The end is the beginning — and Morgan Jones (Lennie James) is the key. Spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 11, "The Holding." When Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Althea (Maggie Grace) dig into an underground community with Luciana (Danay García) and Wes (Colby Hollman), they find Riley (Nick Stahl) and other survivors living beneath the surface in a self-sustaining parking garage they call "The Holding." It's here where "life will begin again," according to the group's self-proclaimed shepherd Teddy (John Glover), whose recorded voice sermonizes about the inevitability of "death, destruction, decay." But from this death comes new life: "The end is the beginning."
That spray-painted message has appeared throughout Season 6, usually targeting and defacing the settlements controlled by Virginia (Colby Minifie).
Two of Teddy's unnamed followers (Joseph Castillo-Midyett and Stephen Brodie) tag the message on a beached submarine in Galveston, Texas (in "The End Is the Beginning"), and the message appears again inside a Dallas office building crawling with bubonic plague-infected rats (in "Alaska"). Virginia's Rangers catch another devotee, Paige (Ellen Locy), tagging trees with this same message left behind by another saboteur inside Tank Town, where Wes is nearly killed in the explosion (in "Bury Her Next to Jasper's Leg").
Morgan is ambushed by the submarine spray-painters (in "The Key") and discovers they're after the mysterious key the two men hired bounty hunter Emile (Demetrius Grosse) to retrieve from the ill-fated Walter (Damon Carney). Morgan kills Emile and keeps Walter's key (in "The End Is the Beginning"), not knowing what the key unlocks.
Al and Wes find watermarked maps belonging to the Civic Republic Military — the black-clad military force flying around on helicopters — and Al determines Teddy's group is preparing for an extended stay underground while trying to do "as much damage as they can" topside (in "The Holding"). Derek (Chinaza Uche) tries to recruit Wes to the underground group, telling him: "We have to start over. And we can't do that 'til everyone and everything up there is gone." According to Teddy's looped message, his open-eyed and truth-knowing true believers must help people up above "be unafraid of what's to come."
When Teddy corners and confronts Alicia inside an embalming chamber, he's wearing a chained necklace matching the one carrying Morgan's key. It's the two-person concept: both Teddy and Morgan's keys are needed to trigger the nuclear weapons aboard the beached submarine, bringing the End Is the Beginner cult their "new beginning."
Dead in the Water, an upcoming digital spin-off series tying into Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead, confirms the submarine is carrying nuclear weapons. According to its synopsis, Dead in the Water "tells the story of a submarine crew fighting for survival, cut off from the surface world just as the apocalypse hits, becoming a nuclear-fueled walker-filled death trap with no way out."
When Al tells Morgan that Teddy's followers are trying to find him, he doesn't yet know why. "Whatever they're doing, it's not gonna happen," he says. "We'll stop them." If they don't: Texas becomes ground zero for the nuclear apocalypse.
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.