Fear the Walking Dead: Madison was dropping hints all along

Fear The Walking Dead;AMC
Fear The Walking Dead;AMC /

Looking back at Fear the Walking Dead 201, all the signs were there pointing to Madison’s troubled past, but we didn’t know how troubled it really was.

Up late and unable to sleep, I caught the season 2 premiere of Fear the Walking Dead during AMC’s Labor Day Weekend Walking Dead Marathon. Watching “Monster” with the new lens of the season 3 mid-season finale, all the signs pointed to Madison’s troubled past but we didn’t know what we were being told until now.

Aboard the Abigail, Madison finds Chris contemplating life in his room. She notes his hurt hand from when he punched Travis, who killed Chris’ mom at the end of the first season. Madison says she can remember when she hit her father when she was thirteen. “It didn’t end well,” she says, her gaze distant as she recalls the memory.

At the time, it seemed like Madison was trying to soothe Chris, who had just lost his mother. This much is true. But what we didn’t know at the time is that things really didn’t end well – for Madison’s abusive father. Madison revealed in the mid-season finale that she killed her father when she was a teen because she was tired of suffering from his abuse. 

Interestingly, Madison is sharing this insight with Chris, who is about to go off the rails himself. Madison told Strand that there is a line of mental illness in her family that Nick inherited from his father, and her well-schooled experience as a high school guidance counselor might see those same signs in Chris. Again, we attributed that experience to Madison dealing with her husband and Nick and her work, but there’s some darkness in her, too. Later on, she will try to tell Travis that Chris is not well, but Travis will protect his son til the end, and ultimately that leads nowhere.

Though some Fear the Walking Dead fans (myself included) felt that Madison’s big revelation about her past came out of left field, perhaps the signs were there all along and we were led to believe they were leading in one direction when it was actually something else entirely all along.

More from Undead Walking

Find out how Madison’s troubled past impacts her family’s survival when Fear the Walking Dead returns on September 10 on AMC.