Why did Kim Dickens leave Fear the Walking Dead? That’s a big question that we had following the events of Sunday night’s midseason finale, and the simple answer was to just assume that it is something that she wanted.
Yet, that’s not actually the case — this isn’t a Frank Dillane situation at all. Instead, it was the plan of new showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian B. Goldberg to make this move in the midseason finale, and we do understand on some level the value in creating a big, shocking moment that everyone can look back on. Yet, in doing this they’ve also created a situation where Alicia Clark and Victor Strand are the only two season 1 characters prominently featured on the show. We do think that there’s a chance that we end up seeing Daniel Salazar again down the road, but we’ve already made the case that Fear the Walking Dead should become more of Alicia’s show now since she’s the person with the most expansive story.
In reacting to her character’s stunning departure to Entertainment Weekly, here is what Dickens had to say on the subject:
it was shocking. Obviously it was shocking to me and it was disappointing. It was heartbreaking. I have loved this character, I’ve loved playing this character, I’ve loved this show, and I’m so proud to be strong female empowered lead of a genre show. They’re usually led by male leads, and it was just such an honor to have this special experience of being that lead female calling the shots. And also, I’m not in my 20s or not in my 30s, mind you. She was a mother too — a mother who was ferocious, and I just thought it was just such an honor to get to play her.
I also thought there was so many more stories to tell and so many more places to go, so I was initially shocked and disappointed and heartbroken. But you know, it’s in the hands of the writers and the producers, and that’s the fate that befalls so many of the characters in this genre. Basically, the message is, no one’s safe. And these kinds of deaths will ultimately propel the story of the other characters into other places. It’s part of the genre, it’s part of the storytelling device, and I just have to wrap my head around it and go into production.
We felt for at least a little while after the finale (see the video below) that this was possibly a massive troll job by AMC since we never actually saw Madison’s dead body. Yet, the fact that she’s doing a full press tour suggests, more than likely, that she is in fact gone. That’s tough to swallow just because it doesn’t seem like something that the series really needed to do. Madison was never the problem with Fear the Walking Dead, and she is one of the reasons why the past two seasons have been so strong. She’s always been at the top of the call sheet for this series so in that way, we’re basically losing between her and Andrew Lincoln the two leads for The Walking Dead franchise.
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