Fear the Walking Dead: Is Madison still in control?

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC
Kim Dickens as Madison Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 3, Episode 14 - Photo Credit: Richard Foreman, Jr/AMC /

After the events of Fear the Walking Dead “This Land Is Your Land” I can’t help but wonder if Madison is still in control the way she thinks she is.

Madison Clark is a complex woman. She’s the matriarch of the Clark family twice over following the death of her kids’ father as well as her partner Travis. Up until season 3 of Fear the Walking Dead she has been wishy washy in the strictest sense of the term; she was in denial about what has happening around her until the point came when they had to flee. From that point forward Madison has made good decisions and incredibly stupid decisions, so it’s no wonder that Nick and Alicia sat and stared at her when she revealed that they were going to make Broke Jaw Ranch their home and [by the way] she killed her father when she was a kid.

See? Complex.

But when she made the declaration about staying at Broke Jaw Ranch, her kids weren’t so sure about her plan. Nick had been living on his own at La Colonia with Luciana, and even in her absence he was still impacted by the lessons he learned from her. Alicia had seen her mother make big mistakes at the resort, mistakes that cost them their perfect shelter. Neither one of them were completely behind their mother on this plan so instead of working with her, they worked alongside of her while keeping to their own plans. Alicia developed her relationship with Jake and Nick became close to the militia.

Now that the Ranch has fallen and Jake is dead, Madison wants to move their new group to the dam. She had an agreement with Lola about taking shelter there and believes that they have their best shot of survival there. But Alicia is done with her mother’s plans. She has been through so much in such a short period of time that she needs to leave, and she does. Nick volunteers to follow her, agreeing to take Troy with him. Soon Madison is left on her own with Strand, Walker, Ofelia, and Crazy Dog.

So is she still in charge?

It looks like Madison’s influence is waning. She is now teamed up with Qaletaqa Walker and Victor Strand, and together they’re on their way to Daniel Salazar. Suddenly the top of the pyramid is a lot more crowded as four leaders converge. 

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Strand will always go along with Madison because that’s the nature of their relationship and their bond. Walker has lost his community but still has a lot of experience that will guide him, and we have seen how Daniel has quietly exerted his influence at the dam. It would seem that Madison might not have the last word or the loudest voice anymore.

This might be a good thing.

Madison has evolved over the course of three seasons but she still makes really dumb mistakes that could get people killed. Just as Rick seems to be positioning himself to hand over the torch to Maggie on The Walking Dead, perhaps Madison should back away for a while and let someone else call the shots. She’s strong and she’s a fighter, but she needs more time to get herself together if she’s really going to protect her family in the apocalypse.