Wаlkinɡ Deаd Just Teаsed Tһe Sһow’s Dаrkest Protаɡonist Moment In 13 Yeаrs

SUMMARY

  •  Madison’s plan to kill Troy Otto’s daughter, Tracy, in Fear The Walking Dead season 8 goes beyond the steps that protagonists have previously taken for survival.
  •  Indications suggest that Madison and Daniel would have gone through with the murder if they weren’t interrupted.
  •  Tracy’s death would have been more brutal and avoidable compared to when Carol shot Lizzie in The Walking Dead season 4, making it the darkest moment in the franchise so far.

Fear The Walking Dead rarely pulls its punches, but a key scene from season 8, episode 10, “Keeping Her Alive,” comes perilously close to being the darkest moment for any The Walking Dead protagonist since AMC’s franchise began in 2010. From Daryl Dixon torturing prisoners to Rick Grimes biting through a villain’s throat, The Walking Dead‘s heroes have been prepared to commit surprisingly nasty acts in the name of survival. The darkest of them all came in The Walking Dead season 4 when Melissa McBride’s Carol shot 12-year-old Lizzie after the youngster murdered her own sister.

Carol’s act of putting down a killer tween is very nearly surpassed in Fear The Walking Dead season 8. “Keeping Her Alive” properly introduces Antonella Rose as Troy Otto’s daughter, Tracy, to Fear The Walking Dead‘s cast. Troy claims to have killed Alicia Clark sometime between Fear The Walking Dead seasons 7 and 8, and left her undead corpse wandering around aimlessly. Wanting to give her daughter closure, Madison thinks Tracy can lead the way to Alicia’s reanimated remains. This in itself is not especially cruel or sinister – by The Walking Dead‘s standards, at least. What Madison does next, however, goes beyond the pale.

Was Madison Really Going To Kill A Child In Fear The Walking Dead?

Madison in Fear The Walking Dead season 8

When Madison discovers that Tracy has, not surprisingly, lied about Alicia’s whereabouts, a moral dilemma arises. Tracy knows the location of PADRE, and will lead her father there to conquer the settlement if given an opportunity. Madison’s solution is to simply kill Tracy, and Daniel Salazar puts up minimal resistance to this idea before lending a hand. While it could be argued that Madison is simply trying to trick Tracy into providing Alicia’s true location, several clues in this harrowing Fear The Walking Dead scene suggest her attempt to murder a child is very real.

Firstly, Madison continues pushing a nearby zombie toward the tied-up Tracy even after the youngster shouts out the supposedly real location of Alicia’s body. Secondly, Madison and Daniel only stop trying to kill Tracy after Victor Strand arrives and interrupts them. Lastly, if Madison was merely pretending to kill Tracy as a ploy to scare the child into cooperating, she would surely tell Strand this upon his arrival – something to the effect of “I wasn’t really going to kill her, you know.” No such assurance is ever provided. All indications suggest that Madison and Daniel would have killed Tracy if Strand had not arrived in the nick of time.

Madison Killing Tracy Would Have Been TWD’s Darkest Protagonist Moment Ever

Lizzie pleads with Carol in The Walking Dead

Carol shooting Lizzie in season 4 remains the benchmark for protagonists committing seriously dark acts in The Walking Dead, but if Madison and Daniel had seen Tracy’s murder through to completion, Carol would be settling for second place. Lizzie’s death may have been an uncomfortable and upsetting watch, but the brutal act was not without justification. The zombie apocalypse had caused Lizzie to deteriorate to the point where she was a danger to other children. Carol knew taking Lizzie back to her group was not an option, and came up with the kindest solution she could manage under the circumstances.

Tracy’s death in Fear The Walking Dead would have been totally avoidable. Madison and Daniel are right to rule out giving the child back to Troy, since doing so would endanger their people at PADRE. They could, however, have sent Tracy back to PADRE as a prisoner, kept her with Madison for safe-keeping as she continued the hunt for Alicia, or even convinced Luciana to hide the child among the truck stop survivors. None of those options are ideal, but all of them are preferable to murder.

Madison and Daniel’s actions were likely also motivated – in part, at least – by revenge. Both protagonists lost daughters because of Troy Otto, and both would relish the opportunity for payback. Daniel admits this to Strand before they part ways in disagreement. When Carol shot Lizzie, she did so without a shred of personal gain, carrying the hefty emotional burden on behalf of her group. Madison and Daniel’s burning wish for revenge would have set Tracy’s murder apart from Lizzie’s, cementing the Fear The Walking Dead scene as the very darkest in the franchise so far.

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