"The Beginning" is the end for Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead. Spoiler warning for the recap of Sunday's season finale, "The Beginning." After Morgan Jones (Lennie James) and Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) failed to stop underground cult leader Teddy (John Glover) and true believer Riley (Nick Stahl) from firing a submarine-launched missile aboard the beached USS Pennsylvania, the survivors are left scrambling for safety and shelter from the 10 nuclear warheads that will soon detonate and destroy the future they fought to build. It's the "new beginning" preached about by Teddy, who locked away Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) in a cold war-era basement bunker to rebuild the world. At season's end, "The end is the beginning."
In "The Beginning," told across vignettes, the survivors scramble to live out the coming destruction on their own terms: Morgan and his would-be beloved Grace (Karen David) brace for impact, recently reunited couple Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Sherry (Christine Evangelista) set off in search of somewhere to hunker down, and widowed mother Rachel (Brigitte Kali Canales) tries to ensure the survival of her infant daughter, Baby Morgan.
Dorie duo June (Jenna Elfman) and John Dorie Sr. (Keith Carradine) track Teddy and Dakota (Zoe Colletti), who wants a front-row seat for her "fresh start," while Daniel Salazar (Ruben Blades) and Luciana (Danay Garcia) seek shelter with Sarah (Mo Collins), Wes (Colby Hollman), Jacob (Peter Jacobson), Rollie (Cory Hart), and Charlie (Alexa Nisenson). Elsewhere, a lone Strand looks to preserve the thing he values most: himself.
“PROMISE ME YOU’LL FIND SOMEONE”
Rachel radios for help from inside a broken-down truck when she sees the missile launch overhead.
Morgan's voice comes over her walkie-talkie: “We did our best. I'm still gonna try and stop what Teddy started, but I'm not at all sure that that's going to be possible. The missile's going to re-enter the atmosphere and it's got multiple warheads. So this... this might be all the time that we have left. So you should use it. You should make it mean something. You should give yourselves the ends that you wanted. Even if it's not the one we all imagined.”
“He’s wrong,” Rachel says. “This isn’t the end.”
Rachel tries to fix a blown tire when the car jack gives out, crushing her leg. She pries herself free and makes a leg splint out of a wooden stick and duct tape. Rachel bundles up Baby Morgan and tries to make the three-mile walk to the coast, but collapses. It's the end of the road.
“I’m sorry. I can’t do it.”
An explosion overhead.
She looks at the baby girl that her husband, Isaac (Michael Abbott Jr.), didn't live to meet. One last look.
“I thought I could. But I just can’t.” She puts the baby on her back. “This is the end for me. Not you.”
Rachel ties rope around her waist, fixing the other end to the collar of Rufus, the bounty-sniffing dog that once belonged to ax-wielding bounty hunter Emile (Demetrius Grosse).
“You’re good at finding people," Rachel tells the bloodhound. "Promise me you’ll find someone. Please.” She ties a rope around her mouth. “I’m sorry. I love you.” Rachel stabs herself in the gut and falls over dead.prevnext
“¡DAME EL ARMA!”
A radio warbles indistinctly. Daniel scribbles scrambled coordinates. Radio static. Morgan's message comes over the radio.
Luciana, Sarah, Charlie, and Jacob race towards the MRAP van and hurry Daniel along. Sarah says some “soggy skin-munchers” are “using the basement as the jacuzzi" in their hoped-for hideout, leaving the group in desperate need of shelter.
Wes and Rollie roll up with a beaten-bloody Riley. They’ve found the bunker where Teddy’s people are holding Alicia. “One where we can all ride this thing out. An old hotel about 15 miles east," Rollie reports. "It’s funny what you can get a ‘true believer’ to spill when you pull him away from the leader.”
Daniel is suspicious. He reports hearing a familiar voice broadcasting coordinates to someplace safe. “I know that voice. I just don’t know who it is."
Rollie asks if the memory loss-stricken Daniel is confused like what happened back at the dam community. Luciana asks Daniel if he's sure he heard what he’s telling them. He's not.
