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    ‘Fear the Walking Dead’: Alycia Debnam-Carey Teases The “Epic” Conclusion of Season 6

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    Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is a survivor. In fact, she’s the only survivor of the Clark family that kicked off Fear the Walking Dead in Season 1. And after the cliffhanger ending of this week’s episode, she may be the only survivor of what’s coming, as the show rockets towards the Season 6 finale.

    Spoilers past this point, but in the hour, titled “Mother,” Alicia is desperately trying to figure out what post-apocalyptic madman Teddy (John Glover) is up to. While technically his hostage, Alicia travels with Teddy and the also sociopathic Dakota (Zoe Colletti) to pick up the corpse of Teddy’s mother, before he enacts the next part of his plan. In the process, they happen on some surprise survivors from the stadium fire back in Season 4, survivors who were saved by Alicia’s departed mother, Madison (Kim Dickens).

    Ultimately, this is all part of Teddy’s plan, and it works out swimmingly — for him. Alicia ends up having to kill the now nihilistic stadium group, that wasn’t even Teddy’s mom’s corpse, and the episode ends with Alicia locked in a bunker while he goes to set off a few nukes that have been sitting in a submarine since the world fell. The goal? Teddy sees himself as made for the zombie world; Alicia, who still has hope, for the next. He is protecting her and setting her up as the mother of a new society.

    When asked about what’s coming down the pike for Alicia, Debnam-Carey was pretty much mum: “You will have to see,” the actress told Decider. “You’ll have to wait and see.”

    Thankfully, she was a little more open about the season — and the episode — as a whole. To find out about this week’s odd team-up, the return of the stadium people, and whether Fear the Walking Dead is a stealth The 100 prequel, read on.

    Decider: The whole season has been so electric, and fan and critical response has been enormously positive. Is that something at all that you guys feel on set? And since you have been with the show since the beginning, why do you think this season is popping in particular?

    Alycia Debnam-Carey: When we get such a positive reaction, if it galvanizes people to deliver more of the same and it gets them excited for how much work was put into it. You know, for us, when we film an episode, it takes a long time. And so you put a lot of energy and effort into it and then to finally have people see that and for them to have such a positive response, it’s very rewarding, and it just inspires you to give more of that. So definitely, for sure. It’s like you said, if there’s a kind of an electricity that you feel when things are going well, for sure.

    I think there is something to be said with these anthology-like episodes. When we are given the opportunity to have one or two key characters in each episode, and really focus on their dynamic, their character, relationships, and deep dive into their reality, it makes you invested in a different kind of way. The audience is allowed to be seeing a full version of these characters. I think sometimes when we’re having to do these big, big sequences or we have 20 people in the same sequences, it’s fun as it is to have all your characters together often, you don’t get to spend one-on-one time with them and see the inner workings of who they are. So we’re getting a chance to actually fall in love with these characters on a deeper level. So I would say that probably has got something to do with it. And I mean, it’s definitely fun as an actor, because you get to really focus on your character a lot more and that’s always an exciting thing.

    Let’s jump into this episode because on the same sort of note, as you’re saying, there’s such an interesting group here with you and John Glover and Zoe Colletti. It really throws you off kilter while you’re watching it, and I feel like Alicia is very much on the same position. What was it like working with the two of them on this episode?

    Oh, it was awesome. I had such a blast, and it was just so great as well. I mean, John is such a character and he’s a sweetheart, too. And Zoe is just such a powerhouse as an actress. You know, she’s got some real chops, and it was really delightful getting to work with the two of them.

    But in terms of characters as well, it’s really fun to have these, as you said, off kilter dynamics. We’ve got this madman of the apocalypse, and we’ve got this sort of psychopathic child, and then Alicia trying to bounce out her survival in the middle of it. And that’s a really fun dynamic to be playing. It made for some really interesting moments for us.

    Over the course of the episode, it seems unclear whether Alicia is going to join Teddy’s side or not. Do you think there’s a part of her that maybe does kind of believe what he’s selling?

    [Long pause] Hmm. No. Just like, a long pause. [Laughs] No, I really thought about it. I mean, I think what is a unifying factor in this episode is obviously these are three characters who have lost their mothers, and that is a binding force that the three of them share. And there is something interesting in the way that the loss of their mothers has defined them as human beings moving forward, and who they are in this world. There is something interesting in that. But I think Alicia sees who Teddy is, which is chaos, chaotic and unpredictable in his methods. I think she sees anyone that has that much power as an individual, over a group of people as very dangerous and, whatever he is planning, is not in line with who she is at all.

    You mentioned the theme of “mother.” It’s the title of the episode. It’s dug into with every single character and every single aspect of the hour. And of course, Madison weighs pretty heavily on Alicia. How does Alicia view her mother, or the memory of her mother at this point?

    It is an interesting moment that we get to see in this episode with Cole. Because it’s a direct reflection of how she does see her mother, which is, she is being confronted with almost this ghost of her past. That is the memory of what Madison was able to achieve, which was a chance and an opportunity to survive. But she’s also being confronted with the reality that Madison’s optimism came at such a heavy cost. In this moment, we’re seeing Alicia gain this clarity that is knowing where she draws the line. We’re seeing this merger of her past and her future. And what I think makes Alicia a really strong character is that she has obviously this bad-ass strength and is so physically capable, but she also has this compassion and hope.

    And in this moment we see her level up in a way that is reminiscent of stepping into the position of what Madison represented. But doing it in her own way. We have this memory of Madison being quite a compassionate, hopeful, optimistic person, but she was also incredibly ruthless when needed, and when she needed to be, incredibly pragmatic. We really see Alicia take that new pathway and step into that role herself. So whether she’s aware of that or not… I think Madison is also quite a fragile, vulnerable memory for Alicia, obviously.

    As you mentioned, you have a bunch of the stadium people who return in this episode: Sebastian Sozzi, Kenneth Wayne Bradley and Rhoda Griffis. What was it like having them back on set after so long?

    It was so awesome, but also so strange because it really did feel like, “whoa, I never expected to see you again on our show. I thought you were dead.” So it was one of those life imitates art sort of situations, or art imitates life. It was obviously great to see them again, and Sebastian did such a great job of showcasing how much this character had broken down and changed and what he’d lost. That was really awesome to see. It was really cool, but it was kind of surreal.

    The cliffhanger with Alicia getting locked in the bunker is pretty insane. I assume we’re going to see more of that location than just the doorway going forward?

    You will have to see… You’ll have to wait and see.
    Well, given that you’re trapped in a bunker and Teddy is about to nuke the world, is this show actually a stealth The 100 prequel?

    [Laughs] That’s a good question. Look, it’s not the first time I’ve been stuck in a bunker and it’s clearly not the last.

    I know you’re probably going to give me another, “you’ll have to wait and see,” but what if anything, can you tell us about what is coming down the pike as we head towards the conclusion of the season?

    I mean, I will tell you it’s super epic. It’s huge in scale. It’s really exciting. I think fans are going to be super stoked with these last two episodes. They’re really big, and they’re bigger than anything I think we’ve seen in this universe and they’re shot really beautifully. And they’re filled with so much heart and emotion, and they’re going to give a real sucker punch to people. I think they’re really great episodes. Yeah. Fans should be excited.

    This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

    Script developed by Never Enough Design



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