Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Episode 4x08 follow. Major spoilers!
Though Madison Clark was, without question, the lead character on Fear the Walking Dead, Kim Dickens' character went down in flames to cap the first half of the show's fourth season. The showrunners spoke about the episode and their shocking decision to kill Madison in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com.
"Yes, Madison's story came to an end, Chambliss said. "And for us, the story was about her sacrifice and her act of heroism. And we saw it recounted through the eyes of Alicia, of Strand, of Luciana. And for us it was really about that moment, and those last words that she said to her. And that is why that is the last image we see of Madison, as opposed to seeing the walkers ascending on her, as they're going up in flames."
As for the reasoning behind the decision to take the lead actress away from the show, the creatives promise that it will have a major impact on the narrative going forward.
"Well, for us, from the very beginning, thematically this was a season about hope," Goldberg said. "And it was about a journey from hopelessness to hope. And so, for us, it really centered around Madison, who we saw in our flashback story this season had really become this beacon of hope. For everyone, her family, and the people that she brought in from the outside into this stadium community that she helped nurture. And we saw in the present day that the people who survived her, Nick, Strand, Luciana, and Alicia, were in a very dark place, and we didn't understand why. But we ultimately, in this episode, wanted to revel that it was from this loss that they suffered. And it was about how they regain the hope, and the philosophy that Madison gave her life for. Not only did she sacrifice herself to save them, but she gave her life for an idea, for a way of life, a way of existing in this world beyond just survival, a way to maintain hope, and that's something that a lot of people that survive her are going to carry forward."
Like Carl's death in The Walking Dead's most recent, Madison's death will have a major ripple effect on the eight episodes which follow it.
"The back half of the season is gonna to answer a lot of those questions," Chambliss said. "It's going to be a story about all these characters, who were united by Madison. Who were united by their then quest for revenge, really asking themselves, 'What's next? How do we move on from this? How do we reconcile all the dark things we did with what Madison wanted for us?' So, without getting into too many details, we'll just say that really is about the story, going forward."
The Walking Dead will return for its ninth season in the fall. Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC. It will return for the second half of its fourth season in August. For complete coverage and insider info all year long, follow @BrandonDavisBD on Twitter.