Luciana decides that going where Rollie says to go is their only choice. When the MRAP hits some walkers in the road, Sarah radios her brother Wendell, who is a wheelchair user, to stay put and hunker down at the dam if that's where he is. They’re seeking shelter, and they're running out of time to find it.
Daniel questions Riley. “Why tell us about the bunker now, so close to the end? Why not just remain silent and die for your cause?”
The MRAP skids to a stop. Rollie says the brakes went out. Sarah and Jacob jump out to fix the air brakes: first time for everything.
Luciana, Charlie, and Wes take out encroaching walkers. Jacob assures Sarah she’s going to find her brother “one way or another.”
“If this whole thing is about destruction,” Daniel asks Riley inside the MRAP, “why would you want to survive?”
“Just to see your face when it all turns to ash. I know you doubt us. You think we’re all insane. But it’s just the beginning. The phoenix will rise, and quicker than you think.”
Sarah says the piss-poor patch should get them to the hotel bunker in one piece. Outside the MRAP, Rollie says, “We’ll make it out of this thing yet. Like a phoenix.”
Daniel hears it. “Dame el arma,” he tells Luciana, asking in Spanish: “Do you think the traitors at Tank Town should die?”
He doesn’t wait for an answer: Daniel shoots Rollie in the head. “He wasn’t going to the hotel. He was one of them. That’s how they found out that we were coming to the sub. That’s why they were prepared for us.”
Riley goes for Daniel. Charlie shoots Riley with a shaky hand. “He was going for the gun.”
“He lost his faith when he saw how all of you turned on each other behind the dam wall," Riley says about what happened earlier this season in "Handle With Care." Riley adds, "You have yourself to thank for that, old-timer. We were just driving you all someplace where you’d have a prime view. Nobody’s going anywhere.”
The missile breaks off overhead. Daniel says they can still make it to the coordinates his mystery person broadcast over the radio. Sarah suggests getting to an overpass or a parking garage, but Luciana says Daniel figured out the truth about Rollie — they’re putting their faith in him.prevnext
“ENJOY THE VIEW, ASSHOLE.”
Dwight and Sherry on horseback, headed to a school that’s not where it’s supposed to be. They hear Morgan's message: “You should give yourselves the ends that you wanted… even if it’s not the one we all imagined.”
Sherry points out a small house. Maybe they have beer and pretzels.
“D, it’s the one thing that we said we were gonna do when we found each other. And we haven’t done it yet. If this really is the end, then this is how I want to go out. Just us.”
“Alright,” Dwight says. “Just us.”
Inside, they find it empty. Photos of a family. Dwight couldn’t find any pretzels, but he turned up a couple of warm beers.
“Why didn’t we do this sooner?” Sherry asks. “We could have had a place like this. Or a life like this. I mean, we could have tried. We found each other. After everything… that doesn’t just happen. But I couldn’t get past the past. I wasted so much time. I wasted so much time just being pissed off, trying to fight the bad guys. But the bad guys always win. You and I have seen that, every time. Nothing that I did was gonna change that. And all it did was cost me time with you.”
“Everything you did, everything you’ve done,” Dwight tells her, “you have nothing to be sorry for. We can still have this life. Even if it’s just for a couple minutes.”
A married couple with household weapons interrupts the sweet moment for D and Honey. They don’t want any trouble, and they thought the place was empty. Sherry tells them to get out of there and go hole up somewhere. The husband says “they took it.”
“There’s a storm cellar outback. We saw the missile and were loading up to go down there when these jackasses showed up and forced us out.”
The wife adds, “Didn’t exactly introduce themselves. They just started ranting about ‘the end is the beginning.’”
The homeowners are with their daughter. Dwight and Sherry are going to get the cellar back. They tie a rope to the cellar door, smack a horse, and stand back as the animal yanks the door free. Two of Teddy's followers open fire. Sherry shoots the first in the head. Dwight hits the second in the arm and then the leg. Turns him over.
The last-surviving cultist yells, “Do it!”
“Are you scared?” Dwight asks, gun to the cultist's face. “You look scared.”
