"There are certain things you always remember about your kids." Those are the words Madison Clark (Kim Dickens) said of her children, Nick (Frank Dillane) and Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey), back in Fear the Walking Dead Season 4. In a video interview recorded by Althea (Maggie Grace), Madison told the story about Amina, a life saved by the Clark children before the zombie apocalypse. The tape played a crucial part in the Season 4 midseason finale of Fear, titled "No One's Gone," which revealed Madison's fate: she sacrificed herself saving her family and friends from a burning baseball stadium overrun by walkers.
In Sunday's "Amina," the story of Amina again reminded Alicia of her humanity in the aftermath of the war for Strand's Tower. On a mission to save someone trapped in the fallout despite suffering from infection and chronic fever caused by a walker's bite, the moribund Alicia stumbled across Althea's abandoned MRAP SWAT van — and the videotape cassette labeled "Amina."
On it was Althea's interview with a stranger revealed in Season 4 to be Madison, who recounted what happened to Amina:
"We were renting this house in the mountains one summer that had these big windows overlooking the lake. One morning, a bird flew right into one of 'em. Messed up its wing. May have been worse off inside," Madison said. "They named it Wilhemina. 'Amina' for short."
The young Nick and Alicia kept Amina in a shoebox to nurse the bird back to health, dutifully caring for and feeding the wounded animal.
"It went on for weeks. That damn bird just seemed to get worse and worse. But they tried to feed it. They gave it water, anyway. My son was such a sensitive little boy. My daughter just decided that bird was gonna live," Madison recalled. "Every morning, I got up just dreading what I was gonna find. And then, one day, as I walked down the hallway, I heard something: chirping. Amina was flying around the living room."
Amina "lived because my kids didn't give up on her," Madison told Althea. "They gave her a chance when no one else would. There's not a whole lot of that left anymore." Searching for a new community in the wake of the Gonzalez Dam explosion that split up the Clark clan at the end of Season 3, it was Alicia and Nick's nature that Madison wanted her children to carry with them.
"That's still in my kids. But that light, it's getting fainter every day we're out here," she said. "And I can't imagine that part of them dying. I'll do whatever it takes to keep it alive."
Alicia has spent Season 7 searching for PADRE, a supposed safehaven from the fallout of nuclear destruction, leading Morgan's (Lennie James) group of survivors and the former followers of Teddy's (John Glover). Unable to find the place no one is sure exists, Alicia planned to take Strand's Tower and make PADRE a reality — only for that strategy to go up in flames when a rooftop beacon burned The Tower to the point of being uninhabitable.
Following visions of a girl (Anniston Almond) revealed to be the younger Alicia who saved Amina, the fever-stricken Alicia returned to The Tower to rescue someone she thought could lead her to PADRE. After freeing a bird from The Tower, the younger Alicia helped Alicia realize why she was really there: to save Strand, trapped on the top floor by the fire and a horde of irradiated walkers.
"Your mom didn't die so you could build something like this," young Alicia said. "She died so that the part of you that didn't give up on people would live." By saving Strand, the girl said, Alicia would "make sure people remember this part of you."
Not knowing how long she had left to live, Alicia stayed behind to return to The Tower to warn anyone looking for PADRE. After getting Strand to the rafts of evacuating survivors escaping the fallout, Alicia entrusted Strand to "make sure everything we've been through means something."
"You did make it mean something. You saved all of them. You saved me," a tearful Strand told Alicia, paddling away as Alicia blacked out on the beach. When Alicia awoke sometime later, it was to the sight of birds chirping beneath a blue sky. With her fever gone, Alicia told her younger self where she would go: into the fallout to spend whatever time she had left saving people.