‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 6 Premiere ‘The End is the Beginning’ Recap: Returning to Form
BY David Riley
Published 2 years ago
What a journey it has been. Five seasons later (with the last two being the worst to have ever happened to the show), Fear the Walking Dead appears to be taking notes from former showrunner Dave Erickson’s playbook. Tonight’s season 6 premiere of Fear the Walking Dead came as a welcome surprise, destroying my preconceived ill feelings towards the show. I thought it would be yet another weekly hate-watch habit, but “The End is the Beginning” came in like a deranged bull ready to blast me off to kingdom come.
Alright, I might be exaggerating here. Humor me, please.
Current showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg previously teased that Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 would follow the anthology format, much to most fans’ ire. And in true “fuck you, I don’t care about your opinions” fashion, the duo delivered—but it worked (at least, for episode 1 of our re-introduction). “The End is the Beginning” follows Morgan (Lennie James), 5 to 6 weeks after being shot by Virginia (Colby Minifie), the Southern drawling leader of the Pioneers, in the Season 5 finale. We’ve seen him with bloodshot eyes in the trailer, and he sports the look for about half the episode’s runtime. Virginia enlists the help of a bounty hunter named Emile LaRoux (Demetrius Grosse) to track Morgan down and eliminate the damn pest for good. However, Morgan meets an unexpected ally that would enable our resident staff wielder to reinvent himself.
That’s the episode in a nutshell, but before we go into the juicy details, let me drop a spoiler warning right here. You are treading on dangerous fields here.
‘Fear the Walking Dead’ 6×01 Recap
A Bounty On Morgan’s Head
“The End is the Beginning” cold opens to Emile’s introduction, almost making me crave for a can of beans at that. The annoying grey filter is gone. The vibe of it being a legitimate Fear opener permeates through the sequence. Holy shit, boys, we must be looking at something worthwhile here!
A man named Walter stumbles into Emile’s camp, where the bounty hunter offers him some food. It’s revealed that Walter has been Emile’s target all along, and he literally takes the head of the bounty by beheading the poor guy with an ax and stuffing his now-Walker head into a box. Virginia then radios in for a job, giving Emile enough reasons to look for Morgan (dead or alive) and do the same.
Meanwhile, Morgan’s gunshot wound seems to be giving him the protection he needs from the Walkers. Sure, it’s festering and turning gangrene, but it’s also acting as an invisibility cloak. With bloodshot eyes, Morgan barely even has the strength to move around and scavenge for supplies. But hey, at least he’s holed up in an empty water tower complete with padded walls for soundproofing (is he planning to bang someone here? Maybe record a podcast since it looks like everyone’s doing it these days? We’ll never know).
Morgan once again tries to go on a supply run but is quickly overwhelmed by pain from his wound and screams, much to the Walkers’ delight lounging around.
Enter Isaac (Michael Abbott Jr.), who’s seemingly a rehashed version of Dwightyboy (Austin Amelio). He saves Morgan and holes up in a nearby shop. But fate has a way of making things unfuckable in this Fear the Walking Dead reality. Emile eventually catches up to Morgan, all thanks to his dog, who could somehow get ahold of his scent. Isaac tries to stall him by playing dumb and not knowing anything about Morgan. Emile sets off after finding nothing in the shop but traps Fake Dwight by leaving a small herd of Walkers outside. Eventually, Isaac discovers Morgan mid-escape, sprawled on the ground, and passed out in pain. No matter how much Isaac tries to offer to help patch him up, Morgan wouldn’t give.
Isaac brings Morgan back to the water tower. The latter wakes up surprised that Isaac knew about his secret hideout, not knowing that he blatantly scrawled in the coordinates of his place on his bag (forget about why he did it ’cause ya know, he’s… Morgan. That dude’s random as fuck). But what’s funny is that Isaac has heard of Morgan before, thanks to the motivational videos they left playing for god knows how long in the gas station. And because the Spectacular Help Parade touched Isaac, he needed Morgan’s help in delivering his wife’s baby. “I figured your stench could help mask us away from the Dead,” Isaac says at gunpoint when Morgan refused.
