Does Travis Die? Why Did Cliff Curtis Leave Fear the Walking Dead?

Image Credit: Michael Desmond/AMC

AMC’s post-apocalyptic series ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ begins as the enthralling tale of the Clark family, who leaves their home in Los Angeles when the zombie apocalypse happens. Madison Clark and her children Nick Clark and Alicia Clark are joined by the former’s fiancé Travis Manawa as they set out to save their lives from startling walkers who fill the city. Travis becomes an integral part of the series and a fan-favorite as he goes to any lengths to protect his loved ones. Naturally, the viewers must be wondering what really happens to him in the post-apocalyptic drama. Well, here’s what we can share! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Does Travis Die?

Yes, Travis does die. Towards the end of the second season, a militia group makes their presence known at the American-Mexican border. They abduct Travis and his family members, apparently for scientific experiments, but he gets separated from Madison and Alicia. He eventually ends up in a room with Nick, Luciana, and another survivor named Steven. When the guy-in-charge Troy Otto proclaims that everyone who ends up at the place will die, Steven revolts against the militiamen. Steven then informs Travis that they can escape from the place through the sewer tunnels and end up at the border. While Nick and Luciana escape, Travis gets forced to fight a group of walkers.

Image Credit: Michael Desmond/AMC

After killing the walkers, Travis gets into a helicopter with Jake, Luciana, Alicia, and Charlene. While they set out to escape, bullets from an unknown source, later revealed to be Lee, rain on the chopper, only for Travis to get shot. Fearing that he will turn into a walker in front of Alicia, he decides to jump from the helicopter. Although Alicia tries to stop him, she notices his severe wound and gets shocked. Travis then lets himself fall from the helicopter, plunging to his death.

Although Travis’ brain is not destroyed manually, he doesn’t stand the chance of turning into a walker since “the height from which he fell and the velocity and the violence of that is going to do enough trauma to his brain that he would die,” as per an interview then-showrunner Dave Erickson gave to EW. Travis’ death paved the way for Cliff Curtis’ departure from the series. But why exactly did the actor leave the show? Let’s share everything you need to know about the same.

Why Did Cliff Curtis Leave Fear the Walking Dead?

Cliff Curtis left ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ due to the creative decision to conclude his character Travis Manawa’s arc with the latter’s death in the third season. Dave Erickson told Curtis about Travis’ death before the actor joined the production of the third season. “We let Cliff know before we came back. It was hard. I hate making those calls and having those conversations, and Cliff, because he’s Cliff, was incredible. He’s insanely generous as an actor but also as a person, and he’s just very big-hearted and very kind, and he understood that it’s ultimately about the larger structure of the show and how does it inform the story,” Erickson added to EW.

Image Credit: Peter Iovino/AMC

Although Erickson could have developed different storylines to accommodate Curtis’ Travis in the narrative longer, he prioritized doing justice to the narrative of the show by exploring the impact of Travis’ death on his loved ones. “There were versions of the story where that would have arced out over more episodes, and I think what it came down to was — and this is what it always comes down to when there’s a death of a character — is what is the impact that death has on the surroundings? What impact would Travis’s death have on Madison, have on Alicia, and have on Nick, and how does that drive a story?” the then-showrunner said in the same EW interview.

Curtis’ exit from ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ happened around the same time the actor signed a deal to feature in four ‘Avatar’ films by James Cameron. He plays the character Tonowari in the globally-celebrated film series.

Read More: What Happened to Wendell? Did Daryl Mitchell Leave Fear the Walking Dead?