Something unprecedented is happening on Fear the Walking Dead this season: through seven episodes, no human has died. Plenty of the already dead brain-eaters have been put down, but no one who still draws breath has lost it, which is a big break from franchise tradition. The first half of Fear Season 5 will go down as having the lowest body count of any Walking Dead franchise season. (Compare this to the first half of Season 4, which killed off two main characters, Nick Clark [Frank Dillane] and Madison Clark [Kim Dickens]). But that doesn't mean no one is going to die. Episode 7, "Still Standing" — not an Elton John reference — may have doomed another main character.
While clearing the dead who were swarming the orphan kids' camp, Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) got contaminated blood from one of the radiation-poisoned walkers in her mouth. Grace (Karen David) has been warning the other survivors all season how dangerous exposure to the walkers from the melted-down nuclear power plant is, and we've seen what happened to the kids' parents, who died from breathing in toxic smoke from burning irradiated bodies. So getting a mouthful of blood might be a death sentence for the last remaining Clark.
Hopefully it isn't. Fear the Walking Dead will not survive killing off the last character remaining from the pilot. The fans who've been watching out of loyalty to the Clark family will finally abandon the show for good, because it will have nothing in common with the show they started watching back in 2015. Alicia is Fear's Carl Grimes, growing from a normal kid into a wily survivor tormented by inner demons, and if she dies, the show's future dies with her, because no one can replace her. The show's children — of which there are suddenly a lot — will not be able to pick up the slack of losing Alicia.
Maybe this is a fake-out, and Alicia will survive. Maybe you need to swallow irradiated zombie blood for it to kill you. She did answer affirmatively to Morgan (Lennie James) when he told her that the two of them needed to start living for themselves as well as others. But maybe she meant she was going to sacrifice herself saving the kids, just like her mother sacrificed herself to save her family and friends. If she's already doomed, she's gonna go out like a hero.
It would inject a note of darkness back into the increasingly optimistic Fear if Alicia dies. We'll see what happens in the midseason finale.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.