Why Does Madison Need Oxygen in Fear the Walking Dead?

Image Credit: Lauren "Lo" Smith/AMC

The seventh season finale of AMC’s post-apocalyptic series ‘Fear the Walking Dead’ astounds the viewers with the reappearance of Madison Clark, who is presumed dead by her children Alicia and Nick and their allies. Madison reveals to Morgan Jones that she ended up in a community named PADRE as a “collector” who abducts children from the mainland for the new civilization to flourish. In the seventh season finale and eighth season premiere, we see Madison with an oxygen tank tied to her body, from which she inhales oxygen at regular intervals. If you are intrigued about the particular detail, let us share everything you need to know about it! SPOILERS AHEAD.

Why Does Madison Need Oxygen?

Madison needs oxygen since her lungs are severely affected by the smoke she inhales after getting trapped in a burning stadium. In the eighth episode of the fourth season, Madison rushes to a stadium, with Victor Strand and Luciana Galvez, where her children Alicia and Nick are trapped. To make sure that her children will survive a countless number of walkers, Madison gets into the stadium and fires a flare, which draws an enormous herd of walkers into the place. Alicia, Nick, Victor, and Luciana escape from the region as Madison clears the walkers for them.

Image Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Madison initially plans to escape from the stadium through the tunnels and backtrack outside, only to discover that the same are blocked by more walkers. Realizing that there isn’t anything more she can do, she throws her flare at the feet of the walkers, who were already greased up in oil by Ennis. The flare starts a fire that consumes the large herd of walkers, creating an immense amount of smoke. Since she is trapped in the stadium, she gets forced to inhale the smoke, which affects her lungs likely beyond repair. The smoke must have affected her lungs’ ability to process oxygen from regular inhalation, seemingly forcing her to rely on an oxygen tank.

After rescuing Madison, PADRE offers her oxygen tanks to survive. In return for the oxygen tanks and not pursuing her two children, Madison becomes a collector for PADRE. Even when she gets locked up by PADRE, adequate oxygen is seemingly supplied inside the cell for her to live. Despite her ill health, she gains the reputation of being the best collector the civilization has ever seen. Now that she has turned against the authoritarian figure, we may see her fight the latter by putting her partially fit body on the line. Although Madison’s body is weak and needs regular inhalation of oxygen from a tank to properly function, she is as fierce, resilient, and courageous as ever.

Image Credit: Lauren “Lo” Smith/AMC

Madison’s health may become a significant part of her eighth-season storyline, especially with regard to the blood that’s drawn from her. “In that very first scene when Shrike comes down and she draws Madison’s blood, we see that there are marks and it seems like this is something that happens a lot. There maybe is a reason to take that risk beyond just wanting to punish Madison and torture her,” co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss told EW. “And it kind of points to PADRE’s more nefarious side and some of the things that they’re doing in the pursuit of survival that we will very quickly learn are pretty shocking and paint PADRE in a very different light from the idyllic summer camp that we see on that island in this episode,” he added.

Read More: Will Morgan Jones Die? Will PADRE Kill Him in Fear the Walking Dead?