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Spoilers below for the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead, so be sure to watch before reading on.
As Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 approaches its midseason hiatus, fans are still in the dark on quite a few key plot points, including what actually happened to Kim Dickens' O.G. survivor Madison Clark in between the season's central timelines. And while there are no guarantees that the midseason finale will clear any of that up, viewers are in dire need of some clarification about how many Clark family members are still alive and breathing. So which direction will the new showrunners take Madison's journey?
Madison Will Die
From the second episode of the season, in which viewers first got to catch back up with Madison & Co., suspicions immediately started to form regarding the character's fate, largely based on just how angry and anti-compassionate Alicia has been in the current-day timeline. Alicia has had zero problem keeping the new group at a gun barrel's distance on her quest to track down the remaining Vultures, going so far as to "accidentally" shoot John while aiming for Naomi (for still mostly unexplained reasons). And in the most recent episode, Alicia blew up big bad Mel's vehicle before lethally impaling him in the back. Sure, some of that emotional fury was spawned by Nick's death, but Alicia's rage was already set in stone by that point, hinting at Madison's previous demise.
While we'd previously assumed that Mel and/or the other Vultures would be directly responsible for Madison's absence, "The Wrong Side of Where You Are Now" potentially implied that Madison will be responsible for her own death. With Alicia, Nick and Mel trapped in the middle of a walker herd unleashed by Ennis, their chances of survival were few and far between, but a particular shot of Madison surveying the situation came across as an unspoken cue that she may need to make the ultimate sacrifice in order to rescue her children, even if it meant also saving the man responsible for bringing the Vultures to the stadium.
While it would be a bummer for Alicia to be the only surviving character from the Clark/Manawa clan that Fear the Walking Dead initially introduced, it would definitely be a bold move. And if Madison would sacrifice herself, as opposed to being murdered outright, that would add even more complicated undertones to Alicia's current revenge mission, and it would retain the Vultures' overall sense of being non-violent monsters. Of course, that would also mean a continued lack of Kim Dickens in our lives, which is never a good thing.
Madison Will Survive
Because this is a TV show, and because this is The Walking Dead universe in particular, Madison's death is still very far from being a sure thing. Whenever any big drama plays its hand this hard about something as serious as a major character's death, there is always a good chance that a game-changing twist is just around the corner. Meaning the midseason finale (or another upcoming installment) could very well feature a tearjerking reunion between Madison and Alicia, in which the former is floored after learning about Nick's death.
To speak more to the way this franchise leads viewers into considering false outcomes, no one can ever forget Glenn's wonky death fakeout in The Walking Dead Season 6. And Fear the Walking Dead just did its own quasi-spin on that scenario by revealing Naomi's current-day status, despite making fans and characters think that she had died when the stadium haven fell. Not to mention the way both Daniel and Ofelia Salazar went through their own foreboding mini-hiatuses before returning to the show in later episodes.
So Fear the Walking Dead has a precedent set for keeping main characters alive despite not using them for all the storylines. And considering Kim Dickens is endlessly watchable even when she's just stripping 2x4s off of a dugout, I would welcome Madison's survival with the quickness, although I would probably need some really convincing explanations for why the mystery was dragged out this long just to reach a positive resolution. Now I simply must tend to these turnips.
Hopefully by next week, we'll all have a much better idea of what Madison' fate is as we go into the back half of Season 4. Tune into AMC for Fear the Walking Dead's midseason finale on Sunday, June 10, at 9:00 p.m. ET. And then head to our summer premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows coming to TV soon.