Sunday night's episode of Fear the Walking Dead was all John Dorie. Garret Dillahunt's character was at the center of a detective story, trying to find out who was responsible for a murder in Virginia's Lawton camp. Despite his best efforts and conviction to have true justice be served, John did not get the outcome he desired despite a tremendous effort to crack the case. Dillahunt's incredible performance paired with an impressively written script which called for several exciting beats and reveals posted the fourth consecutive great episode of Fear the Walking Dead in its sixth season. Dillahunt took a deep dive into the episode in an exclusive interview with ComicBook.com.
First and foremost, Dillahunt was given more time to shine on camera with his character who already won fans over in his first John-centric episode which called for only him and Jenna Elfman to be on screen for an entire hour back in Season 4. "We have had episodes like that before that I thought worked out pretty well," Dillahunt explained. "It's a big ensemble, so anytime you can allow any of this number, who I think are pretty extraordinarily talented, in front of and behind the camera. If you allow them more time to tell a story, it's always helpful, I think. It becomes a much more detailed and immersive experience for the audience as well."
Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Episode 6x04. The full, uncut interview with Dillahunt can be read below!
ComicBook.com: Congratulations on this episode because your talent was on full display. You killed it, man.
Garret Dillahunt: Well, I appreciate that. I had a real good time. That's for sure. We all, everybody brought their A game for this one.
CB: Season 6 has been great. Your performance was incredible. I feel like the script finally called for you to be at the center of an episode again so you got to really show what you're capable of and have some deep story beats. Is the anthology style is allowing people to do that? Do you think that the anthology is allowing us to get to know these characters more deeply?
GD: It is. And we have had episodes like that before that I thought worked out pretty well. It's a big ensemble, so anytime you can allow any of this number, who I think are pretty extraordinarily talented, in front of and behind the camera. If you allow them more time to tell a story, it's always helpful, I think. It becomes a much more detailed and immersive experience for the audience as well.prevnext
Dedicated to Pop
CB: What does it change anything for the cast, being separated when you previously worked together often?
GD: Yeah. Well, it was sort of prescient for COVID wasn't it? It makes dealing with that a lot easier. There's not such a big group of people to have to manage on a set, which is tricky now. But this was their plan before, anyway. And I've been telling people, 2019 was a rough year for me, even before COVID. My father had got quite ill, and I had asked... I'm not saying I'm the reason for the more spot lighty episodes, but I asked if I could start as late as possible because I needed to spend time with my father, and his last days there.
And to their credit, and something that I'll never really be able to repay or express my gratitude for is, they held off as long as they could, which was plenty of time, it turned out, for me to spend these last few months with my father. And we talked a lot about that stuff. And, I thought it was important that we work in a lot of Dorie and his father to this episode. My point is, there was a lot of communication about this story before. And so I think it just kept getting refined and refined until we both had something that we all were really proud of. And yeah, so I'm really grateful to them for this episode, and sort of dedicated this one to my pop.
CB: I'm sorry to hear about your father, but that's pretty amazing that it got to work out like that. That's pretty cool.
GD: Yeah. You know, a silly little zombie show, do something that means something to people. It's nice.prevnext
John v. Strand
CB: In addition to the emotional beats, it was awesome to see you and Colman Domingo get to just unleash. How did you two prepare for the fight sequence between John and Strand?
GD: Yeah, I think that was the main goal, because the stunt team, who I think also brought it on this, even though the fights are short, both the one in the grave and the one with Coleman, there's a story, even within that fight that they really did well, because John, he's a little out of line. I'm so blinded with rage that I just pistol whipped my friend, someone I was going through an awful lot with. Sure, he's being a little suspect morally, but he might be the right tool for the job in terms of dealing with Ginny, but John can't see it. He's just like, I don't want to lose a single one, and I lost one here. I lost two, really.
I failed and it's his fault. And so he goes a little mad on him. So it was fun to do. The fight stuff is very technical, so that was wasn't necessarily hard in any other way but physically, but it was a fun story to tell, and something that we've never gotten to do together. And I hope that comes as a surprise. When he cracks him in the face, I hope that's a surprise to the audience.