A walker approaches. “Nah. Nah, I don’t think so. I think I’m gonna do what you tried to do for that nice family back there. And that’s give you a front-row seat to the shit show that you helped bring down on us.”
Dwight shoots the walker.
“Enjoy the view, asshole,” Sherry says, firing a round into the cultist and leaving him behind.
“Where the hell did that come from? I haven’t seen that side of you in a long time.” Not since the Saviors.
“Well, maybe we were both right,” Dwight says. “Helping people. Making sure the bad guys don’t win, or at least that one. Maybe we should have been doing more of that the whole time.”
The missile soars overhead. Dwight and Sherry get into the storm cellar with the family.prevnext
“YOU HAVE NOTHING TO BE SORRY ABOUT.”
After Morgan lets them escape the submarine with their lives, Teddy and Dakota hear his message in a truck speeding away to somewhere.
Dakota apologizes for saving Morgan when her mother, Virginia, shot him point-blank and left him for dead at Humbug's Gulch.
“If he had just died at the Gulch, then nobody could be stopping all these missiles that you’re trying to launch.”
“I’m glad that things went the way they did,” Teddy says. “Otherwise, I might never have met you.” Teddy adds his followers never “really understand what I am doing the way you do.”
They’re on a hilltop overlooking the valley about to become a crater. Front row seats.
“You told me that I got you like no one else," says Dakota. "You were the first person that didn’t look at me like I had something wrong with me. Didn’t try to make me change. Told me that it was okay to be who I am.”
Dorie Sr. draws on Teddy and tells him to step away from the girl. A reunion 40 years in the making.
“Officer Dorie,” Teddy taunts, “spending your last moments before you turn to mulch putting me down?”
“I’m not here for you. I’m here for her.”
Dakota raises her gun at Dorie Sr. “You’re just trying to make me change my mind like your son did.”
“He was right, what he told you. You can still make his life — your life — mean something. You just have to believe that people are better than the way they act at their worst.”
“This is how he ended up with a bullet in him.”
“People will surprise you if you give them a chance. I walked out on John, on his mother — left him with a world of hurt. He still found it in himself to forgive me, years later.”
“What’s that have to do with me?”
“I forgive you for killing John. For taking my son’s life.”
Teddy tells Dakota she has nothing to be sorry about. Dakota asks Dorie Sr. if he really means what he says.
He means it. He puts his pistol down, slowly.
Teddy goes to shoot Dorie Sr., but John's gunslinging widow June blasts the gun out of his hand.
“He didn’t come alone.”
“She’s an even better shot than me.”
“I forgive you too," June tells Dakota. "John was right, what he said. It’s not too late, even if you only believe it for however long we have left.”
“You don’t think people can change.”
“Then why did you kill Virginia?”
“After I lost John, I lost what he believed. But I found it again. So can you.”
Dorie Sr. kicks his gun to the side and hears a metal clank. Pulls open a hidden bunker.
“Thought you were the end?” Dorie Sr. asks Teddy. “Looks to me like you’re planning on sticking around for the beginning. Unless, of course, that was all just a bunch of hot air to get your lambs to march to their slaughter.”
Dakota is betrayed. She doesn’t know what to believe. Teddy explains: “We didn’t shoot off all those missiles. So when the dust clears, we’re gonna go back and finish what we started.”
“Did you even mean what you said? About understanding me?”
Dorie Sr. explains Dakota's purpose: “He needs two people to launch the missiles. One person can’t turn both keys. He doesn’t care about you. He just needs you.”
“No, we’re family. He doesn’t want me to be something that I want.”
Dorie Sr. says Teddy will discard her when he’s done with her. That’s what he does.
“That bunker, that’s a chance to survive,” June says. “See it as a sign you can have a second chance.”
The missile booms. “You can either die bringing about the end with me by your side and you just being who you are, or you can go on with them and pretend to be somebody you’re not,” Teddy tells Dakota. “It’s your choice. It’s your choice.”prevnext
“WHICH MAN ARE YOU?”
