Madison Clark is back from the dead on Fear the Walking Dead. "Madison is back. She's alive," returning series regular Kim Dickens said when revealing herself live on Talking Dead following Sunday's midseason finale. Dickens is confirmed to appear in the second half of Season 7 premiering this spring on AMC and will return as a series regular for a renewed eighth season of The Walking Dead spinoff. It will be Dickens' first episode of Fear since Madison was seemingly killed off in the Season 4 episode "No One's Gone," appearing to die sacrificing herself for her children Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey).
"Madison is back. We can confirm it, she's alive," said Dickens, revealing Madison's return has been in the works since the end of 2020. "I got a text from [Victor Strand actor] Colman [Domingo] who was on set and it said, 'Girl, you need to call me.' I called him, and he goes, 'Someone's asking about you on set.' Turns out they were trying to gauge my temperature and availability for a conversation with them, and I said, 'Absolutely.'"
After a virtual pitch meeting in early January with Walking Dead Universe chief content officer Scott Gimple and Fear showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, Dickens said, "I was more excited than I even imagined I would be. So we've known for almost all year."
Madison re-enters the series as an ailing Alicia, suffering from what she believes to be the long-term effects of a walker's bite, declares war against Strand to take his Tower spared from the fallout of the nuclear-zombie apocalypse.
"I was able to tune into Season 7 and I just think it's gone epic beyond epic. It's incredible to watch," Dickens said. "It's visually stunning and the work that everyone is doing is so exciting and impressive. I watched it and said, 'That looks like a show I'd really like to be on.' It's going to be fun to go back and work with all the new characters and find out what's happened. I'm a little nervous about that war between my two favorites."
Asked about how Madison returns, a tight-lipped Dickens teased: "It's like Madison 2.0. A lot has obviously probably happened to her, right? There's going to be a lot to unload."
Season 6 hinted Madison might have survived when familiar faces from the past reconnected with Alicia. "Mother" revealed Cole (Sebastian Sozzi), Doug (Kenneth Wayne Bradley), and Viv (Rhoda Griffis) — who lived with the Clarks at the baseball stadium community founded by Madison in the aftermath of the Gonzalez Dam destruction — escaped their apparent deaths in the parking lot of the Dell Diamond as it was consumed by walkers and by flames.
"She's back, she's 100% back," confirmed Goldberg, co-showrunner with Chambliss since Season 4. "I will not be coy here, she's [alive]. From day one of the series, Madison Clark has been the beating heart, lifeblood, emotional epicenter of this show: she's a warrior, a hero."
"The way that the story went in Season 4, we always saw as the end of one chapter. A very important chapter in the Madison Clark story, and one that had large ripple effects on the characters that survived her. Her influence continued to be felt in a very big way — even in her absence," Goldberg said of the showrunner's decision to have Madison sacrifice herself midway through the season. "We always knew that while it was the end of that chapter, there was more to be written in the book of Madison Clark. There were many more chapters that we wanted to tell, and it was about aligning the stars and making sure it was the right story at the right time to honor the character and to bring her back in a way that was surprising, and new, and exciting."
Goldberg added: "We found the moment. We honestly could not be more excited to have Kim back."