Major spoilers below for Fear the Walking Dead's two-night premiere.
Last night's episode of Fear the Walking Dead brought about one of the most shocking moments of the horror drama so far, as the second half of the big Season 3 premiere night kicked off with the unpredictable death of Cliff Curtis' Travis. Obviously, it's an incident that will have major repercussions throughout the rest of Season 3, and when star Kim Dickens spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of the season, here's what she told me Madison will be motivated by moving forward.
I think more than about revenge, it's about keeping her family safe. I think she has to find a way to come to peace with it. In some way, she wants to find out what happened, and go to that place where it happened as some sort of final farewell, for her to resolve that for herself. As far as revenge as a motivation, I don't think she thinks that would serve her, but it's not beyond her. I think her main priority stays, most importantly even now, keeping her family together and starting over, which has always been key for Madison, too. Not just to survive, but to start over. She uses [Travis'] death to motivate her even more, because it proves to her that his death was a sacrifice, and that they now, more than ever, have to survive and start over and rebuild.
That all definitely makes sense, as Madison Clark is not cut from the exact same cloth as Rick Grimes, a character that would have oozed nothing but vengeance had a similar situation happened to him on The Walking Dead proper. Someone who rarely makes decisions guided by impulsive behavior, Madison isn't necessarily the kind of person who would immediately put her mind on figuring out who was responsible for shooting up the helicopter, and it's even hard to know where she would even start her investigating.
No, Madison is someone who is likely looking closely at her current existence, where Chris and Travis are no longer living factors. She and Alicia have been on the same page a lot when it comes to keeping survival going, but Nick will forever be a wild card, and there probably won't ever be a point when Madison can stop worrying about him in order to focus on anything and anyone else. (Beyond Nick dying, of course, but I can't imagine Fear the Walking Dead would kill him off at any point soon.)
Hopefully Fear doesn't make things too dark for Madison. When Dayton Callie's new character Jeremiah Otto approached her later in the episode about the missing firearm, it was hinted at that Madison might be a tad suicidal after everything that happened. When I asked Kim Dickens if that was something her character was actually feeling, here's what she told me.
The scene by the tree when Dayton's character comes to make sure Madison isn't going to do anything. She's pretty distraught, and she says the jury's still out. And I think in the moment, you can't tell what a character can do, and that's what our characters are like. That's what this story lets us explore: what would you do in any given moment? When would you give up? When would you take your own life? When would you take another person's life? To explore that, I think it's always at everyone's fingertips, and I don't think Madison would've. She has to look out for her kids. I never thought she would have done that. But you see her in a pretty dark place.
Kim Dickens definitely told us that Madison was heading down dark roads this season, and viewers already got to watch the protective matriarch showing off a more aggressive and brutal side to her personality, which will hopefully get even more pronounced as Season 3 continues. Plus, Fear the Walking Dead is gearing up to introduce a major female villain at some point this year, so that new foe will have a more charged-up Madison to face down upon arriving.