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Fear The Walking Dead Season Four - TV Series Review

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by Marisa Quinn-Haisu (subscribe)
My name is Marisa. I am a fiction writer, a blogger, and a freelance journalist.
Published December 21st 2018
Fear The Walking Dead is not the same show anymore
Fear the Walking Dead season four
The poster for the first half of season four had Madison in the centre and Morgan in the background


Fear the Walking Dead is an American television show about the zombie apocalypse and a companion show to AMC's television series The Walking Dead. The premise of the show was to explore the early days of the apocalypse. Seasons one through to three followed the adventures of the Clark, Manawa, and Salazar families. The main protagonist for the first three seasons was Madison Clark (Kim Dickens). Madison was an interesting character to watch develop on screen. She adapted very quickly to the new world and could often be ruthless when protecting her family. The plan was for Madison to turn into the villain of the show.

After season three ended on a cliffhanger in late 2017, AMC announced that for season four a character from The Walking Dead was going to join the cast of Fear the Walking Dead. This caused a lot of interest among fans. The character was later revealed to be Morgan.

Fear the Walking Dead season four
Kim Dickens was the star of Fear the Walking Dead and portrayed the main protagonist Madison Clark from season 1 to the first half of season 4


Morgan has been around since the beginning of the epidemic in both the comics and in the television show. Morgan is a not a favourite among fans. A lot of people dislike how he is written. In some episodes, he is insane and suffering from hallucinations. In other episodes, he is a boiling cauldron of rage who can't stop killing the living and the dead. And then there is the side of Morgan who likes to preach about peace and non-violence. It's like the writers don't know what sort of person they want him to be.

I actually really enjoyed the first half of season four. It was set the past and in the present. The present was filmed in a grey filter which gave it a harsh post-apocalyptic look and the scenes set in the past were filmed in regular colour and explored what happened after the events of season three. After a few episodes, it became clear that Morgan was going to be hanging around for the whole season. As the episodes progressed one thing started to bother me. Where was Madison? Why wasn't she in the scenes set in the present?

Fear the Walking Dead season four
The poster for the second half of Season Four has gotten rid of Madison completely and now has Morgan as the centre of attention


In the flashbacks, we saw that Madison became the leader of a community in an abandoned sports arena after the end of season three. Her group then got into a conflict with another group called the Vultures. It looked like the show was setting up the Vultures to be the villains of the entire season at that point. Was this going to be Morgan's purpose? Was he here to help them fight the Vultures?

SPOILERS!

What ended up happening was in a flashback, we saw the Vultures lead a crowd of Walkers to Madison's arena to kill everyone inside. Madison lured the Walkers inside the arena and then locked the doors and let herself get killed to allow her kids a chance to escape.

It wasn't a bad death but it was a pointless death.

And what made it all the more worse was that it wasn't what was originally planned for the character. Madison's future story arc was scrapped and her character killed off by AMC so Morgan could replace her as the main lead and the show.

Fear the Walking Dead season four
Lennie James took over from Kim Dickens as the main protagonist of Fear the Walking Dead in season four part two. He plays survivor Morgan Jones


I could really tell that Kim Dickens did not agree with the decision to kill off her character. In one episode she tells another character her family's story of survival and you can really hear the sadness in Kim's voice. It wasn't just acting. Her frustration and disappointment were obvious. She didn't want Madison's story to end and she did not want to leave the show. It was poor writing and it was an insult to Kim Dickens and all the work she put into the show.

After the end of season four part, fans were furious at AMC for killing off Madison. I was cautiously optimistic. I was sad to see her go but I wasn't convinced she was 100% dead (and I'm still not regardless of whatever AMC says) and I expected that part two would be about finding the Vultures and getting vengeance.

Oh boy, was I wrong.

Part two of season four was TERRIBLE.

The plotline about the Vultures was abandoned completely.

No one tried to avenge Madison.

There was NO REAL PLOT.

And the grey filter got really annoying after a while.

Fear the Walking Dead season four
Madison's death in season four angered a lot of fans


All that happens in part two is a hurricane hits, the survivors get separated and then a crazy woman covered in mud starts stalking and harassing them. The writing was so poor and the characters were so boring even Lennie James (Morgan) started to look irritated in a lot of his scenes. Some characters started calling him "Mo, Mo" a couple of episodes in and Morgan tells them more than once "Please, don't call me that…" in a tone of voice that made me wonder if James was questioning what he was doing on this show.

I felt bad for the original Fear the Walking Dead cast Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia), Danay García (Luciana), and Colman Domingo (Victor Strand), who all took a back seat after Madison died and Morgan and his stick became the new lead protagonist.

There were some good episodes in part two like the Alicia focused episode "Close Your Eyes" which blessedly didn't feature much of Morgan.

I don't think Lennie James or any of the other actors on Fear are bad actors. They did the best they could with bad dialogue and terrible scripts and woeful directing.

My favourite part of the season was when a gust of wind flung a piece of sheet metal at a walker's head during the hurricane. I'm not sure if they meant for that scene to be funny, but it was. The comedic timing made it very stupid. It also kind of summed up the whole season pretty well I thought. Fear used to be something good and now it's just a corpse staggering around that will probably end up dying a stupid death.
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Why? Fear the Walking Dead Season Four polarised fans and critics due to significant changes made to the cast and the plot and the strong focus that was put on Morgan who crossed over from the Walking Dead to join the show.
Where: Fear The Walking Dead Season 4 is available for purchase on digital download
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