John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) solves some "ugly mustard" when he returns in Fear the Walking Dead's midseason premiere. Spoilers for Episode 608, "The Door." In Episode 604, "The Key," the gunslinger-slash-lawman investigates the suspicious death of Ranger Cameron (Noah Khyle) inside the walls of the Lawton settlement home to Virginia (Colby Minifie) and her Pioneers. Virginia waves away Cameron's death as bad luck, supposing he drunkenly stumbled into a barbed-wire fence, but an untouched bottle of moonshine in his living quarters and a turned-up earring at the scene of the crime suggests foul play. Ex-cop John Dorie is on the case.
John's investigation leads him to his friend Janis (Holly Curran), who denies owning the matching earring, and Virginia cuts short John's questioning of her younger sister Dakota (Zoe Colletti). When Janis is caught attempting to flee Lawton during Cameron's funeral, the Rangers find the missing earring in her belongings and jail her as the suspected murderer.
But John discovers Janis and Cameron were planning to run away together, their relationship kept secret out of fear of being torn apart by Virginia. After Virginia declines John's request to inspect the body, Dakota tells him her sister is protecting someone and he needs to keep looking.
When John sneaks away to Cameron's grave to perform a late-night post-mortem, he finds evidence of a slash to the throat and a broken piece of a knife handle grip embedded in his hand. Believing this exonerates Janis, who would not have access to the knife stolen from Lawton's locked-down armory, John searches for the missing murder weapon: a folding knife with a six-inch blade and a hand-carved bone handle.
But a framed Janis confesses to Cameron's murder and privately reveals her plotted escape route to John before she's sentenced to execution by walker. After he finds Janis' gory remains, Ranger Dorie is publicly commended by Virginia with a golden key to the future for being a "hero" in the little town's time of need.
In "The Door," John has retreated to his remote cabin after escaping Virginia's clutches — leaving behind his new bride, June (Jenna Elfman), at a fork in the road episodes earlier (in November's "Bury Her Next to Jasper's Leg"). When John reunites with Dakota and Morgan (Lennie James) while they're en route to their new community away from Virginia, a sudden walker attack reveals Dakota has the missing murder weapon in her possession.
Dakota claims she found the knife, but John realizes she killed Cameron. She's the reason for Virginia's cover-up. The teary teen confesses to pushing John to investigate the murder to sow doubt among her sister's followers, who might realize Virginia was hiding something or protecting a killer.
She goes on to reveal why she killed Cameron: "He figured out the way that I was sneaking in and out of Lawton, and he told Ginny. He took away the one way that I had to get out of Lawton."
Fearful that being exposed as a killer will risk her future with Morgan's community away, the one he's building far away from her sister, Dakota shoots John with his own pistol. It's not Dakota's only secret: when she's discovered by Morgan, she reveals who saved him the night Virginia shot Morgan and left him for dead at Humbug's Gulch.0comments
Will there be justice for John? Fear answers that burning question and more when Virginia, Dakota, and June return in next Sunday's "Things Left to Do."
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD. New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.