Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss have been the showrunners of Fear the Walking Dead since the start of Season 4. In this interview with amc.com, they discuss the resolution of Strand and Alicia's story, what was up with Alicia's infection, and the legacy that John Dorie, Sr. leaves behind. [Ed note: Season 7 spoilers abound.]
Q: How important was it to have Alicia and Strand reconcile?
Andrew Chambliss: It was really one of the most important things for the conclusion of their story. So much of Alicia's journey has been about her believing that she could save all the people she was leading, so ultimately it felt like the final step of that was Alicia saving herself. By that we mean saving that core part of herself that makes her special, the thing that Madison remembered, the thing that Madison wanted to preserve—her innocence, that thing that makes Alicia stand out amongst everyone else in the apocalypse. That's ultimately what saving Strand did.
Like that story Madison told where Alicia saved a small bird that everyone thought was a lost cause, she saved Strand when everyone thought he was essentially a lost cause. For Alicia, I think that was her way of coming to understand that—despite everything she's been through, despite all the loss she's suffered—the apocalypse hasn't beaten her, and she’s just as strong now as she was before she went through the trauma of the apocalypse. That was a really important part of her journey this season and that all hinged on the reconciliation between Strand and Alicia.
Q: Does Alicia's recovery have implications for the wider TWD Universe and whether some people can survive bites in certain circumstances?
AC: I think what we can say is no one who was with Alicia this season, including Alicia, really knew whether or not the infection and the fever that she was suffering from was caused by the walker bite, or whether she actually did amputate her arm in time and the infection was caused by something that she picked up because she amputated her arm in a drainage tunnel. So, I think that is an open question that we, like Alicia, just won't have a definitive answer to.
Q: What was it like killing off John Dorie, Sr. and losing Keith Carradine from the cast?
Ian Goldberg: It was very hard and incredibly sad, both as a character and as an actor. We were huge fans of Keith's. He had a huge body of work coming into FEAR. We felt very, very lucky to have him. And the Dorie name itself has a legacy on FEAR, with Garret [Dillahunt] and Garret's portrayal of John Dorie, Jr. So that was a character we were so excited to explore when we introduced him in Season 6. It's always hard to say goodbye to characters, but Dorie, Sr.'s sacrifice to ensure that Mo got out of the tower in Episode 12 was about as beautiful an exit as he could have hoped for, and it will continue to be felt as things go forward. John Dorie, Sr. was a character who had a lot of unfinished business. He had a lot of demons that were still haunting him—whether it was things he didn't feel he got to properly mend with his son, his own alcoholism, or his wrestling with his legacy and what he was going to leave behind now that he'd lost his son and a lot of the people he cared about. He cemented his legacy in a really powerful way in that episode by ensuring that Mo survived.
Q: Is there anything you can tease out about Season 8, especially when it comes to Madison and Morgan?
AC: I think the thing that we're really excited about is the promise of that final scene between Madison and Morgan in the Season 7 finale where it’s the two of them partnering up to take down this monolithic force that we only know as PADRE. We know what PADRE does isn't that great, and we're just excited about seeing these two iconic characters within The Walking Dead Universe teamed up together to bring down this really nefarious group.
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