AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
Season 5, Episode 16: “End of the Line”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Ian Goldberg & Andrew Chambliss
* For a recap & review of the penultimate episode, “Channel 5” – click here
* For a recap & review of the Season 6 premiere, “The End is the Beginning,” click here.
In the woods, Dwight hears Sherry over the radio. Or was it only a hallucination? Hard to tell. Dwight runs across the SWAT truck again. He also hears Virginia’s army coming past on horseback. He pulls his gun but it’s only a bunch of unmanned horses.
“You just saved my life,” he tells the animals.
At Humbug’s Gulch, the other survivors have reached out to Virginia. She gloats a bit before Morgan tells her where they’ve gotten. She says a “crackpot of a leader” at the Gulch led all the people there the wrong way. At least that’s what she claimed. Could she have done something to them? Virginia doesn’t care about the Gulch. She’s about “greener pastures.” Morgan tries to make a deal, to keep their group together. Things don’t work that way for Ginny. Will Morgan accept her help, knowing there are conditions and strings attached?
“Right is for people
who wanna feel good about themselves”
Morgan’s friends know there wasn’t another option. This doesn’t make him, or any of them, feel better about the decision to run to Virginia for help. He keeps blaming himself, taking all that guilt on his shoulders despite others urging he did all he could for their people. June likewise blames herself. They’ve all only been trying to survive— one way or another. Sometimes things simply go to shit. We see Grace dealing with reality. She knows Ginny won’t take a sick person with them, no matter what Morgan tells her.
All the survivors have their own troubles. And they’re struggling to deal.
Horses neigh in the distance. Dwight’s come back to his friends. He wants to “make it work” at the Gulch. He knows there’s water near if the horses were able to survive. That likewise means Ginny’s told fibs. Not unexpected. Dwight, Morgan, and the rest start to see they don’t need Virginia or her army. Alicia’s getting back to her old self, too. She wants them to clear the Gulch. Dwight tells his friends they’ve changed him, for the better. None of them want to give each other up or live under tyranny.
A plan starts to form. They’ll use the zombie horde to trap Virginia. Morgan and others head out with the walkers while Alicia and Wes and more stay behind in the Western ghost town. Al finds key symbols from Virginia’s army near, meaning the horses came from her and, again, that Ginny’s a big, fat liar. Note: Amazing use of Western-style motif for the music in this episode. Gives the whole thing a cowboy movie feel.
There’s a sighting of Ginny and her soldiers on the road where Daniel and Strand hide out keeping watch. Luciana is with them, which complicates the plan. Daniel calls his friends off with the herd, leaving them corralling zombies— starts to get sketchy real quick. Dwight watches his horse get eaten, forced to run off towards the river. There, he’s trapped. His friends get to him in time.
And Strand’s got a plan of his own, riding by himself to the soldiers and Luciana.
Dwight keeps on going by himself, so Morgan rushes after him. Nobody’s getting left behind. John, June, and Grace cross the river, leading the walkers. The undead are washed away in the current. This leaves them without their plan.
Back at the Gulch, Al’s figured out the people there were murdered: “Virginia killed them.” Everybody’s worried. Morgan wants to make sure they all survive. He figures going with Ginny is the best option. Dwight knows what it was like under Negan and doesn’t feel like going back to a place like that. It feels like there’s no hope.
For the time being, they live life how they intended, if only for a little while.
John and June are to be joined in holy matrimony in the little church barely standing. They meet at the altar, where Rabbi Kessner waits. Dwight offers his own wedding ring, along with Sherry’s, so his new friends can become husband and wife. A beautiful, tender gesture from a man who’s come a long way since being a Savior. The ceremony goes ahead. The two join hands in marriage in spite of the post-zombie apocalypse all around them. Grace and Daniel, with Charlie’s accompaniment, sing a bit of the Traveling Wilburys to finish the ceremony.
Through the roof shines bright, magical light— a symbol of hope.
Right afterwards, trucks are heard nearby.
Ginny doesn’t want trouble. Morgan makes clear that everybody will go, or nobody. She thinks it’s foolish for him to “make demands.” He makes a good point about his group’s worth. He’s very adamant there’s no other way. Ginny finally agrees. The whole thing still feels sinister. What about Strand? He sold them out a little. Daniel urges him: “Remember who you are in there.” Everybody’s being separated. Morgan takes his time to tell Grace how he truly feels, about “the possibility” of more for them. She’ll be looked after by a doctor. Remains difficult for them to say goodbye regardless.
“It’s a broken world”
The only person left with Ginny now is Morgan.
She wants to put him down. She draws her gun, though he’s able to almost knock it from her hands with his staff. She fires and the bullet hits him near the shoulder. She takes a dead man’s gun to finish the job.
She pulls the trigger. The bullet fizzles out, not firing.
Someone calls over the radio about Grace: “She‘s not sick, she‘s pregnant.” A big reminder of the future, for Morgan, as well as Virginia. Now the two find walkers coming out of the woodwork. The cowgirl leaves Morgan there hoping he’ll die. Can our man survive by himself? He’s been through worse. It doesn’t look good. PLEASE! Let Morgan survive. He’s such a great character, whose arc has gone from high to low to high to low again and all the way back around. Oh, my. LET HIM LIVE!
Intense Season 5 finisher. Who knows what Season 6 will hold.
A huge blow if Morgan actually dies. The series isn’t afraid of killing off leads.
We’ll just have to wait and see.