct that who really could focus on these performances that are very nuanced and have a definitive arc that goes throughout, and Michael Satrazemis has done that on Walking Dead. He did that for us on “Laura,” so when we were conceiving this episode, he was the person we wanted to direct it.
“Laura” was more of a love story, but this had a lot of classic horror movie elements — being trapped in a house with monsters, ending up in a basement, almost drowning. Did you get that feeling like it almost could work as a standalone horror story?
IAN GOLDBERG: Yes, and a big reason for that is, of course, the contained nature of it and the storm raging outside and just sort of those elements. But really, the horror comes from the darkness that both Alicia and Charlie are wrestling with, and their feelings towards each other. They are the last people in the world that they want to be trapped in a house with, and that’s exactly what inspired the episode for us is to put two people who absolutely do not want to be together, and putting them in that situation and seeing how the pressure cooker informs their behavior. It was a challenge and we’re thrilled with how it turned out.
We see Charlie has the gun presumably to possibly use on herself and we see her let that walker on the branch grab her. Is she trying to end it and is she trying to mend some fences and right some wrongs before she does, like returning The Little Prince book to Luciana?
IAN GOLDBERG: Charlie is wracked with guilt. She’s tormented by everything that we saw her do in the first half of the season and she’s looking for redemption. Like so many of our characters, she’s looking to make up for those things and she’s not sure how she’s going to do that. Giving The Little Prince to Luciana is a step in that direction, but it’s really just a step.
And it’s also interesting to think about it from Alicia’s point of view because yes, Alicia sat across the campfire from Charlie is episode 408, but there is a lot unresolved between them. It’s not like suddenly all is forgiven. Charlie’s killed Alicia’s brother. Charlie was the Vulture who first led the rest of the Vultures to the stadium. So many of the tragedies that happened to Alicia, Charlie was at the center of. So there’s not a great deal of trust from Alicia to Charlie. She doesn’t forgive her. She doesn’t trust her and that’s why there’s so much that comes out between them in this episode because there’s just a lot to be worked out.
We learn about Charlie’s past here and what happened to her family. Explain how this works in terms of building a character’s backstory. How much do you know when you first introduce the character, like at the start of the season with Charlie, and how much do you fill out when you get to that script and time where she actually reveals it?
ANDREW CHAMBLISS: When we first introduced Charlie, she was a young woman who had been on her own in the apocalypse for a while, and had lost her family, and had been adopted by the Vultures and really saw them as her family because they were the first people who she really came across, and we knew there was some loss in her past that dealt with her parents and her family, but we didn’t know specifically what it was.
And it really wasn’t until we were digging into the meat of 410 that we started to really wonder what it would be like for a kid who lost their parents so young and had to live in the zombie apocalypse on her own. And the detail that we came up with for this episode that we thought was really cool was what it would be like for someone who’s that age to see their parents turn and just thinking how that would become almost an indelible memory. And as Charlie says to Alicia, she can’t actually remember what her parents looked like before they turned, and that just seems like such a horrific way to have to live in this world where the people who you wish were there to protect you, you can’t even remember what they were like. And it kind of leads to her obsession with collecting all these photos of this family and trying to save them just in case whoever knew them might come back looking for them because deep down, I think Charlie is hoping that somewhere out there, she’ll be able to find some pictures of her parents so she could remember what they were like.
Let’s talk about this flooded basement scene. You keep writing these things that must sound cool when you dream them up and certainly look cool on screen, but they also must make your production team bang their head against a wall trying to figure out how to stage it.
ANDREW CHAMBLISS: Yeah, it was definitely a challenge. Everyone dove into this one full force. We talked to Mikey Satrazemis when he was on set shooting stuff and we didn’t realize that he’s in a wetsuit standing in the tank where they actually built the basement set. It wasn’t a small feat to flood the basement, but for us it was very important to have Alicia and Charlie in what they thought were their final moments being in this very intimate space where they were finally able to get past everything they had going on between them, but also everything that they had going on internally. We were super excited that we were able to actually pull it off in a real tank with this basement set built and water up to their necks.
So where do Alicia and Charlie go from here?
