One of the most controversial storylines on Fear the Walking Dead has got to be how the series handled the character of Madison Clark.
She flirted with darkness multiple times throughout her four-season run at the wheel of the popular The Walking Dead spinoff, but she seemingly sacrificed herself at the stadium during Fear The Walking Dead Season 4.
While it was painted as an honorable death because she supposedly died saving people, it was a slap in the face to the fans that stuck with the show from the beginning.
With Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 recently concluding, viewers still don’t have a definite answer about whether the character Kim Dickens played to perfection truly perished.
The series essentially wrote Madison out to bring Morgan over from The Walking Dead to lead the series, and the way it came about was absurd.
If Morgan was such a popular character, wouldn’t he have been shipped off to a new movie or TV show set in the universe?
While we could sit and speak about Morgan’s plot armor all day long, I’m here to speak about how Madison’s arc has been handled.
The character seemed definitely dead on Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 when new showrunners arrived determined to make their mark on the franchise.
More recently, those same showrunners continually tease a potential return for Kim Dickens and her beloved character, likely as a means to keep the fans holding out hope for a return.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 14 did speak about Madison, but it didn’t hint at her still being alive, and with the fans clamoring for it, it would be silly not to capitalize on it.
Then again, there’s no telling whether Dickens would even want to return. She wasn’t treated the best when her character was written out in a bizarre plot twist used to solidify Morgan as the new lead.
We were purposefully left in suspense with Madison’s apparent death on Fear the Walking Dead Season 4, and the common rule on TV is that we need to see the character’s demise on-screen to believe it happened.
The only way to appease fans of the original vision of the series is to confirm Madison’s fate, once and for all. There’s a good chance all of these teases from those associated with the show will lead to nothing.
If they planned on bringing Madison back, Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 would have been the perfect opportunity, but now that the nuclear blasts have gone off, it seems highly unlikely.
We do still have Alicia holed up in the abandoned hotel, so maybe Madison could be the one to save her, assuming she is alive.
The trajectory of Strand’s arc also leaves plenty of possibilities for a comeback. Could you imagine Madison returning to team up with the other characters to take him down?
Madison and Strand have a lot of history, but Alicia would be ecstatic about filling her mother in about everything Strand has done since her absence.
Even if we don’t see Madison in the flesh, we need a new character to say they know she’s dead or for the creative minds behind the show to be more upfront and rule out a return.
From a marketing standpoint alone, it would be worth revealing that level of information in advance because many of the people who have abandoned the show would probably return.
The series has continued to dive in the ratings in the years since, probably due to the lack of meaningful progression for the characters.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 was the best season since Fear the Walking Dead Season 3, so the series is in good shape right now, depending on how they handle the next big arc.
By leaving Madison’s fate up for debate, it’s taking away from all of the positives on the show. The writers clearly don’t think Alicia has what it takes to be a lead anymore, with her being pushed to the side a little too much.
Bringing Madison back could successfully put the show back on the right track, and in turn, give us pay off for plots that should harken back to the glory days of Fear the Walking Dead.
From Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 onward, the series has continually made big changes between seasons, to the point that the show could be in an anthology set in the universe, but it doesn’t feel like the show I fell in love with all those years ago.
As we head into Fear the Walking Dead Season 7, it is poised to be a nuclear wasteland, forcing the characters to go back to basics to learn how to survive.
This would be the perfect opportunity to give a definite answer.
What are your thoughts, Fear the Walking Dead fans?
Do you think it’s time for the series to confirm Madison’s fate?
More importantly, do you want Kim Dickens back on the show?
Hit the comments.
Remember, you can watch Fear the Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.