It’s nearly the end of the line for Grace (Karen David), the former power plant worker whose exposure to high levels of radiation has imposed a quickly approaching expiration date on her time with Fear the Walking Dead. As her already fragile condition begins to worsen, Grace’s death is a matter of “when,” not “if”: but will it come in Season 5, or will she make it to Season 6?
“I think it’s so befitting that, of course, we see her symptoms starting to kick up, because they want everyone to see the season finale [laughs]. I mean, look, it’s been quite the journey with Grace, because as soon as she entered this season, everyone knew, she made it very clear that ‘I’ve been exposed to obscene amounts of radiation, that it is definite, there is going to be an expiration date soon,’” David told Decider. “She knew the clock was ticking, and she came to terms with it. She said, ‘I know I’m going to die, I don’t know when, but it could come up at any point.’”
She continued: “I mean, if we’ve seen anything from examples like Chernobyl, a lot of people that were there during that period developed massive side effects from all the radiation there, but some of it happened immediately, some of it took two to five years to form. So with her, she doesn’t know when that day is coming, so for her to even to take that step of trying to be a little bit naive to think that, ‘Okay, it might not be this week, it could be weeks from now,’ she’s trying. She’s trying, and maybe that obviously, it’s naiveté, and it’s her vulnerability that’s showing. But that’s a wonderful thing because she’s opening up more, we’re getting to learn more about Grace. She’s talking more, which is all good for the healing process in her journey, her redemption.”
Grace’s situation is both alleviated and worse by the bonds she’s since formed with Morgan (Lennie James) — who has struggled with his growing closeness with Grace, the result of an avoidance to fully moving on from the deaths of his wife and son — and Daniel (Rubén Blades), who has taken a fatherly approach with Grace following the Season 3 death of daughter Ofelia (Mercedes Mason).
“It’s one of those things that, one minute you can be okay and then when the symptoms come and they hit you, the next minute she’s in that state, where you think ‘Now it’s really starting to kick in.’ It’s very tough for her, because she obviously cares about Morgan a lot,” David said. “Before, it was just her on her own, and she just felt like she didn’t have anything worth living for beyond today. Her main thing was to clean up the mess that she felt heavily responsible for, and as long as she could do that and make sure that she informed and told people about what she did, and to make sure that those problems aren’t repeated again, those mistakes aren’t repeated again, that was her main focus.”
“But now she’s come to know and grow with this group, and she’s made some dear friends, especially Morgan,” she continued. “I think now, she’s invested more, certainly, emotionally, which she’s never allowed herself to do before, so I feel like now she’s kind of in a little bit of a state of emotional chaos in her mind, because before it seemed to be easier for her to let go and to accept her fate, but now it’s much more challenging because she’s met someone like Morgan and this wonderful group of people, which is giving her a sense to want to live for something beyond today.”
And in the Season 5 finale, perhaps appropriately titled “End of the Line,” Grace’s limited time with her new family may finally run out.
“My mum was watching the [‘Today and Tomorrow’] screener with me, and she started getting really teary and crying because she thought, ‘No, this can’t be it.’ But I said, ‘Mum, no, this is her reality, this is what we all know is coming, and just unfortunately now it seems like those symptoms are kicking more and truly in now.’ And she’s like ‘But I’m not ready!’ And that’s kind of how I feel right now, I’m like, ‘Oh no, I’m not ready,’” David admitted. “But I think now, more than ever, Grace has just got to live in the moment and enjoy the time that she has with the people she now cares about. And hopefully Morgan will make it back in time for her to see him, at least one more time.”