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'Fear TWD' showrunners say the season 6 finale will 'change the fabric of the show' moving forward

·13-min read
lennie james feartwd 616 morgan jones
Morgan, Grace, and the other survivors grapple with how to spend, what they believe, may be their final moments on Sunday's "Fear the Walking Dead." AMC
  • Warning: There are massive spoilers ahead for the season 6 finale of "Fear TWD."

  • Showrunners Chambliss and Goldberg break down the finale and tease what's ahead with Insider.

  • The two explained how Morgan survived the blast while Dakota perished.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

Sunday's season finale of "Fear the Walking Dead" literally blew up the show as Teddy's missile with 10 warheads on it began crashing down to Earth throughout various points in Texas.

While most of the characters survived after seeking shelter, Dakota (Zoe Colletti) was caught in the blast, burning up almost instantaneously after killing her mentor, Teddy (John Glover).

Insider caught up with showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg over Zoom on Friday ahead of the finale, and they say the fallout from the nuclear blasts will have massive repercussions on the series moving forward.

"It very much will kind of change the fabric of the show," Chambliss told Insider.

The duo shared why only Dakota burned up from the blasts, how Grace and Morgan were able to survive despite not being underground, and if that CRM helicopter is flying to another show (probably not) - plus, they gave us some intel on what to expect from season seven (which may not be the show's last).

This wasn't always the plan for the season 6 finale, but they always intended to have the missile go off by the season's end

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Howard and Victor watch as one of the warheads falls back to Earth on Sunday's finale. AMC

Acuna: So this is such a different finale setup from what I was necessarily expecting. It's segmented into several stories. I couldn't help but wonder, was that always the plan or did the pandemic influence the layout of this episode?

Andrew Chambliss: It was not always the plan, but the decision to tell the story that way had nothing to do with the pandemic.

It was all about finding a way to honor the anthology style of storytelling that we were doing all season, where each episode was focusing on small groups of characters. We really wanted to find a way to honor that and do something different than we did in the mid-season in [season six, episode eight] and [season six, episode nine] where all the characters ended up coming together as all the stories converged.

This was more about finding a way to tell these little short stories that gave conclusions to each character's arc for the season. At the same time, it was kind of sending them off with hints of their journeys for the season ahead.

When did you guys know that you wanted to launch a missile with warheads on a "Walking Dead" show? I really didn't think that they were going to go off. Did you just want to literally blow up some of the show? Andrew, on the inside the episode on AMC+, you mention that the fallout from the warheads is going to change a lot about the future of the show. What do you mean by that? What else can you say there? Will they have repercussions on some of the other shows maybe in "TWD" universe?

colman domingo victor strand feartwd 616
Victor is ready to accept his fate on Sunday's finale. AMC

Ian Goldberg: We knew from the very beginning of the season that we wanted to detonate the nuclear bomb. There were a couple of reasons for it. One, if you show a nuclear submarine in the first episode, it's sort of the Chekhovian-gun rule of storytelling. You better well do something satisfying with it by the end of the story.

But, as we say at the beginning and end of every season, it came from a place of, "How do we reinvent? How do we shake things up in a way that will push these characters to lengths that they've never been pushed to before?" This felt like the biggest reinvention you could possibly do to a world that's already apocalyptic. It's sort of adding a new apocalypse on top of an existing apocalypse. So we got excited about that and it all sort of grew from there. We did start with that as what we were building to.

Chambliss: We had touched on how hard it was in a radio landscape back in season five. But what we're going to see as we go forward is going to be completely different from that. That was a meltdown of a nuclear power plant. These are multiple nuclear warheads going off in the state of Texas. We did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people who are involved in preparing for these kinds of disasters.

What we were really interested in is how you would survive in a world like that. There's a wide range of ways you can do it. Our characters will cover that spectrum. Some will be very good at it, others won't. The effects of the radiation and the fallout can vary greatly depending on everything from how cleanly the bombs detonated to the weather patterns in the area. It's going to create a really kind of interesting and unpredictable environment and kind of redefine the rules of survival, redefine the walkers, redefine, kind of, everything these characters know. So many of them will be starting over at the very beginning and figuring out how to live in this world.

Dakota died while Morgan and Grace lived because of her proximity to the blast

dakota death feartwd 616
Dakota is seen moments before and after the nuclear blast on Sunday's finale. AMC

You answered part of my next question. I was wondering if you guys did research on Hiroshima or Chernobyl. If there's a little bit more you can say there, I think a lot of fans are going to be wondering that. But I was also wondering, how was Dakota the only person to immediately burn up and die? You have Morgan and Grace - who were not in a bunker, not in shelter with the baby - and they're OK. Did you guys just need a way to kind of get rid of Dakota to move forward?

Goldberg: I mean, those warheads are going off at different places in the landscape and characters' proximity to them is different. So that's why Dakota got hit the way that she did - because of where that particular warhead hit. Morgan and Grace had a little bit more of a buffer.

In terms of Dakota's exit, we didn't think it was, I don't wanna say poetic, but it was sort of tragically poetic that she chose to go out clinging to her beliefs and who she was and depriving Teddy of seeing his ending rather than go down into the bunker with Dorie Sr. and June and become someone else.

dakota death scene feartwd 616
Dakota, let down, accepts her fate with open arms in her final moments. AMC

Goldberg: She wasn't looking to be redeemed. What she was looking for was a family that she felt like she belonged with. She thought that was going to be with Teddy, even though it would have been a very sort of dark, twisted family. Ultimately, she realized that he was a fraud and only was interested in her for what she could do for him. So she went out sticking to her guns and paid a horrible price for it. It is a tragic story. Ultimately, we love what Zoe Colletti brought to the character.

