If you're a fan of the Walking Dead universe, things are pretty sweet right now – especially from the perspective of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. Aside from having an epic appearance at this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), we learned not only had the series been picked up for a sixth season, but also that the second-half will see the arrival of some new survivors. Colby Minifie (Jessica Jones), Peter Jacobson (The Americans), newcomer Colby Hollman, and Holly Curran (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) join the series when it returns – and we even got a new trailer for the final episodes for this season (no worries: FTWD will be back for a sixth go-around – in some form, considering the teases about this season being a "game-changer").
So far, we're seeing much more of the hope and promise that was discussed going into this season – and the build-up of a formidable "big bad" in the form of Logan (Matt Frewer). As the post-zombie apocalypse begins to take shape and different forces fight for control, there's a prize possession in play that can sway power towards whoever controls it: gasoline. Some people – like Morgan (Lennie James) and our heroes – want it to expand their ability to help others – to make a connection.
Logan and his crew? Not so much – which brings us to the opening minutes of this week's episode "210 Words Per Minute." While our folks still have the matter with Logan to contend with, that doesn't mean they're looking to stop expanding their "helping others" enterprise.
Season 5, episode 10 "210 Words Per Minute": Morgan and Grace search an abandoned shopping mall for supplies and to fulfill a dying man's wish but the mission quickly turns to a fight for survival; Dwight's resolve to be a better man is tested.
While things have been painfully lacking when it comes to connections with the upcoming Rick Grimes/The Walking Dead Movie, we did get some callbacks to The Walking Dead as well as the possibility of more movie connections next week – in what was a particularly fine, intimate, and revealing outing:
● OPENING CREDITS: We see a brightly-lit carousel in a dark field, with carnival-like music playing.
● You don't have to take a $5 podcast course in "interpreting conversations" to know that the conversation between Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Morgan over how Logan and his crew are being handled has the shadow of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors all over it. Dwight's been on both sides of what happens when a force that just wants to take goes unchecked for too long.
● Speaking of Dwight and the Saviors… couldn't help but both wince and smile when Dwight tried to save Logan's guy some torture time by referencing that he's been through worse before (because we sure as hell know he has).
● You have to give Dwight credit: he tries to get through to the dude – with that "Am I just an asshole now?" speech and a disturbingly matter-of-fact threat to his captor being especially strong moments for Amelio.
● Burning Sherry's letters and then threatening to go after her was not a good move, so dude should be lucky that Dwight really is on a redemption path – Dwight's reason for not loading the gun he carries is a sobering reminder of that.
● Daryl "Second Chance" Dixon makes another appearance in Dwight's tale – a reference to the opportunity he was given by Daryl at the end of the war with the Saviors.
● More verbal flashback on Morgan's part, telling Grace (Karen David) about the times he spent with his son Duane racing a remote control car (triggered by a well-played use of a remote controlled care tonight). He continues with how serious he's been most of his life so that the happy, smiling moments were rare and memorable – like his first date with his eventual wife, Jenny.
● Morgan ends the episode by heading out to help Althea (Maggie Grace) – which means we might be getting some helicopter/CRM/Isabelle (Sydney Lemon) info being shared next week… see you then!
Heading into season 5 of Fear the Walking Dead, the group's mission is clear: locate survivors and help make what's left of the world a slightly better place. With dogged determination, Morgan Jones leads the group with a philosophy rooted in benevolence, community and hope. Each character believes that helping others will allow them to make up for the wrongs of their pasts.
But trust won't be easily earned. Their mission of helping others will be put to the ultimate test when our group finds themselves in unchartered territory, one which will force them to face not just their pasts but also their fears. It is only through facing those fears that the group will discover an entirely new way to live, one that will leave them forever changed.
Earlier this year, FTWD cast member Alexa Nisenson (ex-Vulture Charlie) was promoted from recurring to series regular for the upcoming season. Joining Nisenson are Karen David (Legacies, Galavant) as series regular Grace, The Walking Dead alum Austin Amelio reprising ex-Savior Dwight, and the returning Ruben Blades as Daniel Salazar. Bailey Gavulic (Prodigal, At The End Of The Day) plays young survivor Annie, who ends up crossing paths with our crew alongside Cooper Dodson's (American Horror Story, Preacher) Dylan and Ethan Suess' (Scorpion, Henry Danger) Max. Matt Frewer (Max Headroom, The Stand) also joined the cast as shady denim factory co-owner Logan. Colby Minifie (Jessica Jones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Peter Jacobson (House, The Americans), newcomer Colby Hollman, and Holly Curran (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) are set to join the series in the second-half of the season.
Nisenson, David, Blades, Amelio, Gavulic, Dodson, Suess, Frewer, Jacobson, Hollman, and Minifie join Dwight's crossover comrade Morgan (Lennie James) on the upcoming season of The Walking Dead spin-off series, which has undergone some major changes over the past year. Jenna Elfman, Garret Dillahunt, Maggie Grace, Mo Collins, and Daryl Mitchell joined James on the series last season; with Alycia Debnam-Carey, Colman Domingo, and Danay Garcia the only original cast members heading into the fifth season. Daniel Sharman is reportedly reprising his role as Troy Otto, though how his character will come into play during the upcoming season is still unknown.
AMC's Fear the Walking Dead is executive produced by showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg, as well as Robert Kirkman, Scott Gimple, David Alpert, Gale Anne Hurd, and Greg Nicotero, and produced by AMC Studios.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/8 p.m. CT – leading into the fourth and final season of Preacher.