Fear the Walking Dead Airs Its First Selfie-Related Death

Fear the Walking Dead on Sunday aired a series first in 515, “Channel 5”: character death caused by selfie.

As Morgan (Lennie James) and his convoy of nearly 40 survivors continue their search for a new place to call home, the group encounters a major problem when the 18-wheeler piloted by Sarah (Mo Collins) stalls on a fragile bridge. Adding an extra sense of urgency is the arrival of a growing number of walkers, stragglers from a nearby herd drawn by Virginia (Colby Minifie) and her Pioneers.

While Wes (Colby Hollman) hastily works on a patch, video documentarian Althea (Maggie Grace) issues simple instructions to newly added survivor-slash-cameraman Tom (Joe Massingill): “Get what you can, bail if you need to.” Morgan and Al use vehicles to form a sloppy blockade before joining Strand (Colman Domingo) in the fight against the growing horde, each bloody second avidly captured by Tom, who ignores Dwight’s (Austin Amelio) calls to join the pack of survivors on the other side of the bridge.

Fear the Walking Dead Tom Joe Massingill
(Photo: Joe Massingill as Tom. Van Redin / AMC)

With the patch not yet ready and the walker horde growing more aggressive, Morgan instructs Tom to forgo recording and get clear. But Tom persists, keeping the camera close even as bridge supports give way. When John (Garret Dillahunt) says there’s no chance their quickly fashioned patch will hold the tanker, Morgan orders the group to leave it behind and clear the bridge.

Tom is commanded to bail by sister Janice (Holly Curran), but from behind his camera lens, he yells, “No! I’m gonna get this!” Another blow to the stressed bridge sends Tom to the ground, and he gets his close-up when the camera captures the bridge sending the tanker — and the swarming walkers — into the water below.

A gleeful Tom hops to his feet and resumes shooting amid calls to clear the bridge. Against orders to leave it and join his sister, Tom turns the camera on himself. “People are gonna see what we’re doing is worth it,” he says, just before the bridge collapses. Tom’s last frightful seconds alive are captured in footage later tearfully reviewed by Al, who tells Morgan, “We have to get the story. For us. For him.”

Tom’s dedication to the story and the convoy’s mission comes after Virginia — who produced her own documentary extolling the benefits of working with the Pioneers — told him he had no place in the future they’re looking to build.

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“They said they were trying to build something bigger, something better,” Tom told Al’s camera in a confessional captured during their first meeting. “They said that it wasn’t about today, it was about tomorrow. I just wasn’t part of it.”

Fear next airs its Season 5 finale, “End of the Line,” Sunday, Sep. 29 at 9/8c on AMC. For more TWD intel, follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter.