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Spoiler warning for anyone who isn't caught up with the first two episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 5.
Fear the Walking Dead kicked off its fifth season with a universe-connecting reveal, though it wasn't the first spinoff appearance of Austin Amelio's Dwight, who has yet to arrive. Rather, Al discovered the existence of a group of soldier-esque survivors carrying paperwork with the same three-ring symbol that was seen on the side of the helicopter that took Rick and Jadis away in the first half of The Walking Dead Season 9.
Understandably, the show didn't completely tie up that narrative angle in the season's second episode on Sunday night, which introduced Karen David's Grace, but showrunner Ian Goldberg did offer up a slight tease about the Rick connection that should get fans pumped about the future. With signature obliqueness, Goldberg said:
I think it’ll be very disappointing if we didn’t follow up.
It isn't much, but it was still an important point for Ian Goldberg to make, as it does offer up more "proof" that Al's currently captor(s) is connected in some way to the group that currently has eyes on Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes. After all, it wouldn't have been out of the ordinary for one of Fear's showrunners to say that using the three-ring symbol was just a throwaway gag that didn't have any deeper connective tissue. So any confirmation is a good confirmation.
While we still don't have much of a clue how Fear the Walking Dead will inform fans on Rick's whereabouts in the world, we can at least take comfort in knowing the spinoff will be dropping a few more clues as Season 5 goes on. Or maybe even more than that, depending on where the story is heading. That's a hell of a lot better than having to wait until Season 10 of The Walking Dead arrives or, worse, waiting until AMC's series of Rick-centered features actually get released.
How could that follow-up happen, though? That's the most intriguing question, of course. Will Fear the Walking Dead end up introducing some new community akin to the comic book's Commonwealth? That's widely presumed among comic fans to be where Rick and Jadis were being taken in the flagship drama, though it might make more sense to first mark its existence on Fear, considering its characters' distance from Alexandria and the other communities.
It's likely another clue or two will drop whenever Fear's main characters figure out a better way to track down Maggie Grace's Althea. Will audiences get to actually see one of those uniformed people talking and showing his or her face, or will they remain a silent threat through the season? Also, will any actual information get shared about the supposed group's maps and other paperwork, or will that continue to be left to viewers' imagination for the meantime?
After watching that second episode, one has to wonder just how connected Al's kidnapper is with Karen David's Grace and the nuclear reactor that went radioactive. That person and the now-dead cohort weren't wearing Hazmat suits like Grace was, but they were definitely donning protective gear that had a dedicated purpose. Just...what is that purpose?
Showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg were on hand at the ATX Television Festival over the weekend (via Deadline), where they got to talk about more from the ongoing season, although they weren't giving full-blown explanations about anything else, either. What do you guys think is up with the three-ring symbol connection?