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Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16 Review: Unpacking an Intense Finale

Fear the Walking Dead‘s finale episode for Season 6 raised the stakes higher than we’ve seen them in quite some time. There were still some storylines and moments that just didn’t make sense, but there were also scenes that were truly compelling and left me wondering exactly what to expect in the next season. While I wish some characters’ stories had been written better, I still enjoyed the episode for daring to break new ground and create a mini-apocalypse within a bigger one.

This article is a Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16 review of the finale, so there will be spoilers.


The Title Card Was Amazing

First, I want to give a shoutout to the title card that opened the new episode. The title card featured Teddy and was probably my favorite of the season. With the title card showing after the heartbreaking opening, while we knew the bombs were dropping, it was a creepy and compelling kickoff for the new episode.

The opening was scene with Rachel was so dark that it was hard for me to watch. (Not to mention that I had the bad idea of trying to watch the finale while eating dinner. Oops…) Rachel’s scene was so heartbreaking, I just wanted to cry for her. All she wanted was a life for her baby after her husband had died at the beginning of the season. But as she saw the bombs drop, she couldn’t even offer that. I don’t think her plan of turning herself into a walker so she could hopefully find someone to help her baby and dog was a good idea. However, it was a plan borne out of desperation. And in the end, the arrival of this “magical baby” (as I called him) gave Morgan and Grace a reason to keep fighting.


The Anthology Mashup Was a Great Choice

I loved each and every bomb drop scene. In fact, if I ignore some nagging questions about why everyone was separated in the first place and whether or not more people should be dying from the bombs’ heatwave and fallout, it was a very compelling episode. We’ll get to those nagging questions later. But to start, I really did enjoy seeing this anthology mashup showing each character’s unique method of facing possible death and an imminent need to find shelter fast.

While I didn’t quite buy Strand’s headlong dive back into Early Strand Mode, especially considering his successful mutiny against Virginia, I did enjoy his scenes with the mysterious professor. I’m kind of surprise the prof didn’t just kill him after he went on his ranting monologue at the end of the episode. Would you have taken Strand out if you’d been in his situation?

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I loved Dwight and Sherry’s scenes together. Sherry’s lamenting all the time she lost was so authentic. I could truly see many people feeling the same in that situation. Their decision to help the other couple root out the cult member from the storm cellar was a lot of fun, along with Sherry’s comment that she hadn’t seen Dwight tap into his “darker” side in quite some time.

I enjoyed Morgan and Grace’s scenes together too, and how they finally admitted their feelings for each other when they thought they were about to die. After what Grace had been through with a radiation leak and her medical knowledge, it was understandable that she would consider suicide rather than dealing with radiation poisoning. I’ve heard many people say the same who are familiar with how radiation poisoning works. However, with her being so certain of how bad things would get, I’m not sure how they ended up surviving at the end anyway. (Or, for that matter, why they didn’t take the baby and immediately run back into the sub for shelter rather than hiding under a car.)

I also really enjoyed Daniel’s scenes. It was nice to see everyone question whether what he heard was real, because OF COURSE they would do that. But ultimately with no other choice, they still went to those coordinates, where they found Isabelle waiting in a CRM helicopter. It was a nice way to tie up the loose ends with Al’s storyline. I hope this is the beginning of Daniel coming back to true form.

Remember THIS Daniel? I want this one back.

As for June and JD’s scenes with Dakota and Teddy… Well, that was the part I had the biggest issue with. June & JD’s survival makes more sense considering the deep bunker they get to hide in. And since JD knows Teddy so well, I totally believe that he would follow Teddy, figuring that Teddy had a backup plan. But everyone’s decision to trust Dakota just didn’t track with me. There is no way that June would be ready to forgive and trust Dakota all of a sudden now. Maybe I could believe JD doing that, but not June.

True to form, Dakota stuck with being herself and ultimately killed Teddy, just before she was burned to a cinder by the bomb. The scene where the bomb scorched her was one of the darkest scenes on this show. It was a bit unexpected, so it took me by surprise, but it also revealed that those bombs really do have nukes within them and this wasn’t just going to be a big fake out at the end.

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I Didn’t Quite Believe a Few of the Plotlines

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Unfortunately, this episode still had a few plot holes, and some storylines I didn’t quite buy. Because the overall feel of the episode was so compelling, I’m more forgiving of these than I was of last week’s. But I do wish the writing was somewhat better.

Aside from what I mentioned in the section above, I was disturbed by no explanation being given for why everyone was split up. Dwight and Sherry had already taken off in an earlier episode. But why were Strand, Morgan and Grace, and June and JD separated? Why did Daniel and his crew have Riley captured, but they were separated from June and JD? While we were given enough information to infer what had happened, I think a quick scene in the beginning showing them all going their separate ways would have helped. Without that, it was a distraction throughout the episode.

I think we are also supposed to assume that Teddy and Dakota were much closer to where the first bomb dropped than anyone else, so that’s why Dakota was burned up while everyone else was fine. But I’m a little unclear about how Morgan and Grace are surviving. Grace was positive, based on the trajectory of the bombs, that they would have serious fallout to contend with once they dropped. Has that changed? Or should we still assume Grace, Morgan, and the baby are dead people walking?

Like I mentioned before, I also don’t buy June’s forgiving Dakota, or Strand’s descent back into early-season-Strand madness. But here we are.

Without delving too much into the science of nukes, I will mention that on the Fear the Walking Dead subreddit, quite a few readers believe that the individuals’ survival is believable. (And this is a sub that is VERY picky and negative about the show sometimes.)

Here’s one comment about all of that:

Apparently you can use this map to plot approximately how far the blast range would be and if the characters’ survival is believable. What do you think?

Overall, despite the plot holes (or plotlines that I just didn’t believe), this was a really great episode. It’s the type of episode that grows on me over time, the more I think back on it. They raised the stakes to a much greater level, and it ended with me feeling like I really want to know what’s going to happen next. I can honestly say that I’m looking forward to next season.

Want to chat about all things post-apocalyptic? Join our Discord server here and our Walking Dead Fanatics Facebook page. And check out our Post-Apocalyptic Calendar, which we will keep updated with confirmed premiere dates.

Stephanie Dwilson started Post Apocalyptic Media with her husband Derek. Her favorite shows of all-time are Battlestar Galactica and Lost, and she's always happy to talk about her cats. 🙂

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