Emile catches up to the pair again and takes down the water tower (goodbye, soundproof crib!). Luckily, Morgan’s reflexes still worked like a charm, allowing him to shoot Emile’s arm and escape with Isaac in tow.
It’s a Goddamn Dam!
So I guess that’s it? Maybe we’ve heard the last of this Emile guy? Well, not quite yet.
Isaac eventually convinces Morgan to help him by coming clean that he used to be one of Virginia’s rangers and disagreed with how the Pioneers operated. Morgan also reveals that someone helped him and set up the water tower for him after the altercation with Virginia, and it’s the only thing keeping Morgan going. We’re probably going to learn more about this mysterious helper along the way.
And in a surprising callback to Fear the Walking Dead season 3’s finale, Isaac takes Morgan to where he’s been hiding with his wife—an abandoned fucking dam. This scene literally threw me off my seat, and I was lowkey hoping for Taqa and Crazydog to appear (hey, a man can hope).
Isaac tries to give Morgan the shortcut through a horde milling around the dam’s entrance while he takes the longcut, but Morgan says fuck that; let’s team up and kill these motherfuckers. For a guy with a festering wound, Morgan could still kick some serious Walker ass. Past the dam, the pair finally arrives at where Rachel, Isaac’s wife, is in labor.
Emile strikes back to rain terror down on them, though. As Rachel struggles to give birth, Emile comes waltzing in to claim his bounty. Morgan surrenders and asks to spare the couple, to which Emile agrees—until Isaac hits him in the head. And surprise, surprise, Isaac’s only doing this because he can’t care for his wife anymore—he’s been bit during their Walker fistfights. Rachel and her baby’s fate lies in the hands of Morgan now.
But Emile is one tough son of a bitch. He incapacitates Isaac and goes in to kill Morgan, but our staff wielder is luckily tougher than Emile. With his broken staff, Morgan stabs Emile through the heart, killing him instantly.
Morgan the Bounty Hunter?
The next day, Morgan wakes up all patched up, red eyes gone, and Rachel cradling her baby girl (she named her after Morgan too). With Isaac and Emile dead, Morgan sees this as an opportunity to rebrand himself, and it’s arguably the best version that we’ve seen his character become. He takes Emile’s ax and clothes and immediately threatens Virginia by leaving a box containing Emile’s Walker head on the road and declaring over the walkie, “Morgan Jones is dead, and you are dealing with somebody else now.” He then rides off into the sun, like a true western ending that I didn’t expect to like so much.
Meanwhile, we’ve got two new faces ending the show. One of them sprays the side of a huge submarine with “The End is the Beginning” while the other looks on, waiting for Walter (Emile’s first casualty in the cold open) who’s probably never showing up.
‘Fear the Walking Dead’ Season 6 Premiere: Overall Verdict
A lot of things didn’t make logical sense in this episode, but it’s easily forgiven by a nicely-written narrative intended to right the wrongs of the past two seasons. Chambliss and Goldberg must’ve had an awakening of some sort because this looks and feels totally different from the shitshow that we’ve all been hate-watching for two years.
It’s interesting how the show legitimately feels like Fear the Walking Dead again, a return to form that would bring together fans of the first three seasons and the ones that liked the relaunch. Everything feels fresh and the mysterious vibe that it once had is restored. We’re looking at a drastic, welcome change here, and I’m all for it. For one, the zombies are back. The zombie fights are back. And though season 6 will follow the anthology format, it still feels intact.
But the one thing that stood out was Morgan’s abrupt character rewrite. We’ve seen him lose his mind, gain clarity, and adapt a pacifist philosophy, to become a bloodthirsty killer and revert to a peace-loving nature. It’s confusing and downright irritating. This version of Morgan pulls all the stops and hops into a brand new identity. He knows what it is, and he’s not looking back.
Hell, I went in with zero expectations and came out desperate for more. I stopped writing recaps for Fear after season 5’s fourth episode because I didn’t see the value in crying foul every week. It’s tiring. But with a premiere like this? I’m back in business, boys.
I sure do hope this ain’t another red herring though. Please, get your shit together for real this time.
Fear the Walking Dead continues Sunday, October 18th, with “Welcome to the Club” at 9/8c on AMC.