Alycia Debnam-Carey is wasted on this show.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 8 was the deep-dive we've been waiting all season long for into what happened to Alicia after the nuclear bombs exploded, but it was an anticlimactic non-event.
When your most popular character disappears for half a season, you need to bring them back in a blaze of glory, but all we got was more torment for Alicia.
Seriously, she's the only person still on the show since Fear the Walking Dead Season 1 Episode 1, and she deserves much better storylines than being bitten by a walker, thinking a walker is leading her to Padre and finding out that the person she trusted murdered her love interest.
Alicia declaring war on Strand was a pivotal moment because the promotional material has broadly hinted at this war between Strand and Morgan, but having Strand and Alicia going against one another should switch things up.
Emphasis on should. Fear the Walking Dead tends to play on the illogical side of things, and that was perfectly highlighted when Alicia felt the walker was leading her to Padre.
For an episode titled "Padre," you would think we would get the characters, you know, to arrive there and investigate what is supposedly a safe haven, but not on this show.
I'm all for watching the desperate battle to survive, but the show has seriously gone off the rails, and there's no telling whether things will improve before the end of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7.
Alicia: I didn't amputate my arm in time. The infection is still inside of me. My body's trying to fight it, and it's only a matter of time before I lose.
Morgan: I'll have June take a look. She'll give you some antibiotics.
Alicia: I've tried all that. Nothing stopped it. That's why I can't help you, Morgan. I can't be the person you need me to be. I don't know how much longer I have left.
Alicia being bitten and cutting her arm off following the blast was harrowing. Watching her desperation as she realized her life could be ending had me on the edge of my seat because Debnam-Carey's impressive performance was so freaking good.
Had we watched this scene, and the creative forces omitted her getting bitten in the present, it would have been much more powerful. Another significant issue is that Alicia could have taken the teeth out of the zombie she was so adamant about following.
Who knows, maybe being bitten has changed Alicia in some way in that she has certain abilities. Either that or the fever from the bite made her make some rash decisions.
Alicia thinking she's dying is something different altogether, however. She was already exposed to radiation on Fear the Walking Dead Season 5, but it is far too soon for her to be feeling any effects.
Strand: Well, I see that you found her.
Morgan: I did, and you were right, Victor. She really didn't want to see you.
There has to be a reason for this storyline, and given that they're putting the most popular character through the wringer, there will have to be a considerable payoff.
Alicia could be dying, but something tells me both she and Strand will die fighting each other, and the rest of the characters will be split across a new location.
Killing off Alicia and Strand in the same season would be a ballsy move, but it's hard not to think there will be another creative reset with Fear the Walking Dead Season 8.
The nuclear apocalypse was supposed to be a new beginning for the show, but it feels more like the final act of a wider arc, and the show has not utilized the wasteland in a way that feels necessary to continue with it.
My theory for the more significant meaning behind Alicia's bite and survival is that she's somehow immune to bites. It would be very Last of Us, but it would give this character a huge purpose she should have been given seasons ago.
The Morgan and Strand of it all were frustrating. The show did a great job of reinventing Morgan on Fear the Walking Dead Season 6, and the only notable thing he's done this season is to try killing Strand.
He didn't even do an excellent job of it. There is so much wasted potential here that it wouldn't be a shocker if Lennie James exited the show to focus on other projects.
Strand is a decent enough villain, but he needs to be more ruthless toward the characters we know and love to fully drive home the fact that he is, you know, a villain.
Alicia, I'm sorry. I didn't know you were with him. Don't do it.Strand
Another big issue is the Will of it all. How freaking stupid was it to assume that Will's corpse would miraculously pop up in those final scenes?
It would have been way more impactful if Strand kept the zombified version of Alicia's lover in the Tower to show her how much he's turned into this villain.
As things stand, it's hard to be excited about the second half of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7.
The show did a lot of good on Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 to bring the show back from the doldrums, but it has all been squandered this season with uneven storytelling.
Morgan: You are going to get us killed.
Man: Hey, stop. Move again and I will shoot you.
Alicia: What do you think they're going to do?
Many of the characters who were once at the forefront have been relegated to the sidelines. Luciana and Daniel might as well be billed extras at this stage.
The only way of genuinely salvaging the show is to bring someone like Angela Kang into the mix or someone new entirely.
We need a creative overhaul behind the scenes to solidify the future of Fear the Walking Dead.
What are your thoughts on Alicia's supposed imminent death?
Are you surprised she declared war on Strand?
What's your take on the direction of the show?
Hit the comments below.
Remember, you can watch Fear the Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic.
Fear the Walking Dead returns in 2022.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.