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"The Road Ahead" is the twelfth and final episode of the eighth season of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. It is the last episode of the series overall. It premiered on November 19, 2023. It was written by Andrew Chambliss & Ian Goldberg and directed by Michael Satrazemis.

Plot[]

The survivors and their allies get tied up in a mission.

Synopsis[]

In the forest, Tracy hides inside a log, trying to flee from PADRE's forces following the murder of her father at the hands of Madison. Dwight and Sherry, looking for her, kill some walkers nearby as Tracy becomes scared of being noticed. They find Russell, who was grievously wounded from his group's fight with the Gearheads. Daniel is suspicious of him and advises the others to stop looking for Tracy, branding them both enemies and commanding them to return to the island to protect it.

Now alone, Tracy attempts to flee but is pinned down by a walker. Madison rescues her, though Tracy refuses to follow her. Trying to resist, Tracy pushes back Madison but instead hurts her leg. Madison embraces her granddaughter, pleading that she is all that she has left and that they have to find Alicia together and put her to rest.

Madison tracks Luciana repairing a car at an auto-shop and holds her at gunpoint. Disabling her walkie, Madison demands she escorts them to Fort Worth to bury Alicia. Fearful of her rage, Luciana tells Madison that maybe finding Alicia will make her see beyond her anger. Madison treats Tracy's injured leg and confides that she believes she will understand why she killed Troy when she's grown up.

Tracy gives Madison the St. Christopher's medallion, attempting to use it as a distraction to steal her gun to threaten her to leave, though Madison shows it has no ammunition. The commotion helps the group locate Luciana and Madison, with Daniel threatening Madison to stop putting the life of his loved ones at risk. Victor begs Tracy to join them at the island, deeming it safer. Enraged, Madison shoots at the sky several times and yells at Victor to get away. The noise draws in the dead, forcing the group to take shelter in the auto-shop following a brief attempt to stop them by Ada and Della.

Inside, Victor is contacted by Frank via walkie, revealing that the surviving members of Troy's group managed to capture the herd again and will release it onto the island.

Concerned about his family, Victor wants to take on the walkers outside and go help but Daniel disagrees, wanting to wait them out to negate any risk for themselves. Victor contacts Frank again who says that Russell wants to talk to Madison, offering to not release the herd if she hands Tracy over. "She's all I have left, Russell," Madison somberly says.

Russell reveals Alicia might have survived her encounter with Troy. During their confrontation, Alicia managed to hurt Troy and cause him to retreat. Troy had then sent Russell and his men to check if Alicia had died, finding only a bloody mattress. Due to his wounds, Troy was angry and Russell lied about seeing Alicia's corpse to please him. Unconvinced, Madison says Alicia, should she be alive, would want to reunite with her daughter.

Russell's group releases a wave of grenades on PADRE's walls, creating an opening for the herd to get in. Scrambling to go back to help his family, Victor opens the door to the auto-shop and the group starts taking down walkers. At PADRE, Dove brings June the pistols that once belonged to John, while Dwight gives commands to the prefects. He throws Russell to the incoming herd to serve as a distraction.

With the auto-shop cleared, Daniel shouts at Victor and Madison for their egotistical behavior, putting his loved ones in danger over and over. He tells them that they are to blame for every person he cared for dying along the way. The three exchange bitter words, regretting helping each other back in Los Angeles.

Luciana presents Madison with a map and gas for her to retrieve Alicia. Daniel lashes out again, stating that they are better off without Madison, having lost her mind to rage. Victor begs Madison to help defend PADRE but she refuses to help. Before leaving, Victor asks Madison to tell Alicia he tried to be a better man if she finds her.

In the car, Madison tells Tracy the story of her abusive father and how she tried to protect her kids but failed because she chose to help others as well. Tracy shoots at Madison in the middle of her story and runs away, leaving her to hyperventilate on the ground. Madison tells Tracy to find Alicia.

At PADRE, the group fails to contain the herd. When all seems lost, Victor screams that it can't end like this as an explosion erupts, blowing up the walls.

In the morning, Tracy finds her zombified father entangled in vines. She reveals she shot Madison and believes that everyone died on the island. Tracy puts down and buries her father and is found by Victor, still alive.

Victor tends to Tracy's wounds and affirms she has more left to fight for. Questioning his survival, Victor reveals Madison had been protected from Tracy's bullet due to the St. Christopher's Medallion. Believing herself too far gone, Madison then went to PADRE, seeking to do something 'monumental' to restore Tracy's faith, and lured the herd using a flare, creating an explosion and sacrificing herself for the others to survive. Victor tells Tracy that sometimes fighting for the right thing might get you killed, but the deed itself will help you live forever in the hearts of those you saved.

Tracy flees, conflicted at Madison's heroic sacrifice and the thought of having no relatives left. Strand tries to chase after her but is unsuccessful.

Two days later, Tracy picks a bluebonnet and leaves it in a makeshift tent beside an unconscious Madison. Hearing her faint wheezing, Tracy assumes she is about to reanimate and points a gun at her.

Madison awakens, once again surviving her attempt at self-sacrifice. Tracy reveals that the oxygen mask kept her alive beneath the rubble and that it took her half a day to dig her out. She apologizes to Madison and tells her she's the only family she has left. Madison apologizes as well, and proudly says she did good.

From far away, a familiar voice asks if there is anyone there. Tracy draws her gun and threatens to shoot, but the woman tells her that she is only here to bury her mother.

The woman, revealed to be Alicia, removes her hood and looks at Madison for the first time in a decade. The two embrace in tears.

