Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 Finale: The good, the bad, and the beautiful

Kim Dickens as Madison Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC
Kim Dickens as Madison Clark - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 - Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC /

The curtain has now closed, and fans of Fear the Walking Dead must now come to terms with the tale’s end. It feels like we just got Madison Clark back and it’s bittersweet to have to say goodbye so soon.

After dismantling the threat of PADRE, that threat tried to make a return in the finale but to no avail. A new and even more dangerous threat emerged this final season, as Troy Otto made his infamous return as the psychopathic wall who came to stand in Madison’s way.

Madison took care of her menacing rival once and for all, for real this time.

What worked for the 2-part finale of Fear the Walking Dead?: The Good

Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC
Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC /

The lies Troy told Tracy

Troy’s heart was in the right place. The story of the necklace was that it was given to Tracy by her mother to keep her safe.

But the true meaning behind it was very different as well as the reason why Troy went after so much revenge in his wife’s honor.

Troy’s dying wish to Russell: Get Tracy to PADRE

Troy has been back and forth regarding what’s most important to him. For a time last week he seemed to care more about his revenge on Madison than safe keeping for his daughter.

But when push came to shove, and he thought he was in his final moments after his truck crashed, his dying wish was to make sure Tracy was taken care of in the end.

The story of Alicia and Serena

After Serena was bitten, Alicia gave her the medallion and said it would bring them luck. Serena made Troy promise to keep what Alicia believed in alive.

When Madison and Troy were about to go under the water by the hands of Crane, Troy saw something in her eyes that he didn’t like. A woman who no longer believed in anything.

And though it was the same reason he sought out revenge against her, he couldn’t let her die that way. So, he saved her life after, ironically, wanting to kill her all season.

Russell reveals Alicia’s real fate

I thought all season Troy was lying about Alicia being dead. From a narrative’s perspective, it made no sense for Troy to still have air in his lungs if he truly killed Alicia.

It’s revealed he was lied to by Russell because he thought that’s what Troy wanted to hear and told her she turned after their all-out fight. This helped set up the impending reunion we’ve all been waiting for.

“You are my friend, but I can’t.”

All these years have led to this, the heartbreaking goodbye between Victor and Madison. Strand had to go back for his family, to protect them against Troy’s horde.

Though Troy is now gone, Russell has led them to the island to destroy it and take over. He begs Madison to go with him and needs her help, but she can’t go.

“I need my friend,” he emotionally tells her. “You are my friend, but I can’t,” Madison replies.

It was just one simple line but so much emotion cascaded from Kim Dickens’s that I felt with my whole heart. It was one of the best scenes from the finale.

Madison has to find Alicia. She could be alive and Madison can’t waste time going back to PADRE.

As heartbroken as Strand was, his last words sent me over the edge. “If you find Alicia, tell her I tried,” he tells Madison before parting ways.

The reason Madison was a hero long before the fall

Growing up, Madison’s father was an alcoholic who abused her mother. This is a story we have heard seasons before, when Madison revealed this story to Nick and Alicia.

We see it again in the eyes of Tracy. As a child, she went through a repeated cycle of her father hitting her mother until she could longer stand by and watch her take it.

One day it went too far. She knew if she didn’t step in and step up her mother was going to die.

So, she shot him. Madison was a hero long before the world needed her to be one.

She saved us—All of us

Fortunately for Madison, Tracy isn’t a very good shot. Before Tracy had shot her, in a weak moment Madison had put Alicia’s St. Christopher medallion into the clip and put it in her chest pocket.

This is the same necklace that Alicia had given to Serena for luck and the same necklace Troy claimed would keep Tracy safe, ended up being Madison’s savior. So, in turn by giving Serena that small act of kindness, she ended up saving her mother’s life.

Keep that in mind, just one small act can change the world. Tracy assumed the horde had destroyed PADRE and that Madison was dead.

When Victor found her, after she buried her father, Madison asked Victor to tell her what she’d done; knowing she had to do something monumental to restore Tracy’s faith in this world. Helping her believe in something bigger than her, was her dying wish and gift to Alicia.

It’s so that when Alicia and Tracy find each other, she can believe in the same thing. The one thing Troy was trying to keep Tracy from believing in.