CB: Oh, it was great. It was surprising for me!
GD: You're a pretty discerning audience member as well, you really are.
CB: That relationship, John and Strand, I don't think it's beyond repair. Do you think they could be buddies again? Where do you think they stand after Episode 6x04?
GD: Well, yeah. I agree with you. You're a physical dude, and sometimes you fight with somebody, and then your best pals, you know what I mean?
It's like, it all comes out in the physical end, but this can be a tough one, I think. I had punched him. I hit him in the face with the butt of my gun, and then I beat him on the ground. I've never apologized. I think they're going to... It's going to take some work for John and Strand to trust each other again.
CB: It happens to the best of us.
GD: Nothing's impossible, right?prevnext
John v. Virginia
CB: In the sequence where Virginia was giving John the key, and giving the speech to the whole community, I swear, I was sitting here watching, yelling at my screen, "Just blow her head off."
GD: I know.
CB: But then I don't know what would happen to John. Where is John mentally, after Virginia has manipulated this whole thing, and June is back, which is great. But he's a man of conviction, who feels an obligation to the story he told about his father, for example. Where do you think he's at mentally after all of those things, and in that moment, too?
GD: Well, he's not in a good place. Everything he wanted to do, this episode should say all that. He failed. And now she sent him a very clear message by bringing June back that she can do whatever she wants. She's holding my loved ones feet to the fire, basically. And that's what prevents me from just shooting her. I think he could get to that point where he could just murder somebody, I suppose, for the greater good, but he's not there yet. And certainly not, if it might mean... I don't know what order she has in place. If something happens to me, cut June's head off, or something. I don't know. You know?
So he's in a pickle. He's been outplayed.
CB: She's got that leverage. She knows.
GD: He's been outplayed. It's maddening situation because she's not a physical threat. She's just a good chess player, you know?prevnext
Next for John
CB: It's interesting how this season has unfolded where you're seeing some people sometimes, then for a week or a couple of weeks, we don't see some characters. With how it has unfolded, how long until we see John again, and are we building towards a big reunion with everybody?
GD: I think so. We shot out of order, partially for what I was talking about, them accommodating actors needs, which must've been a logistical nightmare for them. So I'm a little foggy on which one's next, but we don't have to wait too long. And I think it's clear, from the story thus far, that you see Lenny is the one, he's the loose cannon that's on his own trying to reunite everybody and tracking people down. So I think you'll certainly see everybody together again. That's for sure.prevnext
Kim Dickens' Madison
CB: This show tends to separate people, but they always find their way back. I know you're close friends with Kim Dickens who was on the show when you joined, and all the fans will kill me if I don't ask you about, if you guys stay in touch and if you ever talk about working together again?
GD: Oh yeah. I talk to Kim pretty regular. As you know, we've been friends since Deadwood, so even before Fear we were pals and doing scenes together, and she was instrumental in getting me this job. And I was shooting a movie just last summer in New Mexico, Army of the Dead, and she was there shooting something else. So I really liked... We were in the same hotel, so we'd have meals together and catch up on stuff. She's a keeper.
Through the vagaries of this business, things happen, jobs come, jobs go, jobs end, but you hang on to a few people, and she's one of those, for sure.prevnext
Army of the Dead
CB: I love that. You mentioned Army of the Dead. I'm curious, how does that kind of world that they built there compare to the world on Fear?0comments
GD: Yeah. It's real different. I'm excited to see it too. To have different ideas about zombies, which is refreshing, I think, in a lot of ways. And I know I have to keep this so vague. I'm sorry. I didn't know one of the things coming out now. Sometime next year.
But they strayed away from a lot of normal zombie canon, that for some reason, everyone adheres to. And you're like, Maybe they don't have to be that way. What if they were this way?" "Oh, that's a nice wrinkle." Zombies are scary. I'll tell you that. Zombies are really fast and scary.prev