Fear the Walking Dead’s latest episode helped me feel quite a bit better about how horrifically last week’s episode ended. It didn’t ease the pain of John Dorie’s loss, but it helped me feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel — a story remaining to tell that I’d want to see. In fact, by the time the episode ended, I felt like this might be one of the better episodes in the series.
This article is a review of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 9, so it will have spoilers for this episode. Join our Walking Dead Facebook page to talk more about the show.
The Ending Was Exactly What I Needed After Last Week
I was left so upset at the end of last week’s episode, I really needed this week’s episode to leave me with more of a contented feeling. And it did just that. If the episode had ended with Dakota and Virginia living and being allowed to leave Morgan’s town to start a life of their own, I would have been SO angry. Virginia (aka Ginny) has done nothing to deserve that type of trust. In fact, June already gave her that chance by sparing her life once before. And how did Virginia repay her? By taking all of her friends, lining them up Negan style, and threatening to kill them all.
At that point, I’d be done with giving Virginia second chances. June’s breaking point was different than mine. She killed her when she realized that Ginny knew what Dakota had done and still protected her and still lied for her. So she killed Ginny. But honestly, let’s be real. The breaking point should have been much earlier than that. Every single person who knew that June had spared Virginia’s life and saw what Virginia did in response should have been DONE with her. The fact that Morgan was willing to let her and Dakota go, while they were armed with the information on where his town is located, was willfully naive.
Although I know that Morgan is trying to create a world where hatred is no longer spinning out of control and where rampant killing stops, he chose the wrong place to start. Virginia was too dangerous to allow her to just go off with her daughter, hoping she wouldn’t betray them down the line. I could really feel for every single character who was furious when Morgan showed up with her.
But with that said, I’m glad they wrote the ending for this episode the way they did. June had to make the tough choice. Sure, Negan was allowed to live in jail for years and years in his community. And yes, Virginia was basically the Negan character for this show. But they have a bigger enemy they’re about to fight, and they just can’t waste their time worrying about Ginny rebuilding her group too.
Some fans have said they’d love a “Here’s Negan” type of episode for Virginia, and I’ve got to agree with that. It would be amazing to see, even though Ginny’s gone now.
Strand Was the Hero While Morgan Struggled with Grief
June was the obvious hero of the story, based on her shocking decision to kill Ginny at the end. But Strand was the unsung hero, the one who’s not getting nearly the credit he deserves. He spent all this time working for Ginny, even pushing Alycia away so he could do what needed to be done in order to gain Ginny’s trust and rise the ranks. She asked him to build an army and he did — he built an army who was loyal to him over Ginny. And then at the most opportune moment, he revealed that the army he built was on his side and he turned on Ginny, leaving her with just one man who was fighting for her.
It was wonderfully done. He played the long game exactly like Daniel does, and it worked. While we’re all celebrating June, we shouldn’t forget Strand.
At the same time, I’m disappointed in Morgan. He knows what Ginny is capable of, but he fought for her to live because he decided it was his only way to get his two friends back. And yet, I believe he put far too much trust in Ginny rather than in his friends’ ability to track down where she was holding Grace and Daniel.
I’m going to chalk this one up to extreme grief over having just lost John Dorie, so he wasn’t thinking straight. Plus, he said over and over that his reason for living was the note left for him, only to discover it was a note from Dakota. He’s desperately clinging to a way to make sense of everything, to find a greater purpose. Maybe he hoped that purpose would be saving Virginia from herself.
June’s Story Reminds Me of What Carl’s or Madison’s Could Have Been
There are some interesting parallels between Carl/June and Rick/John, at least in terms of what could have been. John’s death echoed Rick’s disappearance in many ways. In fact, it almost felt like a parallel universe version of what might have happened had Rick died. John was on a bridge full of zombies, fighting them off to help his crew, when he was killed. Rick disappeared in a similar fashion. If the showrunners had chosen to make Rick die, he might have washed up on the shore in walker-form, just like John Dorie did.
So that’s where my Carl/June comparison comes into play. After Rick disappeared, I felt cheated that Carl had been killed off. I wanted Carl to still be alive so he could take on his dad’s mantle and grow into becoming an even better Rick. When June put on John’s hat at the end of Episode 9, it felt like a callback to what could have been. She put on John’s hat and is taking on his mantle. Of course, the comparison is a bit imperfect because I think she’s going to be more Rick-like than John-like. But still, the way the last two episodes played out gave me a “what might have been” feeling.
But it also gave me that same feeling in regards to Madison. If Madison were alive, she likely would have done to Charlie what June did to Virginia. In some ways, June seems to be taking on the role that perhaps Madison would have played.
June’s also the “Carol” of the story in some ways too — at least during the times when Carol had to make the hard decisions that no one else wanted to do. June is having to play that role now, and since she’s also walking through grief, I believe everyone will give her a lot more grace than they might anyone else.
In the end, however, June is very much her own character. And even if there are some callbacks, her storyline stands on its own. I’m really looking forward to seeing where June goes next.