Fear the Walking Dead brought back a presumed-dead character only to finish her off for good. The spin-off series of The Walking Dead is airing the last episodes of its final season on AMC.
(Spoiler alert: Stop reading if don't want to know details about season eight, episode eight, “Iron Tiger,” of Fear the Walking Dead.)
When we last saw Alexa Nisenson's Charlie on Fear the Walking Dead, the conflicted young character was dying of radiation poisoning. She must have stumbled upon a miracle cure since when she reappears in episode eight, Charlie looks healthy and is driving a big truck. After Charlie confesses to Madison (Kim Dickens) that she shot Madison's son, Nick, Madison guilts her into infiltrating Troy's camp to take him out. Madison changes her mind too late as Charlie decides to take her own life so that Madison does not have to give up the location of PADRE to save her. OK, then!
Since there are only four episodes left of Fear the Walking Dead, viewers should expect many characters to meet their maker, but Charlie's surprise reintroduction and abrupt end felt jarring. Entertainment Weekly spoke with showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss about why it played out this way.
“The moment Madison was back, it just felt like questions were going to be all about what she would do when she found out that Charlie is the one who pulled the trigger and killed Nick,” says Chambliss. “And in looking at where Charlie was at the end of season seven and the resources PADRE had, we ultimately decided it would be plausible that they could have given the medical treatment that she needed that June wasn't able to at the tower to save her.
“And what we gained from that was a reunion between Madison and Charlie that is really a test for Madison at this moment when she is kind of doing this soul searching of ‘Why am I doing all this? My kids are gone.' And to then be confronted with the person who took the life of one of her children forces her to ask whether or not she really has changed, and whether she's worthy of redemption, and whether or not she could forgive Charlie.”
The Fear the Walking Dead Showrunners Say That Charlie Deserved a More “Satisfying” Ending
Chambliss continues, “The episode obviously takes a lot of complicated turns for Madison, and I think by the end of it, Madison still blames herself for the fact that Charlie did what she did, because she never would've gone to Troy if Madison hadn't rejected her. And it's put Madison in an even darker place.
“From Charlie's point of view, it felt like her story deserved a more satisfying ending, and it felt like her entrance to the show was kind of her original sin. She lied to Madison about why she was at the stadium, and she is very much responsible for the stadium's downfall. She killed Nick, and it felt like in her own quest for redemption to put that behind her, we wanted to give her this kind of final, tragic, heroic moment to really help Madison and Strand and Daniel secure what they're trying to build. And that's a place where people can be safe. The thing that Madison always wanted for her kids.”
Fear the Walking Dead airs on Sunday on AMC. The final episode of the series that premiered in 2015 is titled “The Road Ahead” and will air on November 19.