Once again, Madison led the dead inside the walls of PADRE to trap them and when she did, she used a flare and oxygen tanks to blow them apart. Even though she hid in the same place she was imprisoned for years, knowing full well she was laying down her life for everybody she loved. T

That’s who Madison Clark is. That’s what a hero does.

Daniel’s happy ending

Alicia Clark saved so many lives but there was one particular life that had fans curious about for a while. Where is Skidmark?

After all that Daniel has lost, it was only deserving he get a little happiness back. Skidmark and Daniel finding each other again brought tears to my eyes.

I found it almost as rewarding as the big reunion. There is nothing like Daniel’s laughter and may we all give a big round of applause to Rubén Blades, the legend.

He’s always remained one of my favorite characters and it’s been a joy to watch every second he’s been on this show.

What didn’t work for the 2-part finale of Fear the Walking Dead?: The Bad

Antonella Rose as Tracy – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC
Antonella Rose as Tracy – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 10 – Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC /

Serena in the horde

Troy shoving his wife into the herd seems unusually cruel, even for him. A woman he claimed to be the love of his life deserved a better ending than revenge on Alicia’s mother and both Alicia and Madison’s way of thinking.

The need to give people a second chance saves more lives than ends them.

Troy going after Alicia

The woman who saved Serena was the same woman Troy wanted to pay. Alicia responded on the radio, after she was bitten when she was pregnant.

She knew how to save her life since she saved her own that way. Serena wanted to become like Alicia and help people the way she did.

Unfortunately, she helped the wrong people and lost her life over it. Troy killing Alicia and Madison because of their need to help people and give them a second chance, is a pathetic excuse for Troy to use.

He already wanted revenge on Madison in the first place for taking all he had, which was more than enough to seek out Madison and her family for revenge. There has been too much overkill in this writing, to the point they have meshed too much together in a short amount of time.

Less time should have been wasted on Morgan’s goodbye.

Bringing Crane back in to try and take Padre back

He was already pretty useless and without Shrike there to help him this was never going to end well. It was way too predictable and a waste of time to throw this scene in at the very end.

The threat of Troy and the army of the dead he had, was more than enough danger for, “Fight Like You.” In the end, he got what he finally deserved and died the way his sister did.

Tracy burying her father

After Tracy left Madison after shooting her, she set out to find her father to put him to rest. Which is commendable but a child of her stature doesn’t have that kind of strength.

It’s already far-fetched in itself that she knows how to use a gun like a pro and can then dig a grave for an adult man and pull his walker body into it. Not to mention with a hurt ankle.

I guess it’s the Madison effect.

Madison expecting Tracy to accept her

Tracy just saw Madison murder her father and learned that her mother was not really her mother. Or so Troy says.

Madison is probably the last person she wants to rely on right now. And even though she saves Tracy yet again, Tracy understandably wants no part of her.

Madison forcefully hugging Tracy was cringey to watch.

Alicia’s fan club

The cult is still very weird no matter how you spin it. It’s amazing Alicia has been this impactful and other people are leading by her example, but dressing like her and mimicking her is still strange and I can’t look past it.

No goodbye for Strand

Strand not being able to see Alicia and Madison and have a real goodbye hurt me for him. Strand’s last scene was still beautiful in its own right, but he left with his family not knowing that Alicia and Madison were alive.

Perhaps we will see them again and it will make that reunion even greater. But I was left disappointed in that scene.

Strand had worked so hard on his second chance and that was in large part due to Alicia. Victor, at the very least, deserved to thank her for being the driving force to reach his happy ending.

Dwight and Sherry returning to the Sanctuary

Dwight and Sherry are headed back to the Sanctuary, of all places, much to Sherry’s dismay. For once I agreed with her.

There is so much pain and trauma that runs deep in those walls. Not to mention it was pretty much in ruins from the last time they were there.

“Maybe we can take that place and make it worthy of its name,” Dwight tells his wife. Who knows what will happen, but they are taking everyone they have left and making a new PADRE at the Sanctuary to make Finch proud.

The moments in between:

Jenna Elfman as June, Jayla Walton as Dove – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC
Jenna Elfman as June, Jayla Walton as Dove – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 8, Episode 11 – Photo Credit: Seth F. Johnson/AMC /

Madison being a woman of her word

She was right, not everybody deserves a second chance. And even if Troy changed for his daughter because of a life and death moment, it doesn’t mean it will stay that way.

