Shock Walking Dead Character Return Avoids 3 Massive Problems

Fear The Walking Dead’s series finale sees a shocking character return. Thankfully, their presence worked and helped avoid some huge story problems.

A custom image featuring Madison in two different moments from Fear The Walking Dead's series finale

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Fear The Walking Dead’s series finale.


  • The shocking return of Alicia in the series finale of Fear The Walking Dead saves the show from making a huge mistake by killing off an original and beloved character off-screen.
  • The reunion between Alicia and her mother Madison is vital for a satisfying ending to their narrative arcs and provides closure for their emotional trauma and grief.
  • Alycia Debnam-Carey’s return as Alicia removes the ambiguity surrounding her fate and ties up loose ends, giving the character a proper send-off and strengthening the finale overall.

The Fear The Walking Dead finale included many twists and surprises, and one shocking character return is a positive one, as it helps the show avoid three massive problems. After eight seasons, Fear The Walking Dead has seen many franchise-altering surprises from Morgan, Dwight, and Sherry’s move from the main show to “nuclear walkers.” Leading to the series finale, the focus primarily sits on Troy Otto and Madison Clark’s clash and fight for PADRE, the community liberated by the latter’s group midway through the season. However, numerous side questions crop up, like who Troy’s daughter Tracy’s mother is.

The series finale also included quite a few red herrings. Seemingly, Fear The Walking Dead has proven deaths aren’t final. Madison and Troy were both presumed dead prior to season 7, yet are essential in season 8. Likewise, Ben – who ran PADRE previously – makes a return in the first part of Fear The Walking Dead‘s two-part finale and tries to gain favor with Troy so he can resume power over PADRE. The second part of the finale takes it up a notch with a death fake-out, new info about Tracy’s mother, and a reimagined PADRE. One particular character’s return, however, helps solidify the ending.

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Alicia Surviving Saves Fear The Walking Dead’s Ending From A Huge Mistake

Alycia Debnam Carey as Alicia in Fear The Walking Dead

Earlier in season 8, the question about whether Fear The Walking Dead actually killed Alicia came up after Troy claimed to have done it. While the evidence was strongly in favor of this being the case, killing Alicia off-screen would have been a huge disservice to her character. Alicia is one of the original Fear The Walking Dead names, and her development into a kind, resilient leader set her up to be the most famous Walking Dead character in-universe. This is shown through the dedicated groups of survivors who dress up like her and help others as she once did.

Paying homage to Alicia by introducing a group that keeps her legacy alive is generous, but it doesn’t measure up to an on-screen goodbye. Alicia not only helped numerous strangers, but she exhibited her signature fighting spirit from early on. For example, she stabbed a man who was threatening Travis’ life to save the latter. Moreover, since her exit in season 7 was somewhat open-ended and merely set her up to search for survivors looking for refuge, giving Alicia a proper send-off in the series finale shows how her quest to save others has affected her. It also proves she’s grown since her near-death experience in season 7.

Alicia & Madison’s Reunion Is The Only Way FTWD Could Have Ended

Aside from the disservice an off-screen death would’ve been for Alicia, Madison’s return meant an Alicia and Madison reunion was crucial. In a heartwarming finale scene, Alicia and Madison reunite after the latter wakes up from the explosion at PADRE. Bringing back the Clark family matriarch reopened the emotional trauma of Nick’s death in season 4 and added to the grief with Alicia’s believed death. Considering episode 10 is entirely focused on Madison’s mission to find Alicia, who she believes is zombified, denying any interaction between the two would’ve been anti-climactic and would’ve kept their narrative arcs incomplete.

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Alicia wouldn’t have known her mother had survived the stadium explosion in season 4 if she hadn’t returned. As both women mention, they would’ve looked for each other if they knew they were alive. While Madison did this, information was skewed, making it unreliable to believe definitively that Alicia was dead or alive. Giving the pair parallel character growth rooted in helping others, Fear The Walking Dead neatly concludes Madison’s arc, provides her and the audience with closure, and offers an optimistic outlook for them and Tracy as they return to a post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Therefore, mother and daughter are literally brought full circle to where their story began.

Alycia Debnam-Carey’s Return Removes Ambiguity About Alicia’s Fate & Future

Alycia Debnam-Carey As Alicia Clark In The Fear The Walking Dead Series Finale

While there originally were speculations Alicia might be recast for Fear The Walking Dead season 8, the hints about her being alive made it all the more necessary to bring back Debnam-Carey. Troy chopping off walkers’ arms to mess with Madison, the ambiguity around where Tracy got Alicia’s necklace, and the inconclusive answers to where Troy supposedly killed Alicia pointed to her potentially being alive. In the finale, however, Russell finally explains the truth that Troy had stabbed Alicia but that he lied about finding her dead body to avoid adding to Troy’s emotional turmoil. This confirmation that Alicia had moved further suggested she could’ve survived.

The back and forth between whether she lived or not was torture enough, so to leave it unconfirmed would’ve been extremely frustrating. Not only would it have made the toying between the two fates seem more pointless, but it would’ve been another example of a disservice to such a monumental character. Bringing her back also ties up other questions, like Tracy’s mother being Serena and not Alicia. Overall, Fear The Walking Dead successfully bringing back Debnam-Carey as Alicia in the finale gives the beloved character a proper send-off and helps conclude many of the loose ends introduced in the final season, which does nothing but strengthen the finale.

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