General spoilers below for Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead, so be warned if you aren't caught up!
Following that unexpected union between Jenna Elfman's June and Keith Carradine's John Dorie Sr., Fear the Walking Dead is taking viewers back into the grip of doomsday cult leader Teddy, as played by John Glover. The next episode, titled "Mother," will center on Alycia Debnam-Carey's Alicia during her time learning from Teddy, and the first set of previews for the episode revealed that not only will Alicia cross paths with Zoe Colletti's Dakota during this time, but she'll also reunite with someone we haven't seen since Season 4.
A sneak peek for Episode 614 with Zoe Colletti features Alicia coming face-to-gun-barrel with the weapon held by Sebastian Sozzi's Cole, who was part of the group living at the baseball stadium where Kim Dickens' Madison first set up camp and then (seemingly) sacrificed herself in a massive fire in order to keep her children safe. While it's not quite clear what the situation with Cole is, his sudden reemergence after being presumed dead is certainly an intriguing turn of events.
While there are no guarantees that Cole's survival is indicative of anyone else's, the character's return serves as another dangling clue from Fear the Walking Dead's showrunners that Madison might indeed still be alive out there somewhere. It's a possibility that fans latched onto almost immediately, given that Madison's dead or walkerfied body was never seen on screen, and even if there hadn't been other potential hints during Season 5 and throughout Season 6 before Episode 614, the title "Mother" already had hopeful fans spinning the speculative hamster wheels, which was bolstered by Alicia bringing Madison up during her time so far with Teddy, Riley and the rest of the cult.
Let's also take into account the other ways in which Season 6 has brought important parent-child relationships to the forefront. Obviously that's the case with John Dorie Sr.'s arrival within the protagonist group, but Fear the Walking Dead also delivered a mightily powerful motherhood story with Karen David's Grace and how her pregnancy arc depressingly ended. And what about the complicated AF relationship between Dakota and Colby Minifie's now-dead Virginia, who raised her daughter to think they were sisters? Throw in Colby Hollman's Wes meeting his brother again after thinking he was dead, only to have to play a role in his death soon after, and it's undeniable that family is a key factor in Season 6. But will we get to see Kim Dickens' proper return?
Probably not, because that's just how things go. But check out the Fear the Walking Dead sneak peek below to judge for yourself how important Cole's return will be.
For one last morsel of a tease, the episode's synopsis does mention that Alicia will reunite "with old friends and must confront her past" if she stands a chance of escaping from Teddy and the the cult. I dunno that I'd use the word "confront" to refer to Alicia reuniting with Madison after all this time, but if the shoe fits...
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, with just three episodes left to go in Season 6 before viewers will need to find more to watch in the 2021 Summer TV schedule while anticipating The Walking Dead's return with Season 11 later this summer.