The three hear meowing from Alicia's sack. Tracy finds an elderly Skidmark inside, with Alicia revealing she had found him in a warehouse and is seeking to return him to his rightful owner.

Alicia tells Madison she overheard a story about her sacrifice and wonders how Madison survived it all. Madison says that her daughter - the one who Troy took away, was the one who rescued her from the rubble. Alicia confusingly says she never had kids. Tracy pieces together that Troy wanted Madison to fight for her the way she fought for her kids, and that is why he lied originally. Madison questions who told Alicia the story of her sacrifice.

At an overpass, Alicia tells Madison she would have come back for her, but she saw the good others did in her memory and chose to conceal her survival. She says she had been picking up radio chatter from a group called 'M.A.D.R.E.', having been renamed in Madison's honor. Below, the group stops to rendezvous before splitting to create new communities following PADRE's fall.

Odessa asks June where she would go from here. June intends to visit John's cabin again. Odessa wants to come with her to learn medicine. June accepts, saying that maybe the cabin would help her the same way she had been helped once.

Dwight and Sherry vow to remain together as a family and plan to turn the Sanctuary into a place worthy of the name alongside the rescued kids and their parents should they find them.

Daniel and Victor bid each other goodbye, realizing they are more alike than they would like to admit. Victor hugs Luciana and she heads off with Daniel. Before leaving, Daniel finds Skidmark crawling towards him and picks up his pet in tears.

Victor finds a bluebonnet in his truck. Frank and Klaus join him inside and the former promises they will look around for Tracy some more. However, Alicia, Madison, and Tracy appear in the rearview mirror for Victor. He takes a sigh of relief and asks Klaus to point on a map for where they go from here, now ready to depart with peace of mind.

At the bridge, Tracy questions if Madison concealing her survival was the right thing to do. Madison explains that the others will do more good if she isn't around to give them a reason to stop believing, just like Alicia did.

Alicia wonders where they'll go next. Madison reveals she has been having visions of her and Nick from before the apocalypse in Los Angeles, offering to return there. Alicia says that they saw it get bombed but Madison thinks they might find people that need help there. Inviting Tracy to join them, the three agree to head back to the Clarks' hometown.

Alicia, Madison, and Tracy get into the car. Mother and daughter look at each other and smile before driving off to their new beginnings.

Other Cast[]

Special Guest Star[]

Co-Stars[]

Uncredited[]

Deaths[]

Trivia[]

  • Last appearance of Madison Clark.
  • Last appearance of Victor Strand.
  • Last appearance of Luciana Galvez.
  • Last appearance (in Fear continuity) of Dwight.
  • Last appearance (in Fear continuity) of Sherry.
  • Last appearance of June Dorie.
  • Last appearance of Daniel Salazar.
  • Last appearance of Frank.
  • Last appearance of Odessa Sanderson.
  • Last appearance of Tracy Otto.
  • Last appearance of Klaus.
  • Last appearance of Ada.
  • Last appearance of Della.
  • Last appearance of Russell.
  • Last appearance of Hawk.
  • Last appearance of Diane.
  • Last appearance of Alex.
  • Last appearance of Marietta.
  • Last appearance of Sara.
  • Last appearance of Skidmark.
  • Last appearance of Alicia Clark.
  • Last appearance of Nicholas Clark. (Flashback)
  • Last appearance of Christopher Manawa. (Flashback)
  • Last appearance of Travis Manawa. (Flashback)
  • Last appearance of Bethany Exner. (Flashback)
  • Last appearance of Troy Otto. (Zombified)
  • Last appearance of PADRE.
  • The title of the episode, "The Road Ahead", refers to Madison, Alicia, and Tracy traveling to Los Angeles together.
  • This episode marks Colman Domingo's 75th appearance on Fear the Walking Dead.
  • This episode was aired alongside "Fighting Like You".[2]
  • This is the last episode of Fear the Walking Dead.
  • The original plot summary for the episode was as follows: As the series comes to an end, the fate of PADRE's survivors seems to rest in the hands of an unexpected hero.
  • One of the vehicles in the auto shop is a DeLorean which was made famous by the Back to the Future movies.
  • Alycia Debnam-Carey isn't credited until the end credits in order to keep the secret of Alicia's return in this episode.
  • Madison and Alicia leave a blue bonnet for Strand. Blue bonnets were a favorite of Nick as seen in "Good Out Here" and "Buried".
  • Odessa Sanderson retrieves John Dorie's guns for June which are seen for the first time since "Amina". Like Morgan's battle axe, they are stated to have been kept in deep storage.
    • It's also confirmed that June had possession of both guns following the death of John Dorie Sr. in "Sonny Boy". It was previously unclear if John had returned the second gun to her or not.
  • Strand's Sword can be seen in his possession once again having presumably reclaimed it from Russell after his capture. Russell was seen carrying it in "Fighting Like You" which had occurred only a short time earlier.

Episode Highlights[]

  • Troy's group, now led by Russell, unleash the walker horde onto PADRE and Dwight shoves Russell into the herd as a distraction, killing Russell whilst the PADRE residents retreat.
  • Troy is revealed to have reanimated and is put down by his devastated daughter Tracy, who went to go find him.
  • Madison fakes her death once again to save PADRE and the island is renamed MADRE in her honor.
  • Alicia is revealed to be alive and tearfully reunites with Madison, who she believed died at the stadium.
  • Madison, Alicia and Tracy decide to go back to Madison and Alicia's old home of Los Angeles and help rebuild.

References[]

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