All Returns, Twists & What Comes Next

Warning: spoilers ahead for Fear The Walking Dead’s series finale.


  • Fear The Walking Dead concludes with characters going their separate ways, each with a mission to help people and spread Madison and Alicia’s message of selflessness.
  • Madison and Alicia deliberately pretend to be dead, allowing their friends to believe they were killed, as they have seen the positive impact their deaths have had on others.
  • Madison survives the PADRE explosion due to her oxygen tank and taking refuge in her old underground cell.

After eight years and eight seasons, Fear The Walking Dead dies the same way it lived – in a chaotic series of twists and turns worthy of closer examination. Fear The Walking Dead‘s series finale picks up with Daniel Sharman’s Troy Otto leading a 5000-strong zombie herd toward PADRE, and Madison Clark doing her damnedest to stop him. Both are scuppered by the surprise return of Crane leading the remnant soldiers of the original PADRE group. Fear The Walking Dead season 8’s feuding main characters find common ground, but Madison’s ruthless streak holds steadfast – which is more than can be said for Troy’s stomach when Madison drives Alicia’s metal arm through it.

Understandably irked by her father’s murder, Tracy Otto responds by shooting Madison in revenge. Kim Dickens’ character survives this assassination attempt, and goes on to single-handedly save PADRE from Troy’s zombie horde. Not only do Madison’s heroics earn Tracy’s forgiveness, they attract the attention of a nomadic Alicia Clark, culminating in an emotional mother-daughter reunion – the first time Dickens and Alycia Debnam-Carey have appeared together onscreen since Fear The Walking Dead season 4. With the day saved, the spinoff’s remaining survivors go their separate ways.

Related: Walking Dead Timeline Explained: When All 7 Shows Take Place

MADRE Explained: What Happens To Each Group After Fear The Walking Dead Ends

Madison looking stoic in Fear the Walking Dead season 8

PADRE is decimated, but Madison at least protects its inhabitants, and the group’s name is changed to “MADRE” in recognition of her sacrifice. Whereas PADRE was a fixed Walking Dead settlement, MADRE is a network of small groups that spread across the country, but remain united by the singular purpose of helping people. Each band of survivors takes supplies, and ventures down a different path. Their collective goal is to spread Madison and Alicia’s message of selflessness, and to help anyone who needs assistance. Despite heading in opposite directions, Luciana points out how teams can keep in contact via radio, meaning the protagonists are not permanently split up when Fear The Walking Dead ends.

June and Odessa take the MRAP back to John Dorie’s cabin in Texas, with the youngster hoping to learn medicine from her companion. June has become something of a mother figure to Odessa since they met at PADRE. Dwight and Sherry stay in Georgia, presumably with the remaining PADRE kids, and plan to track down the parents of children taken by Shrike and Crane. They will be taking refuge in the ruins of the Sanctuary.

Daniel and Luciana stick together, reunited with Skidmark the cat thanks to Alicia. Before departing, Daniel acknowledges Strand as a changed man by speaking to him in German – the language of “Anton.” Fear The Walking Dead‘s various background survivors spread across these groups, secreted in the backs of trucks and out of frame.




Madison Clark, Alicia Clark & Tracy Otto

Los Angeles

Help people

Victor Strand, Frank & Klaus


Help people

Dwight & Sherry

The Sanctuary

Find parents whose children were stolen by PADRE

Daniel & Luciana


Help people

June & Odessa


Visit John’s grave. Teach Odessa medicine.

Which Characters Know Madison & Alicia Are Alive After Fear The Walking Dead’s Ending

Fear the Walking Dead Alicia

Fear The Walking Dead concludes by casting a cloud of doubt over which characters know the truth about Madison and Alicia Clark being alive. The only Fear The Walking Dead character who knows definitively that both women still live – aside from Tracy Otto, their new traveling companion – is Victor Strand. Alicia and Madison deliberately allow themselves to be spotted in the rearview mirror of Strand’s truck, letting him move forward in the knowledge that both Clark heroes are safe.

The other Fear The Walking Dead main characters heard Russell claim over the radio that Alicia might have survived Troy’s attack, but none of them can be certain. As for Madison, the likes of Daniel, Luciana, June, Dwight, and Sherry all firmly believe that Madison is dead after saving them from Troy’s zombie herd. The group has no inkling that Madison could have possibly escaped that huge, fiery blast, and also believe that Tracy remains missing after running away from Strand.

How Madison Survived Fear The Walking Dead’s Massive PADRE Explosion

The PADRE island in Fear the Walking Dead

The wider Walking Dead franchise has earned a reputation for characters cheating death in fantastical and unlikely ways, but Fear The Walking Dead has pushed that trope to extremes. Daniel survived the fire at Celia’s compound in Fear The Walking Dead season 2, Madison survived the stadium fire in season 4, and Charlie survived fatal radiation poisoning in FTWD season 8. Troy Otto even managed to survive being smashed over the head with a hammer and an entire dam collapsing on top of him. Madison walking away from the PADRE explosion in Fear The Walking Dead‘s final episode is ridiculous, but no more so than the above examples.