IAN GOLDBERG: Well, they’ve both been on quite a journey within the episode. The fact that they are together at all is amazing, but they go to try to find the rest of the group and realize that they’re not there and things aren’t going to end as happily as they imagined they would have. And they’ve got a distance to go, and it’s going to be hard to maintain this sort of brightness that they found within each other when the reality of the world and how the hurricane has wreaked havoc on the world really hits them at the end of the episode. So, it’s now taking that forgiveness and the new hope that they found in each other and carrying that forward when the situation is a bit bleak.
You dropped this nugget into last week’s season premiere where they came across a box of supplies clearly left by a stranger or strangers. But then no follow-up on that this week. Are we going to learn more moving forward about who left that stuff?
ANDREW CHAMBLISS: It is safe to say that we most definitely will learn more, and we may even learn more next week.
What else can you say about next week’s episode?
IAN GOLDBERG: We’re going to meet some new faces next week who are going to lend a very different flavor to the show. There’s going to be a lot of comedy. Episode 410 was a very dark episode and with the episode 411, it’s going to be much lighter in tone and a lot of that will come from some new cast additions that we’re excited for people to check out.
Source: Entertainment Weekly
** Article Contains Spoilers **
Rick Grimes isn’t the only one who allowed their mercy to prevail over their wrath.
On Sunday’s Alicia-centric episode of Fear The Walking Dead, “Close Your Eyes,” the only surviving member of the Clark family had to make a difficult decision: whether or not to kill a child responsible for the deaths of her mother, Madison, and brother, Nick. Alicia opted for forgiveness over vengeance, and that choice gave her a new perspective, a new role, and a new companion.
We talked with actress Alycia Debnam-Carey about her character’s decision to protect Charlie, the ways in which Alicia will carry her family’s memories and philosophies forward, and what the rest of the season will hold for the walker-slaying badass she plays.
The other recent Alicia-centric, Season 3’s “This Land Is Your Land,” saw Alicia transform into a battle-hardened leader. What do you think “Close Your Eyes” signifies for her character?
Alycia Debnam-Carey: “This Land Is Your Land” was very much Alicia being able to… become a leader and a fighter. But this episode is actually showing how she can come back to finding herself, not how she became that person. She’s actually able to face her demons and also able to have such generosity, empathy and forgiveness, and come to some sort of relief with her relationship with Charlie, who has basically destroyed her family.
So this is the beginning of her as a new person, and it’s complicated, there’s so much obviously there. But for me, yes. “Close Your Eyes” is her becoming the person that her mother wanted to be in this world.
By the end of the episode, has Alicia fully forgiven Charlie?
‘Fully forgive’ is hard. I think yeah, she’s made the conscious choice to let it go. I mean, they’re not friends, they’re not enemies anymore, but they are companions now. And she has become [Charlie’s] protector — she’s chosen that she’s going to be a protector, of sorts. They have this bizarre, almost family-like bond now. Full forgiveness, I think there may be more elements that Alicia has to get to. But yeah, overwhelmingly I kind of think yes, because there was no other way for her to let it all go.
And I think she’s still going to find it hard to exist with Charlie. But not just existing with Charlie, because she has this new role now, she’s not a child anymore, she’s not the youngest member around. She’s had to become the protector of someone, which is like her mother always was. But ultimately, yes, she has had to forgive.
Another thing I was struck by, at the end of the episode, was when Alicia told Charlie that “things don’t get better.” Is Alicia still operating under the philosophy that “when you’re gone, you’re gone”?
Alicia is a realist. I think she has quite an intellectual perspective of this world. That for all the little tidbits — there’s the walker falling from the tree branch that sets them free and how ironic that is, that the thing that was keeping them trapped has also given them freedom — for all these exhaustive moments, and then even Charlie being in the house where she then had to confront her demons, [Alicia] still can go, ‘None of this is meant for anything.’ So you just choose to survive, and you be smart about it, and you try to make the life you know you need. Or be better than what you were.
For her, I think wants Charlie to know that just because she saved her and it’s okay, that the past is behind them to an extent, she’s not saying that it gets better. The ebbs and flows of life don’t quite work in the same way. You’re playing a new game, and she’s just accepting her existence in this world. So ‘no one’s gone until they’re gone’ has become a spiritual guide, but whether that’s informing her life choices and how she lives in this world now, I don’t think… no. I think that’s a different point. And what I like about Alicia is that she takes elements from her mother, but she also formulates her own set of ideals and moral codes and guidelines.
I also wanted to talk a little bit about what it was like to film this episode. It seemed like you were absolutely drenched for the majority of the time!
[Laughs] Yep! You’re right, you’re just soaked the entire time. And it’s not just soaked. You’re soaked, but then 100-mile-an-hour wind fans are being blown in your face…. It’s just constantly wet and miserable. And you don’t want to take it off during lunch, because it’s just so much of an effort to get a wetsuit underneath jeans off for thirty minutes. So you end up just being a prune for 12 hours straight. But it does make you feel like you’ve earned lunch and you’ve really earned your bed by the end of the day!
We know Madison is weighing heavily on Alicia’s mind and heart, and she wants to carry her mom’s memory forward. Is there anything of Nick’s – his philosophies, behaviors or stories – that Alicia is trying to keep alive?
Yes. You know what’s interesting, in the moment that Alicia chooses not to shoot Charlie in the basement, for me that was kind of a combination of both of them. This can’t just be about Charlie, it’s not about revenge on Charlie, it’s not about their personal relationship in that moment. It’s about the idea that Alicia can finally… she doesn’t have to bear this heartbreaking responsibility of taking out revenge, or change it or amend it, she can just let go. And for me, that was one of the biggest things in that moment. And that, I attribute to Nick in many ways.
Obviously Madison was more controlling, she wanted to have everything under her protection because she was so afraid of things falling apart and things falling away from her. But for Nick, it was always much more about, ‘You just have to go with it, and you either get caught up in it or you flow right through it.’ And I think that [philosophy], from him, was there in that moment. But I think there will also be more Nick elements, moving forward. I don’t know if his approach was always going to get you what you needed to get done in the apocalypse, but there’s obviously the nurturing and good-natured side to him that is more, “You just have to go with it sometimes.”
I’d like to talk a bit about the rest of the season. Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg have called 4B a “journey of self-discovery” for Alicia. What can you tell us about that journey?
We definitely see more dynamics between Charlie and Alicia, which is one of my favorite storylines to see develop because I think it defines who Alicia is becoming, still and always, as she is growing. Because it’s her in a new role as a protector, not as a child: she is now a woman.
But there’s more interesting pairings to come. We get to see Alicia try to continue her journey for redemption and for companionship again, so we have those things to look forward to. Among some things I can’t tell, because they’ll probably kill me! [Laughs]
Is there anything that you’re personally hoping for for Alicia’s character that hasn’t been explored yet? Or any interactions with Alicia and other characters that you’d like to see happen?
I would love more scenes between Morgan and Alicia. I think that’s a really interesting and powerful dynamic. And I think Alicia needs that, too, someone who has managed to come out the other end and survived and has a really unique perspective on this world. I think Alicia is ready to hear that, finally, and needs that guidance and wants it, too. And then I also really just want to see a little more time with Strand and Luciana. Especially Strand, because Strand and Madison were two peas in a pod, and I think it would be nice for Alicia to have a similar relationship with Strand.
Yeah! I was very happy to see that little snippet of [Strand and Alicia] drinking together in the Comic-Con trailer.
Mmmm-hmmmm! It made us happy, too. [Laughs] Any time we get to work together, we’re like, ‘Yay!’
Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC
Source: TV Insider
** Article Contains Spoilers **
Fear the Walking Dead aired a dazzling, self-contained episode on Sunday night, earning praise from critics and fans alike after Alycia Debnam-Carey brilliantly delivered on an intensely heartfelt script. As it turns out, the episode — which brought the show’s two youngest stars together for a claustrophobic, emotional outing — was a last-minute decision.
Fear the Walking Dead veteran Debnam-Carey, 25, who delivered a performance so strong it was reminiscent of her Season Three efforts in the episode, “This Land is Your Land,” was paired with 12-year-old newcomer to the show, Alexa Nisenson. Originally, the script called for only one of the actresses to appear in the episode, which turned out to play like a mini-movie.
