In Fear The Walking Dead’s series finale, there’s a climactic moment that impacts both story and character development, yet the episode skips over it.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for Fear The Walking Dead series finale.
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- Fear The Walking Dead’s series finale ties up numerous storylines with twists and resolutions, but skips over Madison’s climactic hero moment.
- Madison’s sacrifice to save PADRE is revealed retrospectively, impacting the group’s survival and altering her stance on survival and redemption.
- The decision to skip Madison’s big scene could be due to logistical reasons or to set up her sacrifice as a legendary inspiration for others, yet it doesn’t really work.
Fear The Walking Dead‘s finale offers many twists and resolutions, but it skips over the biggest moment in the final episode. After all the build-up to the series finale, Fear The Walking Dead‘s two-part ending ties up numerous storylines that still allow the possibility of future appearances for its surviving characters. The final season’s main story follows Madison Clark and Morgan working together to save Mo and other children from PADRE. By the second half of the season, the focus shifts to protecting PADRE from Troy Otto after his miraculous return and Morgan and Mo’s exit. This indicates numerous elements were expected to be resolved by the end of the finale.
Aside from Troy and Madison’s conflict, questions about Tracy Otto’s mother arise, and Madison’s search for Alicia steers her away from PADRE. Despite being at odds with June, Dwight, Sherry, and the others, Victor Strand attempts to help protect PADRE and encourages a philosophy of redemption. Naturally, the contrast between revenge and redemption creates tension between Madison and Strand. All these moments affect the fate of PADRE and bring the question of survival and living to the forefront of the finale’s focus, yet the show’s narrative trick does not quite work.
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Fear The Walking Dead Skipping Madison’s Climactic Hero Moment Is Really Odd
In the first part of Fear The Walking Dead‘s two-part finale, Madison is predominantly focused on revenge and survival. While not forgiving Troy for Alicia’s supposed death, she indulges his confessions about why he supposedly killed Alicia. Attributing his wife Serena’s death to Alicia’s idealistic worldview about helping anyone who needs it, Troy admits he impaled Alicia’s stomach. Madison eventually does the same to Troy, making this the only significant Fear The Walking Dead finale death. Madison’s outlook here is that survival is dependent on a more cynical mentality. She says she doesn’t believe Troy can change and that she’s “done with second chances.”
Therefore, when helping Strand and the others escape PADRE after Troy’s walker herd overruns it, Madison essentially gives the group a second chance at new lives by guiding the walkers to a confined area, setting off gas canisters, starting a fire, and locking herself in her old cell. Revealing this retrospectively is an odd choice, as this sacrifice happens directly after she is shot by Tracy. This altered Madison’s original stance on survival, second chances, and Troy’s unrealized redemption. Additionally, it impacts the group’s survival, yet is only shown in flashback snippets and through Strand telling Tracy about it.
Why Fear The Walking Dead Skips Past Madison’s Big Scene
Since Madison’s heroic moment rescuing PADRE is so interconnected with her character and the narrative’s development, there aren’t many justifications that could make skipping it an ideal choice. Logistically, it may have been to save time so the episode could maintain its usual length. It could also be a way to avoid repeating the events of season 4, episode 8, which show Madison guiding walkers with a flare into the stadium, locking herself in with them, and setting it alight so her family and friends can escape. In the series finale, Madison does the same thing and for the same reason.
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In both instances, Madison sacrifices herself in an explosion to save people she cares about, which is told retrospectively through Althea’s interviews and Strand’s conversation with Tracy. This could be the other reason Fear The Walking Dead skips over the scene – it’s a way to set up the “MADRE” ideology whereby Madison and her sacrifice live on like a legend to inspire others to help people. Mirroring Alicia’s reasoning for assuming a new identity after being presumed dead, this storyline calls back to Althea and how Madison’s sacrifices are intended to be memorialized eternally as inspirational myths.
Fear TWD’s Ending Would’ve Been Better Showing Madison Saving PADRE In Full
Although there are parallels and links to her actions as a more legendary spectacle when told through stories, some of the emotional impact is lost by revealing Madison’s sacrifice to the audience retrospectively. It’d be like if The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers stopped just before Gandalf arrived with the Riders of Rohan, and the audience found out what happened later when Legolas told someone about it. Additionally, Madison’s famous belief that “no one’s gone until they’re gone” comes full circle when she realizes through Tracy’s jaded hopelessness that living is not about ruthlessness and merely surviving.
Showing Madison going to PADRE in real time would have walked the audience through the same emotional journey as her, therefore creating a more poignant response to her heroics. Instead, hearing it and seeing it through Strand and glimpses detracts from the personal growth Madison goes through in deciding to sacrifice PADRE for the group. It not only signifies her hope for them to live fully but also her acceptance that no one is past saving, whether it’s physically or metaphorically. Fear The Walking Dead diminishes this powerful character development by reusing a season-4 idea without reinventing it or depicting it entirely to emphasize Madison’s final sacrifice.
All episodes of Fear The Walking Dead are available on AMC and AMC+.
- Fear the Walking Dead Release Date: 2015-08-23 Cast: Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, mercedes mason, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Kim Dickens, Ruben Blades, lorenzo james henrie, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo Genres: Drama, Horror Rating: TV-MA Seasons: 8 Story By: Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard Writers: Ian Goldberg, Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson, Andrew Chambliss Network: AMC Streaming Service(s): Hulu, Amazon Prime Video Franchise(s): The Walking Dead Directors: The Walking Dead Showrunner: Dave Erickson, Ian Goldberg, Andrew Chambliss