- "I've been where you are, Morgan. Yeah. A long time ago, I was gonna change everything. A prison sentence put an end to that. What I didn't realize, however, was that it... it didn't really end... anything. I know it's not what you wanted, but don't look at this as an ending. The world is gonna be a better place. You just won't get to see it yourself."
- —Teddy to Morgan after successfully launching a nuclear missile.[src]
Theodore Maddox, more commonly known as Teddy, is an antagonist and a survivor of the outbreak in AMC's Fear The Walking Dead. He is the leader of an unnamed doomsday cult. He served as the primary antagonist for the second half of Season 6.
Teddy is highly intelligent and well-spoken individual. He maintains the image of a wise philosopher to his peers and very rarely breaks under pressure, partly due to his detachment from life. He also maintains a friendly and even somewhat jovial disposition, often laughing to himself over revelations about the world. He uses his very high charisma to bring people over to his side. He is highly manipulative to the point of convincing his followers to give their lives to his cause, and prefers to target people in deep emotional turmoil.
Despite his apparent madness, Teddy's motivations are deeply philosophical and not rooted in insanity. He appears to be a platonist, perceiving the world in patterns of thought and embodiment. He also believes the world to be inherently cyclical, with the apocalypse simply heralding the end of the cycle. Teddy's plan to destroy as much of the world as he can with nuclear missiles is a way of transition between the end and the beginning.
Sometime in the 1970s, Teddy ran a doomsday cult while working as a mortician. His goal was to bring an end to every living person and, while insane, was extremely convincing and able to sway people to join his cause. He was also a serial killer hunted by John Dorie Sr. who embalmed his victims to keep them from "moving on in the afterlife". When John eventually caught up to Teddy, he lacked the evidence to put him in prison for his crimes so he planted evidence framing Teddy. Teddy was convicted for his crimes and sentenced to death. He would then spend over 20 years behind bars on death row.
According to a newspaper clipping covering the conviction and sentencing of Teddy, otherwise known as "the Mortician Murderer", among his victims were Beth McLevel, a country singer and Cindy Hawkins, a waitress at Delphi's Country Cookin' restaurant. Cindy's mother, Abigail Hawkins, was quoted as holding on to such deep hope for her daughter's return. Unfortunately, Cindy was found dead and embalmed, similar to the fate of at least twenty-one other women, some as young as 17 years old. The article stated "authorities had difficulty producing the evidence required to convict Mr. Maddox. His methods of embalming his victims left little in the way of DNA..." The Honorable David T. Johnson was the judge who sentenced Teddy to death.
After the outbreak began, Teddy somehow managed to escape from prison and restarted his cult. Upon seeing Teddy's "The End Is the Beginning" message spray painted everywhere, John Dorie Sr. checked the prison, hoping to find Teddy's rotting corpse. Instead, he found Teddy's cell door open and his nemesis gone.
Teddy and his teachings are mentioned several times by both Riley and Derek after Wes, Luciana Galvez and Alicia Clark arrive in the Holding while a recording of his speech constantly plays over the PA system. However, Teddy himself is on a run outside when they arrive and does not return with Derek's group as expected.
After Alicia burns the Holding, Riley orders Harvey to prepare Alicia for embalming, believing that Teddy would like to do it himself. However, Alicia manages to kill Harvey before Riley returns with Teddy. Teddy prevents Harvey from reanimating and orders Riley to leave him alone with Alicia. To Alicia's surprise, Teddy addresses her by name, having listened to Riley's recording of his interview with her. Holding a scalpel, Alicia orders Teddy to back off, but Teddy reassures Alicia that if he meant her harm, then they wouldn't be talking. Teddy points out that Alicia had given herself up so that her friends could escape and they abandoned her. Alicia states that she made them do it, but Teddy is amused as her friends had obliged and are "some family" while Teddy believes that family should be sacred. Teddy questions if Alicia sacrificed herself because she was noble, punishing herself for something, or following in the footsteps of her mother. Tired of Teddy's rhetoric, Alicia states that she doesn't care what he thinks or says and asks him to get to whatever it is that he intends.
Stating that he's a bit of a momma's boy himself, Teddy believes that there is a lot that he and Alicia can learn from each other, but Alicia angrily states that she's not buying anything that he's selling. Alicia challenges Teddy to try to kill her if he wants to, confident that it won't happen. Dropping his calm demeanor, Teddy angrily states that Alicia and her friends had destroyed everything that the cult has been working towards, "years of work. Sacrifices literal and figurative. You destroyed it!" However, while someone else in his position might find that fact to be unforgiveable, Teddy believes that if one lives by the sword, then they die by the sword and that "for every ending, springs a new beginning." Alicia demands once again to know what he wants and Teddy claims that he wants to save her, but Alicia insists that she doesn't need saving. Teddy knows that she doesn't believe in the cult and their beliefs yet, but he insists that she will. Stating that he's been looking for someone like Alicia for a very long time, Teddy extends his hand to her while Alicia just stares at him.
