Fear The Walking Dead season 7 just made Luciana Galvez the spinoff’s own version of Carol from The Walking Dead. Every character lucky enough to still be kicking around in The Walking Dead has adapted to the zombie apocalypse, but “adaptation” takes many forms. Some grow into righteous leaders (Rick Grimes/Madison Clark), others become wicked villains (Negan/Victor Strand), and some make use of long-forgotten skills (Daryl Dixon, Daniel Salazar). Perhaps the most dangerous type, however, is the “Carol” – someone who evolves from a place a pure innocence to become the most hardened survivor, willing to do things even the Ricks and Daryls aren’t.
Melissa McBride’s Carol Peletier begins The Walking Dead as a typical suburban housewife – albeit one enduring a hidden torment behind closed doors. A loving parent to Sophia and proficient with a whisk, pre-outbreak Carol was not someone you’d expect to thrive in a zombie apocalypse. By The Walking Dead season 3, Carol has adapted to her new environment… and adapted hard. She burns infected flu victims to stop illness spreading around the prison – an act that forces Rick Grimes to temporarily exile her from his group. Shortly after that, she executes a mentally ill child who killed her own sister, and in The Walking Dead’s post-timeskip landscape, Carol’s relentless crusade against Alpha almost costs the lives of Magna and Connie.
Fear The Walking Dead has never introduced a true “Carol” – a survivor who adapts to the apocalypse so astoundingly well, they become comfortable committing heinous acts for the greater good without ever approaching villainous territory. Thanks to Fear The Walking Dead‘s “Ofelia” episode, however, Luciana Galvez now fits that description. Played by Danay Garcia, Luciana debuted in Fear The Walking Dead season 2 as a strong-but-kind survivor with an unshakable sense of moral justice. Though it’s hard to imagine Luciana ever being as reserved as Carol was back in The Walking Dead season 1, she’s reliably the ethical compass of Fear The Walking Dead‘s protagonist group – refusing to stay at Otto Ranch, for example. Just like Carol once was, Luciana is the Fear The Walking Dead character least likely to encroach into morally ambiguous territory. Surprising, then, that she brutally lies to Daniel about his daughter being alive in the final moments of “Ofelia.”
Living up to her kindhearted reputation, Luciana has been diligently helping Daniel recover his mental health in Fear The Walking Dead season 7, refusing to give up after so many others already lost faith. At the end of “Ofelia,” however, she decides Daniel’s combat knowledge is imperative to knocking Victor Strand off The Tower’s throne, and motivates him for battle by telling one whopper of a lie – Strand has Ofelia hostage. Exploiting Daniel’s mental health – as well as his grief from losing a daughter – is an amazingly dark turn for any Walking Dead protagonist to take. The likes of Alicia, June and even Morgan wouldn’t take such extreme, cruel measures, and yet Luciana – the most unassuming member of the group – finds the resolve and determination to go there for the good of her community.
Weaponizing a father’s grief really does turn Luciana into Fear The Walking Dead‘s Carol. Both make hard and uncomfortable choices no other member of their group is willing to. Carol and Luciana do awful things for the best reasons and, ultimately, those dark instincts might prevent the downfall of their respective communities. When Carol was burning anyone who sneezed at the prison, she resigned herself to being excommunicated from Rick’s group, but continued the killings because it was what her people needed. Luciana now finds herself in an identical position. Once Daniel realizes the truth, Luciana surely won’t be able to remain at The Tower. Just like Carol, the future she’s creating right now isn’t for herself, but the people she loves.