‘Fear TWD’s Karen David on Grace’s Almost-Sacrifice & Emotional Journey

Karen David as Grace, Maren Lord as Bea - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 2 - Photo Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC

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[WARNING: The following contains MAJOR spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 2, “Six Hours.” ]

Things are getting tense for the characters in Season 7 of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, particularly new parents Grace (Karen David) and Morgan (Lennie James).

After a harrowing episode in which Grace nearly sacrificed herself in the apocalypse’s nuclear wasteland to save her love Morgan and their adopted child, Baby Mo, and unstable barely-survivors tried to kidnap the infant for themselves, we thought we’d check in on what’s to come for Grace. And though she gave birth to a stillborn daughter, Athena, last season, she is fortunately finding new joy with Baby Mo.

October is Infancy Loss Awareness Month, and David is thrilled that the TWD Universe is honoring it with Grace’s important and relatable journey. “I’m really proud of our Universe for making Grace so accessible in this storyline,” David says. “I’ve just received so many messages from families who have been through what Grace has been through, and I can only hope that I brought their emotional journeys and their stories [to the screen] and breathed life into Grace’s story as well. As difficult and as painful as it has been at times, it truly is an honor, and deeply humbling. It certainly keeps me on my toes.”

Below, David breaks down the most emotional moments of the last episode and teases what’s to come.

First, Grace has the most experience with nuclear radiation, so she really knows what this new world can do to a person. How is she feeling about that, on top of everything else?

At the end of Season 6, I think she made it perfectly clear to Morgan that the afterlife was going to be so much better than this grim new reality that everyone will have to face. It’s her biggest nightmare coming true. Everything she went through and experienced in Season 5, which she was working so desperately hard to try and fix, has now just come back a gazillion times worse.

Ryan Green/AMC

We’re [also] seeing a very different side of Grace as she’s in the throes of her postpartum depression, after losing the baby, navigating through that grief, and living emotionally from moment to moment. And let’s just add more challenges with this nuclear fallout. On top of that, she’s got this baby, who’s essentially her Kryptonite at the beginning—a representation and a reminder of what she doesn’t have, what she’s lost, and the mother that she should’ve been. But we see this transition throughout the episode and how she begins to realize that here is an opportunity to become a mother to a very innocent child who’s lost her parents. Baby Mo’s journey to this point has been so tragic and traumatizing; I think at that moment—when she’s in imminent danger—is when Grace is like, “Wait a second, here’s a life—this is a chance for me to be a mother.” It’s just wonderful to see how she makes that transition to embracing motherhood.

How difficult was shooting the scene where she sings “In Dreams” to Baby Mo, a song that was so deeply tied to her feelings for her lost child, Athena?

We really get to see that sense of bonding in that moment, which was so precious. One of the things  I love about our universe is that where there’s darkness, there’s light. Where there are these moments of hope and love and kindness, it just truly envelops your heart and your soul. It just gave me life. When I read that in the script, I had this big grin on my face. I was like, “Yes, I want this so much for Grace.” I want her to be able to open her heart up again. And who better than to Baby Mo?

How much is she thinking about Howard’s (Omid Abtahi) offer for her to live in their former ally Victor Strand’s (Colman Domingo) community? It’s a pretty sweet offer given the state of their world…

It’s a sweet offer. But she also knows that Strand has a lot of demons from his past. We are in for a thrilling ride this season with Strand’s commitment to wreaking havoc on everyone and everything. I always compared Strand to like a Jekyll and Hyde type of character. You never know what’s playing in his mind. Grace is now learning more and more about Strand. But also his offer coming via Howard represents something that isn’t really what Grace wants. She knows that it may be initially for the best—for Baby Mo especially—but she believes in Morgan. She knows that what Morgan wants for them as a family is something that’s so important to her as well. Also what he wants for the group, and for their well-being—those have to be so much better than what Strand will ever offer.

In one of the biggest moments, Grace tries to sacrifice herself and tells Morgan to leave her behind. Do you think that after the final events of the episode, Grace is still trying to do that, or is she more inspired to live in this world after bonding with Baby Mo?

That’s such a good question because we are seeing Grace in the heavy throes of her depression and she is going through all the stages of grief, so that would definitely have a huge impact on the decisions she makes. But I think even from the moment Grace stepped into this universe in Season 5, like Morgan, she is the type that will make huge sacrifices because both of them put everyone else first, especially if they are responsible and have created a domino effect that has affected the people they know and care about.

 Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

We know Grace has been on this journey of redemption, which Morgan has played a huge part in, helping her find her purpose again. And then in Season 6, she did. She was pregnant and really felt like she had a purpose. She was bringing light, hope, and another opportunity to expand on their community with the birth of this child. When that was all taken away, she lost her sense of purpose again and her will to live. Losing a child is something no parent should ever have to go through, and it’s a cross she very much has to bear for the rest of her life. And having to do that now, in this new nuclear backdrop we’re now in because this season is much darker, is something she constantly has to navigate—every second, every moment. I don’t know where Grace is going to end up, but I am comforted in knowing that at the end of the episode, she has taken a huge step forward in allowing herself to become this mother to Baby Mo and to create this family that Morgan so much wanted for the three of them.

We find out that the brother of Emile the bounty hunter, Josiah (both played by Demetrius Grosse), is after Morgan. How much of a threat will he be this season?

With our apocalyptic world, there’s always going to be the possibility of demons coming from the past to haunt us. In what way, or what shape or form, we don’t know. I like the fact of not knowing. It adds to the excitement. I imagine it’s a shock, though, when they do see him. [Laughs]

Can you tease what’s going on the next time we see Grace and Morgan?

We’re seeing two people become parents, and how they do that in the apocalypse, in the grim reality of this severely radiated backdrop. You’ve got methodical, pragmatic Grace with optimistic and hopeful Morgan—how they balance each other out and how they move forward together throughout the season, it won’t be short of many challenges.

Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC

This article originally ran on tvinsider.com.

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