AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead
6×08: “The Door”
Directed by Michael E. Satrazemis
Written by Ian Goldberg & Andrew Chambliss
* For a recap & review of 6×07, click here.
* For a recap & review of 6×09, click here.
We find John Dorie cleaning his gun and watching an old Gary Cooper movie, Meet John Doe. He’s getting ready to put a bullet through his head, spelling out GOODBYE JUNE in Scrabble tiles; ironically, the Gary Cooper movie’s plot involves the prospect of suicide. Walkers keep coming near the little cabin by the river, so John keeps shooting them, putting off shooting himself.
Later, John goes over to the post office. He does his gunslinger thing, knocking over a half dozen walkers dead. He heads inside, calling out to anybody who might be there, too. He discovers a streak of blood up the floor. Then he discovers none other than Dakota hiding away from Virginia. Who else is there? Morgan. What a reunion, after all this time. Morgan’s not doing so hot with a nasty wound, but he’s alive and kicking. He tells John about how he survived all this time with the help of others. They’re soon interrupted by someone showing up at the post office; one of Ginny’s men. Morgan, John, and Dakota hide while the guy looks around, finding John’s name on the video rental log sheet. The guy calls back home but can’t get through, so he leaves for higher ground to call.
Back at the cabin, John gets his friends fed. Morgan tries to talk to John about why the cowboy’s out there, why June isn’t there, either. But the cowboy doesn’t want to talk about it. He certainly doesn’t want to leave his cabin. Morgan has a plan to use Dakota “as bait” for Ginny, and he knows there’s going to be a fight coming. He wants John to help him, in spite of the cowboy’s continued resistance. Soon, Ginny calls to talk to Morgan. She has Grace, Mo, and June in a cage; if anything happens to Dakota, then Ginny’s going to kill everybody. So Morgan has to keep pushing for John to help, but the cowboy says he “ain‘t right” and wouldn’t do them any good. John does agree to help them along their way.
“I feel like I’m looking at a ghost”
When the trio get packed to get on the road, they’re attacked by a ranger. Morgan’s lassoed by the ranger, hauled away through the woods. This is when Mr. Dorie jumps into action, firing his rifle into the ranger’s back and freeing Morgan, who’s thankfully not much worse for the wear. Looks like the cowboy hasn’t lost his touch just yet; he can still do what needs doing, when the time comes, anyway.
Except now the truck won’t work. This means they have to find another way to travel. Just so happens there’s an old car out in the yard by the cabin. Morgan says he only needs a few spare parts and he could get the car going. John knows where there are some wrecked cars nearby, so he and Dakota head off to search them for the necessary parts. We hear about John’s father moving away from him and his mother, isolating himself someplace; no wonder he has a tendency to do the same. He and Dakota chat while he pulls spare parts from a truck; she has valuable insight for a young person, even if John’s resistant to it. He also finds a new door for his cabin, confirming he isn’t going anywhere. That’s when Morgan arrives, angry after finding the Scrabble tiles, knowing why John wants to be by himself, what John wants to do to himself. “I‘m not meant to live in this world,” says the cowboy, blaming himself for people dying and being injured. He’s set on dying by his own hand.
At the cabin, Morgan talks to John about the new place he’s trying to build. He shows John the note he found on him after coming to with his wounds patched. He wants to inspire the cowboy, whose only concern now are “the passed” who keep coming. John would rather go up to the nearby bridge and deal with the walkers that keep coming through. He and his two pals go up to do some work together. They use a couple doors on the front of the truck to push through the barricade, as Dakota drives and the two men kill from the back. Dakota barges through the horde gradually until the truck gets stuck on a zombie in one of the wheel wells. She tries to get them free, but the corpse won’t budge. And then the engine shuts down, which means John has to hop out front, only inches away from the reaching zombies, to try fixing the alternator. This results in a tense moment where Dkota has to do some shooting, picking off a walker grabbing at the cowboy. They get the truck started again, and John fights from the truck’s roof while Dakota saves his ass with a bit of good driving.
Despite the “ugly mustard,” they get the job done.
Morgan decides to call Ginny, and she’s been made aware of the cowboy’s “terrible taste in movies.” This means the suicide option for John is kinda off the table now anyway. Still, he insists he isn’t going on the road with his pals. A stubborn man. Dakota tries to tell John to come with them. She says he likes to be around him, especially considering he treats her like a grownup rather than a child. John continues trying to find a way for his death to “mean something,” too. When Dakota’s attacked by a walker she uses a knife John recognises, connecting her to Cameron. Everything unravels and John sees the truth, wondering why Dakota killed Cameron. She explains it was because Cameron found out how she was sneaking away. John’s angry, but Dakota says: “That‘s just how things are now.” And the girl pulls her gun on John. He says he isn’t going to tell anyone, or hurt her in any way. This is now “a reason to live,” to help Dakota not become like the others. Out of nowhere, Dakota shoots John in the chest, then she pushes him over the bridge into the river.
Oh. My. God. Are we really about to lose John Dorie like this?
No, not like this—John claws to the surface, grabbing onto one of the floating doors.
On the bridge, Dakota turns her gun towards Morgan. She admits to shooting John. Morgan puts a blade to her throat, then Dakota reveals she’s the one who saved him that night when Ginny put a bullet in him. He’s shocked, not initially believing her. But she explains the note she left, and insists that Morgan needs to kill Ginny. She wants her sister dead more than anything else. Doesn’t sit well with Morgan.
At the cabin, Ginny and the rangers show up, along with June. They find nobody, of course. But Morgan calls on the radio, explaining the situation with John and what Dakota did to him. He wants them to help John before they can talk, so Ginny sends a ranger off to locate the cowboy. And moments later, John washes up on the shore by the cabin. June rushes to him, only to find he’s already become one of the undead. What an awful way for John to go out, and to be found by the love of his life. A tragic image to see June’s hand, with the makeshift wedding ring, on John’s head right near the stab wound she has to put in it.
A devastating episode. I loved John Dorie, so much.