At the end of this week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead, Alicia capped off one of the weirdest, strangest storylines in Fear the Walking Dead history by painting “No One’s Gone Until They’re Gone” on a tree as a part of a mural of some sort. Alicia’s mural was inspired by that of Wes, who we discover in the episode literally killed a man because that man stole his … book. From the book, we also discovered that Wes has been the one painting the “You’re Still Here,” messages on trees.
Alicia, however, decided to continue painting these murals, which somehow also gave her the power to kill zombies again (Don’t ask). The mural that Alicia painted with “No One’s Gone Until They’re Gone,” of course, was inspired by her mother, Madison. This, unfortunately, appears to be as close as Fear is going to get to bringing back Madison, so the tease from the last few episodes was just that: A big tease.
“No One’s Gone,” of course, is the title of the fourth-season episode in which Madison was last seen. It comes from the line, “No One’s Gone Until They’re Gone,” that she delivered to Strand, Luciana, Nick and Alicia before she died. It basically means that, until someone is dead, they still have a chance to live, that they can still put their dark past behind them and be a good person who contributes positive things to the world.
That’s what Alicia wants to do. She may be dying, owed to the radiation poisoning from an infected zombie she killed earlier this season, but she’s “not gone” yet, and she still has time to contribute positively to the world. In the context of this episode, that also apparently means the ability to kill zombies again, which is technically a societal good in the zombie apocalypse.
It’s also possible to read a different meaning into “No One’s Gone Until They’re Gone,” specifically, “no one is dead until you’ve seen their corpse,” which could lend itself to theories that Madison is returning. I would not, however, hold your breath, notwithstanding the fact that Daniel has returned twice on the series after he was “gone.”