John Dorie’s death in last week’s episode sent Fear The Walking Dead into free fall. In the latest climactic instalment, Virginia (Colby Minifie) must face up to the many enemies she’s made over the years – in surrounding regions as well as from her own camp – and there’s yet another huge twist to be discussed. Here are the key moments from Fear The Walking Dead season 6 episode 9, ‘Things Left To Do’.
A killer climax: June breaks bad to murder Virginia
It looked for a moment as if Virginia was going to escape death once again. But with Victor (Colman Domingo) turning her own rangers against her, and Morgan (Lennie James) announcing she covered up Dakota killing Cameron, the long-reigning tyrant’s power quickly crumbled. Her final throw of the dice was to kidnap Grace (Karen David) and Daniel (Rubén Blades), which became her bargaining chip for having Morgan end her life swiftly without “twisting the knife”.
Morgan’s moral conscience proved a stumbling block though, and he hesitated with the axe hovering over her throat. He wanted to break the cycle of violence and have Virginia live with her actions. If he killed her, would he be any better than the brutal dictator they’d fought to take down? It was sparing Negan and putting him in prison all over again.
In the end, June (Jenna Elfman) made the decision for him, shooting Virginia with the revolver Dakota used to kill John, before strutting out from camp in her late husband’s cowboy hat. It was the best moment of the season so far, cutting through Morgan’s dreamy ideals with a shot of raw justice.
Why did Virginia hide that she’s Dakota’s mother?
Virginia had one last revelation to make before her demise: admitting she was actually Dakota’s mother and not her sister. She claimed killing Dakota’s grandparents was to protect her from them and the upbringing she had, with every act up until that point to ensure her daughter’s safety.
Virginia’s motivations make sense in protecting Dakota, but there wasn’t any reason for maintaining the lie this whole time. Was it Virginia’s parents who enforced the lie to begin with because they were ashamed? Wouldn’t saying this earlier have helped Virginia and Dakota’s frayed relationship before she turned full despot?
At the moment, it feels like a rushed plot point to amplify justification for Virginia’s actions. This might be a route Dakota’s storyline takes moving forward, especially if the identity of her father becomes an issue, but it’s still a clumsy, underdeveloped note in an otherwise great episode.
Discussion point: Fear finally steps out of The Walking Dead‘s shadow
The biggest criticism made against Fear The Walking Dead is it’s similarity to the main series, with crossover characters like Morgan and Dwight carrying over storylines mostly for the worse. This episode blurred the lines further, with Virginia forcing survivors on their knees, hands tied and in front of car headlights, as she contemplated killing them to fish out Morgan’s whereabouts. The setup and lighting is a clear reference to Negan’s iconic opening salvo, which saw Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) bludgeoned to death.
Yet this is the first time Fear has used these comparisons to subvert expectations. Virginia doesn’t pull through with her villainous intent like Negan, with Morgan and Victor’s actions flipping the script entirely with a Western-style shootout. A clear line of comparison to Negan is later drawn when Morgan suggests sparing Virginia’s life, instead of ending it.
It’s a promising sign that showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg are aware, and perhaps trying to address, the criticisms of Fear’s current era. Whether this show will connect back to The Walking Dead in any meaningful way remains to be seen, but this is the best indicator we’ve had that events could spin in a surprising direction.
— FearTWD (@FearTWD) April 18, 2021
This week’s biggest question: where does Fear The Walking Dead go from here?
We’ve been here before. The seasonal villain is dead, with unanswered “The End is the Beginning” teasers of a new threat looming in the background. The show’s formula suggests we’re buckling up for another power vacuum cycle, but could we see an exciting, brighter future for Fear instead?