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Walking Dead Wiki
Walking Dead Wiki

"Pilot" is the first episode of the first season of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. It is the first episode of the series overall. It premiered on August 23, 2015. It was written by Dave Erickson & Robert Kirkman and directed by Adam Davidson.


A highly dysfunctional blended family is forced together when they realize a reported virus is actually the onset of the undead apocalypse.


Drug addict Nicholas "Nick" Clark awakes in an abandoned church, where he has been sleeping after getting high on drugs. Nick searches for his girlfriend Gloria in the church, which seems abandoned. Ahead, he hears a man scream. Unnerved by blood splattered on walls, Nick finds a deceased man with his neck ripped open. Nick then finds Gloria, who is biting into the face of a deceased man. As Nick calls out to Gloria, she turns around, and proceeds to chase Nick. Nick escapes the church, and runs out onto the road, where he is promptly hit by a car. As bystanders rush to attend to Nick, the camera pans to reveal Los Angeles, bustling with everyday activity in a pre-apocalyptic world.

Madison Clark is preparing to get ready for work, while her daughter, Alicia takes her time in the bathroom. Madison’s fiancé, Travis Manawa answers the phone, and informs Madison that it was the hospital and that Nick has been hit by a car.

Madison, Travis and Alicia arrive at the hospital to see Nick. A man is wheeled up in a bed in the section next to Nick. The officers ask Nick why he was running, and says that when he was found, Nick was raving about seeing blood and viscera in the church. Madison enters the room and tells the officers to leave, and they comply.

Travis gets a phone call from his ex-wife, Liza, who asks him if he's okay to take his son Chris on the weekend, despite Chris not wanting to be with Travis on the weekend. Travis goes back inside and meets Madison. She says she has to find a rehabilitation facility where Nick isn't known, and that she has college counselling today. Travis says to leave Nick with him and that Madison should go.

In the car with Alicia, Madison assures her that Nick will be okay. They arrive at the school and Madison is greeted by the principal, Art Costa, who informs her that a lot of students are off due to the new illness going around. A student, Tobias, enters through the doors and triggers the metal detectors. Madison checks his pockets and takes him to her office, where he hands over a knife. Madison threatens him with expulsion, but Tobias begs not to be expelled, stating it’s safer in numbers. When Madison asks what the means by that, he explains that the new illness going around is something different, and that those infected are attacking and eating other people, and that the illness will spread. Madison disbelieves him, and tells Tobias to stop reading fake news articles on the Internet. She then dismisses him.

At the hospital, Nick awakens from a nightmare, and is seen to by Travis, who decides to ask Nick what really happened at the church. Nick tells Travis about how he saw Gloria eating people in the church, and was chased by her which resulted in him being hit by the car. Travis assumes it was a drug-induced hallucination, but Nick insists that it was not.

That evening, Travis goes to the church to investigate Nick's claims. The building seems abandoned, with signs of earlier habitation by drug addicts. While he is investigating a room, a man jumps out at Travis, yelling in fear and begging not to be killed, before running away. Travis shouts out to him and attempts to follow. When he arrives at the main room, he slips and falls to the floor, discovering a pool of blood and bits of flesh. Startled, he immediately leaves the building.

The next morning, Travis and Alicia arrive back at the hospital. Travis informs Madison about what he saw at the church the previous night. Madison dismisses his concerns, concluding that it's a drug den and that bad things happen there. Madison and Alicia leave for school. Later on, above a football pitch, Alicia and her boyfriend, Matt are cuddling, where they make plans to meet by the beach later on in the evening.

Meanwhile at the hospital, Nick raises his concerns for the elderly patient in the bed next to him, but the nurse visiting Nick assures him that the man is okay, and presents Nick with a bedpan. He asks her to untie at least one strap, which is restraining him, to which she complies. Once she leaves to give him some privacy, Nick attempts to free himself, but as he does so, the elderly patient begins to flatline. As the crash team attempt to resuscitate him, they fail to do so, and so the man is whisked downstairs to the basement. In the confusion, Nick is able to untie himself and flee the hospital.

Madison and Travis return to the hospital and find that Nick is missing. They attempt to ask a nurse where he is, but she is too busy dealing with an overload of telephone calls to help, and instead tells Madison to report Nick’s disappearance to the police. Travis then brings Madison to the church where Nick was sleeping. Later on, Madison and Travis visit Nick's friend Calvin. They ask him if he knows where Nick is. He doesn't, but offers to make some calls to see if anyone else knows where Nick might be.

