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‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 8’s Premiere Is a Relatively Slow Start, but Still Interesting

3 out of 5 Walkers.

Madison Clark looking exhausted in Fear the Walking Dead season 8

The end of Fear the Walking Dead has finally come, and it’s bittersweet. As someone who has been watching the Walking Dead spinoff since the beginning, it feels weird to be slowly saying goodbye, but even as a fan of Fear the Walking Dead, I won’t deny that it hasn’t been consistent for years. The past couple of seasons of the series have been up and down in quality, but maybe season 8 will go out with a bang?

Last season, we saw a drawn out (and very unnecessary) feud between Morgan (Lennie James) and Victor (Colman Domingo), but by the end of the season, their feud was the least of everyone’s issues. During the season 7 finale, Morgan and his daughter, Mo, came across the presumed-dead Madison Clark (Kim Dickens). The last fans saw Madison Clark was in “No One’s Gone” (season 4, episode 8), and her return was no doubt for ratings’ sake, but instead of being a helpful force for Morgan, she ends up stealing Mo and handing her over to PADRE.

“Remember What They Took from You” (season 8, episode 1) dives into the cult-like community known as PADRE, and there’s a seven-year time jump, so Mo (Zoey Merchant) is no longer a sweet little baby. She’s a headstrong young girl who lives among delusional people. Mo is also nothing like what you might expect in terms of personality. She’s like Judith Grimes (Cailey Flemming) in terms of maintaining independence, despite being a literal child in a post-apocalyptic hellscape.

Season premieres are usually meant to establish the vibe of a season, and Fear the Walking Dead season 8 succeeds in doing so. However, the episode isn’t flawless and has very slow moments. In typical Fear the Walking Dead fashion, almost everyone is separated from one another, leaving the main group in the dark about the other characters’ whereabouts.

The premiere doesn’t shy away from displaying how wrong the characters were about PADRE in season 7. Rather than a safe haven, it’s a very uncomfortable and cold community compared to other communities in the Walking Dead universe. They aren’t about fostering connections, demanding resources, or working against one another. PADRE focuses on training people and making them forget about their connections.

Fear the Walking Dead may not be a perfect horror drama, but it gives us a glimpse into an array of communities led by different people. How PADRE will hold up throughout the rest of the season remains to be seen.

There’s nothing to really dislike about “Remember What They Took from You,” and if you’ve made it this far, you know what to expect. It has its moments when it comes to ugly-looking Walkers, and Morgan isn’t playing any games, either with Madison or anyone else. Mo is a character that may prove frustrating later, but she’s a kid, so that’s to be expected. Overall, it’s a decent enough premiere for Fear the Walking Dead’s final season.

(featured image: AMC)

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Vanessa Maki (she/her) is a queer Blerd and contributing writer for The Mary Sue. She first started writing for digital magazines in 2018 and her articles have appeared in Pink Advocate (defunct), The Gay Gaze (defunct), Dread Central and more. She primarily writes about movies, TV, and anime. Efforts to make her stop loving complex/villainous characters or horror as a genre will be futile.