- "People forget that when civilization ends, it ends fast."
- —Tobias to Madison.[src]
Los Angeles, California
Before the outbreak, Tobias was a troubled student at Paul R. Williams High School and lives in Los Angeles with his parents. He was frequently bullied until he somehow managed to improve relationships with his tormentor by being his tutor.
Tobias has been following reports of a mysterious virus spreading in at least five states. Due to his paranoia and in fear of his safety, he begins carrying a knife with him. When entering Paul R. Williams High School, he triggers the metal detectors. When Principal Art Costa stops him, Madison intervenes to protect Tobias from expulsion and takes him to her office to talk, claiming that it was a couple of coins in Tobias's pocket. She locks the knife away, and tries to calm him down and explain that the authorities would handle the situation if it existed, not believing Tobias' fears about the outbreak. As he leaves, Tobias mockingly puts down the coins that she had "taken" from him.
While the high school is being evacuated after the mysterious incidents that have been happening, he is seen sitting on a bus. Madison waves to him and he looks back at Madison with disgust as the bus drives off.
Tobias returns to the school to scavenge canned food in the cafeteria pantry that have virtually infinite expiration dates before opening. He runs into Madison, who came back to the school to collect drugs in order to keep Nick from going "cold turkey" during their upcoming escape to the desert. He asks if he can have his knife back for protection, and Madison, now realizing that he was right to be prepared for the outbreak, says yes. She gives him back the knife from her office, telling him to be careful with it.
The two of them go to the cafeteria, with both explaining why they returned to the school. Tobias says that he knew Nick during his freshman year, and that he seemed like a nice person. He describes to Madison how civilization would periodically fall within the next few days, and then asks her if she's seen any of them in reality, to which she lied and denied though she actually had witnessed the zombified Calvin.
Tobias begins loading boxes and cans of food onto a nearby cart, and offers for Madison to take what he can't carry for herself. She declined the offer, claiming that she already have enough food. They begin traversing the empty hallways of the school to get to the exit, but are slowed down when they hear strange groaning sounds and the metal detector going off. They begin to run in fear, and subsequently run into a fire escape.
Madison notices a zombified Art wandering in front of them, and asks if he's okay. Tobias tries to warn her to get away from him, but realizes that the doors behind them are locked. After Art tries to attack Madison, Tobias steps in with his knife and begins stabbing him before falling down the nearby stairs. Art falls on top of Tobias and tries to bite him, but Madison steps in and repeatedly bashes Art in the head to death with a fire extinguisher, saving Tobias' life. They retrieve their appropriated supplies and leave the school with Art's keys.
Tobias and Madison get to Madison's car, and she drives him to his house. She offers that he and his family can stay with her for protection, but Tobias denies the offer. She asks him to stay safe, and he says the same.
This list shows the victims Tobias has killed:
- Possibly a few zombies
Before the outbreak, Madison Clark was the guidance counselor at Tobias's school. With Tobias being bullied at his school quite frequently, he visited her several times, not always by choice. Eventually, he somehow managed to improve his relationship with one of his tormentor named Dominic Fratto by becoming his tutor in Algebra I.
When the outbreak first began, Tobias tried to smuggle a knife into school with him for protection. When the school principal attempted to search him, Madison covered for him and announced that it was a couple of coins that had set off the metal detectors. She took Tobias into her office to have a talk with him away from everyone else. Madison took his knife away and locked it in her desk.
He asked for his knife back, and she immediately assumed that he was being bullied again. She asked him why it was that he felt the need to carry a knife around in a "safe" environment, and asked him if he realized that she could expel him from school just for finding a concealed weapon. He tried to explain that the unchecked virus outbreak spreading across five states was enough to worry him, but she shut him down, claiming that he was making too much of a big deal over nothing. He grimly asks for his knife back again, but she refuses. He leaves her office.
When school is closed early by the principal the next day, Madison sees him on the bus. She waves at him, but he refused to acknowledge her. Madison looks disheartened at that.
When Madison heads back into the abandoned school to find the necessary drugs for Nick, she goes into the security office to break open the confiscated items cabinet. Tobias surprises her when he announces himself behind her. He asks why she is trying to get into the drug cabinet, and she admits that her son needs it. Tobias says that he came to the school to scavenge for supplies, knowing that the school would be one of the last places to get looted. He asks again if he could get his knife back, and she relents, going back to her office and handing it to him.
They decide to hunt for food in the cafeteria. Tobias explains to Madison that he believes that the outbreak could mean the end of all human civilization. She denounces his claims as foolish, thinking that the situation would be resolved within a few days. Tobias warns her that he knows how much people want to believe that, and how desperately they would cling to the idea when they are wrong. In the cafeteria, they find the storage room and load a cart full of food to be taken outside. When the metal detectors go off at the doors, they rush to find another exit.
Out the fire escape, the principal stumbles around a corner, bleeding. Madison asks if he is okay. Tobias, however, sees that he has reanimated and that they need to run. Madison is attacked by the zombie, but Tobias pulls him off of her, inadvertently throwing himself down a staircase with the principal on top of him. As the zombie attacks him, Madison bashes his head in with a fire extinguisher, saving Tobias. Eventually, they leaves the school building and Madison drives him home.
At Tobias's house, Madison offers to take him and his family back to her house for safety, but he declines, saying that he doesn't need help now that he has enough food. He then bids her farewell and proceeds to his house.
- During the first Talking Dead episode following the finale of Fear the Walking Dead, show-runner Dave Erickson confirmed that Tobias is in fact still currently alive.
- Tobias is the first character to describe the seriousness of the situation, saying that there are reports of infections in five states and that they are only spreading.
- Strangely, even though Tobias seems to care about his freshly-scavenged food stash a lot (he rushed for retrieving a dropped canned food even under the threats of zombie attack and the discouragement from Madison), he does not appear to have taken any of them away as when he was seen walking together with Madison away from the school to her car, he appears to be empty handed.
- This was likely an oversight during production, likely in editing.
- After Madison takes him to her office to inquire as to why he has a knife, Tobias states that there were reported infections in five states, but no mention was made of which states. It wasn't until the season two episode "We All Fall Down," when Travis talks to George Geary, we learn which states-- California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington and Colorado, with a sixth, Utah, also been mentioned. Therefore, the initial infection began west of the continental divide and spread eastwards across the country as well as into Canada (when naming cities which have fallen, George mentions Vancouver).