There is precisely one good scene in the whole of Sunday night. Fear of the walking dead Season 6 finale. One and a half if you count when the nuclear bomb explodes and turns a particularly nasty character into a column of ash.
The best scene features Strand, played by Colman Domingo, giving a triumphant speech to a new character named Howard about his willingness to do the wrong thing for the right reasons; or perhaps more accurately, do whatever it takes, no matter the cost, to survive.
Of course, this speech would have been better if Strand had planned a clever betrayal or carried out some backstabbing maneuver to save his own skin at the expense of others. Instead, in last week’s episode, he randomly pushes Morgan to the ground and leaves him with the Walkers for reasons that remain a mystery. The showrunners explained that he wanted all the glory, to emerge from the submarine as the only hero of the day. But this is deeply out of character for Strand. While you’re not above taking credit for things you didn’t actually do, your first concern is saving your own neck.
Taking Morgan out before the bad guys have been stopped, before the nukes have been released, only increases the odds of Strand dying. Never in a million years would he do the stunt he did last week and only writers with virtually no knowledge of the character would use it so badly. Poor me, The fear current curators seem incapable of understanding any of the original actors on the show. In fact, Alicia doesn’t even appear in this episode. She appears in less than half of the episodes this season, in fact.
I’ve already written about the terrible opening scene in tonight’s sixth season finale. It was bad and sets the tone for the rest of the episode. The second half of season 6 has been worse in almost every way than the first half, and the first half was already slipping pretty badly by the end. There are no documentary-style PSAs in season 6, but I suppose pointing this out is just damning with feeble praise. Not doing something terrible, horribly stupid doesn’t make you smart.
I have also written a list of 51 thoughts I had while watching the sixth season finale tonightand you can compare notes. But we will skip the opening scene and dive right into the essence of the story.
This is the end, beautiful friend. Try to make it mean something. TRYING TO MAKE IT MEAN SOMETHING.
Nuclear weapons went off last week because Morgan and Strand were unable to prevent Teddy from unleashing all hell on Texas from their stranded nuclear submarine. This was largely Strand’s fault, as he tried to kill Morgan for no reason and was then accosted by Dakota, who appeared at the exact spot at the exact time, though she was later thwarted by Morgan who miraculously managed to escape from a one-off. dozen zombies and save Strand. Morgan’s plot armor is like Mithril Mail +20 or something like that.
Then they miss, but only one missile is launched, carrying a dozen warheads. The premise of the season finale is basically that the group is divided and everyone has about 20 minutes to find safety. Here’s the breakdown:
- Daniel, Charlie and a few others like the rabbi and the truck driver have Al’s SWAT truck. They find Riley, who tells them that he knows how to get to a bunker where they will be safe. They go. Things don’t go well and Riley and the guy from Sherry’s group, who turns out to be a traitor, are killed. Two fallen bad guys. The rest get to safety in a helicopter that shows up just in time, piloted by none other than that girl Al has a crush on, because Al manages to find her just in time, and then he flies her. to the right place to pick up everyone, including Wes’s perfect hair, and escape. I often fly helicopters against approaching nuclear missiles. It’s fun, believe me.
- June and John Dorie Sr. are on horseback and catch up with Teddy and Dakota, who are holding hands and talking about how super silly it is for Teddy to like Dakota just the way she is, except, you know, for her name, ya who calls her Sue. instead of. No one else made her change her name, but whatever. Creepy Grandpa is the only person who has understood her! John and June convince Dakota that she’s just using it so they can go back and fire the rest of the nukes because I guess Morgan and Strand would just leave the keys there in the sub or something. They climb to the door of a bunker and Dakota shoots Teddy and then the nuclear explosion incinerates her. That was great, I admit it. June and Dorie survive.
- Dwight and Sherry go and find a house where they hope to take refuge, but there is a family living there. This family has a bomb shelter, but it’s been taken over by some bad guys, so Dwight and Sherry are going to save the day. A really bad shooting ensues, almost laughable, and Sherry shoots the guy in the knee so he can suffer. Oooh Sherry, you’re so bad girl! They find beer at one point because that’s how he’s obsessed with people finding beer everywhere. Beer and walkie talkies on every corner. Later, Sherry gnashes her teeth and tears her clothes because she is so racked with guilt over how she has treated Dwight. “You have nothing to regret,” he says, which is not true. Dwight still refuses to have an iota of self-respect and Sherry is still terrible. They go down to the basement and, although the nuclear bomb destroys the door, they survive. Did the family come down with them or did they roast them?
- Strand goes to some kind of building where he meets Howard, who has spent his days collecting art, bourbon, vinyl records, and books and managed to preserve all this nice and neat style, and Strand pretends to be Morgan for some reason when believe that it is so. He is about to die, and then admits to being Strand when he lives. The speech he gives is pretty good, but it’s voiced amidst all this nonsense and it all references last week’s stupidity, so it dampens things considerably. Strand and Howard survive.
- Morgan and Grace are talking about how sad they are about Athena’s death and are just hanging out in the submarine when she thinks she hears her dead baby cry, but Morgan also hears the screams and it turns out that Rachel, who dies at the scene opening I referenced (and wrote about here) has walked all the way back to the submarine like a zombie with its baby on its back and the hound leading the way and somehow despite being in Deep in the bowels of a nuclear submarine, Grace and Morgan hear the boy cry. They emerge from the submarine and take the baby, a replacement baby for Grace’s stillborn, and then the nuclear blast descends. Fortunately, there is a truck to hide under. We all know that hiding under trucks is a surefire way to avoid dying in a nuclear blast, and sure enough, between that and the solid armor of Morgan’s plot, they come out unscathed. A nearby zombie, on the other hand, is a smoking ruin. They kill him. The hound is fine too because he also has waterproof weft armor simply because he’s Morgan’s dog now. It’s erased.
Of the good guys, only Rachel dies. And she was hardly more than an extra. Teddy and his goons are all dead. Dakota, the killer of John Dorie Jr. is also dead. As Sherry points out in a fit of resentment, “The bad guys always win!”
And in a sense, it’s hard not to disagree. Can we really support Morgan and his people right now? Each of the segments I describe above takes place at the same time. We know this because each begins with the same words. Morgan’s words, on the magic walkie talkies, telling everyone that the end is near. Our time is about to end. Make it mean something, Morgan intones, as if anyone could consider running for the “meaning” of life. It’s not what we wanted, he tells the Morganites, but it is what it is.
Know what it is.
One character is conspicuously absent from all of this. Alice never appears. She is locked in a bunker somewhere. Pushed aside once more. The show that should have been hers after Madison went so unceremoniously has been delivered to the most insufferable character of any of The Walking Dead show. Morgan Jones. He used to be one of my favorite characters. He is the character that has been around the longest, in fact, now that Rick is gone. He was in the first episode of The Walking Dead, lo and behold many years ago. And now it has turned into a jellyfish. Soft and wobbly, but every time you see it itches.
What a shame.
Season 7 of Fear of the walking dead has already been confirmed. As far as I know, AMC is not changing course or looking for new showrunners. It’s crazy.
Here it is my video about last week’s episode. I’ll have a review video of season 6 soon on my YouTube channel.