Teddy appears in pictures and old newspaper articles in John Dorie Sr.'s RV. John reveals that Teddy the cult leader and the serial killer that he had hunted in the 1970s are the same person and he is currently hunting him down.
In a flashback, Teddy sits in his cell on death row. Newspaper clippings on the wall reveal that he is on death row for murder. A guard drags a prisoner to his cell. Teddy assures the prisoner that he will soon be starting a new life. Teddy hears a commotion. His cell door opens. Walkers infiltrate death row and start killing inmates. Teddy grabs a photo of his mother off the wall and escapes.
In the present, Alicia lays in a room at the Holding as Teddy's voice repeats a message on the P.A. Riley enters the room and asks if she's ready to accept Teddy's word. She doesn't answer. Riley leaves and locks the door. Teddy's message plays repeatedly on the P.A., declaring that humans must break the pattern or they are doomed to repeat it. Teddy and Riley enter Alicia's room. Teddy tells Alicia they are leaving soon for their new home. He seeks Alicia's dedication to his cause. Riley aims his gun at Alicia and says she will never see the truth. Teddy declares that Alicia is coming with them.
Outside, a school bus pulls up with new recruits. Dakota gets off the bus. Alicia scowls and tells Teddy that Dakota killed one of her friends. Teddy informs Riley that he's tending to a personal matter and that if he doesn't rejoin the group by tomorrow, Riley knows what to do. He gives Riley the key that they obtained from Morgan. Teddy, Alicia and Dakota drive down a road. Alicia realizes they are near the stadium where she lived with Madison. Teddy takes Alicia and Dakota to a cemetery and pulls a casket from a tomb. "Hello, mother," he says. He declares that his mother will be a part of their new beginning.
Back on the road, Teddy explains that the fall is his chance to turn the world into what it could be. Alicia asks what the key unlocks. Teddy evades the question. The truck blows a tire on a road trap and skids to a stop, causing Teddy's mother's corpse to fly off the truck bed. Walkers emerge from the woods. Alicia and Dakota start killing walkers. They are found by a gang, led by Cole from the stadium community. Alicia and Cole debrief each other on what they've been doing after the stadium burned. Teddy asks if Cole knows where they can find a new car. Cole says there's an auto shop nearby and offers to accompany them, due to the presence of local gangs.
Teddy tells Dakota he was in prison for 30 years for killing people who didn't see the world the way he did. Dakota says she has only killed people who she needed to kill – and that people seem scared when she tells them that killing is part of the new reality. They arrive at the auto shop. Cole pulls Alicia aside and suggests they kill Teddy, but Alicia insists on finding out his plan first. She explains that Teddy's group has set up a bunker with supplies to last for years. Cole's gang walks Alicia, Dakota and Teddy back to their truck. Cole explains that they've been killing people who crossed their path ever since escaping the fire at the stadium.
Cole's gang repairs Teddy's truck. Alicia tells Cole he can take the truck if he leaves them alone. Cole demands to know where Teddy's bunker is, but Teddy doesn't tell him. Cole shoots the corpse of Teddy's mother, but Teddy reveals it's not his mother. Cole invites Alicia to join his gang but Alicia refuses. Cole forces Alicia to her knees to kill her. Cole orders Doug and Viv to kill Alicia's group. They see walkers approaching the road. Alicia tackles Cole while walkers kill Doug and Viv and all of his people. Alicia tells Cole that Madison died to give everyone a chance, and that Cole threw that chance away. She shoots him dead.
Teddy praises Alicia for letting go of her past, but Alicia still refuses to follow him. Teddy remarks that Alicia reminds him of his mother. Alicia asks if his mother thought he was crazy, too. Teddy's smile fades. He explains that he killed his mother after she threatened to have him committed for his crazy ideas. Alicia asks how he plans to destroy the world. Teddy says that the key will launch a missile from a beach submarine in Galveston. Alicia levels her gun at Teddy's head. Dakota turns her rifle on Alicia, but Teddy tells Dakota that he wants Alicia alive. Alicia radios Strand and tells him that the keys are for a submarine near Galveston. Teddy's group shows up.
Teddy's group arrives at a resort. Teddy explains that the government built a bunker under the resort in the 1950s and that Riley recently discovered it as a replacement for the Holding. Teddy and Alicia descend underground. Teddy locks Alicia in a cell and says she will rebuild the world from inside the cell. Alicia refuses to make the world the way he wants it to look. "I know, that's what I'm counting on," Teddy says.
Teddy will appear in this episode.
Dakota and Teddy travel to an overlook where Teddy intends for them to die. Hearing Morgan on the radio stating that he's going to try and stop the missile, Dakota apologizes for saving him as he has ruined Teddy's plans, but Teddy brushes off her apologies.