Fear The Walking Dead‘s official explanation is that Madison’s oxygen tank – a consequence of her first miraculous escape from death – spared her life by preventing smoke inhalation and suffocation. It also appears that by taking refuge in her old underground cell, Madison was somewhat shielded from the full force of the blast. Repeating the same trick she used in Fear The Walking Dead season 4 perhaps means that Madison knew roughly what to expect and how to avoid fatal injuries, which may have spared her from the worst.

Related: The Walking Dead Just Jumped Exactly The Same Shark 2 Episodes In A Row

Why Madison & Alicia Want Their Fear TWD Friends To Believe They’re Dead

Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar in Fear The Walking Dead

After sharing a happy embrace between themselves, Madison and Alicia deliberately avoid an emotional reunion with their other friends. Even Victor Strand only receives a farewell glance from afar. Instead, Madison allows the other Fear The Walking Dead characters to assume she was killed by the PADRE explosion, and Alicia lets them believe she may or may not have been murdered by Troy Otto. Although not exactly a conventional TV ending, their motivation for doing this is alluded to by Alicia herself.

After recovering from Troy’s attack, Alicia discovered that a group of survivors she previously aided had banded together to help strangers in her memory, honoring the hero they believed had been killed. Witnessing this, Alicia realized that the legend of her charitable activities was a powerful tool of influence, so maintained the pretense of her death. Madison’s actions at PADRE have a similar impact, with her old group renaming themselves “MADRE” and working together harmoniously. Seeing their deaths have a positive effect, Alicia and Madison opt out of revealing themselves to the gang.

RELATED: The Walking Dead Proves Rick Grimes Isn’t The Franchise’s Most Famous Survivor (In-Universe)

The Real Meaning Of The Blue Flower

Madison standing in a field of blue flowers in Fear The Walking Dead

Before taking their diverging roads, Madison leaves a bluebonnet in Victor Strand’s truck, and this flower holds a special significance to Madison Clark’s character. Back in Fear The Walking Dead season 4, Nick Clark remembered how he and his mother once came across a field of bluebonnets after the outbreak, with Madison noting “told ya there was still good out here.” Victor Strand must have known about this, since the sight of a bluebonnet in his truck immediately piques his interest.

The true meaning of the bluebonnet, however, goes far deeper. Madison previously believed that the bluebonnet symbolized the good that remained in the world, despite The Walking Dead‘s zombie virus bringing down human civilization. By leaving the same flower inside Strand’s truck, Madison is silently signaling that she has rediscovered the good within herself, renouncing her ruthless ways in favor of reverting to the Madison Clark of old.

Madison’s Change Of Heart In Fear The Walking Dead’s Final Episode Explained

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark pointing a gun in Fear The Walking Dead

All The Walking Dead TV shows share a common theme – the eternal debate over whether survivors should act like hardened, ruthless brutes who take any and all measures necessary to protect themselves and their loved ones, or whether they should hold onto their humanity and still show kindness toward fellow humans. Fear The Walking Dead‘s series finale puts Madison through that very dilemma. Kim Dickens’ character begins the episode firmly in the latter camp, and this attitude is precisely the reason she executes Troy Otto, despite his surrender.

Madison’s change of heart is triggered by Tracy Otto. When Tracy shoots Madison and absconds, Madison finally realizes that teaching the next generation to be cold and brutal, and instilling within them that empathy is a weakness, is not the correct path. Such beliefs are good for survival, but not conducive to thriving in the zombie apocalypse. Madison rediscovers the meaning behind her famous quote, “No one’s gone until they’re gone,” and figures out that living requires more than survival alone. That pivot comes too late for Troy, of course, but Madison and Alicia end Fear The Walking Dead united in the same beliefs, heading toward the future to spread kindness in a dark world.

What Really Happened Between Troy & Alicia Before Fear The Walking Dead Season 8

Alycia Debnam Carey as Alicia and Daniel Sharman as Troy in Fear The Walking Dead

Troy Otto’s recollection of the beef between himself and Alicia Clark seems to morph with each commercial break, and by the time Fear The Walking Dead‘s final episode rolls credits, the story has had more variations than the MRAP has owners. At the center of this maze of misdirection, however, truth can be extracted. At some point after his impossible escape from the dam collapse in Fear The Walking Dead season 3, Troy Otto met a woman named Serena in the vicinity of Mexico. Serena fell pregnant with Tracy Otto, named after Troy’s late mother.

During Fear The Walking Dead season 8’s time skip, Serena suffered a zombie bite. By now, Alicia had become the Florence Nightingale of the zombie apocalypse. She responded to Troy and Serena’s message, amputated the bitten limb, and helped Serena recover alongside her newborn daughter before moving onto the next survivor in need. Inspired by the actions of this kind stranger, Serena adopted Alicia’s philosophy and started helping others in the same manner. Inevitably, not all survivors shared her good nature, and one group took advantage of Serena, robbing and attacking her after she responded to a fake distress call.

