The final two episodes of AMC’s post-apocalyptic series ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ season 8, titled ‘Fighting Like You’ and ‘The Road Ahead’ respectively, are all about Madison Clark’s efforts to stop Troy Otto from occupying PADRE. Although she stops Troy, his followers become the agents of doom and lead a herd of walkers to the island, forcing the custodians of PADRE to abandon the same. Madison, once again, puts her life on the line for the sake of others selflessly. The series ends with a startling revelation concerning the life of one of Madison’s loved ones and the changes she brings to the people around her! SPOILERS AHEAD.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11 and 12 Recap
‘Fighting Like You’ begins with Troy leading a herd of thousands of walkers to the coast, hoping that they will end up on the shore of PADRE, leading him and his men to the island. On his way, he drives into a trap, only for his vehicle to crash and a tree branch to pierce through his body. Tracy seeks help and ends up in the hands of Madison. She sets out to kill Troy, who offers the location of the herd in return for a final meeting with his daughter. For the sake of PADRE, Madison agrees to the same.
Troy reveals that he killed Madison’s daughter Alicia Clark because she changed his wife, Serena, only for the latter to help other survivors and get killed by one of them. After burying Serena, who gets killed by Madison for good, Troy tries to run away from her but both of them get captured by Crane, the real custodian of PADRE. He wants the reign of his community back but his efforts to take the duo to the island get intercepted by Madison’s allies such as Victor Strand, Daniel Salazar, and Luciana. Madison and Troy escape from Crane and his soldiers but end up in a lake. Crane comes after them but he gets killed by the walkers. When Madison drowns, Troy saves her.
Troy announces that he is a changed man. He reveals the location of the herd for Madison and her friends to stop the same. Troy also reveals to Tracy that Serena didn’t regret trying to become another Alicia. Madison, however, doesn’t forgive him. She kills him without giving him a second chance since she starts to believe that her kindness got her kids killed. Throughout her life, Madison has only treated others with compassion. She has given second chances to people who don’t even deserve one. All of her friends have experienced the same at one point in their lives after the world collapsed due to the zombie apocalypse.
Troy expects the same from her when he changes. However, by the time he seeks her forgiveness, Madison has changed. She starts to believe that she has to be ruthless and selfish to survive in this world where selflessness is often taken advantage of. She doesn’t want to immerse herself in pain again and again by eliminating the pain of others. For a change, Madison becomes one of the people she has always fought, which leads to her killing Troy. Before he dies, Troy tells her that Tracy is Alicia’s daughter and that Serena died without giving birth to their baby. In ‘The Road Ahead,’ Madison sets out to leave the place to find Alicia and put her to rest.
However, Troy’s general Russell by then leads a herd to PADRE. The walkers surround the walls of the safe community, forcing Dwight, Sherry, June, Frank, and others to deal with the same. When they stop the walkers from getting inside the community, Russell starts a fire, forcing them to leave for the docks. Madison, Victor, Daniel, Luciana, and their allies kill an enormous group of the dead. Victor seeks her help to save PADRE but she makes it clear that it isn’t her fight. Victor runs to his partner and others on the island. When Madison begins her journey to find Alicia, Tracy picks up a gun and shoots at Madison for killing her father.
Tracy accepts the changed Madison’s belief that kindness isn’t necessary to survive in the world. She then puts Troy to rest as well. While she is dealing with the pain of losing her father, Victor meets and tells her that she didn’t kill Madison since the bullet got stuck in the gun magazine in which the latter kept Alicia’s Saint Christopher medallion.
Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Ending: Does Madison Die?
Madison does not die. After getting saved by the medallion, Madison realizes that cruelty and selflessness will only breed the same. Tracy’s transformation from an innocent kid to a murderer teaches her that she has to hold compassion close to her heart, which has saved the lives of many. Therefore, she leaves for PADRE and leads the walkers to the bunker of the community, just like she has done previously at the Dell Diamond Baseball Stadium, for others to escape through the docks. Madison then lights the walkers to kill them, intending to sacrifice herself for the sake of the survival of her friends and allies. Her compassion, however, ends up saving her life.
When Strand tells Tracy the tale of Madison’s sacrifice, she gets moved. She realizes that she shouldn’t have tried to kill Madison, who is nothing but selfless and empathetic towards others. The little girl finally realizes what’s worth fighting for. She must have thought about her mother Serena, who died helping others without even regretting the same. Madison’s sacrifice must have reminded her of her mother’s life and the lesson the latter wanted to teach her daughter. Tracy kills the violence in her and goes to PADRE to finally see Madison one more time, only to find the latter alive.
Tracy then nurses a nearly-dead Madison to life. Although she inhales a lot of smoke, further damaging her already ill lungs, Madison clings to her life for now. Considering her illness and state of health, there’s no guarantee she will remain alive for good. But whatever time she has got, she decides to spend it helping others.
How is Alicia Alive?
While Madison recovers, Alicia appears out of nowhere, alive. After guiding her allies and friends to PADRE, she remains near the Tower, accepting her fate. However, the virus in her system miraculously retreats, giving her a new life. She continues to help people, including Troy’s partner Serena. When Serena dies, Troy does try to kill Alicia but he doesn’t succeed. She stops Troy from killing her by stabbing her with her prosthetic arm. When Troy later enquires about her fate, his general Russell lies that she turned into a walker without knowing the same. That’s how he gets her arm and believes that she died.
After escaping from Troy, Alicia changes her identity to remain hidden from him, only to hear the communication between the members of an unidentified group that uses giant trucks. She leaves her shelter to find out who they are, only to reunite with her long-lost mother Madison. Although Alicia returns from her death, Tracy doesn’t get to reunite with her mother. Alicia informs the little girl that she is indeed Serena’s daughter, making her realize that Troy lied about the former being her mother to ensure that Madison will look after her. Irrespective of the same, Madison and Alicia take Tracy under their wing to make sure that she isn’t alone.
Alicia’s survival is another evidence that compassion can be a safety net. Despite putting her life on the line several times, she miraculously and unexpectedly remains alive despite the threats she faces. Even her fatal illness retreats from her magically, reminding us of Charlie’s case. Irrespective of her survival, Alicia will always remain alive through her influence on her allies, who range from Victor to strangers like Sara. They carry Alicia’s vision and compassion in them to help others, keeping her alive in one way or another.
Who or What is MADRE? Why Don’t Madison and Alicia Meet the Others?
MADRE is a new organization formed by Victor and his family, Daniel, Luciana, June, Dwight, and Sherry to honor the sacrifice of Madison. When Madison kills the walkers who get into PADRE, they realize the strength and significance of her sacrifice. They do not want Madison’s compassion, which saved each of their lives, to die with her. Thus, they form a group to help other survivors to honor her memory and legacy. Without knowing that Madison doesn’t die, they wish to make her alive by assisting others in her name. The group takes resources from PADRE to spread among the needy in her name, which explains the change from PADRE to MADRE or in other words, mother.
Despite seeing her friends, Madison decides to not meet them because she knows that they do not need her anymore. Madison realizes that they will assist others better if they think that she died. Upon understanding what MADRE can do, she must have understood that the belief that she died is necessary for the existence of the organization. Furthermore, Madison wants to return to Los Angeles with her daughter and seemingly her adopted granddaughter Tracy. She wants a new pathway in her life and for the same, she chooses to not meet her loved ones.