Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 4 is a trip back in time. A flashback to when a disheveled, disoriented Rick Grimes met Morgan Jones in the first episode of The Walking Dead. This time, Morgan (Lennie James) is on a quest to lay his now-zombified son Duane to rest.
The troubled protagonist of Fear the Walking Dead cannot escape his past even as his new family begs him to let go.
His lady love Grace (Karen David) and daughter Mo (Zoey Merchant) help him in his mission, only for a tragic twist at the end. Grace is bit by a walker who rises through the rubble, a death sentence in the Walking Dead Universe.
We spoke to young Zoey Merchant about being a part of this emotionally charged journey - both as her character and as a young actor tasked with taking on such a demanding role.
She spoke at length about how much the role means to her.
Zoey Merchant believes that the latest Fear the Walking Dead bite may have been Mo’s fault!
Much like the rest of us, even Merchant was stunned when she read about the bite:
"My reaction was like I was jaw dropped. I was reading through the script and I was like wait. Did I read that right? I felt sad because I was like it was kinda because of me. I was in a pile of dust, flipping through books or something. A walker came up and bit grace. I was like that’s so sad. And I felt so bad."
And much like every Fear the Walking Dead fan, she too juggled a whole bunch of emotions:
"I think she’s shuffling through a lot of emotions. Mainly shocked, sad, and she’s kinda going crazy in her head. That aspect of getting her family back and losing it again can be very traumatizing for an 8-year-old."
Because this episode takes fans back to the start of the franchise, Merchant went back and watched the first episode of The Walking Dead. She admitted that it made her even prouder to be a part of the Fear the Walking Dead cast:
"It was crazy. It was insane. When I got the audition, my mom was like Zoey, this is for Fear the Walking Dead. I was like really? And I was like I’m taking this job. I really want this job so bad. So, it’s awesome. Getting to know that I’m a part of this crazy franchise with a whole bunch of fans is insane. And it’s so cool. I was excited about it."
Playing Morgan Jones' daughter is something not lost on her. She spoke about working with Lennie James in Fear the Walking Dead:
"He’s really motivational. He’s really nice too. He gave me so much tips and tricks on what to do in this situation or that situation. If I had a question for him, he’d answer it with ease. And he was really helpful. Without him, it would have been hard. It would have been really hard."
And even though the young actor was scared of walkers when she secured the gig, eventually she got used to them being around. She continued:
"It was fun. The first time I was on set, I was like – are we going to see the walkers? When are we going to see the walkers? Because I was so scared of them at first. Until I saw them and they were talking about what they’re going to have for lunch. I was like wait, they are like normal people under a whole bunch of prosthetics."
What happens to Grace? Can June treat the bite with radiation? Stay tuned to SK POP to stay up to date with the events of this universe.