Later at the beach, Alicia arrives to meet Matt, but he fails to arrive, and she leaves, disappointed. As they drive home on the highway, Madison and Travis get stuck in a traffic jam. They witness helicopters overhead and police vehicles arriving at the scene of what Travis assumes is a high speed accident. Up ahead, they see smoke billowing from a wrecked car, and an ambulance and several police cars. They hear multiple gunshots, and Travis insists that they leave immediately, and they take another route home.

The next day at school, even more students are absent. In the staff lounge, staff including Travis and Madison, are crowding around a tablet computer, where leaked footage is being played of the incident on the freeway the previous night. The footage is from one of the helicopters, and shows an apparently deceased man biting an emergency responder tending to him on the gurney. Police batter the man with batons when he fails to stand down, and the officers proceed to shoot the man multiple times in the chest, and he falls to his knees - only to get back up. Travis and Madison leave the room, and she tells him to phone the police for help locating Nick. In class, Alicia and two friends watch the video on their smartphones, and they see that the man is only brought down when he is shot in the head. They debate whether or not the footage is real. Principal Costa makes an announcement that it will be a half day, and that students can leave. Madison collects Alicia, informing her that people are worried about the shooting. She tells Alicia to get the bus home. Outside, Madison spots Tobias on the bus. She smiles at him, but Tobias, a glum expression on his face, looks away.

Meanwhile, Nick meets up Calvin, whom he had previously called, wanting to know if the drugs he bought from him were laced with anything as a potential explanation for what he saw at the church. Nick breaks down, and Calvin is offended at his accusations, but offers to help him. They later drive to the river, and Calvin exits the car and retrieves something from the trunk. He opens the door for Nick, and Nick sees a gun in Calvin's pocket. He attempts to grab Calvin's gun and they fight. After a brief struggle, the gun discharges and Calvin is shot in the stomach and quickly bleeds out and dies. Nick flees the scene.

Madison and Travis find Nick after he called Travis. He tells them he has Calvin, but when they go back to the scene, Calvin is gone, The three get in Travis' car to leave, but as they reverse back out through the tunnel, Travis and Madison see the figure of Calvin behind them, now zombified, his clothes laced with blood from his fatal wound. Travis and Madison exit the car and approach Calvin, concerned for his well being. Calvin attempts to aggressively attack Madison, to which Nick takes control of the car, reversing it back and running over Calvin. To their surprise, Calvin is apparently still alive, and gets to his feet, his face bloodied and his arm broken. Nick proceeds to hit Calvin again, ramming him onto the hood of the car, before slamming on the brakes, sending him flying onto the concrete of the river bottom. Madison and Travis rush to the river bottom, where they find a badly mutilated and crippled Calvin, still alive and reaching out at them. Madison asks what is happening, to which Travis states he has no idea.

Other Cast[]





  • First appearance of Nicholas Clark.
  • First appearance of Madison Clark.
  • First appearance of Alicia Clark.
  • First appearance of Travis Manawa.
  • First appearance of Elizabeth Ortiz.
  • First appearance of Christopher Manawa.
  • First appearance of Art Costa.
  • First appearance of Tobias.
  • First appearance of Matt Sale.
  • First appearance of Gloria. (Zombified)
  • Only appearance of Adam Gould.
  • Only appearance of Bill.
  • Only appearance of Russell.
  • Only appearance of Brandon.
  • Only appearance of Henderson.
  • Only appearance of Lane.
  • Only appearance of Finley.
  • Only appearance of Richards.
  • Only appearance of Calvin Jasper.
  • This became the most-watched series premiere in basic cable television history, receiving a total of 10.13 million viewers during its initial broadcast.[2]
  • The diner where Nick meets Calvin is featured in movies such as: Nightcrawler (2014), Drive (2011), and Twilight (2008).
  • The novel Nick used to hold the drug paraphernalia in the church is titled, Watership Down. In the novel, the main character has a supernatural inkling that something horrible is happening and everybody thinks he's crazy, much like Nick in this episode.
  • The songs featured in this episode are the following:
  • Originally, Dr. Candace Jenner was meant to appear in this episode, but her scene was ultimately cut.[3]

Episode Highlights[]