Allowing Troy into PADRE creates a risk for everybody. Though I might not have stabbed him right in front of his daughter.

On the other hand, why bring Troy back just to kill him? Indeed, there wasn’t enough time for a revenge tour to get him into the gates of PADRE, but Troy could have been a gold mine for the future.

Troy Otto garmers in a lot of fans that could have helped with ratings for the never-ending stories of TWDU. He’s a pain in the a#% but such an entertaining character to watch.

Daniel Sharman plays a phenomenal little psychopath and I’m glad we got to see him for one last moment in the sun.

What have you ever done for us Daniel?

The bursting moment we knew was bound to come for Daniel, Strand, and Madison. In any apocalypse, mistakes are made, and tough decisions have to be made.

Death is just a part of the game and sometimes those decisions can take the ones you love the most. Daniel snidely shouted out that he regretted ever letting Madison and Travis in his barber shop so many years ago.

“What have you ever done for us?” Madison snaps back. I love Madison but Daniel has done a lot.

It was just moments ago Madison was begging Daniel to come back to PADRE because she needed him and his army. As for Strand he admitted to being sorry he let Daniel on his boat.

Both lines take us back to season 1 when they all met. A moment of nostalgia but pure heartbreak when Daniel admits Madison has lost her mind and Strand is a pathological liar who’s gotten everyone he’s ever cared for killed.

The pain in Daniel’s voice was emotionally jarring.

Saving the life of the one you tried to take

There is a lot of that going around in the finale. Which is a bit infuriating and predictable.

Madison was the only one who stuck true to her guns. Tracy tried to kill Madison and then ended up being the one saving her after she took care of Troy’s horde.

Troy wanted to kill Madison since he returned and ended up being the one saving her life in the end. I guess that medallion really does bring good luck, at least for Madison.

Troy lying to Tracy about her mother

In a twist of fate, Troy revealed to Madison that Tracy was Alicia’s daughter, who he stole from her and raised as his own with Serena. In the final moments of the finale, Alicia reveals she never had a daughter and is puzzled why Troy would lie about something like that.

“He knew how hard you fought for your kids, he wanted to give you a reason to fight for me,” Tracy answered. It was a cruel thing to lie to Tracy about her whole life but also a smart move on Troy’s part.

Would Madison have fought as hard to save her in the end? Would Madison have fought as hard to save everyone?

Maybe not. It was the one good thing Troy did in his life, which made his death have a purpose for all of them.

Dove and June’s happy ending

June’s ending was lackluster in my opinion, and I could care less about Dove/Odessa. They are both heading back to Texas, and it felt good to hear her mention John again.

The place she learned to love again, survive and maybe she can do the same for Odessa, her protege, who plans to follow the same path as June to save lives.

Daniel and Strand’s goodbye

There is no love lost between these two, but even Daniel reveals he’s tired of war and that Strand did save them long ago on the Abigail. Daniel knows it’s time to try and change.

Strand thinks he has. With a tap on the shoulder, Daniel says to him, “All the best” in German as a form of truce and goodwill.

That’s about as sweet as you are ever going to see Daniel get with Victor.

Fear the Walking Dead finale: The Beautiful

This was the moment fans have been waiting all season for. There was no way we could get to the end of this series without the long-awaited reunion fans were dying to see.

The triumphant return of Alicia Clark and mother and daughter reunion. As we all expected it truly was THE MOMENT.

As I predicted there was no way we were getting to the end of the road without Alicia and Madison embracing each other. After Tracy nurses Madison back to health, Alicia appears (alive) and the moment fans have been begging for finally arrives.

Mother and daughter together again. This is the biggest payoff of the entire series in my opinion.

Madison, Tracy, and Alicia, along with Nick, are headed back to Los Angeles, the place where it all began. Madison believes that’s why she keeps having the vision of her family from back home.

“It’s never gonna be what it was, but that doesn’t mean we can’t start over,” Madison tells Alicia. And with Merle Haggard with “Mama Tried”, that is the end of Fear the Walking Dead.

Until we meet again.

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You can watch several seasons of Fear the Walking Dead on AMC.