Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 8, “Padre,” was one of the better episodes of this season. However, as with most of the episodes, there were still quite a few moments when characters acted very “out of character.” As a standalone episode, if you weren’t familiar with the characters’ histories or thinking about that too much, it was definitely enjoyable. This was likely in part due to what a great actor Alycia Debnam-Carey is and how well she can portray any storyline sent her way. The episode worked well as a mid-season finale, leaving viewers with a lot of questions to ponder until the show returns.
This article is a Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 8 review of “Padre,” based on watching the episode as it aired on AMC+. There will be MAJOR episode spoilers.
Viewers Aren’t Happy About Alicia’s Goal in This Episode
The crux of the newest episode of Fear the Walking Dead was Alicia’s near-manic desire to find Padre. For quite a few seasons now, her character has been carrying a lot of guilt. Now she’s taken on even more guilt and it’s led her to act irrationally in her fervent desire to find salvation in the mysterious Padre location.
A lot of viewers who watched the early access episode on AMC+ have expressed anger over Alicia’s characterization in this episode. For no logical reason at all, she suddenly decided that walkers must have remnants of their older personalities and memories inside them after all. And this irrational decision led her to follow a zombie to the point of nearly dying, believing it would lead her to Padre.
I really can’t blame people for being upset about this. We’ve already seen many other characters act “out of character” this season or just lose their minds completely. Strand is now a caricature of his former self from previous seasons. Morgan is making a lot of really silly decisions when it comes to handling the radiation. (And he already went through a crazy “clear” phase himself in the main series.) Daniel is experiencing some form of dementia that hasn’t been explored much this season. And now Alicia is losing her mind too.
If we look hard at the world these characters are living in, it’s not surprising that many would buckle under the pressure. But seeing Alicia among them is tough. I wanted her to rise from the ashes in a strength only seen in her previous character, Lexa, from The 100. But instead, this episode focused on her following a zombie around, believing he would somehow lead them to Padre.
This was illogical for a number of reasons. First, in her own personal experience, she’s never seen a shadow of memory in any of the zombies that she’s been around. Second, when this Congressman had been alive, he had never even been to Padre himself! He knew where it was on a map, so there’s no reason to believe that his zombie brain would somehow instinctively know how to get to Padre on foot. This is a completely different situation than Morgan’s wife returning home in her zombie form.
Morgan & Alicia’s Conversation about Zombie Memories Was a Wonderful Callback to TWD’s First Season
This does bring me to one point of the episode that I really did enjoy — the conversation between Morgan and Alicia about zombies still having remnants of their old memories. I loved how they had Morgan call back all the way to the first season of The Walking Dead, recalling that he believed this very thing about his wife (back in a season when the former showrunner made the zombies smarter than they are now.) But that belief caused him to not want to kill his zombie wife when he could, and it cost him his son’s life. He can’t put up with these kinds of beliefs any more. The only surprising part was that he didn’t kill that zombie right away.
Alicia Is Probably Misinterpreting Her Symptoms
Alicia is traumatized after losing her hand, not eating for a week, not sleeping for longer than that, and being sick on top of all of that. She’s convinced herself that she was infected by the zombie bite and is now somehow barely hanging on to life. To be clear, nowhere in TWD universe have we had any reason to believe this is possible. Everyone dies within a day or two of a bite if they don’t cut off the body part in time. I think it’s far more likely that Alicia is sick from something else and she’s become delusional. This is also why she’s developed an irrational belief about the zombie’s abilities. (Which the show did later prove was not accurate.)
Meanwhile, we also saw the heartbreaking story of her friendship with Will, and how they developed a close bond even though they only knew each other for a couple of days.
In the end, she came clean to Morgan about what she feels is her impending demise. And she decided to make a deal with Strand after all, allowing for the safety of all of her people. I do believe he was honest when he promised to take care of them.
But then things went off the rails again, in a disappointing way. She saw Will’s zombie body there and asked Strand why he was there. Considering the thousands of zombies that have already been drawn to that location, it seems odd that she would jump to the conclusion that Strand had something do with it. Even odder is that Strand was honest about Will, rather than lying as he’s often done this season. And then even odder was his stated reason for killing Will. Something to the effect of knowing that Will loved Alicia, so he wanted to kill Will and keep Alicia away. (Even though Will had no idea where Alicia was at that point.)
Alicia announces that she’s going to war against Strand. For whatever reason, he chooses not to kill her right then, although he could have done so. A true villain, as they’ve portrayed Strand so far this season, would have done that.
And then the midseason finale ends. It’s never quite clear why Alicia needed Morgan in the first place. She needed his help to … follow the zombie? To kill her if she turned? Why wouldn’t Dwight or Sherry be entrusted to do that, considering that they aren’t even as close to her as Morgan?
In summary, it was an enjoyable episode and Alycia, as always, knocked her role out of the park. But it was also a disappointing episode, since so many storylines and character motivations didn’t really make much sense again.
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