‘Fear the Walking Dead’: We Finally Know Madison’s Fate (RECAP)
[Spoiler Alert: This recap contains major spoilers from the midseason finale of Fear the Walking Dead, including the fate of a major character. Read no further if you are not caught up.]
Raise a cup of kimchi ramen for a sister, Fear the Walking Dead fans, because we now know the fate of Kim Dickens’ Madison Clark.
The long-suffering mother of two… and then one… is…
…dead, having sacrificed herself for the sake of her children and the others in the stadium, leaving her children wild-eyed and grieving.
After Ennis put his Burning Man plan into action — stranding Alicia and Nick in the stadium parking lot — Madison, Strand, and Luciana tried to clear a path through the walkers to get them safely back inside. But their plans were thwarted, not by the Vultures, but by their own people, who loaded up the vehicles, opened the gate and tried to make a break for it.
They too were surrounded by walkers and, rather than watch all of her people perish, Madison lit a flare and like a little zombie pied piper led the walkers into the stadium, barricaded them (and herself) inside and lit the place up. I gotta say it, being a veteran of both Fear and The Walking Dead, I’m not sure when walkers could take out a still-functional vehicle, much less a caravan of them, and it does bug me some.
But the episode was a fine one, full of stunning visuals and human niceties (we also learned more about Althea and Naomi and how the others came to the stadium in the first place). So without further ado, here are six more takeaways about the Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 midseason finale, “No One Is Gone Until They’re Gone.”
1. Madison and Althea met before the stadium was even a thing
We open the episode with a grimy Mad sneaking up on a lone someone standing around a campfire. It’s Althea. The pair trade threats, war stories, and physical damage until Madison wins the standoff and makes off with Al’s vehicle. But not for long.
2. Madison shared her story with Al — just not enough of it
Predictably, Althea catches up with Madison when she stops for the night and scores her vehicle back — and Madison’s story. Well, some of it. She says she is looking not just for her kids, but also for a place where they can find their humanity again.
She tells Al another story, too, about renting a cabin in the mountains when Nick and Alicia were younger. A bird flew into the window, injured her wing, and the pair brought her inside. They named her Willamina — Amina for short — and dang if they didn’t nurse the critter back to health, because they refused to give up on her.
“She lived because my kids didn’t give up on her,” Madison recalls. “Gave her a chance when no one else would. … I can’t imagine that part of them dying. I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them alive.”
She never tells Al her name, though. Her tape is labelled “Amina” instead.
3. Althea has a story for Madison, too
Seems Althea’s passion for collecting people’s truths stems from a trip she made to a teeny village on the other side of the world, pre-apocalypse. The village was run by a fellow named “Twisted Round.” But it was the truth that was really twisted round.
As soon as Al started convincing the villagers to tell their stories, they started to realize that their leader was largely a windbag with no army and not much else to speak of. They reclaimed their village and Althea realized the power of the truth to eventually make things right.
Such as now, because …
4. The Amina keeps everyone else alive
In the now, Naomi and Morgan make a run for enough supplies for Naomi to remove John Dorie’s bullet before he bleeds out. However, Alicia, Strand, and Luciana catch up to them in the meantime and start firing on the tank. Alicia makes it aboard the hobbled vehicle and threatens to kill Charlie, but Althea talks her down enough for Alicia to go through the tapes and find her mother’s.
That doesn’t make grinchy Alicia’s heart grow three sizes that day — Morgan does. Seeing her mother’s face makes Alicia head for where Morgan and Naomi are raiding the infirmary and aim her gun at Naomi. Naomi asks for enough time to save John, and then Alicia can do what she wants, but Morgan gets in the middle.
He tells her she’s still the person her mother believed she is, that things can still change for the good. “Whatever your mother wanted for you, it is still in you,” he tells the girl. “And I see it.”
It does the job.
5. Althea’s kindness begat the stadium
After they swapped stories, Althea reclaimed her vehicle, but left Madison with a walkie and an entire case of kimchi noodles. It’s enough to get her back to Strand, Nick, Alicia, and Luciana, who are holed up at a hotel.
She leads them back to the ballpark, where she and Al had reached detente. Strand thinks it’s too big a camp just for them, but Madison tells them it’s where they’re going to build a community — one based on truth and kindness and helping.
“Someone helped me when she didn’t have to,” she says. “I think it’s time we do the same.”
6. Peace is the order of the day — at least for now
With Alicia and the others back on board with the goodness of Althea and her group, Naomi (real name June) is able to save John Dorie, tell him her real name, and land a couple of head smooches, too. As they leave the stadium in Al’s tank, Strand wonders why Madison never told them the whole deal about Althea. It paves the way for us to learn Madison’s fate.
Althea says she thinks Madison kept the details of their meeting to herself because she doesn’t think Madison was proud of the way the pair met. Alicia says Althea underestimates her mother.
They pull over, build a campfire and Strand, Luciana, and Alicia tell the story of how the stadium fire went down, taking Madison with it. And then, as The Mountain Goats’ “Love, Love, Love” begins to play — reminding us that “the things you do for love/Are gonna to come back to you one by one.”
And also that there will always be “snakes in the grass beneath our feet/rain in the clouds above/some moments last forever/but some flare out with love, love, love.”