Is anyone else beginning to get the sense that bringing Kim Dickens back under the same showrunners who discarded her was a bad idea?
Madison Clark has been a shell of her former self since her return, but Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 10 was legitimately one of the worst hours of TV I’ve ever watched because the writing is so off for all of these great characters.
Obviously, the show would never be able to recapture the magic of Fear the Walking Dead Season 3, but I didn’t think the bar could get any lower than Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 and Fear the Walking Dead Season 7.
Madison’s quest to find Alica’s corpse wasn’t bad because, as a parent, she wanted to ensure her daughter was laid to rest.
Madison holds on to a lot of guilt for many of her actions, but she’ll never get over not being around to save her children.
Whenever there’s some genuine progression or shades of the Madison that her original arc was leading to, it’s marred with terrible storytelling, character assassination, and the tired tropes that have plagued the show since Fear the Walking Dead Season 4.
It’s embarrassing that AMC has let it get this far because the wider TWD Universe is thriving creatively.
Madison: We should leave. We need to figure out what to do with her.
Daniel: We use her to get to Troy and make him pay for what he did to our daughters.
Madison: She knows where PADRE is. If Troy ever gets her back… There’s only one way to protect the island.
Daniel: You got the stomach for that, Madison?
Madison: She just tried to use her own mother to kill me.
In a sense, Fear the Walking Dead has always felt a bit experimental with storylines they’d never dream of putting on the more serious shows.
But the fact is that Fear the Walking Dead was a serious show when it launched, and somewhere along the way, AMC believed firing the original showrunner was a good idea.
Now, we’re left with scraps of characters that change allegiances and motivations based on what the writers are feeling that day.
With the state of the series heading into the two-hour series finale, it’s hard to imagine it ending with anything more than a whimper.
Adding Troy Otto‘s daughter, Tracy, into the mix as yet another kid used to disrupt the plot for the good guys is about par for the course at this stage.
The only good thing about the addition of Tracy is that it showed how far Madison was willing to go to protect P.A.D.R.E.
Killing Tracy would have concealed P.A.D.R.E.’S location, but for how long? Troy has proven to be this presence, thanks to his connections.
If anything, killing his kid would have further fueled his desire to destroy the settlement and everyone inside.
Troy, if you’re listening, we have your daughter. I repeat, we have your daughter. She’s safe. We’re willing to return her to you if we can agree to terms.
The kicker here is that Daniel Salazar has been one of the more consistently written characters, so it would have been more interesting if he pushed back against Madison.
He was still reeling from Charlie’s death, which was all thanks to Madison, by the way.
This conflict between Madison and Daniel should have driven much of the action during “Keeping Her Alive.”
If you watch Fear the Walking Dead online, you know they’ve had various dust-ups because they have very different viewpoints on events.
It’s made for some of the show’s best scenes, but here, even though Daniel was driven by wanting to help Madison find closure for her daughter’s death, it didn’t work because their relationship wasn’t at that level.
The person who shocked me the most was Luciana. I would’ve thought that she, more than anyone, would have allowed Madison’s safe passage to get to the horde of walkers.
I can understand Luciana was upset about Madison’s actions on Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 9, but it was ice cold if you ask me.
The only good is that Luciana changed her stance by the end and said she’d go with Madison to the house where Troy apparently killed Alicia.
June: If you want us to believe you’ve changed, Victor, show us. Help us fix this. How? The girl’s already here. We’ll bring her back to her father.
Strand: You think that will satisfy Troy?
June: It might if we give him the man who kidnapped her.
Let’s circle back to Troy and Trace because what kind of father-daughter relationship includes the kid learning about the father’s sins in the apocalypse?
The writing for Tracy was wild, with the show giving her a lot of material that was as believable as Alicia being this messiah who influenced a whole group.
The show’s inability to confirm Alicia’s fate on Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 15 is why we’re in this situation now.
The creatives needed something to dangle like a carrot in front of the audience, and that’s exactly what they’re doing here.
As much as it pains me to say this because I’d love a Madison-Alicia reunion, I hope Alycia Debnam-Carey shot down the opportunity to return for a cameo.
There have been so many terrible things the creatives have done to these characters, and if Dickens and Daniel Sharman’s returns are any indication, they won’t get satisfactory send-offs.
Seriously. One of the cheesiest scenes in TV history has got to be the group telling Madison what an honor it is to be in her presence after Alicia’s profound impact on their lives.
Had we seen Alicia setting up a community or a safe haven during her final arc on Fear the Walking Dead Season 7, it would have been easier to get on board with this random-as-hell storyline.
There are no words to describe my disappointment in how these final storylines have been handled, but the only glimmer of hope is Madison rushing off in the final scene, telling everyone she’ll take down Troy herself to end what she should have ended at the dam 10 years ago.
Why’d you bring that girl here?
Victor: Because I knew Troy wouldn’t dream of attacking the island if he knew we had his daughter as leverage.
June: Or it’s the perfect reason to attack. He doesn’t know that we’re here. Now you have his kid, he’ll find it.
Strand: How? It’s not like she’s been tagged for migratory purposes.
June: Maybe you’d know how badly a parent would fight for their kid if you were doing more than playing father to Klaus.
Strand: After all these years, you still don’t know me.
June: Oh, I do, Victor. I stood by that Tower and I watched you make bad decision after bad decision. People lost their lives because of what you did. John’s father lost his life because of what you did. I’m not making that same mistake again.
Strand: June, many people lost their lives because of you, as I remember, when we first met.
It seemed like a final goodbye she made to Strand, Luciana, and the people she looked like she cared about but only met a few scenes earlier.
With a show of this caliber going into its series finale, there’s a severe lack of stakes because if we follow its typical format, it’ll make us think that people died, only to reveal them to have survived before the episode is over.
Another sticking point is that many thought Morgan stole Madison’s show, so how can the writing be worse now?
I think Morgan teaming up with Madison would have been far more satisfying than what we got, but I don’t make these decisions.
All we can do is wait to see how this pans out next week, but it’s hard to imagine it will be worthwhile.
What are your thoughts on that stupid wild goose chase to find Alicia’s corpse?
Do you think it’s believable that, in her deathly state, she managed to escape and influence a group?
How do you want the series to end?
Hit the comments.
Fear the Walking Dead continues Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC and AMC+.