We are one step closer to saying goodbye once and for all to Fear the Walking Dead. The Walking Dead spinoff premiered on August 23, 2015.
Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg have been in place as showrunners since the fourth season. Fear the Walking Dead has a long stellar list of executive producers with the likes of Gale Anne Hurd, Scott Gimple, Robert Kirkman, David Alpert, Greg Nicotero, and Dave Erickson.
The cast of season 1 was comprised of actors and characters that we fell in love with from the jump. Kim Dickens (Madison Clark), Cliff Curtis (Travis Manawa), Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia Clark), Frank Dillane (Nick Clark), and Lorenzo James Henrie (Chris).
The misfit family was later joined by the great Rubén Blades (Daniel Salazar), Patricia Reyes Spindola (Griselda) Daniel’s wife, and the one and only Mercedes Mason (Ofelia). Together the families banded to find some sort of safe harbor in a brokenly desolate world.
Jumping to season 8 of Fear the Walking Dead, the world sure looks a lot different. Only a select few of the main cast remain. Blades, Dickens, and possibly Debnam-Carey if she makes some kind of return as Alicia, dead or alive.
But the memory of those lost has become their driving force to survive, thrive, and to make the world a better place than they found it for the ones they lost. In the honor of them, to make them proud in a way that they couldn’t when they were still alive.
The season 8 cast has had quite the change since the premiere, but we’ve had the fortunate opportunity to see so many wonderful actors along the way and heartbreaking emotional performances grace our screen. In this season it has boiled down to the phenomenal Lennie James (Morgan Jones).
Dicken is back from the dead as Madison, Coleman Domingo is our one and only Victor Strand, along with Danay Garcia (Luciana Galvez), Austin Amelio (Dwight), Christine Evangelista (Sherry), Jenna Elfman (June Dorie) and the legendary Blades as Daniel Salazar. Of course, one last round of applause for Karen David as the lovable and never forgotten Grace Mukherjee.
That is the inspiring motivation for this chapter of the story in Fear the Walking Dead. Everyone left alive has made mistakes, some countless ones.
But it is on their shoulders to create a better world for the future of humanity. Their story is not over yet, it’s up to them to create a society of riches, so to speak.
The biggest symbol for the opening of 8B is second chances. “Anton” and “Iron Tiger” represent the tragic mistakes these heroes have made and their path to redemption for a great purpose and an even greater legacy.
Will they leave this world in the peril they found it in? Or will they create something beautiful from the tyranny they’ve overcome?
Season 8 episode 7 “Anton” was written by Nazrin Choudhury and Justin Boyd. Not only is this the 8B opener but it is directed by our own Danay Garcia.
Fear the Walking Dead season 8, episode 7 recap: “Everybody deserves a second chance.”
Episode 7 reveals the brand-new world of Victor Strand and the lengths he will go to protect it. Even if it means throwing old friends under the bus.
Coming into it, it’s the last thing you would expect from Strand; now a big family man who believes in the power of second chances for everybody. He lives in an oasis from the dead and is convinced second chances are for everybody.
Or 5 or 6 in Strand’s case. Anton is nothing but a facade to hide from the man he used to be.
That Victor Strand has been buried and he knows if he comes back to the surface, he could lose everything.
Strand is now happily married to Frank and shares an adopted son named Klaus. You can sense this is a life that Strand knows he doesn’t deserve, which is why he goes to the lengths he does to hide his true self.
Frank and Klaus were Germans who were vacationing before the fall and got stranded with a group of tourists at the hotel. It’s a thriving community with resources, help, and healing for all.
I for one would have never imagined this philanthropic side of Victor. But all that comes to a screeching halt when a blast from the past arrives.
Enter Madison Clark. She is struggling and in need of oxygen and medical care, which Klaus and Frank are happy to oblige.
I would have expected a much more ground-breaking reunion for these two, but it also depicts where they are in their lives and the circumstances surrounding them. For a moment Strand breaks character and holds his long-time friend emotionally, before reverting to Anton swiftly to prevent his family from noticing.
Though he may be all about second chances, he’s not ready for Madison to break his cover. Loyalty and love be damned.
The risk that Madison poses for her cause is not a risk that Strand is willing to take, not even for her. As the episode moves along there becomes no time to get to the bottom of Strand’s dishonesty, they have a bigger fight on their hands.
Another blast from the past, Troy. He’s gone out of his way to track Madison down and created the biggest revenge plot he could think of.
No one’s gone until they’re gone, could be Madison’s famous last words.
My favorite scene of the opener is when Strand finally opens up to Madison about why he became someone else. “I had to leave that person behind,” he tells her.
“I did what I had to do to build a thriving place. I was ruthless. Betrayed Alicia…I hated Victor Strand, so I killed him.” He admits that he was trying to become the man that Alicia knew he could be.
The man she saw him. The most powerful line of the show came next.
“Why did she forgive you?” Madison curiously asks. She hadn’t been in her daughter’s mindset in so many years to know what she was thinking.
“Because her mother taught her that no one is gone, until they’re gone,” Strand admits. Chills.
Troy and Madison pick up where they left off, there is no love lost between these two. Madison has been trying to keep her undying promise to Mo and reunite as many parents and children as she can.
