Fear the Walking Dead Finale Ending Explained and What Happened to Alicia

Fear the Walking Dead has come to a close. Here’s who lived and died in the horror-fueled finale. Plus, what really happened to Alicia?

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

This Fear the Walking article contains spoilers.

After eight seasons, the popular zombie horror series Fear the Walking Dead came to a close with a two-part finale, concluding the saga of Madison Clark and her fight to survive the zombie apocalypse. Along the blood-soaked way, there is plenty of death and betrayal as the survivors battle for the fate of PADRE, an island refuge that becomes threatened by the ravenous undead hordes amid the power struggle between the living. Telling a largely self-contained story within the wider Walking Dead universe, the Fear the Walking Dead series finale provides its main characters with a send-off and perhaps the closest thing they’ll ever get to a happy ending.

Here are all the major deaths in the Fear the Walking Dead series finale, what becomes of those who survive long enough to make it to the end credits, and how the show resolves the mystery of Alicia, Madison’s daughter, who had been presumed dead ever since the start of the final season.

Who Died in the Fear the Walking Dead Finale?

The major deaths rocking the Fear the Walking Dead finale take place within the first hour, with both Crane and Troy dead as the final battle lines are drawn. Crane had been vying for revenge against Madison and Troy ever since he and his sister were ousted from controlling PADRE. He finds his enemies together in the finale and pursuing them in the woods. Crane sends Madison and Troy tumbling into a creek full of walkers and taunts them from the creek’s banks. This backfires, with Madison yelling to draw more walkers to the creek. The walkers overwhelm and devour Crane.

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Meanwhile, Troy’s death comes as something of a surprise. He agrees to enter a truce with Madison after she discovers him gravely wounded from a car crash. As part of this agreement, Troy leads Madison and reinforcements from PADRE to the location of a walker herd he was planning to unleash on the island. Satisfied, Madison stabs Troy, whom, in his final moments, claims that Tracy, the little girl he had raised and who betrayed PADRE, is actually Alicia’s daughter, effectively making her Madison’s granddaughter.

The Fall of PADRE

The final episode of Fear the Walking Dead focuses on the survivors divided and besieged, with Troy’s forces bringing another large herd of walkers to PADRE after his death. This occurs as Madison searches the woods for Tracy after she fled in the wake of witnessing Troy being murdered. Surrounded by walkers themselves after Madison recovers Tracy, a hearty group of survivors led by Victor Strand decides to return to PADRE and help with its evacuation.

Ultimately, it’s Madison who makes the selfless play to save the community she alienated over the course of the season. Recuperating from her ordeal in the creek and being shot by Tracy, Madison lures the walkers away from the fleeing survivors with a flare to PADRE’s storage of gaseous fuel, which she overloads. As flammable gas fills the air, Madison blows up the walker herd, saving the day and nearly dying in the process. This mirrors Madison’s explosive fate earlier in the series, after she appeared to die heroically in a stadium explosion at the start of season 4 only to miraculously survive and return three seasons later.

The Truth About Tracy and Alicia

The biggest mystery all season was what actually happened to Alicia, who had been a fixture on Fear the Walking Dead since the beginning, only to disappear in the seven-year time jump between seasons 7 and 8. Over the course of the season, we learned many of the characters believed she died, with Tracy even claiming she had seen Alicia reanimated as a walker. However, the series finale definitively answers what actually became of Alicia and reveals the truth behind her connection to Tracy.

As Madison regains consciousness from the destruction of PADRE with Tracy by her side, the two women are greeted by Alicia. Alicia had gone her own way after season 7 and, after hearing news of her mother’s heroic actions over survivor radio wires, set out to reunite with her. Though Madison and Tracy initially believe Troy’s claim that Alicia is Tracy’s mother, Alicia quickly debunks this, admitting she never had any children herself and mentioning that Tracy is the daughter of a fellow survivor she knew named Serena who passed away.

Did Rick Grimes or Morgan Return in the Fear the Walking Dead Finale?

For those expecting nods to The Walking Dead: Dead City, Daryl Dixon, or a tease for the upcoming Rick Grimes and Michonne continuation series, The Ones Who Live, Fear the Walking Dead instead keeps its narrative focused squarely on its own characters and story. Even longtime Fear the Walking Dead character Morgan Jones, who departed in the middle of the final season, is absent from this finale, his whereabouts still a mystery. Fear the Walking Dead started in its own pocket of the Walking Dead universe and so too does it end.

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In the end, the surviving characters go their separate ways, from the reunited Madison and Alicia heading into an uncertain future with Tracy in tow back to Los Angeles, to Dwight and his wife Sherry and Strand leading the remaining survivors in a convoy. The battle for PADRE is lost and its inhabitants are back to scouring the ruins of the old world for a new home but, thanks to its leaders, at least they get to live another day. And in this hardscrabble world full of the undead and murderous roving bands, that distinction is victory enough.

Fear the Walking Dead Season 8 is available to stream on AMC+.