This post contains spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 3 midseason finale, “The Unveiling”/”Children of Wrath.”
These violent delights have violent ends.” That Shakespeare quote may have been appropriated most recently by a certain HBO drama—but on Sunday, Fear the Walking Dead made a case for violent delights of its own. Jeremiah Otto, who had slowly revealed himself to be utterly villainous, is now dead. But his killer may have come as a surprise: although Madison Clark intended to kill the patriarch of Broke Jaw Ranch, it was Nick who pulled the trigger in a surprise twist—using the very same gun Jeremiah had just gifted him. The usually gentle Clark kid is going to pay for this decision, promises showrunner Dave Erickson—and yes, as the violent season premiere indicated, this year will be a bloody one.
Nick’s decision to kill Jeremiah certainly didn’t come out of the blue. He and Alicia, along with Fear’s viewers, just learned their mother’s backstory: Madison killed her own abusive father. So Nick’s decision to kill Jeremiah himself came, at least in part, from his desire to protect his mother from getting more blood on her hands. And as Erickson told The Hollywood Reporter, it’s also characteristic for Nick to side with those Jeremiah has killed, rather than Jeremiah himself.
Still, Nick being Nick, Erickson emphasized that he will struggle to reconcile what he just did as the season’s back half commences.
“There was always a plan for Jeremiah to go away,” Erickson told T.H.R. “What [Nick’s decision] does for us is it redefines Nick and scrambles his psyche. We know Nick is sensitive. He has something of a poet’s soul. . . . Nick is not someone who can say, ‘I put down an evil man for the greater good.’ He feels things far more deeply than that. It’s going to get challenging for him, dealing with the murder. It’ll lead to a new definition in his relationship with Madison.”
The Clarks are in a strange position moving forward. Their party line will be that Jeremiah committed suicide, but in the Walking Dead universe, lies like these tend to stay hidden for only so long—and Jeremiah’s two living sons, Jake and Troy, are likely to find out how their father really died.
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