Fear the Walking Dead returns this weekend and things are about to get intense. Not only is the family separated, now half of them are in serious danger. AMC provided a roundtable of interviews with members of the cast to talk about where these characters are and tease what’s to come.
Lennie James, Alycia Debnam Carey, Colman Domingo, Danay Garcia, Colby Hollman, Mo Collins, Karen David, Jenna Elfman, Alexa Nisenson, and Christine Evangelista were present in the interviews. All of them were sweating when asked any questions about what’s to come in the back half of season six.
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Morgan (James) is still fighting to get his family back, especially Grace (David). James says Morgan’s mission remains the same. “His mission is to get everybody back together in a place that’s safe for all of us. If there’s anything added to that mission it’s Grace and the baby. He’s trying to create a city, a town, create something that can grow into something that looks like a world for what he hopes to be his adopted child.”
When we finally saw Grace for the first time this season, it was quite apparent that she’s very close to giving birth. David says Grace has a lot of emotions running through her mind, but mostly focusing on the safety of her child. “Throwing the pregnancy into Grace’s equation has really shaken up her world. Now she has to think about the baby. Everything is about the baby. Her goal is to see this pregnancy through, praying and hoping the baby is going to be okay. She knows what this pregnancy represents, it’s sort of biblical. She’s bringing hope through this new life and what that means and what it represents to the community and the group. That gives her a renewed sense of purpose and helps her to move forward with purpose, giving her the courage to fight for her baby and her family.”
Family has always been a constant theme in Fear the Walking Dead. The show started out about a family’s journey into the zombie apocalypse. Alicia (Debnam-Carey) is the only remaining member of that family left, but she’s always had Strand (Domingo) by her side. Now they are on opposite sides.
Debnan-Carey says she’s ready for Alicia to break out on her own. “Alicia is on such an interesting journey. We’ve watched her grow up from being a kid essentially on this show. Then fully owning who she is. We are continually seeing Alicia evolve and grow into the person that she is meant to be. She is slowly growing into more of a leader as our season continues to progress. I’m really excited for the fans to see Alicia land into the person she was meant to be. There are going to be a few major testing moments for her. We will see not just how she responds but also how it will solidify the character she is and the kind of characteristics she possesses.”
Strand is evolving as well. Virginia (Colby Minifie) gave Strand a little bit of power in the first half of season six that is changing Strand’s outlook. “The Strand that you thought you knew, you’re going to rethink Strand now. Every single step of the way. We knew who Strand was in season one, he was very clear and committed to who he was. And then in the subsequent seasons I think he’s been challenged with his own instincts because people realized he had a bit more heart, maybe a little less pragmatic and he was questioning that. Then I think by the time we got into season four and definitely into season five, he sort of fell in line with the group’s ideology which is absolutely completely opposite of what his own instincts were. As we built season six we’ve now come upon Strand 6.0, which is truly the evolution. It’s a whole new version and they’re not ready for it.
At the end of season five, the long awaited wedding of John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) and June (Elfman) gave the show a sense of hope. John became disenchanted with Virginia’s community and made the decision to run after Virginia chose to cover up a murder and blame it on an innocent person. He asked June to leave with him and she chose to stay to start a hospital. Dillahunt wasn’t available for the interviews, but Elfman had this to say.
“John not sticking around after June made the choice to stay with Virginia really threw June for a loop. I don’t think she realized John was that bad off that he wouldn’t follow behind us like he said would. When you’re in an emergency situation, like living under Ginnie, there’s not a lot of time to sit there trying to figure out the choices you made. But it’s all June can think about. At the same time just to stay on high alert to see what Ginnie is doing and what life is going to be like moving forward. There’s so many questions. What is the plan? Is John gonna reach out or send a message? Does he have a plan? Or what is his plan? Is he working something out? June just doesn’t know. So I think June is feeling very vulnerable but she’s also just trying to pay a lot of attention to what’s going on.”