Strand hears Morgan’s message. He races on horseback into the city and fights his way through a small horde of walkers getting inside a building. On a higher floor, he calls out for other survivors, finding a small camp littered with corpses. Drawn upstairs by faint music, Strand finds a collection of fine art, antiques, bourbons, a treasure trove. A mini-museum.
Howard (American Gods and The Mandalorian's Omid Abtahi) cocks a shotgun and orders Strand to drop his gun.
“Unless you’ve got someplace we can shelter underground imminently,” Strand says, “I’m afraid there’s nothing more we can do.”
Howard is a historian who used to teach at UT. His collection “came after. Went to museums, city halls — hell, that flag over there came from the Alamo. I just figured somebody should try to preserve history.”
Strand asks about the St. Christopher’s medallion on Howard’s neck — a leftover from his wife.
“I gave one just like it to someone once. A dear friend,” Strand says. The situation is “complicated.”
“Who are you? What are you doing up here? What happened out there?”
“We were trying to build a future. The others, the ones we were up against were trying to end it all. We almost stopped them. We should have stopped them. It came down to two men. They had to give their lives to save everyone, but when push came to shove, one of them couldn’t do it.”
“He wanted to survive. To take the glory for himself. And in the end, consigned everyone to the very destruction he was hoping to circumvent.”
“And which man are you?”
“I’m the one… that was ready to die,” Strand says, lying his ass off.
“Why are you here? Why aren’t you with the rest of your people?”
“Something led me here. Must be the ending I deserve.” He chuckles at Morgan’s words.
“I thought I did.”
Explosions in the distance.
“I wish I’d met you sooner, friend. My name’s Howard.”
“I’m Morgan,” Strand says. “Morgan Jones.”prevnext
“I CAN HEAR HER.”
At the USS Pennsylvania, Grace sits alone atop the sub. She talks to Athena, the baby girl that absorbed a lethal amount of radiation and was delivered stillborn when she hears Morgan’s message. “This may be all the time that we have left. So you should use it. You should make it mean something. You should give yourselves the ends that you wanted… even if it’s not the one we all imagined.”
Grace throws the radio and screams. “I know the ending I want.”
Morgan desperately fiddles with machinery and computer systems trying to stop the missiles. Grace knows it's futile.
“It’s not over!”
“We don’t know where all those warheads are gonna hit,” Grace tells him, “but they’re going to be close enough. Even if we survive the initial blast, the radiation, the fallout — we’re not going to want to live in that world. I have seen what radiation poisoning does to people. And what happened at the plant? That was contained. This won’t be. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Chernobyl — it’s going to be a lot worse. I watched Athena’s father die from radiation exposure. It was long, it was painful, and there’s no escaping it. I’m not going to watch that happen again. Not to someone else I love.”
“Yeah, Morgan," Grace tells him. "That’s the problem with me. I never tell anyone how I feel until it’s too late.”
“That’s you and me both,” Morgan says, finally kissing Grace. “I love you, Grace.”
“I know,” she tells him. “I know.” She places a gun in front of him. “Please, Morgan. Don’t make me watch that happen again.”
“If I’m honest, I thought I was gonna die at the Gulch. I did have another reason for breathing, though. It was you. I wanted to take care of you. I wanted to build something for Athena.”
“I’m sorry that’s not going to happen, Morgan. I’m alive because my daughter isn’t. Neither of us were meant to be here.”
“I’m sorry. I truly am. Sorry for you and me, sorry for what could have been. You know, I actually thought — I actually let myself believe I could have a family again. With you, that I could be a husband… I could be a father.”
“And you can be. Just not here. When she was born, I waited so long to hear her cry, but it never came. I need to hear my baby cry, Morgan.”
Explosions in the distance. The warheads are separating. They don’t have much time.
Morgan picks up the gun. “I’m sorry it has to end this way.”
They embrace once more and place their heads together. Morgan puts the gun to the back of his to kill them both with a single bullet. Before he can pull the trigger, they hear the cries of a baby.
“I can hear her, Morgan. I can hear her.”
“I can too.”
