There’s “cause for concern” for the last surviving member of the Clark family after Sunday’s Fear the Walking Dead, “Still Standing.”
The episode sees a redemption-seeking Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) put her life at risk to help rescue Annie (Bailey Gavulic), Max (Ethan Suess) and Dylan (Cooper Dodson) — as well as the rest of the Camp Cackleberry kids — when their secret hideout comes under siege by a large pack of walkers.
As warned by former power plant worker Grace (Karen David), who has dedicated herself to maintaining a nuclear reactor and dealing with cleanup of contaminated walkers, some “growlers” are infected by radiation and are identified by necklace dosimeters (or, in the case of some radioactive-tinged walkers, by their even more ghastly appearances).
When single-handedly fighting off these walkers, Alycia’s prized weapon gets stuck. When she rips it free, she’s sprayed with blood — and is horrified to realize the walker is marked with a dosimeter.
“If there’s one thing that we’ve learned over the course of season 5 is that any exposure to contaminated blood can be dangerous. Grace made that very clear the moment she first crossed paths with Alicia and Morgan in episode 502. We’ve seen first-hand the devastating effects that exposure can have — both to Grace emotionally and what it did to the workers at the nuclear power plant where she worked,” showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg told EW.
“All that contaminated blood on Alicia definitely puts her in a lot of risk and danger. That’s not to say that it will put her at the same level of exposure as the people from the plant, or even Grace, but it’s definitely cause for concern.”
The executive producers added the moment is “significant” when considering Alicia’s emotional journey up through this first half of Season 5.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Alicia go toe-to-toe with walkers contaminated with nuclear radiation. We saw her do it at the crash site in 502 when she and Morgan were looking for Al,” they said.
“Alicia’s story this season has been about being a protector for the group and the lengths she will go to protect the people she loves — even if it puts her own life at risk. The difference in Alicia in 502 and in 507 is she heeded Morgan’s advice. She put herself out there and made herself emotionally available and vulnerable. Which is what she had to do to get the kids to trust her and leave the treehouse.
“We’ve witnessed how she’s grown and evolved beyond her role as protector. She’s made real human connections with the people around her. It makes the moment when she sees the dosimeter around the neck of the walker all the more devastating.”
They continued with a potentially hopeful tease, adding, “So the question becomes if Alicia survives, how will her role as protector of the group evolve?”
Fear the Walking Dead airs its mid-season finale Sunday, July 21 at 9/8c on AMC. Debnam-Carey will first appear at San Diego Comic-Con alongside her Fear co-stars Friday, July 19.