“This episode was very neat for many reasons,” Debnam-Carey told ComicBook.com. “Originally, this was a different script. It was with another character. It was an episode that was Morgan and Alicia, and then three days before, they were like, ‘No, we have a different plan. We want to change it completely,’ and they changed it to an Alycia and Alexa episode. So, we got the episode quite late, because they wanted to change it. When I read it, I was like, ‘This is amazing.’ I didn’t read the episode we originally had planned. I don’t think anyone did but they had some kind of new idea and the concept, and when I read it, I was like, ‘It’s great. Fantastic.'”
The episode pitted Alicia Clark in an abandoned house with the little girl who had murdered her brother. While many thought Alicia would be quick to seek revenge, the legacy of her mother Madison rang out as the show’s new leader emerged.
“This is the journey I’ve wanted for Alicia for such a long time,” Debnam-Carey said. “There were some reasons that I finally wanted her to have to grapple with and the audience will see the hurt, where her mind was at, and if she could change and grow and come out of it.”
Still, preparing for such a demanding episode on short notice was no easy feat and an entirely unique experience for the Australian actress.
“For us, it meant that preparing for this episode was very different,” Debnam-Carey said. “We came off the last episode very quickly into this one with not a lot of notice, and because of the script change. Then for this one, too, what was hard is I’ve been the youngest person on the set, which a weird thing to say, but I’ve always been the youngest. I’ve always been a daughter or just truly the youngest actor. This was the first time I wasn’t, and I had to have a different relationship with someone than I was ever used to.”
“Really, it was quite an eye-opener, and I realized that being there for Alexa and being able to forge a bond between the two of us was so very important, especially because it was just the two of us in the episode. It was different for me to see it from a different perspective, because I knew what it was like to be in her shoes, but to be where I was standing suddenly was a very new learning experience and a wonderful one,” she added.
Upon accepting the responsibility for the scenes, Debnam-Carey jokes that she was forced to shun her young new co-star away in moments which required absolute intensity and poise for the camera.
“It was hard because there were moments where I was like, ‘I can’t be nice to you right now! You’re so nice and so sweet but I need to be mean!'” she said with a laugh. “So, like, ‘You need to stand over there for a second while I get mean!'”
The bond between Alicia and Charlie was merely just beginning in Fear’s Episode 4×10 from Sunday night. While they were quick to wash away the murder of Nick Clark, it may be in their best interest to stick together and grow with the new world. “They’re not friends, right now,” Debnam-Carey said. “They’re not enemies though, either.”
In fact, Alicia has found it in her heart to forgive Charlie for her actions. “They’re more companions, and I think also Alicia has allowed herself to forgive Charlie,” Debnam-Carey said. “She’s being able to let that go, just such a release for her so she can move forward with a new passion. But they are companions and there is a bizarre almost sister-like bond. It’s almost as if Charlie is representative of a younger Alicia and Alicia has now taken on the role of Madison.”
In the end, Alicia is doing what she believes would make her late family members proud. “She’s realized that’s what Madison would’ve wanted and Nick would’ve wanted,” the actress said. “Nick would’ve been able to forgive Charlie, too, for all of it and Nick did apologize to Charlie. Alicia wanted to honor both of them.”
** Article Contains Spoilers **
Fear the Walking Dead has been on something of a quality roller coaster as of late, coming off a solid season 3 to a so far unsteady season 4. We’ve had mediocre moments (last week’s midseason premiere), very bad ones (Madison’s death in the midseason finale), and now we have…one of the best episodes of the series last night?
Last night’s ‘Close Your Eyes’ was a “bottle episode,” what we call it in TV when we have entire episode dedicated to just one or two characters, usually in a single location for the duration. Last night focused on Alicia, stuck in a house during a Texan hurricane, and Charley, who took shelter for the storm in the same place. Unfortunately, Charley just killed Alicia’s brother Nick in cold blood not all that long ago, so that creates some uh, tension, shall we say.
The end result was an absolute acting clinic from Alycia Debnam-Carey, who I’ve long evangelized is the breakout star of Fear the Walking Dead, and really, in Alicia she’s created one of the most impressive, memorable characters in the entire Walking Dead universe across either show.
In this episode, we see Alicia come to grips with the loss of her family through the metaphor of the undead family she has to clear out of the house in order to find safety there, a family with a similar make-up to her own. And more pressingly, she has to deal with her desire to see Charley dead, contrasted with the fact that this is…a little girl, and even in this climate, shooting a child in the face is still a tall order, even if they did kill your brother.
