Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 takes its characters, freshly split up and sent off to different colonies by villain Virginia (Colby Minifie) in the Season 5 finale, on a journey that is "far darker" than the optimistic fifth season, according to showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg.
"We're going to follow our characters on a very different journey — a far darker one — in Season 6 and that required them to face, not just an adversary who views the world in a way contrary to everything our heroes fought for this season, but also to find themselves in positions where their belief in the benevolent world they were fighting for will be challenged at every turn," the showrunners told Deadline. "The answer ultimately lied in having Virginia separate everyone, sending them to different corners of her apocalyptic domain."
The downer ending of the Season 5 finale, which closed with the potential death of Morgan (Lennie James) by walkers, is a tone that will be carried over into the next season, according to the showrunners.
"Ending the season in such a dark place, meant finding the ways to bring the season-long arcs to a close in a way that challenged the growth everyone made this season," they said.
"Morgan finally overcame the trauma he's been living with over the loss of his family since The Walking Dead pilot, only to be left for dead with a gunshot wound to his chest and walkers encroaching on him; Alicia finally made peace with the violence she's struggled with all season, only to be confronted with someone who wants her to embrace that very violence for unknown ends; Strand finally believes in his capacity to be selfless, only to find himself in a position where he's going to have to embrace his old ways in order to help the people he cares about; June and Dorie finally get married, shaking any guilt over their good fortune, only to be torn apart moments later; Dwight finally stopped blaming himself for the things he had to do to survive under Negan's rule, only to find himself under the thumb of a new despot who may force him to fall back into his old ways; Daniel started to make connections with the larger world — the first since he lost his daughter — but has to watch Charlie, the girl who made that first connection with him, get dragged away; Luciana made a sacrifice so her group wouldn't come under Ginny's control, only to watch that very fate befall everyone she cares about; Grace overcomes her fears of getting close to someone, only to learn that she may have waited too late to share those feelings with Morgan."
With their altruistic mission halted, at least temporarily, the group will now be forced to adjust to life under rule of Virginia and the far-reaching Pioneers.
"Our characters all find themselves in some of the lowest places we've ever seen them and the question that we'll carry forward into Season 6 — aside from the obvious question surrounding whether or not Morgan will live or die — is whether our characters will be able to hold onto this growth under Ginny's rule, whether they'll backslide, or whether they'll become versions of themselves we've yet to see," the showrunners said.