Heading into Sunday’s freshman finale of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, Travis — Cliff Curtis’ male lead — has proven anything but adept at adapting to the new world order.
During the penultimate episode of the season, the National Guard gave Travis the opportunity to prove that he had what it took to do their job when they armed him with a long-distance rifle and set its sights on a waitress who had turned. Travis, an English teacher by trade, was unable to pull the trigger.
“Travis does believe in the good of people. He does believe that things can be made better and part of the season is, yes, breaking him down,” showrunner Dave Erickson tells The Hollywood Reporter. “It’s getting him to a place where he finally comes to terms with the fact that this world has changed in a way that he has a hard time identifying with. It doesn’t mean that he won’t be able to figure it out.”
What’s more, he’s not fond of Daniel’s (Ruben Blades) torture methods for obtaining information about their family members — or the fact that Madison (Kim Dickens) is OK with it.
So should Fear kill off its male lead? Considering that Madison and her blended family are likely to be forced from their home and out onto the road now that the military has given the “Cobalt” order to evacuate the L.A. basin, removing Travis from the equation would help to further distinguish Fear from the flagship Walking Dead and set up an even more compelling sophomore season.
“At the beginning of the show, you’ve got a few people who do love each other and care about each other very deeply. What happens when the apocalypse hits and they have the divergent views on how to deal with it? How do they see each other? It’s interesting and it’s also not something I want to necessarily see end terribly soon,” Erickson added when asked if Travis had what it took to survive the season. “It doesn’t mean that either with Madison’s help — or of his own volition and a need to protect his family — that Travis won’t be able to step up and become somebody else.”
For her part, Dickens said former guidance counselor Madison — a widowed mother of two before she began dating her colleague — would be “devastated” if Travis were to be killed off.
“He’s her rock. She’d definitely have to be a strong single mother, adaptable and pragmatic, but for the first time in a long time she has found true love again, she’s found somebody she can rely on,” Dickens tells THR. “He’s a strong man who has her back that really loves her and loves her kids and is willing to take on something that’s not a perfect situation. The devastation would be tremendous for her.”
Adds Curtis: “I’m refreshed by the idea that Travis is not a violent man. Violence is not his go-to; it’s not his default and it’s not where he goes to and it’s a good thing. But I think that’s a very strong set up. I’m down with [having a single woman at the center of the series grieving for her husband]. I think that’s kind of cool. I wouldn’t have a problem with that.”
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