This was essentially the opposite of The Walking Dead’s “The Grove” episode, in which Carol has to put down a similarly aged girl who has gotten so unstable she’s a liability. But here, Alicia decides against killing Charley in the end, both for revenge, but later, she can’t even bring herself to mercy kill her when it looks like the end is nigh anyway. Charley ends the episode not forgiven, perhaps, but the two have come to some level of an understanding.
It’s a fantastic episode anchored by MVP Debnam-Carey. The actress was poached from her run as Lexa on The 100, a role that has launched a thousand fangirl ships in both directions over the years, but the move seems to have paid off, as with her cast slimming, Debnam-Carey is now essentially the lead of Fear. The Walking Dead seems to believe that after snagging her, The 100 is a good talent pool to fish in. Next season on the main show we have Nadia Hilker playing Magna and Zach McGowan playing a foil to Daryl, both The 100 actors whose characters were killed off like Debnam-Carey’s.
This is far from the first time Debnam-Carey has impressed on Fear, almost singlehandedly producing amazing episodes/moments. I’m still haunted by the season 3 episode This Land is Your Land, where Alicia was forced to mercy kill bitten survivors trapped in a bunker, but due to a lack of air, everyone ends up dying anyway, and she has to kill her way through the undead members of her former community to survive. It was emotional, harrowing and different than what we saw last night, but Close Your Eyes was great in its own way. Debnam-Carey now has led probably two of the three best episodes in Fear history, and now is essentially acting as the lead of the show with Madison gone. It also does not seem out of the question that if Fear’s endgame is to march east, that she very well may end up as a cast member on the main show at some point. But honestly, she wouldn’t get nearly the screentime there that she does on Fear, and that would be a shame.
I know riding the quality waves of Fear and TWD can be exhausting, but trust me when I say you’re going to want to check out last night’s episode. I watched it early two weeks ago, and I’m still thinking about it today.
I’ve added 3 new videos from last night’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead to the video archive. Videos contain spoilers so make sure you’ve already seen the episode.
Ok, after watching last night’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead all I can say is give Alycia all the Emmys. If you haven’t watched it yet, I recommend not looking below, and then drop everything and go watch it. I have added screencaps and stills to the gallery.
Warning: Article contains spoilers
Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg speak with THR about the “existential” crises that will define the coming episodes of the AMC zombie drama.
[This story contains spoilers for the season 4B premiere of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, “People Like Us.”]
The late Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) wanted her loved ones to live in a hopeful world — but after a half-season dedicated to violent vengeance, the people left in Madison’s wake have a few more storms to weather before they can realize her dream.
In “People Like Us,” the midseason premiere episode of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, viewers found themselves returning to an apocalyptic landscape where the disparate series regulars were as divided as ever. Despite living in close proximity to one another, the Fear characters are isolated into individual factions: Strand (Colman Domingo) and Luciana (Danay Garcia) are drunkenly holding down the fort at an abandoned mansion; Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is unleashing her rage on walkers approaching the house’s perimeter; John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) is recoving from wounds he sustained two episodes earlier while loving alongside Jenna Elfman’s June (previously known as Laura and Naomi), the two of them watching over Charlie (Alex Nisenson), the little girl who killed Frank Dillane’s Nick; Althea (Maggie Grace) is continuing to operate out of her heavily armed truck, searching for truth; and Morgan (Lennie James) is finally ready to head home.
Morgan’s desire to return to Alexandria defines much of the midseason premiere, as he’s come to accept that people are necessary for his survival and sanity. He tries to convince the others to come back to Alexandria with him, but is only successful in piquing Al’s interest. Before he and Al can start their road trip, however, other circumstances get in the way — namely, a massive storm, one that promises to leave untold amounts of emotional and physical devastation in its wake, not to mention a flying walker or two.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg stress the storm’s function as both a literal and existential threat for the cast of Fear the Walking Dead. Mother Nature serves as an adversary in the back half of the season, but there are other challenges on the way. In their conversation with THR, Chambliss and Goldberg weigh in on what to expect from the back half of their inaugural season, whether or not Morgan’s plan to go back to Alexandria will ever come to fruition, what they’ve learned from the fan reactions to Kim Dickens’ departure from the series, and more.