Unfortunately, her words on the radio created more havoc than good, which put a big wrench in her plans. Troy has nothing but bad intentions when it comes to Madison.
Troy’s motive is to take everything from her that she took from him. And that includes her sanity regarding Alicia.
After the fall of the ranch, he wants to take PADRE, the place she is trying to build into something far greater. With the help of Daniel and his army and now Strand’s new people, they will stop at nothing to protect the future.
Season 8 episode 8 “Iron Tiger” was written by Nick Bernardone and Jacob Pinion as well as directed by SJ Main Muñoz.
Fear the Walking Dead season 8, episode 8 recap: “Make it mean something.”
Madison and Strand may have eventually had a heartwarming reunion in the end but not everybody is as happy to see Madison. “Iron Tiger” is all about protecting PADRE by supplying it with fuel, but to do that, the past comes back to haunt the two characters.
We finally get to see what Luciana has been up to all these years. And I can say they have given the veteran character a story that justifies her talents.
The audience will see a side of Luci that shows off her leadership, strength and produces an arc that fans will be pleased about.
As happy as Daniel was to see his long-time friend, Luciana plays it a little reserved until much later in the episode. She needs to keep what she has built protected.
She will not allow old friends or mixed emotions to jeopardize that. Not even to Daniel’s dismay or sadness.
We learn that Luciana had a past similar to June in how she came to work for PADRE. Now that it’s under new leadership, she like Madison, is building even something bigger.
You’ll also be happy to know that she is the main reason Daniel is still standing today. It has been tragic we haven’t gotten enough scenes with some characters.
Reunions have been lackluster, to say the least. The time jump at the start of the season has made the season, as a whole, feel off and at times, emotionless.
It’s great to see these reunions play out loving in the end but I have to say it has come out very robotic on screen. Many of these characters are trying to hold their feelings at bay for protection but with Shrike’s rule gone, it doesn’t make a lot of sense anymore to keep such division between everyone.
Many fans have invested years into this show and their characters. Especially for these season 1 characters, the reunions should have had a way bigger pay-off.
Iron Tiger is the person who you would least expect. But there is a very cool and intriguing story behind it, a phoenix of redemption.
A tiger will never go down without a fight and the symbolism behind this story is top-notch. Madison grapples with the memory of both Nick and Alicia, along with the fear of having PADRE taken from her.
She is going through it on all ends and Strand, always her right-hand man, tries to help her battle through it. Which is a thrill to watch again.
They have always been one of my favorite duos of TWDU. Madison has to come to terms with the fact that maybe she is not the changed woman she thought she was, after a rescue mission goes awry.
Not all tigers can change their stripes. She has a strong moment of guilt, followed by a big moment of revelation.
Things are about to take an enormous turn at PADRE. Daniel has been through the wringer in both episodes and must come to terms with the fact that what’s right, isn’t always what’s good.
His journey will take a new path come episode 9.
Episode 8 ends with a defining moment for one character of pure heroism. For another returnee, a heart that we didn’t know he had.
It will leave you wondering if revenge is not the only driving force behind Troy’s actions. There is a moment where Troy and Madison share the same pain, both caused by direct actions of their revenge.
Madison does not carry much sympathy for a similar loss that Troy took from her. And she shouldn’t.
There are some discrepancies in reality, especially when a tanker is blown up to stop Troy. Madison can seemingly breathe smoke-filled air into her lungs with no problem.
And in the closing seconds, we are saddled with the knowledge of yet another reason why Troy wants revenge against Madison. “Who do you think I took from you?” she asks him.
Has Madison’s past come back to haunt her again? The mother of his child could be the answer to the real motivation behind his revenge tour.
What worked for the opening of Fear the Walking Dead 8B?
- No fear to play it safe like the final season of The Walking Dead did.
- Luciana being back on our screens in a mighty way.
- Madison and Strand. Started out rocky but became great.
- The emergence of cool Troy.
- Some amazing special effects.
- Madison’s reaction to “Anton.”
- Troy and Madison’s dynamic is always a thriller.
- Daniel’s hatred for Strand was the one reunion that made sense.
- Daniel and Luciana’s heart-to-heart.
- One emotionally heroic stand.
- Strand as Madison’s guardian again.
- A redemption story done right.
What didn’t work for the opening of Fear the Walking Dead 8B?
- As much as I love Strand, like Negan, does he really deserve a happy ending with a loving spouse and child?
- More heartbreak for Daniel, hasn’t he been through enough?
- No knowledge of what smoke inhalation does to a compromised person.
- Strand becoming German. It was pretty out there, even for him.
- Luciana’s inability to connect emotionally.
- Strand’s immediate betrayal of Madison was way too out of character.
- Victor’s habitual lying, if he’s so changed now, he shouldn’t revert back when worlds collide.
- Repeated storylines of Troy and Madison’s justice against one another. It feels like no time has passed.
- A line that Troy says to Daniel about Ofelia that is so out of line.
- A child for a psychopath.
- Madison’s blame game. Rise above it.
- Characters who are claimed to be redeemed that haven’t reached 50% of earning it.
Fear the Walking Dead returns Sunday, October 22 at 9PM ET on AMC and AMC Plus.