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For a show in a franchise that gets much mileage out of killing off main characters in shocking ways, Fear the Walking Dead has for years been tiptoeing a thin and fine line when it comes to the current fate of Kim Dickens' Madison Clark. Viewers will no doubt remember back in Season 4, when Madison was revealed to have (seemingly) sacrificed herself at the stadium so that Alicia, Nick and others could escape the huge horde. Ever since, fans have speculated that she's still alive out there, and Fear the Walking Dead's showrunners have yet to actually deny that.
Walking Dead and Fear fans are used to show creatives playing coy with narrative details, and the idea of "never say never" when it comes to wild character returns. But as opposed to the flimsiness of past rumors that Corey Hawkins' Heath could return, it actually does sound like Fear the Walking Dead's showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss have legitimate plans for Madison in the pipeline. But do they actually have such plans, or is this all just one big post-apocalyptic gaslighting display?
First, here's how Ian Goldberg responded to ComicBook.com when asked if Madison was still out there, and if she was possibly the mystery savior responsible for Morgan's survival.
There's always a chance. There's always a chance. We can't say much else about who saved Morgan, other than we saw the note. We saw that it was someone with an ulterior motive who said that Morgan still had things to do. It's someone that Morgan doesn't know. We know that from the note, also. I think when we do reveal who that person is who saved them, that note is going to take on a whole new level of resonance in terms of what it means.
And now below, check out what the showrunner duo told Insider when asked about Madison's potential return (possibly by flashback), and whether or not she's actually dead.
Andrew: It's a good question, and I'd say it's definitely something we talk about.
Ian: Well, we never saw her body. And Madison herself said, 'No one's gone until they're gone.'
Clearly, Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg are devious robots whose power is derived from the hopeful confusion of television audiences everywhere! Well, okay, it's probably stretching things, since they'd probably have to get some of their power from electrical sources. In any case, the point is that Fear the Walking Dead has yet to give fans a sense of closure with Madison's storyline, and I can't imagine any hardcore viewers are going to just suddenly stop wondering about her just because we've met another 50 characters in the meantime. Perhaps if Sons of Anarchy and Deadwood vet Kim Dickens wasn't so beloved as a person, it would be easier to let go, but it's not happening.
So neither showrunner is willing to say whether or not Madison is still walking among the living, but they aren't exactly denying that she could be the person responsible for saving Morgan's life after he was left for dead by Virginia. They only speak in vague knowables, such as the idea that Morgan doesn't specifically know who the person is. It's going to be very interesting to see how that all plays out, Madison or no Madison.
The topic of Madison's possible return has obviously come up before, but never more strongly than in Season 5, when Alicia herself started to fall into those same belief patterns after finding a series of painted trees that seemed to be promoting her mother's wisdom. Unfortunately Madison-lovers, those painted trees were the work of Colby Hollman's Wes and his spray-painting talents.
Even if Madison IS still alive out there, there are no guarantees that she would easily cross paths with Alicia, Strand, June or Salazar again. Granted, Fear the Walking Dead has proven time and again that people definitely do just randomly run into each other out there in the open world, but it always comes with a grain of TV salt.
Even if Kim Dickens doesn't ever return to Fear the Walking Dead, that's STILL not definitive proof that we'll never see her again. The Dead-verse is likely expanding in the future to incorporate the Tales of the Walking Dead anthology series, which is geared to tell standalone stories featuring new characters, dead characters, and presumably characters whose fates remain mysterious. Unless, of course, the powers that be decide to give Madison Clark her own film series similar to the plans for Andrew Lincoln's Rick Grimes. Which probably won't happen, but all expectations are on the table with this show.
Fear the Walking Dead is currently on winter hiatus as the crew works on getting the back nine episodes filmed. Viewers can expect to see the show returning to AMC at some point in early 2021, likely in February or March. While waiting, don't forget to check out the two-part Walking Dead: World Beyond Season 1 finale on Sunday, November 29, starting at 9:00 p.m. ET. Bookmark our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule and our 2021 Winter and Spring TV rundown to see all the new and returning shows on the way.