At the lookout, Dakota discusses with Teddy how he'd encouraged her to be who she really is and Teddy embraces her. John Dorie Sr. arrives and reveals that he has come to forgive Dakota for his son's murder. Teddy insists that Dakota has nothing to feel sorry about, but she questions if John really means it, apparently pleased that she is being forgiven despite Dakota's claims that she feels no remorse. John drops his gun in a gesture of his honesty, but as Teddy goes to shoot him, June shoots Teddy in the arm, causing him to drop his gun which lands with a metallic clanking sound. June reveals that she also forgives Dakota and that her husband was right about it not being too late even if they only believe it for however long they have left. Dakota questions why June would've killed Virginia if she truly believes that and June explains that she lost what John believed when she lost her husband but she found it again and she encourages Dakota to do the same thing.
Kicking away Teddy's gun, John uncovers a hidden trapdoor leading to a secret bunker. John confronts Teddy on his claims that he intends to die at the end and suggests that it was "just a bunch of hot air to get your lambs to march to their slaughter" and June insists to Dakota that they aren't lying to her and are only doing what they believe. Dakota demands answers from Teddy who states that as they didn't shoot off all of the missiles, they will go back to the sub to finish the job once the dust clears. Dakota demands to know if Teddy even meant it when he said that he understood her and demands to know why he didn't reveal the existence of the bunker. Teddy claims that he couldn't take the risk of anyone else finding out and that he wants it to be about the two of them. However, John reveals that Teddy is only keeping Dakota alive as he needs two people to launch the remaining missiles, the two launch keys needing to be turned simultaneously. Shaken, Dakota insists that she and Teddy are family and he doesn't want Dakota to be something that she's not, but John attempts to convince her that Teddy will Dakota once he's done with her. June tries to get Dakota to see the bunker as a sign that she can have a second chance, but they are interrupted by the missile's warheads breaking apart in the sky. Teddy pushes Dakota to make a choice: die with him bringing about the end or go with John and June into the bunker and pretend to be someone that she's not, leaving Dakota conflicted over what to do and suffering an emotional breakdown. John distracts Dakota by firing his gun into the air and as she shoots John in the arm, June shoots Dakota's gun out of her hand. Entering the bunker, June tries one last time to convince Dakota to come with them, but she insists upon seeing the end. John follows and locks the bunker door behind them.
Left alone with Teddy, Dakota retrieves her gun and turns it on Teddy, demanding to know if he ever actually cared about her or if he just needed Dakota to turn the key. When Teddy's only response is to chuckle, Dakota shoots the insane cult leader in the chest before killing him with a point-blank headshot. Dakota declares that "you said that I should never change, and I'm not. Now you never get to see your ending."
- Killed By
After it is revealed to her that Teddy was just using her, an enraged Dakota shoots him in the chest and head, killing Teddy.
This list shows the victims Teddy has killed:
- Ms. Maddox (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Beth McLevel (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Cindy Hawkins (Pre-Apocalypse)
- Hayes (Zombified)
- Walter (Indirectly Caused)
- Randall Perez (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Sullivan Daniels (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Michael Jenkins (Caused, Alive)
- Mary Anne (Caused, Alive)
- Harvey (Before Reanimation)
- Johnson (Zombified, Alongside Dakota, Riley, and Cultist)
- Dakota (Caused)
- Acolyte (Caused)
- At least 20 unnamed women (Pre-Apocalypse)
- 13 unnamed funeral home survivors (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- 15 unnamed office workers (Caused, Alive)
- At least 30 unnamed Tank Town workers (Caused, Alive)
- 1 unnamed CRM soldier (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Many unnamed captives (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Several victims of Cole's Group (Zombified)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people (Caused and/or Direct)
Teddy is shown to be highly manipulative of Dakota, successfully convincing her that she has no future outside of his group and that the world is inherently deserving of destruction. He expresses a fatherly affection towards her, nicknaming her Sioux (after Sioux Falls, his favorite city in South Dakota). It is later revealed that he was using her and demanded to know if he ever actually cared about her or if he just needed Dakota to turn the key. When Teddy's only response is to chuckle, Dakota shoots the insane cult leader in the chest before killing him with a point-blank headshot.
- Teddy is the serial killer who John Dorie told Jacob Kessner about in "The Key".
- Teddy is one of the few characters to have killed someone before the apocalypse.
- As of his death, there are no known living named members of the doomsday cult left.
- Teddy is the last person who Dakota kills.
- Teddy's character is largely based off of cult leader, Charles Manson.
- Teddy's favorite city in South Dakota is Sioux Falls.
|Language||Dubber||Other Characters Voiced|
|Spanish (Latin America)||Armando Coria||N/A|
|Spanish (Spain)||Domenech Farell||Daniel Salazar ("Things Left to Do")|