They exit the sub. Rufus shows up, leading a reanimated Rachel, still carrying her crying baby on her back.
Morgan puts Rachel down and cradles Baby Morgan.
“She feels like a gift from Athena,” Morgan says. Grace doesn't see it that way.prevnext
“I KNOW HOW TO SURVIVE.”
The MRAP stops in the middle of the road. Daniel, Luciana, Sarah, Wes, and Charlie wait for the salvation that’s not there. There’s nobody there.
Daniel is sorry. Riley laughs. “I told you there was no escaping it.” They’re his last words. As Riley succumbs to his wound, a black helicopter touches down.
“You were right,” Luciana tells Daniel. “I knew it.”
Wes spray-paints something near Riley’s body.
A masked CRM soldier holds up a walkie-talkie. Althea's voice comes over: “Thank God you got the coordinates! I would have come myself but we’re low on fuel. Didn’t know how many people we’d be able to lift out. Listen, don’t ask the pilot any questions. She’s here to help. The less you know, the better.”
Elsewhere, Dakota thinks she’s being tricked by Dorie Sr. and June. She alternates aiming her gun at them both. “I shouldn’t have to change for anyone,” she says through tears. “I’m staying up here.”
Dorie Sr. asks June if John ever told her about the “Saint Louis Barn Raiser.” Dorie Sr. draws a gun and fires into the air. Dakota shoots him in the arm. June blasts the gun out of Dakota’s hand. They jump into the underground shelter.
“I have to see the end,” Dakota says. Dorie Sr. shuts the lid behind him.
Dakota picks up her gun and turns it on Teddy.
“Did you ever really give a shit about me? Or did you just need me to turn that key?”
He takes too long to answer. Dakota fires into Teddy’s body. “That’s what I thought.” She shoots him in the head. “You said that I should never change, and I’m not. Now you never get to see your ending.”
In the museum, Strand and Howard watch as a warhead falls to Earth. It explodes into a flash of light. On the hill, Dakota stands still as the warhead falls to Earth, turning her to ash. Below ground, the explosion rocks Dorie Sr. and June in the shelter. In the storm cellar, Dwight and Sherry hold each other as the explosion rocks the world above. They’re still alive when the rumbling stops.
“Thank you for believing in me,” Daniel tells Luciana in Spanish. She replies: “You just need a little help. We stick together, we’ll be fine.”
We see what Wes spray-painted: “this isn’t the end,” with “end” tagged on Riley’s body. A zombified Riley stumbles forward as the Civic Republic Military helicopter lifts off and flies away to safety. The bomb goes off in the distance.prevnext
At the hotel, we see from inside Alicia’s bunker as the explosion rocks the outside of the fallout shelter. At the USS Pennsylvania, an explosion in the distance. Grace and Morgan take cover beneath a tank truck. Rufus hops into the backseat of an open car door.
Strand and Howard brace themselves as rumbling rocks the building. They’re still alive, left untouched and unharmed to stare out at the cloud of smoke in the distance.
Strand laughs. “I’m alive. After everything I did, I’m still here.”
“Everything you did?”
“I’m not the man I told you I was. I’m the other one. I’m not Morgan Jones. I’m Victor Strand. I’m a man who has thrown men to the wolves when necessary. Who has not been afraid to cut the cord if I had to. I’m a backroom dealer, a grifter, a shark. Hell, I’ve cheated at chess when a back was turned. Again, and again, and again, without fail."
“Survival. I’ve done it all my life. And despite the critics, I’m still here. I come from nothing, my friend, and I know how to survive. I’ve had to build and rebuild myself from the ground up over, and over, and over again! Like a civilization."
"We have a great future behind us. We can take that future and rebuild," Strand says. "With art and books and music and good bourbon. It feels like the dawning of a new day to me.”
Outside the USS Pennsylvania, Morgan and Grace crawl out from beneath the tank truck. The air is smokey. A bomb-blasted walker is put down by Morgan.
Another explosion in the distance. Seconds later, yet another explosion nearby. Morgan looks to Grace. Morgan cradles Baby Morgan.0comments
End of Season 6.prev