Fear the Walking Dead is returning with a lot of pressure riding on its third season. The AMC series which serves as the younger sibling to the most popular kid in school, The Walking Dead, is aiming to make a name for itself with the next batch of episodes. With ratings having dropped over 60% from the series premiere to the surprisingly compelling Season 2 finale, it isn't "now or never" for the series which has already been renewed for a fourth season but the series is acting like it is.
In Fear the Walking Dead's Season 2 finale, the group remained fractured. Nick had brought his new family from La Colonia to the American border, accidentally leading them to a slaughter, while his biological family of Madison and Alicia continued an avid search for him, along with stephfather Travis. Picking up in the moments where Season 2 left off, Fear's third season quickly addresses the fate of each character involved with the cliffhanger moments.
With its first episode back, Fear the Walking Dead goes right where fans of the Dead universe want it to: the government, the army, and lots of zombies. Now that the family drama is out of the way and the characters have been fully established, their post-apocalyptic relationships can be explored with action sequences and villains. Season 3 is bringing both in abundant amounts.
This all causes the groups' reunion to be an unpleasant one. Madison finally reuniting with her son is not exactly what she had hoped for, thanks to certain members of the newly introduced Otto family -- while others try to help make it more pleasant, which is brightspot of the new storyline.
Introducing villains in a series existing in the Dead world can easily feel redundant. Having watched Rick Grimes of The Walking Dead take on the Governor, Gareth of Terminus, and now Negan, the sense of danger for core characters can begin to fade after half a dozen villains are toppled. Fear's new baddie (who will turn out to be one of a few) has several shades of the Governor. However, it's the dynamic within his own family which makes the new characters intriguing. Not only does the audience understand his villainy but the characters around him see the threat as well, forcing them to the difficult place of deciding how to handle a maniac within their own family.
By the time the first pair of episodes in Season 3 has aired, it's not the new characters which fans will be talking about. Instead, it's going to be the absolutely shocking moments Fear the Walking Dead is throwing at its audience upon return. One after another, a series of truly unbelievable sequences will unravel as key characters on the series drastically reshape the landscape of the series.
Now weeks (maybe a month) into the apocaylpse, the characters are finally equipped to take on the undead. They are in that stage of knowing what needs to be done, sometimes better than those around them, but also having a hard time accepting all of the death and difficult decisions.
The most impressive change comes in Alicia. While Nick is eager to keep moving, he always has been. Madison still just wants to keep her kids safe, but now claims she will kill to do it. Alicia, on the other hand, started as a defenseless teenage girl, mourning her high school boyfriend and making decisions which put the group in danger. This time around, a stark contrast can be seen between Alicia of previous seasons and Alicia of Season 3. During a sequence which sees her with newcomer Jake Otto, who dresses and carries himself as a soldier, it's Alicia who plays the hero, knowing and doing what needs to be done in order to survive. It's a refreshing collection of moments which set the young character played by a fan-favorite actress up to emerge as a leader.
Fans will hope to see more of Alicia and less of her mother as the character growth and acting from Debnam-Carey's character are equally more compelling than that of Kim Dickens' Madison role.
Through its first few episodes, Fear the Walking Dead has completely reinvented itself. In its first hour back, the series looks to be simply adding another few hours of zombie drama to the collection. Once the series leaves its temporary home on a military base beginning with the second hour, it never looks back. New characters, shocking moments, and intriguing growth build on the momentum provided by the concluding moments of Season 2, expanding on the world of the Dead in a much more groundbreaking manner than previous seasons.