The Walking Dead

Fear TWD’s Weird Timeline Made Charlie & Ali’s Romance Worse

The problematic romance between Charlie and Ali in Fear the Walking Dead season 7, episode 10 was made even worse by the show's own timeline.

Charlie’s romance with Ali was made even worse by the Fear the Walking Dead timeline. Introduced and killed off in the same episode, Ali served as Charlie’s first love interest in the spinoff series. Due to the age gap between the actors and the characters, their brief and rather tragic love story has already been met with criticism.

The youngest member of Morgan’s group received the spotlight for the second time in Fear the Walking Dead season 7, episode 10, titled “Mourning Cloak”. Despite her youth, Alexa Nisenson’s Charlie was sent by Morgan (Lennie James) on a dangerous mission to Strand’s tower. Her experience turned out to be an eventful one, as it resulted in a romance with one of Strand’s underlings, her deception being exposed, Charlie developing fatal radiation poisoning, and her new boyfriend dying at the hands of Howard. Not long after their first meeting in Strand’s tower, Charlie and Ali were discussing plans to run away together, but all of this was ruined by Ali’s decision to complete Charlie’s mission on her behalf.

While the romance that blossomed between the two may have seemed too abrupt, that was only a small part of the problem with their relationship in “Mourning Cloak”. The underlying issue was how young Charlie is in Fear the Walking Dead. The actress that plays her is 15 years old, but as the show admitted, the character herself is a week away from turning 13. The inclusion of a romantic kiss between a 15-year-old boy (played by a 19-year-old actor) and a girl who isn’t even a teenager yet was a bit strange for the series. Of course, this could have been much less weird if it wasn’t for the show’s short timeline. Though this is Charlie’s fourth season on the show, the character has barely aged.

The 15-year-old actress is almost three years older than her character simply because time passes very slowly on Fear the Walking Dead. The show typically uses several, sporadic time jumps to advance the story, but most are small and insignificant. The last time the series leaped ahead by a large period of time was actually when it introduced Charlie at the beginning of season 4. Due to this approach, less than two full years have passed since Morgan joined the fold in season 4, even though it certainly feels like Morgan’s group has been together a lot longer than that.

A sizable time skip could easily fix the issue with Charlie by aligning the character’s age with that of the actress. However, that scenario may never become necessary on account of the episode’s big twist. Since she contracted radiation poisoning, Charlie is now fated for an early grave. Based on June and Grace’s diagnosis of the situation, it appears Charlie’s story will come to an end in the very near future in Fear the Walking Dead.

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