- Warning: There are spoilers ahead for the mid-season finale of “Fear TWD” season 7, “Padre.”
- Alicia amputates her arm after being bit, but she’s afraid she’s infected and slowly dying.
- Insider posits a few theories as to what may be going on with Alicia.
Sunday’s “Fear the Walking Dead” mid-season finale finally showed fans what happened to Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) after getting locked in Teddy’s bunker on the season six finale.
While trying to escape, Alicia wound up bit by one of the undead while trapped in a tunnel.
After, what appeared to be, a brief hesitation, Alicia mustered the courage to amputate her arm above the bite. However, unlike some of the cleaner amputations we’ve seen in “TWD” universe (Hershel and Aaron), Alicia took her arm off with with a barrel shroud from a machine gun. It’s not the first choice I’d pick for a clean cut.
Alicia then woke a week later and was told she had run a fever. Panicked and paranoid, Alicia assumed she amputated her arm too late and that she had an infection that would soon turn her into one of the undead. Will (Gus Halper) told Alicia she wasn’t sure of that. The fever could be from any infection, including tetanus or sepsis. After all, she cut her arm off in a dank, dirty tunnel with a weapon that probably wasn’t clean.
If you’ve been following the timeline, at least three months pass and Alicia’s sometimes still fighting off a fever.
That’s super weird.
If you know the “TWD” universe rules of turning into the dead, it usually happens between three minutes and a few hours. (Except if you’re part of that new breed of faster zombies, apparently.)
While speaking with Morgan, Alicia’s come to the conclusion that she’s slowly dying and that she’ll eventually turn into one of the dead. But there’s really no evidence of that at all.
In the episode explainer on AMC+, co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss says the following of Alicia’s dilemma: “We have seen many characters bit by walkers. We’ve seen many characters turn because of walker bites. But we haven’t actually seen anyone battle a walker bite long-term.”
The show’s official synopsis for the next eight episodes says Alicia is “plagued by a mysterious illness.”
Alicia’s predicament sets up the possibility for a few interesting revelations in “TWD” universe, including a possible cure to the zombie apocalypse. But is this really where “Fear TWD” is heading?
Let’s walk through all of the possibilities of what could be going on with the “Fear” favorite.
Now that we know Kim Dickens is returning to play Alicia’s mom, Madison, I wouldn’t put it past the showrunners to reunite the two just as Alicia’s about to turn.
Likelihood: I’m going to guess low unless Debnam-Carey wants to leave.
I don’t think the showrunners are going to kill off the show’s most popular character. Alicia’s one of the few reasons most fans still tune into this spin-off. Killing Alicia would kill interest in this show.
After the death of John Dorie, this is the sort of gut-wrenching thing I could see happening, but I really hope it doesn’t because I think it would really upset the fandom. Because Dickens will return, it seems like everyone involved in the series doesn’t want to take actions that may upset fans.
Here’s the only way I can justify Alicia getting killed off of “Fear”: The actress wanted off the show and everyone involved in the series knows the show couldn’t survive losing Alicia. In order to appeal to fans, the showrunners and “TWD” universe chief Scott M. Gimple looked for a way to make sure fans are still invested, and that meant answering fan wishes to bring Madison back.
We don’t know how long it took Will to get to her after she amputated her arm, drag her out of the tunnel, and get her hooked up to an IV. Did they even have the right meds for Alicia to take care of a possible sepsis or tetanus infection?
Likelihood of this theory: Strong.
When it comes to “Fear,” it’s fun to let your imagination run wild, but it’s best to keep your expectations low.
That would be interesting since there are currently scientists from “TWD: World Beyond” spin-off who were looking for a way to eradicate the dead. Additionally, a coda on the series finale hinted that scientists were trying to find a way to end the apocalypse, but they actually made it worse.
The problem with this theory is that it’s the premise of a very popular game. 2013’s best-selling “The Last of Us” revolves around a similar apocalypse in which people are turned into monsters through a fungus that takes over your brain (effectively making you a zombie). One of the main characters, a teenage girl, was bit, but never turns. It’s believed she’s the cure to everything going on.
Coincidentally, HBO is in the process of turning that game into a TV series. It’s one “TWD” universe chief, Scott M. Gimple, previously told Insider he’s looking forward to watching.
Is “TWD” universe trying to get ahead of the curve and beat HBO to the punch to say they did this story line first?
Likelihood: This would be the most interesting turn of events, but it feels like a long shot to me.
I’m not sure that the “TWD” universe is smart enough to come up with a twist like this. I’ve seen (and come up with) some pretty good theories over the years and they rarely come to fruition. Unfortunately, the answer is usually always something a bit more obvious.
If they try and go this route, it could backfire on AMC. Fans may call the show out for trying to copy the plot of “The Last of Us.”
Is that a complete coincidence?
If I was making an interconnected show universe, I would purposefully plan for reveals to be made across multiple shows on the same night so fans felt rewarded for watching both shows.
That may be wishful thinking though.
Likelihood: This seems reasonable, unfortunately.
I don’t want anything to happen to Alicia, but I this theory. We now know there are people who turn into walkers faster. Why wouldn’t the converse also be true?
Alicia has been leading Teddy’s group of survivors out in the world. Though she has a great suit to keep her safe, we haven’t seen what she’s been up to for the past three months like everyone else.
When discussing the season six finale, Chambliss told me they did a lot of research and spoke with many people who are involved in preparing for nuclear disasters.
A few months later, in dialogue cut from our season seven premiere conversation, Chambliss discussed how the radiation could be harmful and teased how we’d see the fallout with some of the survivors. There’s one piece of info, which I didn’t think was important at the time, but that may hold a different meaning now because of Alicia’s injury.
“It’s not necessarily an instant death sentence if you’re outside,” Chambliss told me. “But by that same token, there can be times when you can be at the wrong place in the wrong time. You could be exposed to something like alpha particles, which Geiger counters can’t even detect, and if you breathe those in, you would die within a matter of weeks.”
“There are other low levels of exposure that you can get that could take years to kill you, if at all,” Chambliss continued. “It really all depends on where you are, what kind of radiation you’re around. So our characters are really kind of taking the approach of trying to be as careful as possible, but we will say there will be consequences to people’s actions.”
Likelihood: This seems highly likely and more believable to me than some of the other items.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, some of the potential symptoms of radiation sickness, among other things, include fever and fatigue, two symptoms Alicia has exhibited so far.
This bit from the CDC site sticks out:”After the initial symptoms, a person usually looks and feels healthy for a period of time, after which he or she will become sick again with variable symptoms and severity that vary depending on the radiation dose that he or she received… This seriously ill stage may last from a few hours up to several months.”
Alicia has had an on-and-off fever for a few months now. She very well may be infected, but not with what she believes. How ironic would it be that the one person Teddy sought to protect from the nuclear blasts was affected by them?