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Fear the Walking Dead showrunner says a reckoning is imminent

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SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you’ve already watched Sunday’s “Pillar of Salt” episode of Fear the Walking Dead.

The gang is still all separated…but for how long? We saw the first steps of some possible reunions on Sunday’s Fear the Walking Dead. While obtaining medical supplies for a stabbed Strand, Mama Clark heard someone describing Nick and knows he’s close. She turned on the hotel power in hopes of drawing him to her, but it may be bringing Travis (and possibly Chris?) instead.

Meanwhile, Marco has found the Colonia, meaning a confrontation appears imminent there, and Ofelia is making her way back to U.S. to find a former flame. Suffice it to say there is a lot to digest from this latest installment, so we went to showrunner Dave Erickson for answers.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: We start off with Francisco sneaking out of the Colonia with his family. Is this because his daughter is sick and he doesn’t want to watch her become part of the zombie wall?

DAVE ERICKSON: That would have been a much better pitch, but actually it stems more from the fact that the Colonia is slowly degrading and more people are getting sick, and the challenge of procuring water is becoming more and more daunting, and Francisco is one of the scouts and he’s a loyalist. He’s somebody who’s very close to Alejandro, and once believed in this community. He’s also a guy that goes outside of the fence, and he knows that there might be other places where they could start over. So I think his abandoning the Colonia is just a question of his fear that the Colonia is going to start to fail, and the fact that he abandons it is a big blow for Luciana and Alejandro.

Let’s get into the Ofelia stuff. We see her taking off in the truck and learn more about her past through flashbacks and eventually see her heading back towards the United States. What’s going on here with her and what is she hoping to find back in the U.S?

She’s being led blindly by hope. Ofelia is someone who really gave up the better part of her life taking care of her parents, and then she found out in season 1 that her dad was not who she thought he was, and now by the time we get to this episode, she’s lost her mother, she’s lost her father, and she’s at a place right now where she doesn’t think there’s much time left. She doesn’t think they’re going to make it. And she’s found herself with a group of people who aren’t her family. As much as I think Alicia wants to embrace her and bring her into this Manawa/Clark clan, Ofelia recognizes the fact that they’re not blood, and I think what she does in this blind leap of faith is she tries to get something back that mattered to her before the apocalypse.

So she’s literally making a run for the border, and her hope is she’s going to try to get back to this man that she lost, and ultimately there will be some detours before she gets there, but she’s really following the last good thing she thinks she has in the world, and frankly I think she’d rather die trying to do that than just wait in the hotel until the end comes.

So Strand thought he was doing the others a favor by finishing off Jessica the zombie bride, but then Ilene, the bride’s mother decides to stab Strand in the gut as a thank you. That puts Madison in a pretty tricky diplomatic position in terms of how to deal with that and maintain the peace, doesn’t it?

It does absolutely, and it’s an interesting episode for Madison because it’s a little bit one step forward, two steps back. But she takes it on as a leader and as an opportunity to lead. She defines one of the rules for the hotel, that violence is not acceptable, and if you commit violence you need be dealt with in some way, shape, or form. And that’s something that may come back and haunt her down the road, but she has to walk a very fine line. I think Ilene has clearly lost her way. I mean, she watched her husband die and turn, then she watched her husband bite and kill her daughter.

So she’s not in a good frame of mind, and then she and Oscar were protecting Jessica and trying to keep the zombie bride away from the purge of the zombies last week. When Strand went in and took care of Jessica, it was a way for him to deal with his own grief over the loss of Thomas, and for Oscar, it was a mercy. I think Ilene’s not seeing it that way, clearly.

And it puts a great burden on Madison because now she has to figure out how to balance this sort of tenuous alliance that they have between the guests of the hotel and the rest of the crew. It’s a precarious position for her, and it’s going to pay off later on.

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We see Alicia throughout the episode having conversations with various people about her brother and mother and feeling neglected, and then she finally confronts Madison about it, saying “I am your child” and “I never changed my mind. I’m here. Why isn’t that enough?” Does this talk change anything in terms of Madison and her approach to her two children?

It does, and I think we’ll see that play out over the next couple few episodes. But yeah, Alicia has a very intimate scene with Strand. She’s taking care of him, and he sort of points her in the right direction, but in some respects she’s stating the obvious, which is she’s trying to understand, Why you have paid so much attention to my addict brother? He doesn’t want to be with us. He’s abandoned us, it seems permanently, and you still hold on. And that confrontation will lead to resolution in the upcoming episodes where Madison will give Alicia a better sense of what the context is and why Madison’s devotion to her brother seems to supersede her devotion to her daughter.

Madison is turning that generator hoping it will draw her son to her. Instead, Travis sees it and begins walking towards it in the final shot. But is he alone, Dave?

That is the mystery to be resolved. We’ll find out in episode 13.

It also appears that Marco from the supermarket cartel has found the Colonia. Safe to say a confrontation is somewhat imminent?

A confrontation is imminent, yeah. We’ve established the Colonia as something of a fortress. There’s only one way in, one way out. And for a guy like Marco, who’s been living by his wits and always has been and he’s surrounded by enemies and exposed, it might be a value to him in having something of a fortress at elevation that he doesn’t look down on what surrounds himself. So yeah, I think there’s going to be a final clash between Marco and his folks, and then Nick and specifically Alejandro down the road.

What else can you tell us about what’s coming up next on Fear the Walking Dead? We’ve got Travis trying to make his way to that hotel. We’ve a face-off at the Colonia coming. What else can you say?

We’re going to see a bit of a structural adjustment in terms of the narrative in the next episode. The questions you just asked — I mean, you’re right in that we don’t see Chris in that frame when Travis arrives outside of the hotel, so we’ll get an answer for that, and then ultimately we are building towards something a bit more cataclysmic. I think the two forces that Marco represents and Alejandro represents will have a reckoning.

For more Fear the Walking Dead scoop, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.