The trailer for Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 has arrived, further teasing bleak imagery in the wake of Season 6’s monumental mushroom cloud climax, which effectively upgraded the spinoff’s uniquely upgraded dilemma to a nuclear zombie apocalypse. However, a prominent narrative being promoted is the apparent transformation of series-OG character Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) into a villain, one who has become fixated on making life even more difficult than it already is in this world for Morgan Jones (Lennie James).
Indeed, the official trailer shows how the series could be effectively renamed “Fear the Walking Dead or How Victor Strand Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb.” That’s because the dusty, reddish residue that now passes for outdoor ambiance in the show’s recently-radiated Texas setting stands in stark contrast with Strand’s apparently-ecstatic acceptance of a new world that he calls “punishing.” Oddly enough, it’s the natural culmination of the way he spent Season 6, in which he dubiously navigated the rapidly-narrowing line between magnanimous gestures and egotistical self-preservation. With the closing moment of a comfortably well-dressed Strand raising his glass, toasting “to whatever’s next” with what might be fine whiskey, he now seems driven by a newfound clarity; one in which he is humanity’s new savior.
You can check out the official trailer for Fear The Walking Dead Season 7 just below.
The posted trailer complements what was revealed in the longer trailer showcased on this past Sunday’s Talking Dead, which you can view just below. Clearly, just about everyone else we see—notably Morgan, Grace (Karen David) and Al (Maggie Grace)—is struggling to adapt in a doubly-dangerous environment where, if the radioactive walkers don’t get you, the residual radiation itself most definitely will. So, considering that he is no exception to these newly-dealt set of circumstances, what is Strand so damn happy about? Well, the answer to that question lies in his current mental state, which can be described as a full-blown messiah complex.
While he’s never been a stranger to dubious choices made in the name of the apparent—or personally perceived—greater good of the group, Strand spent much of the past few seasons making initially-earnest attempts to prove—notably to old friends like the currently-bunker-stowed Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey)—that he’d moved past his sketchy con man persona into being a leader on which people could reliably depend. Notably, when Virginia’s Pioneers gave our defeated group an offer they couldn’t refuse, Strand opted to become one of her post-apocalyptic “Rangers,” seemingly serving as our group’s man on the inside. Yet, Strand’s efforts to stay on the straight-and-narrow frequently made divergences—something Daniel (Rubén Blades) knows all too well from Season 3, in which Strand ended up shooting him in the face after briefly aligning with the group’s enemies.
Thusly, we’ve seen Strand’s flaky leadership aspirations rapidly descend to dark places in Season 6, first when he abruptly stabbed Pioneer member Sanjay, and threw him to a group of walkers to create a distraction when stuck in a tight spot. It’s a move that foreshadowed what could be considered a full-on heel turn later in the season aboard the U.S.S. Pennsylvania, where he made the abrupt decision to attack Morgan, sacrificing him to an obstructing herd of walkers—notably so that he, not Morgan, could complete the (ultimately futile) missile-deactivation mission and claim the glory for himself. Of course, Morgan survived that cowardly attempt to usurp leadership, and a showdown between the two was necessarily delayed by the imminent nuclear detonation.
Perhaps as a sign that his conscience had not entirely abandoned him by this point, Strand was initially mired in self-loathing in the aftermath of those events. Excommunicated and alone, he even used his old con-man-honed skills as a professional prevaricator to convince a survivor named Howard (Omid Abtahi) that he was Morgan (whose selfless exploits had become known locally via CB radio,) so that he could seek shelter from the oncoming blast in his building—insufficient as it may have been for a blast of that magnitude. However, Strand’s sanctimonious self-veneration would eventually be boosted by a seemingly supernatural event when standing outside in a parking lot, facing what seemed to be certain death in the face of nuclear disintegration. In a quasi-miraculous manner, the radius of the blast just stopped short of reaching his location. Thus, having stared certain death in its explosive face and living to tell the tale, Strand laughed and made a monumental metamorphosis, coming to the realization that his initial instincts to survive at any cost was the one true way; one that he would use to bring about a new, more pragmatic kind of order to the world—of course, with him as its leader.
Strand’s new agenda is one that, as we can see in the trailer, has effectively set him as Season 7’s de facto big bad, putting him—and those who he’s recruited to help his cause—on a collision course with Morgan and the rest of our embattled survivors. This seems to be the case, even as the specter of raised stakes—and a prospective Walking Dead franchise-unifying storyline—from more-powerful external forces like the Civic Republic ominously loom on the show’s periphery. After all, a nuclear explosion is likely to garner attention from the very top of the post-apocalyptic societal food chain, which could put quite the wrench in the proverbial works of whatever it is Strand wants to accomplish outside of ending Morgan. Nevertheless, it’s clear that Strand has something to smile about in an ever-so-sinister manner going into Season 7.
Fear the Walking Dead’s seventh season is set to hit AMC on Sunday, Oct. 17. By that point, the series will be complemented by the return of limited series The Walking Dead: World Beyond, which will already be two weeks past the Oct. 3 premiere of its second and final season. For now, though, the extended final season run of mothership series The Walking Dead continues a weekly Sunday run towards its October hiatus.