The ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ cast talks power struggles at Comic-Con

“I’ve done some God-awful shit in the name of family,” Kim Dickens’s character, Madison, says in the new trailer for Fear the Walking Dead’s second half of Season 3. The trailer dropped at San Diego Comic-Con 2017, and Dickens, Colman Domingo (Victor Strand), Mercedes Mason (Ofelia), Michael Greyeyes (Qaletqa Walker), Frank Dillane (Nick), Alycia Debnam-Carey (Alicia), Dayton Callie (Jeremiah), Sam Underwood (Jake), Daniel Sharman (Troy), and showrunner David Erickson attended a press conference to talk about what fans can expect when the show returns.

The enemy of my enemy…

With an uneasy truce brewing between the Nation and the Otto Ranch following Jeremiah’s death, the camp’s inhabitants aren’t just trying to figure out how to live, but how to live together. Considering Troy and Nick want guns to protect themselves from the perceived enemy within the walls, that pact may not last long — especially if the water runs out.

“Thematically, one of the things Season 3 is about is resources and appropriation of resources and land and specifically reappropriation,” said Erickson. “Another theme is building and rebuilding civilization.”

The civilization that emerges might not be what they’re used to, though. “I would describe this world as the re-emergence of feudalism,” said Greyeyes. “This is a world in which all the old rules are broken, because this is the end of the world. And what emerges is actually sort of our most base instincts. How do we survive?” Even if the leaders that step aren’t perfect (or even brutal), he suggests that people will still have to rally around them.

Not everyone wants the power, though. “I think that Jake is not assuming that he wants to lead or be a leader,” said Underwood. When it comes to Troy’s “border, militia, prepper mindset” and constitutional lawyer Jake, who thinks society needs democracy, we’ll continue to see a “beautiful clash of ideals” throughout the season, he said. Meanwhile, Troy is harboring suspicions about his father’s death and starts to investigate. As for whether he’ll step into his father’s shoes, that’s unclear. “Troy’s got a vast number of things he’s working out, who he is as a person and if power is what he really wanted or whether it’s about love,” said Sharman.

Madison has always been a fierce protector, but the net that encircles those under her care may widen now that the Jeremiah is gone, Dickens said at the panel. “She’s definitely become more of a merciless character,” she said. “In the beginning she’s obviously, probably a merciless high school counselor. But she was really beholden to her morality and her compassion, and by Season 3, I think she’s realized the currency is more brutality.”

Since there have been hints about a crossover with The Walking Dead, we could learn even more about Madison’s past. “I think Madison’s probably — might be — related to Dixon,” said Dickens. 

Come together

“This season the intention was to slowly blend everybody back together, which is always challenging when you have three, four different storylines,” said Erickson. “What would be lovely would be to start to see these people get back together.” Though Rubén Blades wasn’t at the press conference, his character, Daniel Salazar, did come up when Mason talked about how much stronger Ofelia is now. “The beauty of it is how much more like her father she is becoming and now that we know Daniel is alive, I love the concept of them getting closer to each other and how they’re going to fare and how they’re going to recognize each other when they finally meet again,” she said.

One reunion we got a glimpse of in the trailer is Madison and Victor. “It’s a really creative and surprising way that they reunite in a really amazing location — one of my favorite places that we shot, and we’ll see that in the second half of the season,” said Dickens. “And we’re up to our old hijinks.”

Fear the Walking Dead returns September 10 on AMC. For the latest Comic-Con news, check out our SDCC 2017 coverage.