Last season on AMC's Fear the Walking Dead, budding psychopath Chris took off with his two new American besties, leaving dad Travis behind in the dust. We were left to wonder if Chris would become the next Governor or evolve into something completely different. Would we even see him again?
However, when his besties showed up at the hotel without him, we soon discovered that there had been an accident with the truck and the men said they killed him believing he would soon turn Walker. We saw it in flashback, but did Chris really die?
Last season "it was important to spend some time with Travis and with Chris," said executive producer and co-creator Dave Erickson in our exclusive interview. "Especially given the dark place that Chris went to at the first half of last season. I think it was interesting. Chris was always a challenging character for some people, but for me he was someone, even before the apocalypse, who was lost. He was an alienated kid. He didn't have any friends and the strange irony is that he found some semblance of place within the apocalypse when he ran into those Americans. And unfortunately the influence was not a positive one."
But for Travis, "we've really put him through the wringer and reached his breaking point in the episode of last season when he found out how Chris died. Some people have wondered because [the Americans] weren't necessarily the most reliable of narrators, if that story was true ... but it is. I think that, in terms of Travis's arc, having him reach a point where he's consumed by the apocalypse and becomes something new, was important. It opens up an interesting door as we move into Season 3. Because I think he's a far different person," said Erickson.
One of the challenges last season was that during "the first half, when we ended up on the Abigail, when we were on the boat, the first seven episodes were somewhat more episodic than I personally would've liked. And it wasn't until we got to the back half of the season and we really fractured the family and split everybody off in their respective directions that I think it got a little bit more interesting because it allowed us to, rather than trying to serve six, seven or eight characters in every episode, we were able to focus on Madison's story in one, Madison and Alicia, Nick in particular. We've decided that we really wanted to see a journey for Nick and something that was specific to his big spirituality with the dead. But also more importantly something that was really exorcising and moving him further away from his addiction for the first time. I think that was something that was important to explore," he said.
According to Erickson, "the goal was to have them reach, as best we could with all the characters, some type of breaking point and then see how they fit in when we move to the next season. I think one of the challenges now is since we returned Travis to Madison and Alicia, but Nick is still out there ... Strand has been left at the hotel and there are few other hanging characters. The plan is to try to intersect and weave those stories again as we move through Season 3. I think the fracture of the family served us last season. Now, what's intriguing to me is having changed each of the characters individually, having put them to their role and their own separate journeys. When they're reunited, do they recognize each other anymore?
As people who have formed alliances and friendships ... do they still hold? I think thematically one of the things that's important, it's a number of things. But for Season 3, when you take someone whom you either befriended or somebody that you've lived with, like a family member, and send them off on their own trajectory and change them ... can you reestablish that relationship? If you can't, what is that? In this world you can't afford weak bonds. We've been through the apocalyptic education where we've all made allowances for our frailties and weaknesses and that's just not a place, I don't think Madison is especially in when we get to Season 3. I think you're going to see a character who's a lot more merciless and a lot more relentless. She's already compromised quite a bit, but I think we're pushing to her to a new place as well," said Erickson.
Fear the Walking Dead is scheduled to return in June for a third season on AMC.