Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 15 Review: USS PennsylvaniaPaul Dailly at .
For an episode with all of the ingredients of being the best in franchise history, Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 15 was a frustrating hour of TV.
The USS Pennsylvania was a great setting. It was claustrophobic, had radioactive walkers, and a race against the clock to disarm Teddy and his missiles.
For the first time this season, the writing fell flat, with the characters making bizarre decisions that didn't track well with what came before, leading me to question what's on the menu for Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 16, and beyond.
Morgan has the most plot armor of any character on television. Lennie James has been a part of the franchise for a decade, and damn, Morgan has found himself in more than a dozen deadly situations.
Does he have some supernatural powers that we're not privy to? This is getting ridiculous. If you watch Fear the Walking Dead online, you know the series successfully revamped the character.
He went on the submarine, basically asking for death. He didn't care about the radioactive zombies. He just wanted to save everyone's lives and wanted to die in the process.
Emphasis on wanted. It was like he didn't even want to try to survive. He just wanted to make dumb decision after dumb decision, and it grated on my nerves.
His holier than thou attitude when Strand tried to throw him to the wolves was the last straw. Had Morgan not spent the episode wanting to die, then it would be easier to understand why he was so annoyed at Victor.
Teddy: So, you saved his life because you thought he was going to give you a fresh start. A place to feel safe. A place to call home. A family. Did he?
Dakota: No. Found a place, built a town, filled it with people, but my sis-- my mom, she did the same thing ten times over and I still never felt comfortable in my own skin, in any of her places.
Teddy: You wanna know why? Both of them wanted something from you that you couldn't give them, for you to be somebody you're not. I heard you with Alicia. You want what all of us want, someone to love you just the way you are.
Dakota: You really think I can find that person in your new world.
Teddy: You already have.
Dakota: Alicia, you put her in the bunker. I thought you saw something special in her.
Teddy: You're right. I did. I love what Alicia will become, but that's something you and I will never be. There's nothing to feel sorry about there. Hell, you are so much like me, Sue. We are two, very logically conclusioned in a world that's built on a foundation of violence and lies and self-interest. That's why we understand each other. I think you'll agree with me when I say that conclusions do not belong anywhere in a world where things are just about to get started.
Dakota: So, what's gonna happen to us?
Teddy: We are going to die up here, with everyone else. I know that's a lot to take in.
Speaking of Strand, are the writers just going to make him sacrifice someone every time they don't know what to do with him?
Strand is a character bursting at the seams with possibility, but Colman Domingo is no longer being challenged in this role because he's being given such mediocre content to work with.
There was so much positive growth for him throughout Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 that I can forgive some of the decisions, but only to a certain extent.
The aim of the game here was clearly to drive a further wedge between Morgan and Strand to feed us some more convoluted drama as we head into Fear the Walking Dead Season 6.
The mission being a big fat failure was not a surprise, either, but the execution choked all of the tension out of the plot. At the end of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 14, the stage was set for moments we've been building towards all season long.
Teddy's plan being successful raises the stakes somewhat as we head into the season finale, but I can't wrap my head around Teddy and Riley being allowed to live.
I can understand the notion that they're all going to die anyway, but what if Teddy and Riley pop back up when the gang is about to get to safety?
There was a look of defeat on the characters because they knew the inevitable was coming, but this could have been a brutal moment reiterating that Morgan was truly doing what he could to save everyone.
Ask yourself this question when you're trying to figure out if you still want to be a part of what we're doing here. Do you wanna pretend to be someone else just to have a chance to keep on breathing?Teddy
Then there's the John Dorie Sr. of it all. Keith Carradine has been such a great addition to the cast, and his character had been tracking Teddy for decades, so it was weird for him not to be placed in the room for some payoff as the good guys fought Teddy off.
The anthology approach to storytelling has elevated Fear the Walking Dead considerably, and this being the first episode to bring everyone together highlighted that the showrunners are still struggling to balance the stories.
My theory now is that the earlier episodes of the season were so successful is because they dealt with fewer characters. We've had some great episodes, and, unfortunately, it all came crashing down just before the finish line.
Dakota also has some mighty plot armor, but if she's fully embracing her status as a villain, she can stay. There has to be tension in the narrative, but if she starts straddling the fine line between good and evil to show that she has a heart, it will probably be where I draw the line and stop watching the show.
The only way to salvage this season is for there to be mass death and destruction in the finale. This is a show about survival, first and foremost.
Many of these characters are getting little to no screen time. Luciana and Sarah spring to mind, and despite them still being good characters, we should only be checking in with the people who have plots that are getting the time of day.
Will the show get rid of many characters to do another reset in time for Fear the Walking Dead Season 7? It's the only way, you guys.
Another thing that irked me was that we didn't get a chance to check in with Alicia in the bunker. She's been left there as some sort of beacon of hope by Teddy, but how does she get out of there when the missiles go off?
Morgan: I know what you're trying to do.
Grace: Same thing you are.
Morgan: Yeah. You want to make them pay.
Grace: Something wrong with that?
Morgan: No. We haven't really talked about what happened.
Grace: Now's not the time.
What if she runs out of food before it? The writers have really backed themselves into a corner here, and maybe it's because of how quickly they've burned through Teddy's arc.
Maybe Virginia should have remained a part of the cast until the end of the season to give us an entire season of them fighting Teddy and his minions.
This was a really tough review to write because I still love the show, but I just know it can do better than what we were given.
What did you think of the way the storylines were handled? Do you think we need to trim the fat in the finale with the missiles?
Hit the comments below.
Catch the Fear the Walking Dead season finale on Sunday, June 13, on AMC.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.