Sherry and Dwight may continue to face some difficulties in season 7 as their history with Negan may still loom large in the back of their minds

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Even after they found each other, against all odds, Chambliss said the demons of Dwight and Sherry's past at the Sanctuary with Negan may still haunt them moving forward into season 7. Ryan Green/AMC

I really love what you guys did with Sherry this season. So I have to ask: Is Sherry's desire to kill Negan quashed, or is there a possibility we'll see her crossover to "TWD" on its final season? Has this been discussed with ["TWD" showrunner] Angela Kang and ["TWD" chief content officer] Scott Gimple at all? It is one of those unfinished story arcs that has been left open-ended and it's one that many fans appreciated that you came back to for holding Negan accountable.

Chambliss: It's a very good question. You probably won't be surprised if we're not gonna talk about whether or not she's going to cross over into any other place in the universe. We're very interested in where Dwight and Sherry have gotten to by the end of the season, the kind of common ground they found where Sherry is able to exorcise some of the trauma by maybe not taking on Negan personally, but essentially being a vigilante and taking out other people who might deserve it.

Dwight is able to see the value in that. It really is going to be the thing that will bond them going forward, and I think it's a question of whether or not that's going to be enough for Sherry, whether or not that's going to start to chip away at all the progress that Dwight has made in distancing himself from the man who he was at the Sanctuary.

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Reminder: Dwight was one of Negan's top men at the Sanctuary on "TWD." On the finale, Sherry notes that she felt she saw a bit of that version of Dwight show himself. Gene Page/AMC

Chambliss: Those are the questions that they're going to be dealing with as we go forward. We're excited because it was a very long journey for the two of them to finally reconnect in a real way where they felt like they maybe had a path forward. We're excited to see them kind of continue that path where they're actually together in season seven.

Well, for the time being, I guess Maggie has to deal with Negan over on "TWD."

Strand's dark monologue serves as a springboard for Victor's future and a possible path others could take to survive moving forward

I really wanted to ask you guys about Victor, and Colman Domingo's excellent monologue. It felt like the episode could have ended on that very dark monologue. Was that a plan at one point, or was that just too dark of a note to end on because he speaks about how the cheaters and liars kind of always come out on top in the world?

Victor Strand and Howard on FearTWD 616 season 6 finale
Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) initially lies to Howard in what he believes are his final moments and says he's Morgan Jones. Ryan Green/AMC

Chambliss: Colman did an amazing job delivering that monologue, and it kind of encapsulated both Victor's journey, in the season - in the series - and kind of really serves as the springboard for where he's going to be going in season seven.

We wanted to find a way to kind of intercut that monologue as we did in the final act with all of the stories culminating at the same time. We could set up the kind of very dark version of where characters may go in the apocalypse with Victor Strand and kind of the ethos that he is developing and embracing.

Ultimately, we want to contrast that with something that felt, I think, just as scary, but had a little bit of optimism to it. That was Morgan and Grace standing in this completely ravaged landscape and clinging onto this idea of family and hold those two things against each other.

As we go into season seven, we'll see which ethos actually allows characters to survive - and not just survive, but perhaps survive better than the others.

Fear TWD 616 finale Morgan Jones (Lennie James) holding baby
Morgan and Grace are brought back from the brink and are given hope after they hear baby Morgan crying. Ryan Green/AMC

I felt like you guys were speaking to the critics of "Fear" a little bit in that monologue. I don't know if you were, but he says, "Despite the critics, I'm still here."

[Goldberg laughs]

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The showrunners aren't closing the door on Madison. AMC

So, you know, I have to ask you something about this. There were some references to Madison made throughout the back-half of the season. Alicia found some of the other survivors from the baseball stadium. Is that supposed to wrap up the Madison storyline? Should we expect to see anything else there in the future, or are we kind of closing the door on that?

Chambliss: We knew you'd ask that [laughter]. You always have a good Madison question.

The references to Madison in the back-half of the story, really in terms of Alicia, were about her kind of questioning who she wants to be and what she's going to take from her mother and what she's going to be going forward. Madison is always going to be a part of who Alicia is and a part of the fabric of the show.

I don't think that closes the door on anything. I think we're just going to have to wait and see where the story goes.

Al's love interest, Isabelle, was the person flying the CRM helicopter near the episode's end - and its destination is anyone's guess

FearTWD 616: A CRM helicopter arrives to save Daniel, Luciana, and others on season 6 finale
A Civic Republic Military helicopter shows up to save the day for some of our heroes. Ryan Green/AMC

A CRM helicopter swoops in and saves Daniel, Luciana, Charlie, etc. That's Isabelle piloting the chopper, right?

[Chambliss nods]

Goldberg: Yes.

fear twd 505 isabelle
Al was successfully reunited with Isabelle, who appeared on the show's fifth season. Ryan Green/AMC

Where are they heading? Are they leaving the show, and are they going to a CRM facility on "TWD"? I feel like they're not, but that would be kind of cool.

Goldberg: You'll have to watch season seven.

It's a big deal that a CRM helicopter is swooping in and taking these characters to safety. That's going to have repercussions in season seven because we know they're a group that does not expose themselves, does not put themselves out there to people.

The fact that a group of our characters have now seen this helicopter [and] gotten on board with one of their own pilots - there are going to be story ramifications for that in season seven that we're super excited about.

FearTWD 616: Survivors escape onto a CRM helicopter on Fear TWD season 6 finale
Sarah, Daniel, Luciana, Charlie, and Wes board the helicopter at the episode's end. Ryan Green/AMC

Season seven of "Fear TWD" premieres on AMC this fall. You can follow along with our "TWD" universe coverage here.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.

Read the original article on Insider

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