Season 6 Episode 15 of Fear the Walking Dead, “Pennsylvania,” has premiered, and this was probably the least impressive of the season so far. In fact, there were a few too many plotholes and weird character decisions for my liking. While it was still entertaining to watch, there were quite a few moments that left me shaking my head at the TV. Still, the episode ended in a way that I really didn’t think would happen, and it’s left a lot of intriguing possibilities for the future of the show.
This is a Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 15 review, so there will be spoilers below. This review was written based on the early-release on AMC+ Premium.
Strand Regressed & Morgan’s Plot Armor Prevailed
I enjoyed the idea of a Strand-Morgan focused episode, which is what the majority of this episode turned out to be. However, the writers relied on too many one-dimensional moments and plot armor escapes to make their one-on-one scenes compelling. I loved Strand and Daniel’s scenes from a few episodes earlier much better than the Strand-Morgan scenes. Strand and Daniel’s moments felt more authentic and believable to me.
I had a lot of hope during the title screen, when they showed Strand holding Morgan’s ax. I thought that meant something crazy was going to happen to Morgan. Although I liked the idea of the ax passing from Morgan to Strand, I ultimately didn’t like how the writers decided to make that all play out.
First, Morgan is supposedly facing off against one of the most conniving villains yet in TWD universe, and this man has nukes at his disposal to top it off. But despite all this, Morgan only wants the team along with him for the very beginning of the journey. While he should want his best fighters by his side every step of the way, instead he decides that he can single-handedly face off against Teddy by himself, simply because he’s scared of other people getting hurt.
Strand forces his way into helping Morgan anyway, which was a decision that I appreciated. But what didn’t make sense to me is why Strand is still being forced to prove that he doesn’t care only about himself. I understood that Daniel was suspicious of him, considering their history. But as far as Morgan is concerned, Strand just secretly raised his own army loyal to him right under Virginia’s nose and successfully led a coup against her. In fact, it was Morgan who made the selfish decision to save Virginia and go against what the entire group wanted. It should be Morgan proving himself to Strand, not the other way around.
But I probably still could have forgiven all of this if it hadn’t been for that weird moment where Strand decided that he had to face off against Teddy alone in order to prove his character, so he PUSHED MORGAN INTO A ZOMBIE HORDE. This made no sense, and Morgan’s survival didn’t make any sense either. Morgan lives with the sole help of plot armor, and he isn’t even covered in walker guts like he should have been. Strand, meanwhile, rides off with nothing but an axe handle, thinking that would be enough to stop Teddy from firing off nukes. NONE OF THIS MADE ANY SENSE.
Meanwhile, Dakota has decided it’s OK to die for Teddy, even though she killed Dorie — a man who was kind to her — so she wouldn’t die or even have her freedom threatened.🤷♀️ I’m really not understanding Dakota’s motivations here, or Morgan’s desire not to kill her off.
They finally get into the room in the sub where the bombs are set off, and it’s only because Morgan got a keycard off of one of the walkers that Strand pushed into him. So if Strand hadn’t tried to kill Morgan, they wouldn’t have even gotten inside. 🤷♀️ But they also didn’t carry around the blow torch with them that Morgan would have needed to force their way into the room if it was locked. 🤷♀️
If I sound like I’m complaining, I’m sorry. But much of the plot in this episode just didn’t make sense to me.
But here’s me REALLY complaining…
WHY DID THEY LET TEDDY AND RILEY LIVE? I’m sorry for the all caps, but I really am shouting. Teddy and Riley are only able to set off one of their nukes before Morgan and Strand stop them. They have signed the death warrants for a lot of people, and we can only assume that they will still want to kill more for whatever time they have left. Yet despite this, Morgan simply lets them go. Sure, maybe he thinks it’s pointless since he’s probably going to die of radiation poisoning… (I’m guessing? They said something about the nuke have 10 warheads and hitting people at the border, but I’m guessing the fallout will still affect them in Galveston too…) But even if Morgan thinks they’re all going to die, he should STILL try to stop Teddy from having a chance to come back later (ie seconds after Morgan leaves the room) to set off more nukes and kill even more people. 🤷♀️
Or I don’t know… At the very least, he could have killed one of them and taken the other captive to try to learn Alicia’s location.
A lot of the decisions made in this episode didn’t make any sense to me, which was disappointing considering how much I’d enjoyed the earlier episodes this season. (Well, except for Dorie dying. But I’m trying not to remember that…)
— Bionic Becky Tyler (@BeckyTylerArt) June 5, 2021
To be fair, not everyone feels the same way about this episode as I do. You can read a comment by a viewer on Reddit who loved the episode here.
Some viewers even think that Morgan was bitten at some point, and that’s why he is acting so irrationally. But honestly, I don’t think he was bit. He’s been irrational ever since John Dorie died. So these odd decisions aren’t new for him.
John Dorie Sr. Was Practically Missing
— FearTWD (@FearTWD) May 17, 2021
Another thing that bothers me is the major buildup they made to a big showdown between Teddy and John Dorie, Sr. And while that still could happen in the finale, I think it would have been more satisfying if it had happened on the sub during this episode.
But let me backtrack just a bit… If they were being strategic, they shouldn’t have let Teddy know that JD was with them in the first place. They would have had a big advantage over Teddy, since JD is supposed to know how Teddy thinks and operates. They could have used JD’s knowledge to help them get to Teddy. And even if Teddy still won in the end, at least there would have been a showdown between them two of them first. I can only imagine that they’re saving some kind of scene between the two for the finale. I just hope it’s worth the wait.
The Nukes Were a Brave Plot Choice
But even though I’ve spent a lot of time here complaining about the dialogue, the plot armor, and the plotholes, I do still have a big part of this episode that I enjoyed. Their decision to go ahead and launch a nuke was a brave one. The idea of permanently changing part of the Texas landscape with radiation fallout was unexpected, but intriguing. This really leaves me interested about what’s going to happen next on the show. In fact, I’d love to see next season involve a big time jump with Alicia leaving the bunker years in the future.
I still think there’s a chance that they’ll find a magical solution to stop the nuke from going off. Maybe it will be a dud. Maybe Morgan will discover a failsafe in the sub that wouldn’t exist in real life, but exists in the show. But for now, I’m going to consider that they’re doing a hard reset for next season and will only allow a few characters to survive after a long time jump. And I find that idea really intriguing, even if it’s been done on this show before.