The back half of Fear The Walking Dead Season Four will explore the philosophy of "hope and optimism" left behind by Madison (Kim Dickens), who perished in the mid-season finale.
"The first half of this season was really about a philosophy that Madison had come to live by and to instill in everyone around her. We saw in 408 just how much that philosophy meant to her, that she was willing to sacrifice her life," co-showrunner Ian Goldberg told SYFY.
"The back half of this season is going to be about how that sacrifice and how that philosophy continues forward with the people who survived her. This legacy of hope and optimism and light in an often bleak world. It's not always going to be easy. There will be constant challenges to keeping that philosophy going, but it's something that our characters are going to be very committed to doing."
The rebooted Madison adopted this new benevolent philosophy after a chance encounter with Althea (Maggie Grace), who inspired Madison to establish the Dell Diamond baseball stadium community.
Asked who will step up as new leader of the pack in the wake of Madison's death, co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss said this new eight-episode run will see "all of our characters asking themselves that question."
"'What do we do to move forward? Who are we to each other? How can we come back from all these really dark things we did?' We really view this as an ensemble show, and we're going to be telling stories throughout the back half of the season that will focus on different characters grappling with those existential questions in different ways, against the backdrop of a storm that makes asking those questions all the more difficult for them," Chambliss said.
"It's really going to be finding all these characters who, at the end of the midseason finale, were sitting around a campfire, seemingly together, really asking themselves what is it that holds them together now that they've put revenge behind them, now that they no longer have Madison as the leader of the stadium. It's really asking all those questions and seeing that drama play out on screen."
As confirmed by Sunday's mid-season premiere, Morgan actor Lennie James is now the first-billed actor on the series.
"It was a way of exploring the character on a speed and a level that isn't possible on The Walking Dead, because there's so many characters. And it was an opportunity to get a little bit more Morgan-focused in a way that could happen on The Walking Dead, but it would've just taken a lot longer," James said this weekend at Comic Con Honolulu, explaining Morgan's jump to Fear was "a way of exploring him a little bit more before he finishes."
Fear The Walking Dead Season Four airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.