'Fear the Walking Dead' Has Already Killed Off Naomi, Unless It Hasn't
Fear the Walking Dead is keeping secrets. In this week’s episode, “Buried,” AMC’s spin-off zombie series uses a confusing, nonlinear flashback structure to reveal one major character in its rebooted Season 4 has been dead the whole time. And just a week after killing off Nick, too! The shocking reveal begs the question: What else is Fear the Walking Dead keeping from its audience?
In “Buried,” Althea (Maggie Grace) continues to chronicle survivors’ stories, and this time, it’s Victor (Colman Domingo), Luciana (Danai Garcia), and Alicia’s (Alycia Debnam-Carey) turn. The episode ultimately reveals that newcomer Naomi (Jenna Elfman) is already dead, with Luci explaining she failed to make it out of Dell Diamond when it fell. This breaks the heart of John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt), who reveals a shared history with Naomi that will be explored in-depth in next week’s episode.
“Buried” feels like a Walking Dead version of Arrow as it tells three separate flashback stories with three separate groups. Luci and the late Nick (Frank Dillane — again, flashbacks) scavenge for books only to discover a map that somehow leads to Nick’s death. Victor struggles whether or not to keep a hidden stash of food for himself, which would be good for a month, or to give it to the many mouths in the stadium, where it’d be gone in a day. And Alicia and Naomi (Jenna Elfman) collect supplies in an abandoned theme park, which housed another failed community.
“Buried” is all about one important thing in any Walking Dead story: Community. But “Buried” is about how a community can fail. The episode follows the three Fear mainstays telling recent tales of supply runs, which we’re led to believe takes place just before the complete downfall of the Diamond. All we know still is that the Vultures had something to do with it, and that Victor, Luci, and Alicia inadvertently contributed to the end.
Fear continues to be maddeningly ambiguous on some pretty important things about its season. Is Naomi actually dead? We have no reason to believe otherwise, other than a typical plot twist which plagues most Walking Dead storylines. The real question is if Madison (Kim Dickens) is actually dead, and this week’s Fear continues to stoke the flames of this theory. Note that Madison wore blue when confronting the Vultures — an ominous color that also killed Nick last week.
The end of “Buried” shows that John and Morgan (Lennie James), who takes a far backseat in this episode, stay behind on a dirt road while Althea drives the rest of the gang in her armored truck. Next week, we’ll see just how John and Naomi got to be so acquainted. Prepare for more surprises if Fear the Walking Dead keeps going back in time.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC.