*Spoilers below for the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead, so be sure to watch before reading on. *
Fear the Walking Dead's timeline shenanigans have been the best kind of interesting, since the showrunners don't seem to be wholly invested in arbitrarily keeping every single plot element cloaked in mystery. That was truly evidenced in Episode 4, which made the crazy reveal that Jenna Elfman's skittish Naomi is actually the Laura that Garret Dillahunt's John has been eager to track down, and that she likely didn't survive whatever went down at the Diamond. But as it turns out, perhaps all is not lost, as hinted at by co-showrunner Ian Goldberg.
You know, they were 'at the stadium,' and they said she didn't make it out. But there's still more of the story to be told.
To be fair, Ian Goldberg isn't confirming that Naomi/Laura is currently so alive that she can barely stand it, so we shouldn't expect for small screen miracles to happen here. But as it usually goes with drama TV dialogue, the way things are worded is key. As such, Alicia's claim that Naomi didn't make it out of the stadium isn't 100% declaring that she died there. It's certainly possible that, assuming the Vultures eventually moved in on the Diamond survivors at their weakest, Naomi was forced to stay with the villains due to her medical background. Or that she might have even chosen to stay behind.
We still clearly have no clue what Naomi's full thoughts on John were, though we got a bigger sense of their connection during the moment when she brought out her gun, which is the same as the one that John has. Admittedly, because Naomi's bag was with the others' stuff, and not in Naomi's possession, her fate ie definitely being considered with pragmatism here as we wait to see where the story goes next. The next page in Naomi's story will apparently be juxtaposed with the next page of Madison's story, meaning we might finally find out what happened to the no-nonsense matriarch. As co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss put it to EW:
Yes. There will be more of Madison's story un-spun just as we get more of Naomi's story at the stadium. And, like Ian said, people are just gonna have to wait and see it unfold as we tell it.
Strange as it may be to say it, Fear the Walking Dead wouldn't be so out of place for dropping another series regular's death the week after we watched O.G. survivor Nick Clark get killed off by that little bastard Vulture Charlie. Since there's still so much story from the past timelines to get through, there aren't worries about not seeing Nick and Naomi again during the season, which adds an interesting flavor to the mix.
The episode "Buried" was largely told through three different perspectives, with Alicia, Strand and Lucy all saying that one fateful day was the reason everything went to shit at the Diamond, and everyone's biggest lapse in judgment was that they were being too hopeful and trying to do the "right" thing. And showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss very much wanted to fit the Naomi/Laura reveal into this episode to reflect that. According to Chambliss:
The reason we chose this episode to reveal that Naomi is in fact Laura was because it just seemed, schematically, to fit in with the stories that we were telling with Strand, with Luciana, with Alicia. Those are all stories about people having hope and then seeing that hope dashed. And the dangers of having hope. After we've heard all these stories about how they really blame the fact that they had hope on their downfall, we wanted to put that on its feet and show that with a character who we have seen have more hope than anyone else on the show, and that's John Dorie. It just seemed like that was the right time to reveal the truth about the John Dorie connection to Laura, who's really Naomi. I think, for us, it was a very heartbreaking moment when he hears that news in regard to that little bit of a flash in the dugout where we see that Naomi actually had something with her that's quite personal.
While Naomi hasn't really done a lot to convince us that she needs to stick around as a living being, I'm still very curious to see what happened to her, since running away has been her go-to survival response each time we've seen her. Maybe Madison can talk some sense into her, assuming Madison is still breathing and able to offer verbal advice.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when other new and returning shows will be hitting primetime soon, head to our summer premiere schedule.