[Warning: SPOILERS for the Fear The Walking Dead season 3 finale ahead.]
With AMC's Fear The Walking Dead shuffling off after a much-improved third season, it turns out that the big death from the two-part finale wasn't supposed to happen at all.
Tensions mounted in "Things Bad Begun," and fans got the shocking reveal that it was Troy Otto who had lead the massive horde of walkers to Broke Jaw Ranch. As Madison discovered the truth, and with Troy promising to do it all over again, she was left with no other option but to take down Daniel Sharman's unhinged racist with a hammer to the skull. Troy was a love him or love to hate him character, so you can't blame showrunner Dave Erickson's original plan to have Troy survive into Season 4.
Speaking to EW, the Fear boss said he had never wanted Troy to bow out in the finale but it was a decision he made for the good of the show:
"Troy was a hard one because I actually had a conversation with Daniel [Sharman] earlier in the season where I said that at that moment, my intention was to not kill Troy...And then when we got to a place where I realized I had to have a bit more closure than I had originally intended, I had another conversation with Daniel where I said, 'You know how I said I wasn't going to kill you? Well, unfortunately, now I am'."
Robert Kirkman's Walking Dead world loves a good villain, and with Troy becoming a major fan-favorite during his brief time on the show, did Fear The Walking Dead just make a mistake by killing off its most interesting character? However, as plot devices go, Troy's fate and the following actions do neatly set up another story arc for Madison. Speaking about what's next for the show's lead, Erickson claims that Madison's actions will continue to impact her relationship with Frank Dillane's Nick:
"I think that's the moment where Madison comes full circle. That's the moment where she realises, this is who I am. Nick's not wrong. That violence is ingrained in her and what she realizes is that she deviated from that course. She wasn't true to herself and people suffered because of it, and so in that instance, she decides to put him down. And that has a direct impact on Nick as Nick moves into the last episode because he wants to reject that and find another way."
Ending on a major cliffhanger, it wasn't only Troy who had a dramatic end to the season. With the dam blown up, the lives of series regulars Nick, Alicia, Daniel, and Strand were all left hanging in the balance until next time. Madison may be the only main character officially safe and coming back, but here's guessing that everyone else will have some sort of miraculous survival by the time Season 4 of Fear The Walking Dead returns next year. As for Troy, well, nobody can say he didn't deserve it.