The first half of season four introduced major characters, and parted ways with some major original castmembers. What are your goals for the second half of the season?
Andrew Chambliss: The second half of season four is really about all of these characters grappling with the emotional and relationship fallout that came from the events of the finale, and the revelation that Madison’s death was all about protecting her family, protecting her community that she had built. The back half of the season is really about all the characters struggling with everything they did in the front half, particularly Alicia, Strand, and Luciana, who had been on a revenge mission. They’re coming to terms with the fact that, for a while, they had forgotten Madison’s philosophy and what she had sacrificed her life for. They’re going to be asking themselves how they can move forward. How they can make amends for everything they did. I think the biggest question that they’re going to be asking is: “What’s next?” When you spend so long seeking revenge and you finally put that aside, what comes next? And that question is something that the rest of the characters are also asking themselves. Morgan, who spent so long running from people thinking he couldn’t be connected to them, he’s now realized he can’t run away from human connection. He’s asking himself, “Where do I belong? Who do I belong with?” And we see John Dorie, June and Al asking all those same questions. The back half of the season is really going to be about grappling with all of these existential questions and these characters coming to a place where they realize what their purpose is going to be going forward.
As a backdrop to all of that, there’s a storm ravaging the season. How did you guys arrive at that as sort of the backdrop for the next several episodes and how does that underline the themes that you’re exploring?
Ian Goldberg: We’ve seen these characters come up against a lot of different adversaries over the course of the series, both walker and human, but one of the things that we’ve never seen them face is Mother Nature, especially on a scale like a hurricane. So, we approached it from a place of just wanting to explore an adversary like we hadn’t seen before, a new obstacle for these people to face. A hurricane is obviously a really difficult challenge to overcome in the world we live in, but in a post-apocalyptic zombie world, it’s even more challenging. It’s also kind of representative of the storm that is going on inside each of these characters. To speak to what Andrew was just talking about, there are questions of who they are, what their purpose is, who they’re going to be going forward. The storm represents that and it will present challenges for them in a lot of different ways. They’re going to be separated by the storm. They’re going to be facing the aftermath of what the storm has wrought on this landscape. It’s going to affect, as we’ll see, the walkers. We’re going to see the impact that a storm like this has on the walkers and just on the environment. It’s going to be quite a challenge for everyone.
Do you view the storm as the main antagonist for the second half of this season, or are there other characters like the Vultures that we should be keeping an eye out for?
Chambliss: The storm is the thing that makes the world a lot harder to live in, but there will be someone cropping up who is going to really test all our characters in ways that they didn’t expect and this antagonist — I don’t want to give away too much about who this person is — may know a lot more about our characters, or have insight into who they are, and what they’re going through in ways that our characters don’t even have.
Is this a returning figure or a new character altogether?
Goldberg: It could be either. We can promise you this person or persons will show up in the back half of the season.
How much time has passed between the midseason finale and the midseason premiere?
Chambliss: Not a lot of time. Probably a month or so. Just enough time for all of our characters to settle into their new existence. As we see in the premiere, when we find them, they’re all living in together in a sense, but not really together. We saw them all around that campfire at the end of the first half of the season and we thought that signified that this group had come together, but when we find them now, we see that they’ve kind of drifted apart both physically and emotionally.
When we catch up with him in the premiere, Morgan is gearing up to return to Alexandria. What brought him to that decision and why did that feel like the right idea to introduce in the back half of the season, teasing out the possibility of going back home?
Goldberg: Well, that’s a really interesting question, and it’s complex for Morgan. You know, when we saw him at the beginning of the season, he was in a place where he didn’t want to be around people at all. He left behind the people closest to him in Alexandria and set out on this solo journey believing that was the best way for him to live in this world. He’s in a very different place at the end of [the midseason finale]. He’s sitting around a campfire with people who had been strangers to him. Some had been friends, some had been foes and he’s not running from people anymore. In [the midseason premiere], we see that he’s looking to return to the place where he came from and, obviously, there’s a lot of history there for Morgan. There’s people that he cared very much about, that he left kind of abruptly, but we’re also going to see that there’s a much deeper reason for that for Morgan, an issue that he’s still struggling with emotionally that we’ll see unraveled over the course of the back half of the season. And that journey that Morgan takes is not going to be an easy one and there’s going to be a lot of detours along the way.
