Fear The Walking Dead is playing with time in Season 4, which is a compelling way to tell the story of a family once again in disarray, but one major question has still not been solved. Sunday's mid-season finale will hopefully, finally, address the undead elephant in the room. What happened to Madison on Fear The Walking Dead? Was she killed? Has she joined the Vultures? How did she and her family separate?
Pretty much every other character has appeared in the grey-ish present tense of the AMC spin-off series' fourth season, revealing whether or not they survived the stadium. After the once save haven burned, Naomi donned some hipster side braids and joined the Vultures — though she tells Alicia "it's not what you think" in their latest stand-off. Make a note of that minor mystery to solve. Meanwhile Strand, Alicia, Nick, and Luciana went out on their own. Charlie stayed with the Vultures and later murdered Nick in cold blood. Cole has not been seen since, and neither has Madison.
The last thing Madison did in the episode leading up to this mid-season climax is dive into the fray with Strand, Cole, and Luciana to rescue Nick and Alicia (and Mel, who was sick at the time but seems well now) in the parking lot outside the stadium. The area, swarmed with oiled-up walkers courtesy of the Vultures, was ready to blow at any minute.
It seems unlikely that the matriarch made it out alive if her family was separated from her and so set towards getting their revenge on the group that destroyed their home. However, she's the Rick Grimes of this show. Forget the fact that Andrew Lincoln is reportedly leaving the original series — Madison seems too important to die at this point. Nick's death was major enough for this season.
Maybe Madison is being held prisoner. She did take Mel into custody, so a retaliative move would not be too far out of the realm of possibility. Maybe our heroes have become ruthless in an effort to save Madison instead of avenge her.
There aren't a lot of clues that point toward any fate in particular — not surprising, as most of the evidence has literally burned. The car Madison and Alicia had packed for their family somehow ended up with Naomi. One reddit theory posits that Madison is recuperating at John Dorie's cabin. That would be convenient, to say the least.
"I can't tell you to worry or not worry," said actor Kim Dickens in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter when asked about Madison's uncertain fate at the beginning of the season. "The storytelling is magnificent this season. We're playing with time in a very unique way. The characters are changing from what you have seen before. That's all I can tell you for now. You'll have to remain worried and wait to find out, week to week." Eight weeks and seven episodes later, fans are still worried. Yikes!
The midseason finale very well could be the end of Madison's story. It is entirely possible that she messed up by sending Mel away and caused a series of events to happen that resulted in her death — but it's just as likely that that oily zombie plan was already in place when Mel and Charlie arrived.
There's also Daniel Salazar. Never forget about him, because Fear The Walking Dead sure isn't going to. According to co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss in an interview with TVLine Ruben Blades is set to return in Season 4 — or maybe Season 5, or maybe The Walking Dead. Chambliss was deliberately vague about those details. Madison and Daniel have always had a contentious relationship, to say the least, but maybe their whereabouts are somehow connected.
The Walking Dead has made a name on excruciating suspense, so fans can only hope that the spinoff actually explains what happened to Madison at the stadium in the midseason finale. It's time for the veil to finally be lifted.