‘Fear The Walking Dead’ season six episode four recap: a rip-roaring return to form

**Spoilers for ‘The Key’ below**

This week, Fear The Walking Dead became a murder mystery side-quest for the strongest episode of the season so far. With unexpected encounters, satisfying twists and cunning plans afoot, not even the threat of tooth decay could sour this instalment. Here are the standouts from Fear The Walking Dead season 6 episode 4, ‘The Key’.

Most surprising moment: Morgan’s roadside bust-up

Let’s begin with the end. In his pursuit of Grace, Morgan (Lennie James) acquires a bloodhound sniffer dog to help track her down. However, his leisurely Sunday drive with an actually-quite-adorable pooch is interrupted by a car crash, the collision knocking both parties about (but without injury).

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Two men, who we saw previously tagging graffiti on a submarine, step out of the car and press for the whereabouts of bounty hunter Emile who they sent to retrieve a key. Morgan, of course is wearing said key around his neck, and it doesn’t take long before intestines are splattered across the concrete – he kills them both in gruesome fashion.

“What the hell do you unlock?” Morgan asks the bloodied key. No answer, of course, but these deaths will likely place a large target on Morgan’s back in future episodes.

Fear The Walking Dead season 6 episode 1
Lennie James as Morgan in ‘Fear The Walking Dead’. Credit: AMC

Did the show just tease a serial killer cult?

While having a personal crisis around breaking the rules, former police officer John Dorie (Garrett Dillahunt) recounts a story about his father – who planted evidence to ensure a known serial killer, who had attracted a cult following, was locked up in prison for life.

During his explanation, John explains how the killer “spouted on about death and new beginnings, just a bunch of nonsense dressed up as something profound.”

Ring any bells? A recurring phrase throughout this season has been, “The end is the beginning”, sprayed across walls beyond Virginia’s (Colby Minifie) territory. Considering the writing so far in these new episodes hasn’t exactly been subtle, this might be a winking nod to the next villain lurking around the corner.

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Fear the walking dead season 6 episode 4
Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie in ‘Fear The Walking Dead’ season six episode four. Credit: AMC

Who’s making moves? Victor Strand’s ruthless streak is on display

As John geared up to save Janis from Virginia (whose death sentence for the murder of Cameron) was due to be carried out the next morning), the actions of one Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) led to her being killed ahead of time – strung up from a tree as a stereo blasted music to attract nearby hungry walkers.

Strand encouraged Virginia to kill Janis sooner to stop John from doing anything rash. It’s an understandable, if cut-throat perspective, but John didn’t quite see it that way – and a furious fist fight followed.

Strand has now killed two innocent people this season to protect those within his inner circle. What will happen if he has to choose between those in his friendship group?

Fear the walking dead season 6 episode 4
Victor Strand again shows his ruthless side in this week’s episode of ‘Fear The Walking Dead’. Credit: AMC

This week’s biggest question: what is Virginia covering up?

The focus of this episode was on John Dorie, who untangled the suspicious circumstances around Cameron’s death. He was found chewed up by walkers against a fence, with Virginia quick to label it a drunken accident. After further digging, literally in Cameron’s grave, it became clear this wasn’t the case – with Virginia then laying blame on Cameron’s secret lover Janice.

Despite Janice confessing to the murder, resulting in her death, her motivation was less sinister: to give John a chance to escape from Virginia’s clutches. After her sentencing, John was rewarded by Virginia for his discoveries – and was even reunited with wife June (Jenna Elfman). It was obviously a clear attempt to keep him quiet and prevent any further inquiry into Cameron’s demise.

Virginia is covering something up, but for what reason? The fact she’s assembled a new military division under Victor Strand was the first red flag, but now it definitely seems there’s a threat she’s downplaying to maintain control. Her scouts have likely noticed the graffiti sprayed around, and with mentions of serial killer cults, could a Charles Manson-style figure be Fear’s next menace?

Colby Minifie
What is Virginia (Colby Minifie) hiding? Credit: AMC

Key quote: “Janis was right, this place destroys everything” – John Dorie

Fear The Walking Dead season 6 episode 4 airs November 2 at 9pm on AMC

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