On Fear the Walking Dead, Madison adopts kids like plaid shirts, and the more unstable you are the better.
Madison Clarke likes to preach that everything she does is for her kids. No matter how tough or morally ambiguous her decisions are, ultimately she feels justified because it’s just what she has to do to keep her children alive. These children, however, don’t always want her help, particularly when it does more harm than good for their overall situation.
The decisions Madison makes are also not necessarily beneficial to both children. Between Nick and Alicia, Madison is frequently more concerned with one of their well-being over the other. And that doesn’t even take into consideration her new, third child.
Since the beginning, Madison has shown a clear favorite between Nick and Alicia, giving far more attention to her eldest and more problematic child. True, Nick has a troubled past, and prior to the infected outbreak he needed help. However, Nick thrives in this new world. He doesn’t need protection from his mother anymore. Madison is too attached to Nick. Her selfish love can’t see that he’d be better off without her.
Ever since chaos broke out in Los Angeles, Madison has been unable to divide her attention equally between Nick and Alicia, paying little to no attention to Alicia’s needs or well-being. In season 2 when Nick decides to leave the group in search of something better, Madison can barely let him go. When Alicia wants to leave the group in season 3, Madison barely tries to make her stay.
Then there’s Troy, Madison’s new son. Or maybe he’s her new beau, sometimes it’s hard to tell. Either way, Madison has concerned herself with Troy’s well-being far more than she ever has for Alicia, her actual daughter. Despite how awful Troy is, Madison hardly hesitates to lie on his behalf, and protects Troy from any harsh punishments.
Why does Madison feel they need Troy? What does he provide their group that will help keep them alive? Troy is unpredictable and uncontrollable, yet Madison fights to keep him by her side more than she tries to keep her level-headed daughter around. Even Ofelia, who’s proven to be a worthy group member, doesn’t get love from Madison past using her for other gains.
If you were a character on Fear the Walking Dead, would you be the kind of person that Madison would do anything to protect? Or would you be another pawn, or at worst, collateral damage in her fight for survival?