Over the previous two seasons of Fear the Walking Dead, fans of the show have watched Kim Dickens’ character, Madison, evolve and adapt. She may be the soft-spoken mother of two, but looks can be deceiving. From the very beginning of Fear the Walking Dead, she has demonstrated that she has the internal fortitude to weather almost any apocalyptic zombie storm that heads her way.
Warning: this article contains spoilers from the previous seasons.
She has learned to be ruthless when it comes to protecting her children, Nick and Alicia. She previously shared with her fellow survivor, Victor Strand, some important information on her background, and there were hints that she had it rough when she was young. Madison was born in the early 1970s in Alabama, and she had a difficult and troubled relationship with her father. When she was 13, she attacked him in a fit of anger. Madison shared with Strand that she was once a bartender, but she eventually attended college, graduated, and moved to Los Angeles to become a guidance counselor.
Working at Paul R. Williams High School, she was responsible for helping students deal with a wide variety of issues, but later she seemed unable to help Nick with his drug abuse problems. After meeting and marrying construction worker Steven Clark, they had three children. Nick came first; their second child was stillborn, and later, when Alicia came along, the family lived in the El Sereno neighborhood.
Fear the Walking Dead fans discovered that Steven committed suicide by deliberately crashing his car, but Madison told her children it was an accident. She eventually had to deal with that deception and came clean about what really happened during a talk she had with Alicia. During the first season of Fear the Walking Dead, fans discover that Madison was in a relationship with English teacher Travis Manawa, who had one teenage son, Chris.
When Nick left the group after they fled to Mexico, Madison had one goal in mind, even when events on Fear the Walking Dead dictated that she had to make a detour in her efforts to locate her son. Finding Nick was foremost in her mind, and when she found herself at a hotel with Strand and Alicia, she quickly turned it to her advantage on Fear the Walking Dead. With Alicia’s help, they flashed a neon sign on top of the hotel, using it as a signal of sorts in the hopes that Nick would see it.
Although Nick was off having his own dangerous, and, at times, surreal adventures on Fear the Walking Dead, the lights did serve a purpose. Travis saw the lights and immediately headed that way, reuniting with Madison. When Travis later spots two young men, Brandon and Derek, that his son had been traveling with, he immediately wanted to know where Chris was. They told him a story of how Chris was driving and didn’t survive the crash, when in reality he did survive with a broken leg, and they shot him.
Needless to say, Travis lost control when the truth came out, and in a rage, he beat them both to death. He was completely out of control, and unfortunately smashed an innocent man’s head with a door. Madison stabs Brandon and Derek through the head to keep them from turning, and when Oscar dies from his injuries, they are forced to flee the hotel. Immediately, Madison resumes her search for Nick on Fear the Walking Dead, eventually discovering that he was headed for the border.
On the Season 3, two-part debut of Fear the Walking Dead, Vanity Fair shared that Madison, Alicia, and Travis are detained and escorted into a military fuel depot that is currently being held by Troy Otto. He is a demented young man, who has a sordid fascination with conducting his own brand of “research” on how long it takes for people to turn once they are dead. Madison and Alicia are locked inside an office while soldiers drag Travis off to another location.
As they measure his height and weight, Travis watches as a restrained prisoner is shot in the heart, and as he’s moved to a type of holding area, Travis sees Nick with a wounded Luciana. When he gets the chance, he moves over to Nick and tells him that Madison and Alicia are with him. With the help of another prisoner, they decide to fight their way out. Meanwhile, Madison and Alicia are looking for ways to escape as well. Alicia hands over her knife, which she’s gotten quite proficient with, to Madison.
Troy seems to be playing games with them, and as Travis and the others attempt to escape, Madison attacks Troy and literally plants a spoon in his eye, threatening to scoop it out if he didn’t do what she said. A lot of chaos ensues, and just when things are looking bad, Troy’s brother, Jake, arrives. He quickly diffuses the situation and tries to convince Madison to join them at their ranch, where a group of preppers and survivalists have banded together. She wants no part of it until they are overrun by walkers, and she ends up having no choice in the matter.
Before leaving, she and Travis have a tender moment before they are separated again when Travis is forced to escape with Alicia in the helicopter, and Madison and Nick end up in a pickup with Troy. When Madison arrives at Broke Jaw Ranch, she is surprised and worried to learn that the helicopter never arrived. When Alicia arrives with Troy’s brother, Jake, she learns that the helicopter came under attack, and Travis was shot in the neck. Quickly losing a lot of blood, he knew it was over for him, and after opening the door and unbuckling his seat belt, fans were stunned when he let himself fall backward out of the helicopter as Alicia watched.
Once again, Madison faces another tragic loss on Fear the Walking Dead, and it takes everything she has to hold it together until she can find some time to grieve in private. Forbes shared that with Travis out of the picture, Madison is now the new leader on Fear the Walking Dead; both in terms of being responsible for leading the survivors and in terms of her importance to the show as well. Later on Fear the Walking Dead, she tells Nick and Alicia that they are going to stay at the camp, and they will do what it takes to survive there, even if it means taking control.
“We’re going to stay here. We’re going to make it a home. Even if we have to take it over. It’s our fate to get here. Travis died getting here. We have to accept it. We have to be stronger. “
Given her history, Fear the Walking Dead fans know that she means what she says, and on this season of Fear the Walking Dead, Madison will find herself in one the darkest places she’s ever been. She may not be far from the point where any more trauma could easily push her over the edge, and it remains to be seen just what Madison is capable of doing in order to ensure her children survive at all costs. As the saying goes, the most dangerous place to be is between a mother and her children.
Are you a fan of Fear the Walking Dead? Do you think Madison will emerge as the leader of Broke Jaw Ranch, or will she just cause chaos among the survivors? Leave your comments, thoughts, and opinions concerning Fear the Walking Dead below. Fear the Walking Dead airs on every Sunday at 9 p.m. ET on the AMC Channel.
[Featured Image by AMC Channel]