The Walking Dead: Who’s Ready For A Zombie Apocalypse?


Who’s more prepared for the zombie apocalypse: The Alexandrians? Or Madison, Travis, and their group in Fear The Walking Dead?

…It’s a fair question (And, making sure people are prepared for zombie apocalypses is…kinda my thing): On the one hand, you have a group of people, who, while they’ve been living in the zombie apocalypse, they definitely have not been surviving in it, and, on the other, you have a group of people who are in the very beginnings of the zombie apocalypse and are learning to survive in it; For one, they’ve largely not had to deal with the dangers of the outside world for the vast majority of the zombie apocalypse, for the other, up until around two weeks ago, there hadn’t even BEEN such a thing as a zombie apocalypse! Looking at them this way, the two groups are practically neck-and-neck! Yet, if you look a little closer, you can start seeing the differences…

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, Fear The Walking Dead -- AMC
Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, Fear The Walking Dead — AMC /


While Madison, Nick, and most of the rest of the group (Especially Travis), haven’t had too much experience in combating the infected, what skirmishes they have had, have largely been a matter of acting on instinct, using whatever they have available (A truck, a fire extinguisher, bolt cutters, even…a gun!), thinking rather selflessly and doing what they need to in the defense of others, this is in spite of the fact that they are being faced with something that, for them, is still an idea almost too impossible to swallow: That the dead are getting back up and attempting to eat the living!

The Alexandrians, on the hand, because of their sheltered nature, succeed in having less experience combating walkers than even Madison and Travis’ group do! Think about it: Since Rick’s group arrived in Alexandria in episode 512, “Remember”, how many times have you actually seen the Alexandrians fighting walkers? Not counting when Aiden got himself IMPALED shooting at the grenade walker in the warehouse, I can count on one hand incidents where any Alexandrians really tried to fight walkers, every other time they’ve encountered them they’ve either stood there in horror…or ran. Aiden and Nicholas left the rest of their team to die, Tobin and the construction crew would have done the same to Francine if it weren’t for Abraham, Carter, Barnes and the others were clueless about what to do about less than half a dozen walkers in “First Time Again”, Sturgess abandoned everyone before they even reached the deserted town in “Thank You”, and the rest of the town just stood there largely aghast when Jessie put down Betsy! Suffice to say, dealing with walkers is clearly NOT their strong suit.

Madison Clark and Daniel Salazar, Fear The Walking Dead - AMC
Madison Clark and Daniel Salazar, Fear The Walking Dead – AMC /


While Madison and Travis’ group in Fear The Walking Dead aren’t completely united (Chris may still resent Madison, Travis may still have misgivings about Daniel, and who knows how well any of them can trust Strand), having spent the past two weeks together surviving the ups and downs of Los Angeles’ slow collapse has, to a certain degree, brought them together, anchored by the various family dynamics of each part of the group, and a little bit of pragmatism: Madison and Travis’ relationship ensure they will try to keep themselves and their respective children together, while Ofelia’s recognizing that there’s strength in numbers (And, perhaps, Daniel’s desire to see Travis repay him for saving his life) seems to be what’s been motivating her to stay with Madison and Travis.

Once again, this seems to contrast pretty strongly with what we see from the Alexandrians. Their ability to hold together seems largely dependent on the presence of a strong personality to ensure that unity. The construction crew all but abandoned an injured Francine and only stayed to finish their work after Abraham rescued her, wiped out the walkers encroaching upon her single-handed, and basically ordered them to get back to work; when the herd began surrounding the community, only Spencer’s lecturing kept Bruce and several other Alexandrians from throwing aside any sense of community and stealing whatever they wanted from the storehouse and, without Rick’s leadership, would have completely abandoned all hope when they realized the herd was upon them! Forget what I said earlier: THIS is not the Alexandrians strong suit.

Jonathon Kleitman as Sturgess, Justin Miles as Barnes, Ethan Embry as Carter, The Walking Dead -- AMC
Jonathan Kleitman as Sturgess, Justin Miles as Barnes, Ethan Embry as Carter, The Walking Dead — AMC /


In Fear The Walking Dead, we see several instances of members of the group, in spite of the horrific nature of the situation they’re presented with, muster surprising courage and attempt to combat the infected with whatever they have to protect others. We see Tobias valiantly (And vainly) try to stop Art from attacking Madison using a paring knife, Madison return the favor using a fire extinguisher, Nick using Travis’ truck to stop Cal from attacking Travis and his mother, and Ofelia using bolt cutters to protect Eliza. Even when not fighting the infected, we see a somewhat surprising amount of courage from members of the group: Madison insists on trying to stop Patrick from stumbling upon his infected wife, and Chris, when faced with three rogue soldiers, bravely attempts to defend Alicia from them, though, with limited success.

Yet again, the Alexandrians largely seem almost completely overwhelmed by fear of the walkers, despite being in a world full of them for months, if not a couple of years. When confronted with even the slightest amount of walkers, they cower with fear and abandon anyone they’re with as soon as possible. As mentioned earlier, Tobin and the construction crew would have abandoned Francine to die if not for Abraham, Aiden and especially Nicholas infamously left several people to die, most notably, Noah, and, as pictured above, even when armed and confronted by A walker, the Alexandrians were incapable of defending themselves against it! While there are some exceptions, notably Heath, Annie, Scott, Jessie, Aaron, and (Eventually) Nicholas, most of the Alexandrians are just too damned scared of the walkers to do anything but run from them. You know, I think I stand corrected again: THIS is not their strong suite…

Which brings us back to where we started: Who are better prepared for the zombie apocalypse: The Alexandrians, who have been living in it, but sheltered, or Madison and Travis’ group in Fear The Walking Dead, who have never had any exposure to zombies before the infected arrived?

Initially, I wanted to leave this question up in the air, but, as I’ve been writing this, I’ve been seeing so many instances where one group is plainly better suited to their new environment, while another is not, despite the fact they’ve had almost the same amount of time dealing with zombies! I wish I didn’t feel like I was so slanted one way, but, when you look at the evidence…it’s sort of tough not to be.

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