'Fear the Walking Dead' Mid-Season 4 Finale: Madison Fan Theory Is True

Anyone watching Fear the Walking Dead this season, a soft reboot that “crossed over” with The Walking Dead, saw it coming from the start. But that doesn’t make it any less shocking or bold. And finally, the show decides to answer (most) of our questions.

Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 4 finale ahead.

In “No One’s Gone,” the mid-season finale of Fear the Walking Dead, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) is deep in the ruins of the Diamond with Naomi (Jenna Elfman) finally in her crosshairs. Meanwhile, Morgan (Lennie James) is also there, doing his best to defuse the situation. (Peep his mention of Rick Grimes, minus actually saying his name. What a weird Easter egg.)

Why is Alicia bloodthirsty for Naomi? Because Alicia blames Naomi for what she “did” to Madison (Kim Dickens), Alycia’s mother and leader of the Diamond. All season long, it’s been a mystery as to what’s become of Madison, not to mention how Naomi betrayed the group. “No One’s Gone” answers that and then some, confirming that one big rampant fan theory: Madison is dead.

Because of the Westworld-style timeline jumble of the season, this stretch of Fear has toyed around with what’s a flashback and what’s actually “happening.” As Fear fans slowly learned through the other big death of the season, Nick (Frank Dillane), this season of Fear had two different timelines; all scenes featuring Madison are set prior to the actual start of Season 4, while all the desaturated scenes (most of them with Morgan) are “current” events.

“No One’s Gone” takes the concept further. With Madison, the show follows her immediately after the Season 3 finale, having been separated from her family. In Madison’s quest to reunite with them, she meets Althea (Maggie Grace), with whom she traded noodles for an interview. When Alycia finds the stock of ramen in the armored car, that’s when she learns that Althea isn’t her enemy.

Through Althea’s footage, Alicia says goodbye to her mother one last time. So when Alicia, Victor (Colman Domingo), and Luciana (Danay García) agree to an interview, they reveal Madison died saving them during the Vultures’ attack on the Diamond. And Alicia and the others blamed the whole thing on Naomi, but Naomi reveals she had her own reasonable (?) motivations for aligning with the Vultures — for reasons I frankly don’t understand, but it’s enough for everyone to bury the hatchet and for the editors to cue in a syrupy indie song (this week, it’s Mountain Goats’ “Love Love Love”).

And that’s not all! As if making up for the wild continuity jump between Seasons 3 and 4, the final moments reveal how Madison and the gang — before all this madness went down — found the abandoned stadium to call home. It’s bittersweet: We know it doesn’t end well, but we wish so hard that it did.

Fear the Walking Dead will return later this summer.

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