When Fear the Walking Dead returns for Season 8, it will be without one of its most popular stars.
Following plenty of speculation, Alycia Debnam-Carey announced on social media Sunday night that she was leaving the AMC post-apocalyptic drama series after seven seasons.
The post was timed to the airing of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 15, which found Alicia (Debnam-Carey) telling everyone else to leave the radiation-filled area in rafts.
If you watch Fear the Walking Dead online, you know Alicia had been battling a mystery illness after being bitten by a walker.
The series left fans on a bit of a cliffhanger when it showed a seemingly cured Alicia waking up on a beach, leading to speculation that the character didn’t survive.
“To my dearest @feartwd family, tonight marks the end of an extraordinary and life changing journey of playing Alicia Clark,” Debnam-Carey shared on Instagram.
“Where to begin… I will never be able to fully express the kind of journey I have had working on @feartwd for so long. It has gifted me so much.”
“It has been the most extraordinary training ground as an actor where I’ve been given the chance to grow and learn. I’ve had the honour of working with so many inspiring and talented people.”
“It provided new opportunities, such as directing and it has bonded me to such incredible fans that have supported me along the way,” the star continued.
“It has been exciting, challenging, fun, hard and inspiring. I was 21 when we began this crazy journey but now at 28, after 7 years and 100 episodes, I decided it was time for me to move on as an actor and as a person.”
“As is the nature of our jobs I needed to seek out new challenges, new opportunities and carve out a new chapter for myself. I have been so lucky to be a part of something so awesome for so long but I hope you can understand and respect my choice to further expand and grow,” the former 100 star shared.
“I wouldn’t be here without you all and I am so grateful. I had a lot of conversations over the years with our showrunners @goldbergian and @andrewchambliss and I think we found a fitting way to conclude Alicia’s story.”
“It is beautiful, hopeful and elusive.”
“To the crews and casts from Los Angeles to Vancouver, Mexico to Texas, I am thankful for everything you’ve taught me. I love you all so much and I am so lucky to have had you all by my side.”
“To the cast going forward, I’m so excited for what you will create next! And to my ride or dies who have been there with me every step of the way (you know who you are) I will be forever grateful to you.”
“It is bittersweet, but it is time. Thank you for everything. My love to you all.”
Debnam-Carey’s exit comes just weeks after she scored the lead role on Hulu’s Saint X limited series.
The unfortunate timing of the exit means the star will not be spending time working with her on-screen mother, Kim Dickens, who is returning to Fear the Walking Dead following a near-four-year absence.
The good news is that the open-ended nature of Alicia’s final arc might allow them to reunite on-screen, potentially on the series finale.
I say this as an avid fan of the series and Debnam-Carey… but I’m happy the star is moving on to new projects.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 has been a meandering endeavor that hasn’t felt true to the characters, and the writers have consistently put Alicia through traumatic ordeals.
It will be nice to see the star move on to new projects because her time on the show has reiterated that she’s one of the most talented actors out there.
What are your thoughts on the exit?
Hit the comments below.
Fear the Walking Dead continues Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.