After 15 episodes spent building towards an action-packed finale, season six of Fear The Walking Dead arrives with twists and shock deaths – alongside a certain amount of disappointment. Big bad Teddy gets to shoot his nuclear warheads into the sky, but there’s no saving this messy conclusion to a once-promising season. Here are all the key moments…
The first roadblock of many during this new beginning.
— FearTWD (@FearTWD) June 13, 2021
The big deaths: Teddy and Dakota meet their maker
The finale cuts between numerous characters at various locations across the missiles’ splash zone. In Teddy (John Glover) and Dakota’s (Zoe Colletti) standout segment, a short drive leads them to the perfect place to watch his plan unfold. That’s until John Dorie Sr. (Keith Carradine) and June (Jenna Elfman) track down their whereabouts. Once there, they convince Dakota of Teddy’s madness before discovering he plans to hide in a nearby hatch during the nuclear fallout.
A bizarre sequence of events follows, as John Dorie Sr. and June take refuge in the hatch after Dakota chooses to “see the end” of Teddy’s plan. Moments later, she shoots Teddy, stopping him from seeing his own creation. As she looks out over the cliff, Dakota is then obliterated by the missile’s cloud.
Despite the poetic justice, both deaths felt relatively unsatisfying and rushed. Dakota realised she was being used by Teddy to help him fire more missiles – so why did she still believe in his “the end is the beginning” nonsense? They’ve been this season’s most interesting characters, and the confused payoff wastes their potential.
An unexpected delivery: Morgan and Grace find a baby
Meanwhile, Morgan (Lennie James) and Grace (Karen David) decide to stay near the submarine in a hopeful, ultimately pointless, attempt to turn back the nuclear apocalypse. They brace for death yet manage to survive by hiding under a truck, seemingly out of the missile’s impact range. The resulting radiation will surely affect their health, although this wouldn’t be the first time the show’s cut corners to ensure Morgan’s survival.
Another far-reaching twist was plonked on top. Injured survivor Rachel (Brigitte Kali Canales) killed herself during the opening sequence. Beforehand, she roped her body to a dog in the hope it’ll lead her undead corpse to civilians who will save the baby strapped to her back. For reasons unexplained, Walker-Rachel isn’t interested in eating the helpless, screaming child…
Conveniently, the plan works! Rachel’s dog finds Morgan and Grace before the missile arrives, and he interprets the baby’s arrival as hopeful sign for the future. It’s all too contrived to be taken seriously though.
Discussion point: could Victor Strand become the show’s next villain?
Victor Strand’s (Colman Domingo) storyline concludes this season with a seemingly abandoned building. He escapes from the missile only to find show newcomer Howard (Omid Abtahi) in his new hideout. Howard is a historian with a particular taste for bourbon, who quizzes Strand about his life choices as they hunker down. Interestingly, Strand lies and pretends to be Morgan, taking credit for his actions while criticising his own.
Later, once they’ve survived Teddy’s attack, he reveals his true identity to Howard. He says more assured in himself and his past double-crossing schemes than ever before, believing it’s how he’s managed to stay alive this long. Having been validated by surviving through a nuclear explosion, he’s ready to start a ‘new day’.
So what does this mean? After this season’s conflict with Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), and nearly sacrificing Morgan, Strand feels closer to fulfilling the classic Walking Dead morally dubious villain role than ever before. With Teddy out of the picture, could he take over?
This week’s biggest question: will the Civic Republic Military dominate season seven?
Althea (Maggie Grace) swoops in via helicopter to save Daniel (Ruben Blades), Luciana (Danay Garcia) and others in another corner of this episode. She’s clearly made contact with her love interest Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon), a pilot for the Civic Republic Military.
They’re flying to safety at an undisclosed location, but it’s reasonable to expect this might be the Civic Republic Military’s early stronghold. We’ve seen what the settlement will eventually become in spin-off The World Beyond, so Fear The Walking Dead could lay the groundwork for the organisation’s growth following this nuclear wipeout.
It would provide purpose to a show that’s felt scattered and directionless, but even a renewed sense of life probably won’t redeem Fear The Walking Dead from consecutive dodgy seasons. Despite some improvement early on in season six, this finale lands with all the grace of an atom bomb — destroying any progress in one fell swoop.