In its first three seasons, Fear the Walking Dead had a relatively small and close-knit cast. Each character was well-developed and had a clear character arc. Unfortunately, that didn’t last. FTWD’s characterization started to go downhill after Season 4. In Season 7, it’s become worse than ever, and there’s no better example than Wes.
To be perfectly honest, Wes has been pretty useless for most of his run on FTWD. Nothing against actor Colby Hollman, but the writers have hardly utilized his character. Wes had one storyline where his brother Derek was a part of Teddy’s group, but that lasted for all of one episode before Wes killed Derek. That lack of characterization is glaringly obvious in how Season 7 has transformed Wes into a villain.
Wes appeared in “Ofelia” as a supporting character in Daniel and Luciana’s story, and that was his first real appearance in Season 7. He and Luciana went looking for Daniel, but Arno’s group captured them. Then there was a whole mess with Daniel losing his memory and thinking that Arno was holding Ofelia captive. When the dust settled, Arno was dead and Luciana told Daniel that Strand was holding Ofelia hostage. It was a cruel lie, but Luciana deemed it necessary in order to ensure that Daniel would be useful against Strand.
Apparently, that was too much for Wes. He defected to Strand’s tower, and after the recent character deaths, he set himself up as Strand’s new “partner.” In “The Raft,” it was clear he had embraced his new position because he was the one spearheading the search for Baby Mo. As part of that, there were multiple scenes where he really wanted to kill Dwight and Sherry. But that made no sense — there was no character development to support that assertion. Or much character development for him at all.
Making Wes a villain wasn’t a bad idea, but FTWD’s writers did it completely wrong. There was zero build-up to his defection, and his willingness to kill Dwight and Sherry felt ridiculous. Maybe he thought that the tower would be the best place to live, but he turned into a murderous Benedict Arnold in just a few days. It was a disservice to his character to see how he switched sides with little to no motivation, but that’s par for the course in FTWD.
And seeing how Wes switched sides can only mean one thing — he’s going to be killed off soon. The writers will want to ensure someone relatively important dies while fighting on Strand’s side, so they could have moved Wes over to the villains’ side to create that impact. That would make sense given FTWD’s current aim to pile up the bodies on its way to another reboot. The once-small cast has become unwieldy, and narrowing it down would make room for Madison Clark’s big return. Hopefully the smaller cast will also allow the series to start focusing on characterization again, because Wes is an example of how that’s completely gone by the wayside.
To see if Wes dies in the War for the Tower, tune into Fear the Walking Dead Season 7. New episodes air Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on AMC and are available to stream early on AMC+.