This season Dwight (Austin Amelio) reunited with his wife Sherry (Evangelista). The reunion was short lived because the couple are on different paths. Evangelist touched on that a little, saying, “Sherry is on her own journey with trust. Can she trust these people that she’s with? There’s also this man that she’s been in a relationship with for so long and they haven’t seen each other. They’re both coming into this relationship again. Both are very different people than where they left off. I think there’s a lot of emotional trauma that Sherry is grappling with when it comes to her relationships and also within herself. There is a lot of displaced anger. Sherry’s in for a very long journey to get back to the place where she was before and be reunited with her husband again. I think it’s going to be a very difficult journey for her.”
While the others were galavanting around Texas, Luciana (Garcia) and Wes (Hollman) were manning the oil refinery. Now that Tank Town is gone, characters like Wes get a chance to jump into the action. “Wes has been surviving on his own and that seems to be what he preferred. People like Alicia and Strand are very crucial to his development as a character and as a person. It kind of speaks to the hope that I still have, like a little glimmer of hope within me. But you kind of see him teeter totter between his past and present. It’s like, I kind of just happened upon this group and now I’m in your mess, ha! You picked me up and now I’m in it so let’s deal with it. LOL. This season you will see him have to make that decision between his past and his present and family.”
As for Luciana, Garcia says she will feel the effects of decisions that people like Morgan, Strand and others are making. “It feels like it’s like a domino effect, like everything Strand does will affect everybody on a different level and everybody is going to react in a different way. The same thing with Morgan, June and even Wes. His conflicts that we’re going to have to deal with, and how Luciana will react with that … because everybody’s taking their own inner obstacles to the next level and naturally, we all raise the bar because we have no way back right and so it’s like a point of no return at this point really.”
A lot of the focus was on Morgan and Grace, John and June, and Alicia and Strand in the first half of the season. The anthology style episodes gave the writers the opportunity to really dive deep into these characters. Going into the second half of the season here’s what we can expect for the rest of the family.
“Sarah (Collins) is very busy, that’s why you don’t see her a lot, she’s super, super busy. She’s learned a lot of skills aside from the one she showed up with. As the vessel of Sarah, I appreciate her softer side, especially when it comes to Wendell (Daryl Mitchell). Wendell is ever on her mind. She has a wonderful distraction being with whoever she’s with, but he’s a caretaker at heart. Obviously in a world like this, you have to be able to have your heart and mind on more than just one thing. Wendell will always and forever be on Sarah’s mind.”
“We’re really gonna get to see Charlie (Nisenson)continue on that path of strength and independence and continue to see those bonds that she’s already formed really grow. We’re going to see that she will do anything to protect her group and herself and really just continue to prove herself to everybody and show that she is a valuable member of the group and that she is strong and very capable,” said Nisenson.
THE END IS THE BEGINNING
Lurking in the shadows are a new group that fans have dubbed the ‘doomsday’ group. They’re the guys spray painting “The End is the Beginning” everywhere. So how does this group differ from villains we have seen in the past? The cast couldn’t say much, but Elfman did give the best answer. “I think villains in the past were sort of vying for their own power, their own position, territory, competition … I think the degree of sickness that this group has is way more destructive than any group we’ve seen. Groups that tend to be a little bit more on the one on one defense and solidifying protection for themselves. This group is kind of way more demented and dangerous that I think we’ve seen any in the past.”
Evangelista added, “They’re this insular group that’s highly organized and very much in belief of this mission that they have that in itself is very very dangerous. It’s not about this individual power, it’s more this collective idea of this very insular almost domination.”
Debnam-Carey concluded with, “This group is very planned, very organized, and very meticulous. There’s not the same level of taking a chance on things. There’s lots of reason and purpose behind what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.”
The second half of season six will be intense, and maybe more heartbreaking than we can imagine. James added “Some of the episodes that are coming up are some of the bravest storytelling, most risk taking storytelling we’ve told in any part of this universe. There are some episodes coming up that will be some of the most challenging for the fans. The losses that we suffer this time around are big and substantial. The climax of this season is unlike any other.”
You can watch the first half of Fear the Walking Dead season six on AMC. The second half of Fear the Walking Dead season six premieres Sunday, April 11 on AMC.