9 Things We Do (and Don’t!) Want to See in ‘Fear TWD’ Season 6

Fear the Walking Dead Season 6
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If you’re at all aware of the promo campaign for the sixth season of AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead, you know viewers have been promised a darker season. That mood has been evident in everything from the trailer released at Comic-Con to the poster of Morgan (Lennie James) that boldly declared “The past is dead” to the new teaser released this week with ominous voiceovers from the characters.

But has the Walking Dead spinoff really reversed course from the happy-go-lucky tone that started in Season 4? Or is this an elaborate misdirection? We’re considering that—and other things we do (and don’t) want to see in the sixth batch of episodes—in this gallery.

Fear the Walking Dead, Season 6 Premiere, Sunday, October 11, 9/8c, AMC

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DO: A Return to a Darker Tone

When Morgan made his move from Virginia to Texas, he brought his famous stick, a pack full of knickknacks—and a total tone overhaul for the series. Fear was no longer an examination of how far a person would go to protect loved ones at the end of the world—it was about saving everyone and, as Mo-Mo said, “doing right.” FTWD turned into something of a Disney show with weekly morals, gatherings around campfires and beer-shaped hot-air balloons. To many viewers, this was eye-roll territory.

That’s why we’re hoping these promos for the sixth season aren’t mere misdirection. If Fear returns to its roots—well, as much as it can without resurrecting Nick (Frank Dillane) and Madison (Kim Dickens)—it might be compelling postapocalyptic television again.

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DO: Quality Time Between Alicia and Strand

And we don’t just mean him helping her paint trees, as he did in a nonsensical plot point last season. Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Strand (Colman Domingo) are two of the three remaining characters from the Madison era (Danay Garcia’s Luciana is No. 3), and they have plenty of shared traumatic experiences based on losing everyone in their pre-Morgan group. Their bond, built on time spent surviving together and caring about the same people, should be highlighted now that they’re stuck together under Ginny’s (Colby Minifie) watchful eye. Also, in the vein of honoring the OGs, let’s let Daniel (Ruben Blades) be a bada** again. It’s time.

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DO: “Clear” Morgan

When it was first announced that Morgan was crossing over to FTWD, some fans thought the show would be getting “Clear” Morgan—you remember, the ruthless guy who murdered just about anything that moved, walker or human. That iteration of Mo-Mo was terrifying in the best possible way, and if he’s really done with the helping and the saving, the part of him that “sees red” might resurface. We really hope so: This show could do with a dose of murder-y Morgan right about now.

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DO: A Meatier Story for Dwight

Crossing former bad guy (who was never all that bad) Dwight (Austin Amelio) over to the spinoff wasn’t an inherently bad move. The main show’s cast is crammed, and shifting his story to a different show gave him a better chance to shine. Except…that’s not what Season 5 accomplished for him. He got a few good episodes about searching for his wife, but in the latter half of the season, he didn’t get much to do. Come on, FTWD. Dwight’s an interesting character with a decent backstory and motivations—not using him is akin to leaving a sports car covered up in a garage on a gorgeous summer day. It’s time to let Dwight shine.

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DO: More on Those Ties to CRM

Why did Morgan cross over if the goal wasn’t to overlap the Walking Dead Universe? Despite the fact that dedicated postapocalyptic journalist Althea (Maggie Grace) had a whole bottle episode with a CRM soldier in Season 5, we still don’t know much about the shadowy organization that spirited a dying Rick (Andrew Lincoln) away via helicopter. It seems World Beyond might give us more info on that front, but since Fear’s already been set up with ties to that group, it doesn’t make sense to not follow them through. Maybe that would give Al something to do besides asking people for their stories.

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DON’T: A Zombie Apocalypse Without Teeth

In Seasons 4 and 5, it seemed like there was nothing Mo-Mo and pals couldn’t endure, no matter how deadly. FTWD hasn’t killed off a single major character since Madison—that’s in stark contrast to the main show, which typically offs several in any given season. As a result, the stakes have felt low.

Sure, Alicia wound up with radiation poisoning, but in the end, she was fine. Sure, Morgan was shot, but we already know he lives. If the show wants us to feel invested in its conflicts and characters, it should really follow The Walking Dead’s lead and thin out the cast from time to time, rather than offering a myriad of fake-out deaths that come across as cheap.

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DON’T: Facepalm-Worthy Writing

This goes along with the lack of character deaths but deserves its own mention. Throughout the past two seasons, there have been plenty of instances where the writing is so upsettingly nonsensical, it pulls the viewer out of the show.

Remember when the group needed ethanol to cure its antifreeze poisoning, but no one thought to get the ethanol out of the slowly draining tanker? Remember when FTWD asked viewers to believe that small children could disembowel walkers and tie them in elaborate configurations? Remember when Alicia, a battle-hardened fighter who’d been putting down walkers since her days in Mexico, suddenly couldn’t bring herself to kill a single one and instead spent her time painting on trees? Remember when Grace (Karen David) was somehow pregnant despite the amount of radiation she’d been exposed to? Yeah. That’s the kind of stuff we don’t want from Season 6.

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DON’T: Forced Humor

To be clear, we’re not saying we don’t want FTWD to ever make us smile. TWD has had plenty of chuckle-worthy moments, many of them courtesy of bad-guy-turned-okayish-guy Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). But there’s a difference between organic humor that appears naturally and lines that feel crammed into a story that, for all intents and purposes, should have a less laughable tone. For an example, just look at the scene with Morgan on the toilet in Season 4. That’s exactly the kind of thing we’re hoping doesn’t occur again.

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DON’T: Flimsy, Annoying Villains

FTWD has not had a good antagonist since Season 3’s biker gang-esque Proctors. The Vultures were just silly. The lady who “wanted to make everyone strong” was incredibly weak. Logan (Matt Frewer) had potential, but then that potential was squandered. It’s possible that Ginny, this season’s foe, might be more meaningful—but we crave villains with depth who inspire fear, like TWD‘s Alpha (Samantha Morton), Gareth (Andrew West) and Negan.