In this week’s excellent episode of Fear The Walking Dead, we delve into the warped mind (and past) of psychotic villain Teddy (John Glover). In a world where survival takes precedence over moral decency, the cult leader’s genocidal plans fit in worryingly well. Here are the major takeaways from Fear season six, episode 14.
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Teddy’s plan is finally revealed – and it’s bad news
After taking a shine to his captive Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) for unknown reasons, Teddy (John Glover) takes her on a surprise road trip. They’re joined by Dakota (Zoe Colletti), who infiltrates Teddy’s underground cult ‘The Holding’ as a potential new recruit to save Alicia and regain trust after killing John. Turns out, Dakota’s desire to kill her mother is an amusing, relatable yarn for Teddy — so she’s brought aboard as the third dysfunctional wheel on their apocalyptic tourbus.
The trip is, unbeknown to them, a ploy to see if Alicia is suitable for Teddy’s grand plan. This ends with Alicia pointing a gun at Teddy, but he’s protected by a converted Dakota, who finds his mad ramblings more comforting than Morgan’s peaceful rhetoric. Alicia’s resistance however is exactly what Teddy hoped for, though, proof of her strong leadership skills.
So what’s Teddy’s plan? Those keys are to launch a missile from the submarine seen at the season’s outset, in a bid to wipeout nearby human colonies and “break the pattern” of behaviour that’s turned humans against each other. Teddy sees Alicia as his successor to continue the work, locking her away beneath a house which serves as their new hideout. “You can do what needs to be done without losing sight of the one thing that’s going to be in short supply once this is all over,” Teddy tells Alicia. “Hope.”
Teddy’s intentions fit in with his madcap personality, but it doesn’t make sense considering the whole planet is going through this apocalypse. This missile will impact the surrounding areas where Fear The Walking Dead is based, of course, but how will this stop other groups from further afield travelling over and invading his new utopia?
Unexpected reunions: Alicia’s blast from the past
Joining this season’s ongoing trend of ruining happy reunions with bloody death, Alicia bumps into Cole (Sebastian Sozzi) who hasn’t been seen since season four. He was a resident inside the baseball stadium Alicia’s mother, Madison, trapped herself in so they could escape. He isn’t the only one still alive who was assumed dead too, with couple Douglas (Kenneth Wayne Bradley) and Vivian (Rhoda Griffis) also part of his band of survivors.
Teddy’s trip near the baseball stadium was designed to show Alicia her mother’s sacrifice meant nothing, hoping to find the corpses laying in her wake. Instead, Cole managed to prove his point without his intrusion at all. He double-crosses a trusting Alicia, robbing them of their supplies and proving Cole, Douglas and Vivian have become the exact opposite of what her mother had fought for. It’s a betrayal which the trio their lives, as a walker horde (attracted by Alicia, while she scarpers) envelops them.
Unlike the death of Wes’s brother, this brief reunion felt satisfying because it affected a major character and honestly reflects the world. We’ve seen countless groups betray and fight each other across The Walking Dead franchise, and this was a perfectly-timed, personal reminder of the fact — making Teddy’s mission to end the cycle somewhat understandable.
Discussion point: is Teddy the best Fear The Walking Dead villain yet?
A big recent problem with FTWD has been the terrible villains. The show peaked in season three with the Otto family, who were interesting because they weren’t goofy, cartoon nasties but human beings with different yet understandable outlooks. Anyone who’s stayed with Fear will remember the Troy Otto era, but it’s unlikely anyone will fondly recall The Vultures, Martha, Logan and even Virginia — although the latter did at least have a memorable send-off.
Teddy has a playfulness which makes him compelling. He’s driven by fate and possess a warped sense of importance, dressing up the fact he’s an incarcerated serial killer with the belief that he plays an instrumental role in the post-apocalypse. As such, he’s weirdly comical with his condescension — watching his followers run around the same dilemmas in meaningless lives.
It’s an interesting idea that the morally twisted from the pre-apocalypse might become the voice of reason within an environment where everyone is a killer. Who’s to say what is crazy anymore? Hopefully the show doesn’t stray away from Teddy for too long, because he’s shaping up to be one of the franchise’s most unique villains.
This week’s biggest question: Who will save Alicia?
Before Alicia is locked away by Teddy, she manages to send out a distress call to Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) informing him of his missile plans. He’s now aware of the submarine and its location, so it’s likely the next episode will follow his pursuits.
A likely prediction is Strand will save Alicia, rebuilding their fractured trust and closing the narrative loop of this season. With his own dubious moral compass however, could Strand also see the benefits of Teddy’s bold vision of the future?