Feаr TWD Finаle Cһаrасter Return Proves How Terrible 1 Spinoff Villаin Reаlly Wаs

Fear The Walking Dead brought back a curious character in its finale. Unlike other returns, this one just proved how terrible a specific villain was.

A split image featuring Troy and Madison in Fear the Walking Dead's series finale

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


  • Crane’s return in Fear The Walking Dead finale exposes the ineffectiveness of PADRE as villains, highlighting their lack of influence and power.
  • PADRE failed to live up to the hype in season 7, with a disappointing reveal as a safe-zone-turned-villain community run by immature young adults.
  • Troy Otto’s return as the last villain in Fear The Walking Dead is more impactful, as it mirrors Madison’s family-led motivations and creates a dynamic conflict.

During its eight seasons, Fear The Walking Dead has introduced some diabolical antagonists, and a character return in the finale proves how terrible one particular villain was. Much like The Walking DeadFear loves bringing back characters, from Daniel’s return in season 3 after his believed death in the fire at the Abigail vineyard to Alicia’s return in the finale. In bringing characters back, the show built on existing narratives through individual character arcs. For instance, The Walking Dead‘s Troy Otto’s survival and return in season 8 called back to events from season 3 and added to the need to defend the overthrown PADRE.

Because Fear The Walking Dead‘s cast is so extensive, some villains are less memorable than others. For example, Proctor John in season 3 was short-lived and became a threat just in time for Nick to detonate the dam, whereas Virginia’s reign over Morgan and his group led to the deaths of some fan favorites, such as John Dorie. Clearly, the Walking Dead franchise oscillates between more secondary villains and standout game-changers, like Negan. This creates a divide between impactful and flat villains, which Fear The Walking Dead‘s series finale may have acknowledged.

Crane’s Fear The Walking Dead Return Underlines How PADRE Were Terrible Villains

Crane AKA Ben In Fear The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 11

In Fear The Walking Dead‘s series finale, Crane (also known as Ben) made a brief return. After Troy made a run to escape from Madison and tripped into a concealed hole, Crane showed up and captured both him and Madison. His desire to reclaim PADRE, and his tactics of promising a home for Troy and his daughter Tracy if Troy’s team backed down from their planned herd attack, fell flat very quickly. This became clear after Daniel and Luciana attacked his vehicle. Furthermore, by telling Madison he would’ve led Crane astray instead of taking him to his army, Troy solidified how minimal Crane’s influence was despite heading PADRE for years.

Crane also recapped how he rescued Madison from the stadium only to get bitten immediately after. Not only does this emphasize he hasn’t learned anything, but it also amplifies how ridiculous and disappointing PADRE as a villain is. This confirms Crane as a power-hungry immature adult with an inflated sense of purpose. It also reinforces Crane’s presence in the final episode as nothing more than a plot device and a foreshadowing of Madison’s biggest moment in the Fear The Walking Dead finale.

Why PADRE Didn’t Live Up To Fear The Walking Dead Season 7’s Huge Hype

The Walking Dead is no stranger to major villain setups. Most notably, Negan in season 6 of the main show had such a build-up that, when audiences got to see him for the first time and discover the extent of his ruthlessness, it was gut-wrenching and even more alarming than was alluded to. With PADRE, the reverse was done. Setting up the group so early with just mentions and no concrete proof did a great job at creating intrigue, but also set the bar for season 8 really high. PADRE’s disappointing reveal being that it’s a safe-zone-turned-villain community run by two orphaned young adults is underwhelming.

The three main upcoming Walking Dead spinoff characters: Rick & Michonne, Daryl Dixon, and Negan & Maggie.
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Putting this aside, the motivations for PADRE’s actions were the final straw because it denounced any potential scientific or political ties, further placing it as more of an illusion of power than an actual villain with influence to reinvent societies in an apocalyptic wasteland. PADRE’s Fear The Walking Dead season 8 agenda highlighted how Shrike and Crane kidnapping kids was their twisted way of instilling immunity to weaknesses like personal connections. Cutting out links to earlier theories that PADRE could measure up to or be worse than the secretive CRM emphasizes how PADRE represented childish delusions of a “better” world. They focused too much on inhumane ideals rather than actual community-building.

Crane’s Finale Return Confirms Fear The Walking Dead’s Ending Needed Troy Otto

Troy in Fear the Walking Dead season 8, episode 1

With letdowns like PADRE having no real ties to the military despite the Senator Vasquez red herring in season 7 and promising attempts at building immunity through zombie experiments, PADRE fundamentally was flawed. Throughout the franchise, family is an integral aspect of what drives many of the characters, whether it’s found or biological. Making family the main ideal PADRE opposed set them up to fail because threatening this ideal made their opposition a bigger threat. Troy’s return, while villainous, mirrored Madison’s group’s idea of establishing a home and keeping one’s family safe.

Using Crane as a plot device to juxtapose his power-driven reasons against Troy’s family-led (and revenge-tainted) ones for pursuing PADRE only reinforced why Troy was chosen to be Fear The Walking Dead‘s last villain. Troy’s understanding of Madison’s relationship with her kids and their shared history created a more interesting dynamic. Their similarities and past confused their conflict since it provided a mutual goal of protecting their kids no matter what. Although Madison still killed Troy, his death and legacy through Tracy inspired Madison’s turn away from cynicism. Ultimately, Fear The Walking Dead‘s inclusion of Crane one last time was inconsequential, and it underlined PADRE’s disappointment as an organizational villain.

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