Troy found the dying Serena, who made him promise to keep Alicia’s spirit alive, and raise Tracy holding those same values. Enraged by the loss of his wife and Tracy’s mother, Troy had other ideas. He hunted down Alicia Clark, and a battle to the death ensued. Alicia pierced his stomach with her metal arm, and Troy stabbed Alicia in return. Troy limped home, Alicia’s silver limb still hanging from his guts, and sent a group of soldiers led by Russell to check his opponent’s fate. Russell found signs that Alicia had survived and escaped, but didn’t pass this information onto the emotionally fragile Troy.

Rather than honoring his wife’s dying wish, Troy raised his daughter to believe that Serena died filled with remorse and regret over buying into Alicia’s softhearted beliefs. Troy drummed into his daughter that Alicia’s influence was directly responsible for Serena’s death, and both Clark women needed to be punished for this crime. Furthermore, he plotted for Madison to be symbolically executed by Serena’s zombie in a twisted version of poetic justice.

Troy finally admits his grand deception in Fear The Walking Dead‘s ending, but uses his dying breaths to spin one final lie. Knowing his time is short, Troy claims that Tracy was never his own daughter, but Alicia’s child, stolen in one final act of revenge. This would make Tracy Madison’s biological granddaughter. Troy’s denial of paternity is a complete fabrication designed to trick Madison into protecting Tracy like one of her own children, since he would no longer be around. Troy’s lie works, as Madison immediately switches her focus away from protecting PADRE.

Why Troy Saves Madison (& How Fear The Walking Dead Redeems Him)

Daniel Sharman as Troy and Kim Dickens as Madison facing off in Fear The Walking Dead

After seizing Strand’s hotel, announcing that he had killed Alicia Clark, and declaring his intention to murder Madison, Troy Otto looked irredeemable in Fear The Walking Dead. Regardless, the spinoff’s “Fighting Like You” and “The Road Ahead” two-parter successfully transforms the audience’s perception of Troy. In his last appearance, Troy not only reveals the location of the herd sent toward PADRE, he also drags Madison free from a deadly swamp.

For the best part of seven years, Troy had been carrying the guilt of betraying his wife’s last wish and lying to their daughter. Despite knowing that Serena would have wanted the opposite, Troy championed violence and selfishness as the best way to survive, and sought to punish Madison Clark for believing otherwise. When Troy and Madison were both close to getting swallowed by a swamp during Fear The Walking Dead‘s penultimate episode, however, Troy saw how Madison’s once-hopeful beliefs had faded, leaving behind a woman who felt the same as him. This prickled Troy’s conscience over Serena, prompting him to make amends.

Ever since revealing that Troy had become a doting father, Fear The Walking Dead season 8 has gradually softened the villain’s characterization, and the spinoff’s final two episodes complete that redemption. Troy’s turnaround is cemented by the revelation that he failed to truly kill Alicia Clark. Although Troy undoubtedly intended to end Alicia’s life, failing makes him far easier to forgive in the audience’s eyes than if Alicia had actually died.

Will Any Fear The Walking Dead Characters Return In Future TWD Shows?

Numerous clues across all shows within the Walking Dead Universe point toward a forthcoming crossover. For example, Morgan Jones left Fear The Walking Dead on a mission to find Rick Grimes, and during her Daryl Dixon cameo, Carol revealed that a mysterious character “came back” to Alexandria after The Walking Dead‘s ending. Franchise mastermind, Scott M. Gimple, even admitted during an NYCC 2023 panel that a crossover was firmly on the table.

Fear The Walking Dead‘s ending makes it very difficult for any FTWD characters to be involved in such a project. Madison and Alicia head away from Georgia and Alexandria, back toward their original home on the West Coast. This pulls them away from any potential meetings with other characters in the Walking Dead world. Furthermore, the entire Fear The Walking Dead cast ends the spinoff separated into smaller factions. Without Fear The Walking Dead‘s characters collected in one area, integrating these heroes into other shows becomes much harder.

Nevertheless, anything is possible. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon took its titular character all the way to France, but with Melissa McBride’s Carol appearing as a main character in season 2, Daryl remains strongly connected to the wider Walking Dead landscape, despite the geographical distance. The separation of Fear The Walking Dead‘s main characters does not, therefore, rule out future appearances. As long as Morgan is alive, a thread between the spinoff cast and the original show remains.

  • Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Poster

    Fear the Walking Dead

    Release Date:

    Cliff Curtis, Frank Dillane, mercedes mason, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Kim Dickens, Ruben Blades, lorenzo james henrie, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo

    Drama, Horror



    Story By:
    Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, Charlie Adlard

    Ian Goldberg, Robert Kirkman, Dave Erickson, Andrew Chambliss


    Streaming Service(s):
    Hulu, Amazon Prime Video

    The Walking Dead

    The Walking Dead

    Dave Erickson, Ian Goldberg, Andrew Chambliss

Source link