The PaleyFest panel for Fear The Walking Dead opened with two scenes. The first saw Kim Dickens (Madison Clark) and Ruben Blades (Daniel Salazar) discussing whether or not they could ever trust the moneyed captain (Coleman Domingo’s Victor Strand) of the luxury ship they’ll soon be setting sail on. In the other, we saw the embattled Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) come face-to-face with what appeared to be a floating zombie ready to snack. Which is pretty new in zombie lore, all things considered. The strange zombie behavior was duly addressed by showrunner Dave Erickson: “They don’t drown; they keep floating back up,” he said. Cue the gnarled breathiness of a zombie with water-logged lungs still looking for a meal. But, at least, they definitely can’t swim.
So there will be no safe harbor from the zombie menace. The second season begins at sea, and with the way the first season ended (Travis being washed over by waves after doing the undoable), it’s safe to say that Season 2 will feature all the properties of water: rolling, shifting, mysterious, and dangerous change. When asked what the goal of the survivors are this season, Erickson had this to say: “It’s just to find a place where they can eventually drop anchor and stay, ultimately.” If the dynamics of the motley crew are to be believed, however, things will end inevitably in tears and violence.
The panel was playful, though, for the most part. Frank Dillane doing his full Johnny Depp: stopping short of saying anything that wasn’t vague, spacing around, and fidgeting, charm oozing from his armpits. There was a moment there when asked to explain how his sobriety will factor into his behavior, where he says, “That depends on what you think heroin is.” And for a few others up there, this wasn’t their first time on the end-of-the-world rodeo. Cliff Curtis noted that a few of them had been to “apocalypse school.” Daniel Salazar said as much, “The second season, everybody understands the things that weren’t clear before.”
What’s most important is what lies beneath. And the cast hinted at evolution as the situation becomes untenable. Mercedes Mason (Ofelia Salazar) categorized the shift this way, “There’s that one moment, that one instance or something that makes you look at your parent as a human as opposed to just a parent… Ofelia really is at a precipice of understanding adulthood and what it means to survive,” noted the actress.
Note: Nick Clark will get a new set of clothes this season. Finally.
Season two of Fear The Walking Dead airs April 10 at 9 P.M. on AMC.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty