The Flawed Logic of Fear the Walking Dead’s Season Three Finale

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For many fans of The Walking Dead, the spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead has always been more of a placeholder, something to get fans through the long wait from the end of March to the premiere of the next season of Walking Dead in October. However, some of the episodes in season three of Fear the Walking Dead, including the highly intense and emotional episode entitled “This Land is Your Land,” almost seemed to reach the standards of its predecessor, making fans wonder if the show is truly getting better with age.

After the finale of Fear the Walking Dead‘s third season aired last Sunday, it seemed pretty clear that was not the case. The show does a fantastic job of setting up conflict, but it never seems to see that conflict through to its bitter end and rather cuts it short. In fact, Fear the Walking Dead seems to operate around its own flawed logic, which is evident in the finale of season 3 and present throughout all three seasons in these four different ways.

1. Killing Off Characters Too Soon

Image via Peter Iovino/AMC

It seems to be a consistent theme that once a character has reached a turning point in their lives, the writers of Fear the Walking Dead take this as a sign that it’s time to kill them off. This occurred with three major characters in season three: Travis, Ofelia, and Troy. Each of these characters had so much more room to grow and had just undergone major shifts within themselves, but they didn’t survive long enough for the fans to see how they might have changed and developed as characters. After Travis (Cliff Curtis) attacked and killed Brandon and Derek for murdering his son Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie) in season 2, Travis was shot and fell out of a helicopter for no reason but shock value. As someone who acted as the moral compass of the show, there might have been serious emotional consequences for murdering those two boys, but he wasn’t around long enough to face them.

Ofelia (Mercedes Masohn) suffered the same curse that Beth faced in Walking Dead, the role of “somebody’s daughter.” Ofelia was just sort of there throughout the first two seasons and she never really formed a sense of self until season 3, when she joined Qaletaqa’s (Michael Greyeyes) group and eventually morphed into her father. Ofelia had only just begun to redeem herself after she poisoned the people on the Ranch and it would have been interesting to watch Ofelia navigate towards her own sense of self. That’s like killing off Daryl as early as season one of The Walking Dead before he has the chance to change from a mini-Meryl to the hero we all know and love.

There’s no doubt about it that Troy (Daniel Sharman) deserved to die. He was a loose canon and a murderous racist, but it’s also true that the characters that have the most depth or potential to change are villains. After the death of his brother Jake (Sam Underwood), the only person he truly cared about, Troy might have had the potential to learn from his mistakes, probably causing havoc along the way as he teetered back and forth between those baser, racist instincts he was raised on and developing a sense of morality.

2. The Nine Lives of Daniel

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Not only do the writers of Fear the Walking Dead kill off characters too soon, but they just don’t know when to let some of them die. Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) has been “killed” and resurrected more times than necessary. I’ll admit, while I’m not Team Daniel and always thought he was a grumpy, mean old man, I was actually pleasantly surprised when he was resurrected in season 3, since it had been so long since his “death” in season two. It gave fans time to forget about him within that time and genuinely be shocked when he was brought back.

However, after his most recent brush with death in the finale of Season 3, when Strand (Colman Domingo) shot him in the head and it turned out he was only shot through the cheek, is was clear that Daniel’s many close calls are becoming ridiculous. Maybe it’d be different if he was a likable character fans could root for, but there is nothing likable about a man who just attempted to torture a teenager for information. While Daniel is known for being a survivor, especially since he’s made it through a war, it’s starting to feel like nothing will kill him

3. On the Road Again

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Fear the Walking Dead exhibits some of the most varied and innovative locales to depict a zombie apocalypse. From the Abigail to the hotel to the Ranch, each new setting offered new challenges and a variance that’s not found in The Walking Dead. However, while Madison (Kim Dickens) and her family have traveled to many different places along the American-Mexican border, the characters never seem to plant roots for very long.

In Walking Dead, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and his band of misfits stayed at the prison for almost two seasons. Alexandria hasn’t been much of a cake walk and yet they’ve been living within the community’s walls for two and a half seasons. Our friends on Fear the Walking Dead have never stayed in one place for longer than eight episodes, barely allowing the characters to explore the levels that each new place offers or fully flesh out its possibilities from a plot standpoint.

4. Clean Slate Conspiracy

Image via Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC

On the same note, Fear the Walking Dead not only moves from location to location at Road Runner speed, but everything and everyone they meet along the way who isn’t a major character that was introduced in season one gets wiped out by the end of the season. Don’t believe me? Let’s take a look back at season two. From the clashes on the Abigail, to the Mexican Villa, to the Hotel, and La Colonia, all of it’s inhabitants have either died or disappeared from the story line by the end of season two, including Nick’s girlfriend Luciana (Danay Garcia) who vanishes after the first few episodes of season three.

By season three, we’ve been introduced to Jake and Troy Otto, the modern day Cain and Abel (if Cain was actually a racist psychopath); they take Madison and her family to the Ranch, a gated survivalist community that was created before the zombie apocalypse started. Not only do we, throughout the season, say goodbye to newly introduced characters, including Jeremiah Otto (Dayton Callie) and Gretchen, but literally everyone, and I mean everyone we’ve met in season three including the people of the Ranch, Qaletaqa’s entire tribe, the people from the Dam, and Proctor John’s group are killed off except for Qaletaqa and Crazy Dog (Any relation to T-Dog? ¯_(ツ)_/¯), who disappear off on their own as the dam crumbles to pieces. So by the end of virtually every season, the main characters have learned nothing and form allegiances to no one, beginning the next season on a clean slate.

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