Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 3 Episode 6 follow!
Fear the Walking Dead may exist on its own, almost completely independent of The Walking Dead, but the younger sibling series does take a few cues from the original.
Now, the lead it appears to be following is transforming a character who was defenseless and seemingly hopeless into one of the strongest characters, best equipped to survive. The character is Alicia Clark and she is showing an impressive evolution one gun shot at a time.
It started in the Season 3 premiere.
Following the helicopter crash which saw Travis killed, Alicia was quick to pull the trigger when the time came to save the life of series newcomer Jake Otto. When the man who, at the time, appeared to be a seasoned military man froze at the sight of infected, Alicia stepped up and put them down with a few shots. It was a stark contrast, looking back at the young girl who once invited enemies to Strand's yacht because a boy sounded cute over the radio.
Then came Sunday's 'Red Dirt' episode. Not only was Nick Clark seen training with his new pistol under the guidance of Jeremiah Otto but Alicia was seen getting some target practice in with Jake. First, she took a liking to a certain switchblade which was used back at the hotel, then she showed pistol skills in the Season 3 premiere, and now she is adding a new ability to her arsenal which will likely come in handy for the war ahead.
While some may look at relationships in this apocalyptic world as a weakness, Alicia is not buying into the traits which make her new boyfriend Jake Otto look weak through some eyes. While he tries to preserve humanity, something Travis Manawa, Hershel Greene, Dale Horvath, and Tyreese Williams have all tried to do. One other thing each of those characters have in common: they're dead. While Jake's world view is respectable and something the apocalypse could use when the environments become safer, Alicia's contrast to his views show how far she has come since trying to hold onto her dying high school boyfriend despite the world collapsing around her.
During Alicia's conversation with Madison, she revealed that her perspective of Jake is simply that she "likes" him but ensured she doesn't "love" him, adding, "It's nothing serious." She may very well have been downplaying the relationship to keep her mother from worrying but something seemed genuine about the statements. While Alicia was quick to request Jake not venture out in search of Walker, this also shows that she recognizes a threat.
"Of course she cares about him but she cares more about her family," executive producer Gale Anne Hurd said on Talking Dead.
"That moment where Madison brings back the dead bodies of the Trembol family, I think for Alicia seeing Gretchen, it's heartbreaking because it reaffirms that while there's this sanctuary, no one is safe," Alicia actress Alycia Debnam-Carey said on Talking Dead. "It's the loss, again, of a sign of hope and friendship that she first was offered here when she first arrived. So, it's a sad moment."
Alicia has learned sacrifices are necessary. She has learned this world is ruthless and threats are lurking at every corner. She is prepared with newly developed skills using various guns and weapons.
Each of those traits are similar to Carol Pelettier, the most hardened and transformed survivor on The Walking Dead. Alicia may be younger but has already experienced and witnessed heartbreaking losses, similar to Carol's earliest days in the apocalypse. Both women show full signs of being ready for whatever is waiting for them and, well, becoming bad-a-- survivors.
MORE WALKING DEAD: TWD Season 8 Trailer Details Revealed / Why FTWD Is So Good Now / Dayton Callie Explains Jeremiah's Complexity / Ross Marquand Promises A Massive TWD Season 8 / Negan's Complete Backstory Coming In October / Madison Clark Is Officially FTWD's Rick Grimes
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. The Walking Dead will return for its eighth season in October of 2017. The first trailer is expected to arrive at San Diego Comic Con in July. For complete coverage and insider info all off-season long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.