It’s Time for Alicia Clark to Lead on ‘Fear the Walking Dead’
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For a split-second in Fear the Walking Dead‘s Season 6A, it seemed like Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) might’ve been on the verge of breaking off from the group and starting anew. She spoke about taking the series’ teenagers Charlie (Alexa Nisenson) and Dakota (Zoe Colletti) back to the Dell Diamond, and presumably, they would’ve remained there. Then, of course, it didn’t work out — and Alicia went back to the rest of the group and joined Morgan’s (Lennie James) new community. But what if she hadn’t?

We’d like to argue that it’s about time Alicia plays a key role in the leadership side of things, if not going off and starting her own group elsewhere. She’s grown leaps and bounds from the teenager who talked to random strangers over The Abigail’s radio, and she’s proven herself capable of taking charge of a group time and time again. Here’s why we think it’s time for Alicia to lead.

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She’s a Skilled Fighter

Who else could take down an entire pantry filled with walkers, all by themselves? And that was six years earlier than the “present,” in Fear’s timeline! There’s no denying it — Alicia is a fierce warrior. She was excellent with her sleek butterfly knife, and she’s just as good at walker-killin’ (or people-killin’, if need be) with her new weapon. And for a second, she learned how to use a stick like Morgan, too.

Fear the Walking Dead Season 6B

She’s Willing to Sacrifice Herself for Those She Loves

In Season 6 episode “The Holding,” we saw just how far Alicia would go to save the people she cares about — just like her mom, she’s willing to meet a fiery end if it means her pals escape from The End is The Beginning’s compound. And that’s not the first time we’ve seen her do this type of thing: in Season 5, Alicia helped out that group of kids who were building blockades out of walker guts…even though she ended up getting irradiated walker blood in her mouth. (She appears to be fine, so we’re choosing to forget that even happened.)

All the best leaders in the TWD-verse have shown they’ll lay down their lives for their family and friends to survive, and Alicia is no different. She’d drop a flare in a baseball stadium filled with walkers or blow up a bridge with her standing on it to keep walkers from reaching her people.

She’s Grown from Her Mistakes

That said, all that prowess and post-apocalyptic know-how wasn’t ingrained in her. Unlike the rest of her family, who were all built for the apocalypse in various ways, Alicia had to learn how to survive in a violent world without morals or remorse. In the beginning, she naively led a deadly group to The Abigail by communicating with them over the radio; she learned a valuable lesson about trusting people without seeing or knowing them. But when she strayed too far the other way and let her anger take control, a bullet meant for June (Jenna Elfman) hit John (Garret Dillahunt), and he nearly died — so she learned pure vengeance wasn’t the answer, either.

Plenty of people in the post-apocalyptic world are leagues behind Alicia in terms of how well they understand the world and their attitude toward it. Her past stumbles have given her a healthy outlook on life in the dead world, and she could lead a group with the wisdom she’s gained.

fear the walking dead season 6 episode 2 welcome to the club alycia debnam carey alicia clark

She’s Learned from the Best

Not that Alicia was actively studying to lead her own group, but if she was, she certainly could’ve had worse teachers than Morgan and her mother Madison (Kim Dickens). Early-seasons Madison was a little more bloodthirsty, but sometimes that’s necessary — hey, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) left a fair number of bodies in his wake, too! More importantly, Madison was almost always able to manipulate or scheme her way out of an unpleasant situation, and in the zombie apocalypse, that’s not a bad skill to have.

Morgan, on the other hand, shows a reverence for all life and a willingness to compromise, which is also valuable. Taking the best traits from those characters makes a great leader, and Alicia has certainly learned from them both.

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She Knows When to Forgive

Perhaps most importantly, Alicia has a kind heart and recognizes when to allow her mercy to prevail over her wrath. She didn’t kill Charlie even though Charlie killed her brother Nick (Frank Dillane), but she’s since grown close to the girl and seems to see her as a sister. More recently, Alicia advocated for Dakota (Zoe Colletti) to be freed from Virginia’s clutches — and while that led to John’s death, she hasn’t sought revenge. If Dakota sticks around as Charlie has, it’s not hard to envision Alicia eventually forgiving her also.

The best leaders we’ve seen have shown strength in showing mercy: Where would Rick have been without Tara (Alanna Masterson), or Daryl (Norman Reedus) without Lydia (Cassady McClincy)? Alicia recognizes that sometimes, good people do bad things when the world is upside-down — but it doesn’t make them bad people. That’s the outlook of a true leader.

Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC

This article originally ran on tvinsider.com.

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