Fear the Walking Dead is coming to an end. But not before it shifts focus back to its original main character, Kim Dickens' Madison Clark, and gives her a proper send-off.
"What's beautiful about the last season is it's full circle. It feels very karmically correct," director Michael E. Satrazemis explains in the new issue of SFX magazine, which features The Exorcist: Believer on the cover. "We saw Morgan and Mo leave the show, and it's very complete. In the same scene, almost, there's a handover to Madison."
In the second half of Fear's eighth and final chapter, Madison will attempt to further redeem herself for kidnapping survivor children and bringing them to PADRE, having helped dismantle the corrupt society in the first half. We'll finally see her face up to her grief over her late son and daughter, Nick and Alicia, too.
"Knowing that she can try to put some of these children back with their parents is a big thing," Satrazemis says of her new mission. "There's also the fact that Madison hasn't really had enough time to process the death of her children. She's just learned that they were dead, so some of her biggest struggles will be within."
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Ahead of her unexpected return at the start of season 8, Madison had been presumed dead after she sacrificed herself to save her family back in the season 4 midseason finale. The Clark clan had come under attack from a vicious group called the Vultures, and the conflict led to Madison being trapped inside a baseball stadium with dozens of infected. Before she had trouble with the Vultures, though, Madison and her crew faced off against Troy Otto, the violent, hot-headed son of Broke Jaw Ranch leader Jeremiah.
Tensions rose when Troy learned that Nick killed his abusive, alcoholic father, and Alicia kept it a secret. But things went from bad to worse when Madison discovered that Troy was the one who led a herd of walkers to the ranch, as part of a twisted "survival of the fittest" exercise, she whacked him with a hammer, seemingly killing him in front of Nick. Only, we know now, he didn't die… because he's back in the last six episodes.
"He's got a plan," Satrazemis teases of Troy's vengeful return. "He's another [great idea] of Ian and Andrew, that instead of trying to bring in a new character they bring in somebody with so much history right at the point we go back into the OG characters."
Fear the Walking Dead season 8 returns on AMC and AMC+ October 22. The above is just a snippet of our interview, available in the latest issue of SFX Magazine, which features The Exorcist: Believer on the cover and is available on newsstands from Wednesday, October 4. For even more from SFX, sign up for the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.