Fear the Walking Dead star Jenna Elfman is the latest cast member to warn of a "dark" sixth season, teasing there's "messed up stuff" happening now that the group of zombie apocalypse survivors live under the ironfisted rule of Virginia (Colby Minifie). Last season ended with the group, including the just-married John (Garret Dillahunt) and June (Elfman), forcibly separated and shipped away to different settlements operated by Virginia's Pioneers, including a base in Lawton, Oklahoma. An ICU nurse before the apocalypse, June's skill set makes her a valuable asset when she finds herself working directly under Virginia — who might have already quietly disposed of group leader Morgan (Lennie James).
"Dark. Dark," Elfman stressed when the Talk Dead to Me podcast asked for a description of the new season. "It's so dark!"
The group's separation means there's "not a lot of self-determinism on our part," Elfman said. "We've seen what happens to people when they try to leave."
Tom (Joe Massingill), former leader of the Paradise Ridge apartment complex claimed by the Pioneers, was killed when a bridge collapsed under the weight of a zombie horde sent by Virginia. She would later shoot Morgan and leave him for dead for interfering with her plans for "the future."
"So what that separation and being under the pressure of Virginia does to each of us in our own way, and what is being run on us, what kind of experiences we're being forced to have… you have these strong characters that it's been established how capable they are, so they're allowed to do what Virginia wants them to do," Elfman said. "Luckily, June's abilities in nursing are valuable to Virginia. And it's the one area that when June is staying true to her offering in the world, it keeps her sane and grounded, and she knows she can help."
Whatever the pressures imposed by Virginia, "June can at least help the person in front of her at any given time, and I think that keeps her somewhat sane. Or in an area or aspect of some self-determinism."
"But there is some messed up stuff going on, and it affects each person in a way that taps into their vulnerability, and they change," Elfman teased. "People will be changing this season."
Confirming descriptions of an anthology-style sixth season, Elfman said, "It's definitely formed in that way. And you really get to dig into how all of these splits, and the influence of what Virginia has set up, how it is affecting each of these characters in a very intimate way."