How Fear The Walking Dead Is Ramping Up The Zombie Action In Season 3

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Spoilers below for Fear the Walking Dead's latest episode, so be sure to watch "La Serpiente" before reading on.

Tonight's Fear the Walking Dead episode was far removed from all the hectic events of the double-episode midseason premiere, and "La Serpiente" focused almost entirely on Strand, Madison and Walker's attempts to secure a shitload of water for the Ranch. CinemaBlend spoke with showrunner Dave Erickson recently, and after he remarked how this was as close as Fear the Walking Dead has gotten to a happy ending, I asked what things would be like after this trio returned "home," and he said even though the in-fighting may be stalled, the zombie threat is going to get a lot more prevalent.

I think when we leave them on the ranch, it feels like they've reached some balance between the two sides. In a perfect world, we can have a sense that things are going to be better between the Nation and ranchers. We'll see very quickly what happens when we get back. One of the things we start to see as we come back is they don't have the manpower they once did, they can't do the patrols that they once did, and water being lacking, and the cattle out on the plains. You're seeing a greater presence of the dead. And that's something that, the ranch, they never really had to deal with that. For many people who were living on the ranch, who came during the onset, they haven't even experienced the dead to a very large degree. They've been quite insulated from it. So you're gonna start to see that reality, that apocalyptic reality start to creep back in, and creep into the ranch, and that's gonna become a greater threat. So things may be locked in in their relationships, and they may be better interpersonally, but I think the threat from outside is about to get a lot greater. So by the time Madison makes it back to the ranch, we're going to see a much darker version of that place.

We saw a little bit of how that was going during the midseason premiere, with Troy, Nick and others eliminating walkers -- with Nick once again getting covered in blood, similar to his walker-sympathizing stint. But those doing the eliminating were the people most capable of doing so. There are a lot of people in the Ranch that wouldn't be worth squat if the area was overrun by zombies -- and it sounds like just such an ordeal might go down next week and/or beyond. Especially if Madison will be returning to such shambling madness after tonight's bottle-esque episode.

Luckily for all, the Clark family is more than capable of putting the dead down for the count, and Strand is also a resident pro where those threats are concerned. If only Daniel would have gone back with them, rather than Madison having to go back to the Dam with Ofelia, then everyone would have even more help on offense. Though that's assuming both that Ofelia survives long enough to make it to that reunion -- she almost definitely will -- and that the Dam won't also be overrun by walkers in the very near future.

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When talking with Dave Erickson about "La Serpiente," I complimented that groovily disgusting tunnel walker that Madison & Co. ran into while making their way under the surface, and then asked if that was the kind of walker we could expect more of in the back half of Season 3. In his words:

We're gonna go to a much bloodier and much more zombi-centric place than we've been in quite some time. So that gag, I think, was particularly cool; KNB and Greg Nicotero, they did an excellent job with the bloated water zombie. We may not have as many gross-out moments like that, but we'll definitely have a much stronger zombie presence moving into the end of the season.

Even if there aren't as many gross-out moments like that, we'll hopefully still get another small handful, because as Dave Erickson said, Greg Nicotero and his company KNB EFX Group can always be depended on to deliver some of the best and most grimace-worthy horror effects on TV. And even if the zombies themselves aren't the grossest part, there are several human characters whose bodies I wouldn't mind seeing go to pieces due to hungry, hungry walkers.

Stay tuned to CinemaBlend to see what else Dave Erickson had to tell us about the rest of the season, and be sure to watch Fear the Walking Dead every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. And to see everything else that's hitting the small screen soon -- both shows with zombies and shows without them -- head to our fall premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.