Spoilers for those who aren’t mostly caught up on things happening in Fear the Walking Dead’s seventh season, so be warned!
Given the more limited character scope that Fear the Walking Dead’s showrunners have infused episodes with in recent years, it usually isn’t so surprising when second-tier characters like Dwight and Sarah disappear for temporary stretches. But it remains a bit strange whenever the show’s biggest stars are nowhere to be found for weeks on end. Alycia Debnam-Carey’s Alicia Clark is quite familiar with such absences, and though Season 7 has worked her into the story on a more regular basis, with her survival itself a mystery at this point, it looks like the protagonist could be noticeably absent all over again by the time Season 8 starts up.
It was revealed that Alycia Debnam-Carey has landed a starring role on the upcoming Hulu series Saint X, which recently made other headlines for the production shutting down after workers walked off in protest. The actress is taking over a role that has been vacated by the previously cast Victoria Pedretti, of The Haunting of Hill House fame. According to Deadline, Pedretti exited the in-development project over creative differences.
Alycia Debnam-Carey joins Saint X as the character Emily, who’s described as being savvy and full of ambition, with a life that appears to be as precise and perfect as can be. To be expected, not all that shines is golden, and Emily’s world starts to shatter. In certain aspects, the character isn’t all that far off from Fear the Walking Dead’s Alicia, though Saint X doesn’t take place in a zombified post-apocalypse, and their respective ambitions are on entirely different wavelengths. But the point is, Debnam-Carey will likely be aces in the role.
Now, just because Debnam-Carey landed a new TV show, it doesn’t necessitate the actress leaving Fear the Walking Dead permanently. Colman Domingo’s busy career, which includes the upcoming Color Purple remake is proof that the multi-project life is possible. However, scheduling issues appear likely to cause an issue in this particular case.
Production on Saint X is scheduled to go on throughout the summer, while Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 is reportedly set to start filming in either June or July. So barring some production trickery, fans almost definitely won’t be seeing Alicia around when the new episodes start up again later this year. Which either means the showrunners are going to have to come up with some explanations for how to handle her absence — perhaps she could be temporarily written off in a manner similar to Maggie Grace’s Al — or it means they’ve already killed her off in an episode that’s yet to air this season.
Sadly, the killing-her-off option is as probable as it’s ever been in this show. Having amputated her arm after being bitten by a walker, Alicia seems like she’s living on more borrowed time than most others in this universe (except for maybe Charlie). While it’s admirable that she is attempting to find a stable safe haven for other groups of protagonists, she doesn’t seem destined to make that goal work. And with Kim Dickens returning as Madison Clark in some capacity, the show wouldn’t necessarily need Alicia to still maintain its Clark family roots.
But that’s all just speculation. For all I know, Fear the Walking Dead will pull off a Season 7 finale twist where it’s revealed every character in the show has been a figment of Alicia’s imagination this whole time, and that she’s the only person still alive. I mean, that’s slightly less likely, but still possible.
Based on Alexis Schaitkin’s novel of the same name, Saint X will be a psychological drama whose narrative plays out across various timelines and through various character perspectives. After a young woman dies under mysterious circumstances during a vacation in the Caribbean, a ripple effect forms that affects not only the woman’s surviving sister, but anyone else attempting to learn the truth.
Saint X obviously doesn’t have anything resembling a release date set just yet, but fans can catch Alycia Debnam-Carey in Fear the Walking Dead’s remaining Season 7 episodes, which air Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. Be sure to check out our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see what other new and returning shows are on the way.
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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.