Could 'Fear the Walking Dead' Bring Back Madison Clark? Let's Look at the Clues
Fans of The Walking Dead universe shows (and genre TV, in general) have a mantra when it comes to characters in peril: If a walker isn't shown, they're not dead — even if they're presumed to be. And they often return.
There's been one notable exception to that no-body-not-dead rule, though: Fear The Walking Dead's Madison Clark (Kim Dickens). While her death via noble sacrifice to save her children in the Season 4 midseason finale wasn't shown on-screen, there appeared to be no question that the Clark matriarch was dead and gone. And yet...no body was shown, and it was definitely possible to make it out of that burning-down, walker-infested stadium.
Given the myriad ways she might have escaped, and the craftiness that was a cornerstone of her character, there's no saying whether she'll actually return. Fans, at least, have been speculating about it for two whole seasons. Let's examine the likelihood that Fear resurrects Madison this season.
No Better Time
For the first time since the Morgan (Lennie James) crossover, characters that were around before Season 4 are acting like themselves. Strand (Colman Domingo) is back to his conman ways, Daniel (Ruben Blades) is playing everyone like a fiddle and, well, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is no longer painting trees, so that's worth celebrating.
The point here is that if Fear were to bring Madison back, it seems likely they could resurrect the ruthless, cunning version of her that emerged in the earlier seasons, and not the one who was "always looking for something good" every time she stepped outside the Dell Diamond's walls. In Season 6, the show has been paying respect to characters that existed before Morgan made his trip to Texas — it's taking the time to get their nuances and characterization right. Given that jump in writing quality, it seems they could bring her back with a story worth telling.
Also bolstering Madison-related theories this season is the anthology-esque nature of the storytelling. As episodes have focused on one or two characters exclusively, if Madison returned, it wouldn't be out of place to have an entire episode focused on how she survived and what she'd been doing (undoubtedly looking for her children).
It's on AMC's Mind
It seems AMC is aware fans want Madison back. Reddit user stephen6686 posted about a viewer survey conducted through Popular Culturists that asked fans why they tuned in for Season 6's first episode and allowed them to check boxes next to certain options. One of those options? "I want to see if Madison returns."
If there's enough interest in continuing her story and enough boxes checked on that survey, it's possible she might show up again — maybe even sometime this season.
There's a Perfect Way For Her to Return
While this might go against her cold-blooded nature, Fear now has a perfect way to write Madison back in (some fans have speculated that the story is going in this direction): In the season premiere we learned that someone saved Morgan's life after Virginia (Colby Minifie) shot him and left him for dead in the Season 5 finale. At first, it seemed likely that was Sherry (Christine Evangelista), because Dwight (Austin Amelio) hadn't yet found her. Now, based on the fact that Dwight has found his wife and she didn't know who Morgan was, we can rule her out.
Is it likely Madison saved Morgan? If the rest of the group could make it to Humbug's Gulch, so could she — and while she typically operated with a "my family first" mindset, she wasn't against helping others. She also could've seen Morgan's tapes (it seems like half of Texas did), realized Alicia was alive and started trying to track them down. That would've been a compelling reason for her to save Morgan's life, too, if she knew he might be able to lead her to Alicia.
Could It Happen?
Of course, nothing is certain. Someone totally unrelated to the rest of the group could've saved Morgan's life, and one question on an AMC survey doesn't raise a character from the dead. But, given the nature of Madison's departure, the door is at least open for her to return, whether it's sometime this season, in the Season 6 finale, or even the series finale.
Fear The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC