Fear the Walking Dead Season 6

Adam Lenhardt

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AMC's first "Walking Dead" spinoff returns tonight at 9:00pm ET/8:00pm CT.

Trailer:


The upcoming season stars Lennie James as Morgan Jones, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia, Maggie Grace as Althea, Colman Domingo as Victor Strand, Danay Garcia as Luciana Galvez, Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie, Austin Amelio as Dwight, Alexa Nisenson as Charlie, Jenna Elfman as Naomi, Karen David as Grace and Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar.

Synopsis: "Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead explores what has become of the unlikely family once united by a mission to help those in need. After being torn apart by Virginia (Colby Minifie) and her Pioneers, the group is now dispersed across her far-reaching settlements. Morgan’s (James) last message at the end of Season 5 implored the group to “Live” and this season we’ll see what that means to each of them. Some will find the stability and opportunity within Virginia's communities to be intriguing, some will sink into darkness, while others will fight back against what has been forced upon them. Life behind Virginia's walls will test each and every one of them in different ways, forcing them to define who they are in this new world."
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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After a rough back half to the fifth season, I really enjoyed the sixth season premiere. I love that the show is fully and unabashedly a Western now, despite the occasional pickup truck. And I love that Morgan Jones has basically been recast as the Man With No Name. The fifth season ended with him being the hunted, and the sixth season begins with him being the hunter.

In addition to the cast members listed above, it appears that Mo Collins and Colby Hollman -- who have recurred since Season 4 and Season 5 respectively -- have been promoted to series regulars. Neither appeared in this episode. Zoe Coletti, best known for playing the main character in Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, was also credited as a series regular and she hasn't appeared yet in the show at all.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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The second episode was really solid as well. We find out where Strand, Alicia, Charlie, and Daniel have ended up in Virginia's new society. We also begin to understand the scope of her operations, her governing style, and the fault lines that underlie this society.

One of those fault lines is Virginia's younger sister Dakota, played by Zoe Coletti. She hates Virginia's tyranny almost as much as the prisoners, but she has been protected from that tyranny. Her efforts to rebel get a lot of other people killed.

Another fault line is the Rangers, who don't exactly enforce the law with the consent of the governed. Virginia's society seems to be structured along the same lines as a cult: you start at the bottom and work your way up, with the most powerful positions held by those who have been with the cult leader the longest and been the most loyal. But many of Virginia's oldest and most loyal followers are complete assholes, and that creates resentment.

Picking Strand to lead her army is indicative of Virginia's arrogance and singlemindedness. She can't stand that Morgan Jones is out there; his very continued existence is perceived as a mockery of her. Having one of Morgan's former compatriots be the one to take him down is too delicious an opportunity for her to pass up. But right now, her Rangers are both her enforcers and her bodyguards. Creating an army under Strand's leadership creates a competing powerbase. And the only thing you can count on with Strand is that he'll do what it takes to survive. If that means being Virginia's right-hand man, he'll do it. If it means burning everything Virginia has built to the ground, he'll do that too. His first act as general was to get Alicia and Charlie out of the line of fire, which doesn't exactly point to a moderate, measured course of action.

Daniel continues to be as intriguing as ever. In some ways, he was the one best positioned to navigate their circumstances, since Virginia's society operates not dissimilarly from the juntas that governed El Salvador from the late seventies into the early nineties. It's clear from his forehead that he really did experience a serious head trauma. The question of the episode is: Does he really not remember the last few years, or is he faking? The answer is that of course he is faking. And because he doesn't break character, even when it's seemingly safe to do so, he's privy to a lot of firsthand intelligence. Virginia made a big mistake when she took Skidmark from him.

The final scene, with Morgan whistling the Traveling Wilburys tune from the darkness, pulled us back into a more Sergio Leone space.
 

TravisR

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And the only thing you can count on with Strand is that he'll do what it takes to survive.
I was quite happy to see Strand kill Sanjay. No doubt, it was cold blooded but this far into the apocalypse, that dude was too much of a liability so he had it coming for being a coward and backstabbing everyone.
 

Adam Lenhardt

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If the Governor's own unraveling resulted in his downfall, and Negan was defeated through a relentless depletion of his ranks as Rick launched used guerilla tactics to wage a war of attrition, Virginia's downfall might just be the fact that she's such a persistent asshole all the time. It seems like every episode, she utilizes tactics which solve her short-term problem while alienating the people she needs for the long-term war. Bribing John with June was the wrong play.
 
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ChristopherG

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If the Governor's own unraveling resulted in his downfall, and Negan was defeated through a relentless depletion of his ranks as Rick launched used guerilla tactics to wage a war of attrition, Virginia's downfall might just be the fact that she's such a persistent asshole all the time. It seems like every episode, she utilizes tactics which solve her short-term problem while alienating the people she needs for the long-term war. Bribing John with June was the wrong play.
Agreed - when she started to basically quote his private mail about his father you could almost see the episode where John Kills Virginia being written in his eyes...
 

TravisR

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They're only playing seven episodes in this run (with the other 9 in the first half of next year I guess) so the mid-season finale is on November 22. The Walking Dead: World Beyond ends its first season on November 29 with a two episode finale.

This show can be frustrating to me because each season now seems to set up a scenario where the characters are all split up (an understandable necessity since they have to shoot multiple episodes at the same time) and they've now spent more than half of the run of the episodes setting up what could be an interesting story but they've only got three episodes for an actual story coming from that set up.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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Part of me was really hoping June would just let Virginia die; it wouldn't have violated the Hippocratic Oath, since she wouldn't have been doing any harm herself, and it would have been a refreshing change of pace to have a Big Bad taken out this early in the game.

On the other hand, I thought the conflict between John and June was really effective, and rooted organically in each's experiences prior to their reunion. June spent most of the apocalypse running every time things got bad, so I get why she can't run from her problems anymore. By the same token, what Virginia did to Janice ended John's wherewithal to continue participating in Virginia's grand project. His confession to the rabbi a couple episodes back, sharing an anecdote about his father, laid the groundwork for this latest development: "But he had to do what he did--it's who he was." John Dorie is the guy who was a decorated police officer who walked away from his career and became a hermit in the woods after he accidentally killed someone who was a clear and present danger to everyone in his vicinity. As much as he loves June, he is someone who greatly values his own soul, and he knows that continuing to serve in Virginia's employ would corode his soul and set him on the path for a slow and miserable death. Hopefully he's able to connect with Morgan before he gets too far outside of Virginia's territory.

One of the things about this point in the post-apocalyptic world is that it's not enough to simply kill the bad guy anymore. You have to do it in a way that doesn't demolish all of the progress that has been made. Morgan understands this. Daniel understands this. Alicia understands this. June understand this. But I'm not so sure that Strand or Luciana or Wes understand it. Sherry and Dakota definitely don't understand it.

The question is whether the graffiti artists and Sherry's mask-wearing group of Virginia's rejects are one and the same. I'm inclined to think they aren't, which only makes me more curious about what the key around Morgan's neck unlocks.

This show can be frustrating to me because each season now seems to set up a scenario where the characters are all split up (an understandable necessity since they have to shoot multiple episodes at the same time) and they've now spent more than half of the run of the episodes setting up what could be an interesting story but they've only got three episodes for an actual story coming from that set up.
This is a criticism that I think can be leveled fairly at the vast majority of Scott M. Gimple's tenure overseeing this franchise, first as the showrunner of the mothership and now as the Kevin Feige of the Walking Dead universe.

As much as I've enjoyed every episode so far this season, the fact that next Sunday is the mid-season finale and the show is still just setting up the pieces on the board says it all.

Then there's the added complication of the real world (COVID-19) pandemic's impact on the production; they were in the middle of shooting next week's episode when everything shut down. As a result, we're probably in for a longer than usual hiatus before we get to see the back half of the sixth season.

With production on the rest of the season delayed by half a year, it will be interesting to see if it's obvious next week what was shot before the shutdown and what was shot after the shutdown. Especially because the actresses playing Charlie and Dakota are so young.

The upside is that they finished writing all of the scripts for the rest of the season by July, so when production resumed in August they knew exactly where they were headed rather than just figuring it out as they went along. Hopefully that results in them keeping the quality up.
 
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TravisR

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This is a criticism that I think can be leveled fairly at the vast majority of Scott M. Gimple's tenure overseeing this franchise, first as the showrunner of the mothership and now as the Kevin Feige of the Walking Dead universe.

As much as I've enjoyed every episode so far this season, the fact that next Sunday is the mid-season finale and the show is still just setting up the pieces on the board says it all.

Then there's the added complication of the real world (COVID-19) pandemic's impact on the production; they were in the middle of shooting next week's episode when everything shut down. As a result, we're probably in for a longer than usual hiatus before we get to see the back half of the sixth season.

With production on the rest of the season delayed by half a year, it will be interesting to see if it's obvious next week what was shot before the shutdown and what was shot after the shutdown. Especially because the actresses playing Charlie and Dakota are so young.

The upside is that they finished writing all of the scripts for the rest of the season by July, so when production resumed in August they knew exactly where they were headed rather than just figuring it out as they went along. Hopefully that results in them keeping the quality up.
No kidding? I thought there was a long gap between shooting and airing (so it could fit in with the main series' usual airdates) and they had gotten the season shot before COVID shut down production.

It's nuts that Alycia Debnam-Carey is the second billed cast member and has appeared in one episode of six. As I said, I know some of that is just the reality of production but that's too long to spend away from a main character. The main series splits characters up but I can't think of a time when any of the main characters appear once in six episodes.
 
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Adam Lenhardt

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This mid-season finale did a pretty good job of consolidating things a bit: Alicia, Al, Charlie, Dwight, and Dakota are all with Morgan now.

Of the three shows, this one does the best job at pure horror when it wants to. The taxidermist's house was definitely a horror show.

I like that Charlie remains as resourceful as ever. She was the Vultures' mole for a long time, and she performed her role flawlessly. It wouldn't make sense for her to be any less capable now that she's older.

Virginia keeping Grace close at hand and under lock and key is the smartest decision she's made so far this season. Morgan has leverage with Dakota; well, so does she with Grace.

Hard to say what Strand's endgame is at this point. On one hand, bringing all of Morgan's people together in one place puts a lot of people he cares about in danger. On the other hand, it saves Morgan the trouble of having to track all of them down.

It's interesting see them all weigh the moral questions now that they've lost everything. It's easy to retreat into brutal pragmatism given all they've lost. But Charlie pulls Alicia back, and Alicia pulls Morgan back.

The back half of the season airs in "2021". I wonder if that's shortly after the new year or not until the summer (or even fall?)
 
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TravisR

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The back half of the season airs in "2021". I wonder if that's shortly after the new year or not until the summer (or even fall?)
The main series comes back for 6 episodes on February 28 so I assume that means that the earliest that Fear would be back is early April. If I remember correctly, the main show won't be back in the fall so maybe they'll play Fear or World Beyond in the summer and the other in the fall.
 

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