If you thought last week’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead was an emotional upheaval, you might want to open another box of tissues because AMC has thrown in another tear-jerker with Episode 13.
This time, though, there is no horrific twist at the end.
Instead, John Dorie’s (Garret Dillahunt) dad turns up, and not only do viewers get to rehash some of the wonderful reasons why we all loved this character but got to see his father, John Dorie Sr. (Keith Carradine), work through the mess of emotions that arises from finding out your son is dead as well as the guilt associated with leaving him in the first place.
But first, let’s take a look at how June (Jenna Elfman) wound up bumping into John Sr. and how he ended up being so important for the current storyline involving Teddy’s (John Glover) crazy group.
And, yes, that theory about John’s dad was totally true!
June is shunned by Morgan
Episode 13 of Fear the Walking Dead opens with June turning up at Morgan’s (Lennie James) new community. She’s there to check on Grace (Karen David), who lost her child in Episode 12.
Morgan won’t let June in and has some pretty nasty stuff to say about June not being there when Grace needed her. He figures that things might have been different if they hadn’t had to travel to see June rather than her already being there.
June ends up walking away because you just can’t reason with that sort of grief. And, considering she recently lost her husband, it’s probably the right call to make as well.
Looking for Teddy’s group
To keep herself busy, June goes hunting for more clues about Teddy’s group who viewers got an insight into in Episode 11 of Fear the Walking Dead. In particular, she’s looking for one of Virginia’s (Colby Minifie) Rangers, Hill (Craig Nigh).
While out searching for clues, she bumps into Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Sherry (Christine Evangelista) and the three of them head off together.
June and Dwight seem pretty intent on finding Hill, but Sherry is just in some sort of crazy hurry that she doesn’t want to talk about with Dwight because she is the literal worst when it comes to stringing the poor guy along.
While they are checking things out, they get separated by a sharpshooter that appears to have the same sort of finesse that we’ve all seen before…
John Dorie Sr. is working the scene
This is when June comes across an RV that contains a huge map of the area and a lot of information about not only the “End is the Beginning” group headed by Teddy but plenty of other details that June doesn’t link at first until she has a gun pulled on her. She then gets chatting to the gun’s owner regarding how they both appear to be hunting down the same group.
It is also here that that link between what Fear the Walking Dead’s showrunner, Andrew Chambliss, said about viewers talking a good look at what John has previously said comes into play. At the time, Chambliss told Entertainment Weekly that “people should go back and look at what John Dorie has said in the first half of the season because it will offer a clue as to one of the big threats in the back half of the season.”
Quickly, the link was made between a conversation John had with Rabbi Jacob (Peter Jacobson) about a serial killer that his father caught and Teddy. Now, all fans had to do was wait for confirmation that this was the case.
And so Episode 13 provided.
It’s not until later, though, that John Sr. reveals his identity, and it’s only because June pulls John’s gun on him, and the full connection is finally made by the characters.
This leads to most of my blubbering during this episode as John Sr. tries to be a tough cop about it all, and June keeps trying to make him work through his grief. Or, maybe she’s just working through her own grief–either way, this episode ends up being cathartic for the pair of them.
This is especially so when June works out that Hill is likely holed up in John’s cabin, and she pretty much forces John Sr. to face his demons and head there with her.
John Sr. is not okay with being bossed around by June and locks her in the back room of the convenience store near John’s cabin. Because John Sr. obviously can’t help himself when it comes to ditching people rather than talk about his feelings.
This means that he finds Hill first but not before he gets shot by him. Lucky for him, though, Dwight and Sherry have found June and turn up just in time to use those medical supplies meant for his son on himself.
So, yeah, she finally gets to save a John Dorie, just not the one she really wanted.
It’s here that an impromptu funeral is held for John and June reads out the letter that John wrote to her and had just been carrying around rather than reading, like this is not the zombie apocalypse where you could just die at any given time.
However, John manages to mention his father in the letter and how he has forgiven him and still appreciates him even after he left. It is so perfectly contrived that it could only have happened on television.
June takes John Dorie Sr. to meet Morgan
Now that June and John Sr. have worked through their grief, it’s time to head on over to see Morgan and get started on seriously bringing down Teddy’s group.
Morgan is not only excited to see John Sr. and welcome him into the fold, but he is very apologetic to June.
Which he should be because she is going through grief just as much as he and Grace are.
It also helps that John Sr. knows absolutely everything about Teddy as well. Although, the huge threat this community really does possess hasn’t been fully realized by the group yet.
But, already, there is a theory on it. This involves a submarine and possibly blowing up the world.
Sherry brings up the past — namely Negan
Along with all that is going on between June and her father-in-law, Sherry has some sh*t going down as well. Namely, she wants to head on back to Virginia and take out Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Now, since we know that The Walking Dead is now way ahead timeline-wise to Fear the Walking Dead, viewers already know that Sherry is not about to do this; otherwise, Negan would get his chance to turn around and become besties with the fanbase.
Instead, she ends up changing her mind after John’s mini-funeral because she doesn’t want to end up like John Sr. However, as far as I am concerned, she should be so lucky as to wind up like him because, at the moment, she’s just annoying. (Can I call her New Lori yet?)
Dwight is still fangirling over her pretty hard, though, and she manages to string him along even further after he suggests that they simply start afresh. Honestly, Dwight, find someone who looks at you like John Dorie looked at June.
As for what will happen now that they are *sort of* back together remains to be seen, and viewers will have to tune into further episodes of Fear the Walking Dead in order to find out more.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.