In the Comic-Con trailer, we saw Morgan with some familiar words scrawled out on his forehead: “I lose people, I lose myself.” Should we be worried about Morgan backsliding?
Chambliss: That’s certainly a fear that is driving Morgan. He has only [recently arrived at] this place where he feels settled emotionally, where he knows he needs to be with people, but I think a lot of the ghosts of his past are still in his mind and as we see him grapple with the question of why he feels like he needs to leave this group and go to Alexandria. He’s going to be grappling with a lot of the same fears that he had from his past.
How realistic is the return to Alexandria? Could Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead both occupy that same physical space?
Goldberg: Our focus has been, obviously, on Fear the Walking Dead, and what we can tell you is that Morgan has a long, long journey to go on Fear the Walking Dead, and the journey that he speaks about in 409 about going to Alexandria is a part of it — but his arc on this show is far from over. He’s got a lot of emotional terrain to cover.
We see the cast scattered to the winds in this episode, separated into several different character combinations. How did you decide on who would pair up: John and Strand, for example?
Chambliss: One of the questions we asked when we were mapping out the back half of the season was looking at characters who had not had a lot of time onscreen together and who also had interesting emotional counterpoints to each other. I think we see a lot of that in 409. Al spent a lot of time with John Dorie and became close to him, as close as Al lets herself get to people. And now she finds herself with June, and June’s past has been always a bit of a mystery. She’s gone by the name Naomi. She’s gone by the name Laura. She’s gone by the name June. And this is something that is very hard for someone like Al to wrap her head around, someone who values the truth above all else. So, it felt like that was a really interesting pairing for this episode. Likewise, with Strand and Dorie, Dorie is someone who we’ve seen as an eternal optimist and Strand, as we’ve seen in the front half of the season, went through a very dark place where he questioned his own self-worth and why Madison had given him another chance. So, it seems like there’s a lot these two can learn from each other. If people keep watching, they’ll see that these aren’t the only pairings that we’re doing. We’re definitely trying to shake things up a little bit and see new sides of all our characters.
Next week’s episode is a showcase for Alycia Debnam-Carey. Is that indicative of the season’s structure, with each episode focusing on limited amounts of character and story?
Goldberg: What we like about the back half of this season is highlighting the different character pairings and seeing how people who have not spent as much time together are forced together under extreme circumstances. They’re dealing with their own sort of emotional demons, but also with the challenges that the hurricane has presented. There will be episodes that focus more on two characters. There will be some that focus more on the ensemble. It really just depends on the episode. One thing we’re excited about is there’ll be a lot of tonal variety in these episodes. There will be some that are very dark. There will be some that are sort of strange and darkly funny.
A musical episode?
Goldberg: I wouldn’t rule anything out. (Laughs.) What we like is that each episode can feel like its own movie. They have their own tone, and we really just strive for variety.
Aaron Stanford, Mo Collins, Daryl Mitchell and Stephen Henderson are on board for this next batch of episodes. What can you say about what these actors are bringing to the show and the new types of characters that you’re introducing into the apocalypse through these people?
Chambliss: We don’t want to give away too many details about the character specifics, but we will say one of the things that we’re so excited about with the new cas members who are joining for the back half of the season is what they bring to the show in terms of, as Ian was saying, variety. One of the things that is really important in the back half of the show is having moments of humor and lightness interspersed with this very bleak world that everyone is struggling to survive in and all those actors you mentioned bring something very different to the show and it really contributes to us pushing the boundaries of what we can do in the back half of the season.
We’re a couple months removed now from the finale. Do you guys have new takeaways about how it played out onscreen, in the story and the reactions to how Kim Dickens was written out?
Goldberg: We started out the season wanting to tell an emotional story about taking characters from a place of isolation to community and hopelessness to hope. We consider ourselves really fortunate that we got to tell that story and we’re really sort of pleased with how it all came together. We felt like on every level — in performance, in direction, just everything in that finale — it achieved the emotional quality that we wanted for this first eight episodes to have.
Chambliss: And it was all about telling an emotional story that sends Madison off in a way that her sacrifice is something that will really reverberate with our characters going forward, and that philosophy that she had is something that is really going to become a piece of the DNA of the show going forward.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter