Episode 12 of Fear the Walking Dead contained several twists.
While the ending was heart-breaking, there was also a moment during the episode that had many fans scratching their heads.
The moment in question occurred when Grace (Karen David) was talking to her imaginary daughter, Athena (Sahana Srinivasan), about her father.
For many viewers, the assumption is that Morgan (Lennie James) is Athena’s father. In fact, at the start of this episode, there are certainly mentions of this being the case.
However, this soon changes.
Grace states that Matthew is Athena’s father
During the conversation, Grace refers to Athena’s biological father, making the distinction from Morgan, who raised her in the dream-like state that most of this episode of Fear the Walking Dead resided in.
When discussing Athena’s dad’s favorite music, Grace makes mention of Matthew, describing him as “kind, and handsome, and smart.”
She then gave further details after Athena asked what had happened to him.
“We worked at a powerplant together,” Grace explained.
“He got exposed to some radiation that made him very sick. I lost him before we got as close as either one of us would’ve liked. But I’ll always be grateful we had what we did. Without him, I wouldn’t have you.”
During the episode, Grace also experienced several flashbacks to her time with Matthew that further clarified their time together and how he got sick.
However, for many fans, it seemed like this surprise was unexpected, even though it didn’t present itself as a massive reveal in the episode.
As a result of this, many questioned whether or not Matthew had been mentioned previously in Fear the Walking Dead.
Grace has mentioned Matthew before in Fear the Walking Dead
As I mentioned in my recap for this episode, I was surprised at the reveal and couldn’t find any mention to Matthew in any of the recaps by other outlets, which led me to do some further digging.
At first, very little showed up in relation to Athena or Matthew. However, I finally found an entry on Fandom that gave further details of the character.
The reference in particular was that he was mentioned — albeit not by name — in the Season 5 finale of Fear the Walking Dead.
So, I went back and watched the episode in question. And, sure enough, Grace certainly does speak of him.
“That guy I told you about,” Grace says, indicating a previous conversation.
“The one at the plant. I did tell him how I felt at the end when it was clear he wasn’t going to make it. We, uh, we actually, yeah. I think the reason I let it happen was because I knew it was the end. Because I knew it couldn’t be anything more.”
Later on in the episode, when it was revealed by Dr. Holt that Grace was pregnant, an indication of three to four months was then given as to how far along she was.
This conversation likely got lost in the grand scheme of things because it was also the episode of Fear the Walking Dead where Virginia (Colby Minifie) finally separated all of the groups and shot Morgan, leaving him to die.
So, at the time, fans were more interested in finding out whether Morgan lived or died rather than a quiet conversation had between him and Grace earlier on in the episode.
Since then, the automatic assumption has mostly been that Morgan is the father and AMC has done little to correct this notion.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.