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The Character That Fear The Walking Dead Fans Hope Makes A Comeback

Sometimes the surprise death of the main character on a TV series feels like an invigorating and daring narrative choice, and other times it just leaves the fanbase furious. For every Ned Stark (Sean Bean) on Game of Thrones, there's a Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) on Fear the Walking Dead.

Madison's season 4 death was a genuine moment of shock for fans of the spin-off series, but not in a fun way. Not only was Madison arguably the central character of the series, but she was also well-liked and it hardly felt like she was at the end of her narrative thread. There's no greater testament to her popularity than the fact that fans have been hoping she would shock viewers again by returning from the dead and coming back to the series ever since she left. Even now that the show is midway through its sixth season, fans are still holding out hope that Madison will come back. And if anything, the latest season has only intensified those hopes.

A series of in-show clues and real-world statements have led some fans to speculate that Madison's return to the series may be imminent. While nothing is confirmed yet, there is a sizable contingent on Fear the Walking Dead's subreddit who believe the series is about to enter a Madisonaissance.

Season 6 gave fans a reason to think Madison's return was coming soon

One mystery at the heart of season 6 has given Madison stans (Madistans?) a specific theory to channel their hopes into. In the premiere episode, viewers found out that Morgan (Lennie James) survived being shot by Virginia (Colby Minifie) thanks to someone taking care of him while he was unconscious. The identity of this person has yet to be revealed. While it's entirely possible that it was just some random do-gooder, the mystery has been brought up multiple times throughout the season, and fans are beginning to wonder if it's because the person who saved Morgan is very important. Like, Madison Clark important.

Fans think it could be Madison because, well, so far nobody else on the series has stepped up to claim credit. Every time Morgan reveals that he's alive to one of the characters, they act surprised, meaning they likely weren't the one who dressed his bullet wound. In a discussion thread for the midseason finale, "Damage from the Inside," Reddit user tearvial pointed out, "once again they teased the mystery character who saved Morgan. there's still a good chance it's [Madison]... it really would not make any sense for it to have been a brand new character. it clearly wasn't a member of the current s6 cast."

User u/Darenegade2332 was on a similar train of thought. They argued, "Morgan says he doesn't know who saved him... I really do feel in my heart of hearts that this is all being set up for Madison's return. There's gotta be some big twist/reveal about who saved Morgan. And I think this is it."

Fans were upset that the midseason finale didn't drop any major Madison hints

Fear the Walking Dead's Reddit fandom has been buzzing about the possibility of a Madison return all season, but leading into "Damage from the Inside," there was an incredible amount of speculation that her return would be confirmed during the episode. This was caused, in part, by hints that some writers and critics who got early screeners of the episode gave that seemed to imply there would be a huge hint about Madison's fate. When the episode finally aired, the most fans got was a reference to the stadium where she allegedly died and a scene of Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) doing a radio code that Madison invented. Those certainly were both references to Madison, but neither lived up to the hype that had been generated, which infuriated some viewers.

In the episode discussion thread, u/frntic-shep spoke for many fans whose expletive-laden statements we won't print here when they said, "Also, how the f@#! screeners got from a mention of the Stadium from season 4 to Madison's for sure coming back beats me."

So, once burned, twice shy, right? Well, not exactly. Even though people were big-mad that the midseason finale didn't give them the big hint of Madison's return they were hoping for, many are still hopeful. And they might have a pretty good reason to feel that way.

Many fans still hope Madison will return to Fear the Walking Dead

Although it might feel like delusional optimism to some, many fans aren't giving up the hope for a Madison return, and they do have a few good points on their side. When Madison died (allegedly), the show didn't actually show her dying, just the events leading up to her (alleged) death. Even the current Fear the Walking Dead showrunners, Andrew Chambliss and Ian B. Goldberg, acknowledged this. In a recent interview with Insider, when asked if Madison is actually dead, Goldberg said, "Well, we never saw her body. And Madison herself said, 'No one's gone until they're gone.'"

Combine that with the ongoing mystery of who saved Morgan and the small references to Madison in the show, and it's not hard to see why some fans won't let the theory go. And while it seems like the midseason finale would have been the moment for Madison's imminent return to be made explicit, it's also important to keep in mind that "Damage from the Inside" wasn't meant to be the midseason finale. Due to production complications because of COVID-19, the episode that was supposed to be the midseason finale is now airing as the midseason premiere in 2021 (via Entertainment Weekly). Perhaps then fans will get a definitive answer about whether or not Madison Clark is returning to Fear the Walking Dead.