Madison’s return to Fear the Walking Dead means the series can finally pay off the hopes that fans originally had for its first crossover. The news that Morgan (Lennie James) would be the spinoff’s crossover character came with a ton of expectations for season 4, but not all were fulfilled. Many were disappointed with how Madison (Kim Dickens) fit into the show’s plan.
The spinoff series made a permanent change to the status quo in season 4 when it brought Morgan over from The Walking Dead. The series hasn’t looked back since. Since then, it built several stories around a mostly new cast and moved on from two of the original season 1 characters, Nick (Frank Dillane) and Madison (Kim Dickens). However, one of them is about to have their season 4 death undone. FTWD has walked back its decision to kill off Madison, who previously held the role of the show’s main protagonist. AMC has announced that Dickens will be back as a series regular in Fear the Walking Dead season 8. Madison is expected to pop up alive at some point in season 7’s back half.
The news that Fear the Walking Dead is bringing Madison back into the fold signals that the show is about to rectify one of season 4’s biggest disappointments. Ahead of the season 4 premiere, it was widely assumed that Morgan and Madison would meet. With both being hugely popular characters with totally different moral compasses, there was a great deal of interest in seeing how these two would interact and get along in the zombie apocalypse. But at the time, it was not known that the series actually had no intention of allowing the two to cross paths. As it turned out, Madison was limited to season 4’s flashback storyline. Canonically, she was dead before Morgan even showed up.
Posters that had Morgan and Madison together gave the impression that the two would be involved in the same story, but it was not to be. That being said, Madison’s return has opened the door for that very scenario to take place. And, it’s one that feels inevitable. Unless a tragic fate suddenly befalls Morgan in the next few episodes, the two characters are sure to come in contact with each other sooner or later, whether it be in season 7’s back half or sometime in season 8.
Whatever dynamic Madison and Morgan will have in Fear the Walking Dead promises to be fundamentally different from what it would have been had they met in season 4. The people that once traveled with Madison are now part of Morgan’s group. He’s secured their loyalty and kept them safe, which will likely earn him some respect from their original leader. But even so, she doesn’t know him, so it could still take some time before she accepts him. Until that happens, Madison could but heads with Morgan over his style of leadership. Moreso than Morgan, Madison is willing to get her hands dirty to keep her family safe. This aspect of her character creates a potential for conflict in Fear the Walking Dead’s future and is one of the many reasons why her return is such an exciting opportunity for the series.