There were several major questions that came out of the Fear the Walking Dead midseason finale, but one of the biggest ones was simple: Who’s the leader? Broke Jaw Ranch no longer has a general, though you could argue that they haven’t for a while. Jeremiah Otto was not all that great when it comes to leading his people, and he had conflicts aplenty, skeletons in his closet, and also the issue with Walker that was about to cost everyone their lives.
For now, it’s possible that a cease-fire could be in the works now that Madison has confirmed to Walker that Otto is dead, but does that mean that she is the leader of the town now? Has she completed her full Rick Grimes transformation? It may be a little early to say that, but as executive producer Dave Erickson notes in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, she is certainly well on her way to being in that place:
“That’s something we’ll get to find out when we get to the back half, but as we play out the final montage in episode 8, you see the Clark family on that balcony looking out over the ranch as Jake and Troy take their dad to the barn, and the sense for me is that they have effectively taken over. The sense for me is that Madison has Troy in a place where he’s willing to do her bidding, at least right now. Jake has developed a relationship with Alicia and entrusts her, and Nick is in this strange relationship that’s been developing with Troy as well. So there’s a shadow government to the ranch next season. It is very much the Clarks. I think the challenge for them is that there’s a cover-up. I mean, Otto has been murdered.”
You do have to think for a moment here that the investigation into Otto’s death is something that Troy and Jake won’t let go — especially Troy. He was more of the favored soon it seems, especially when it comes to how Jeremiah had his own tendencies to be violent and awful. Now that we’ve seen the first eight episodes in full, it does feel fairly clear that he was the Big Bad for the season all along rather than it being who we previously suspected in Walker — that man did go to extremely lengths, but Otto is the one who infringed on the land, never got Troy the help that he needed, sent Ofelia down a difficult path thanks to his racism, and also tried to manipulate everyone to see things to his own specifications rather than the other way around. Dayton Callie is a wonderful actor, but we cannot say that we’re going to be missing Jeremiah all that much since his character was so unlikable.
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