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. Following up on an epic appearance at this year's Comic-Con International: San Diego (SDCC), we learned that the series been picked up for a sixth season – and as we've already seen, the second-half brings the arrival of new survivors – and new foes. Then there are those teases about this season being a game-changer. Hmmm…
Fear the Walking Dead season 5, episode 13 "Leave What You Don't": Logan's motives are revealed; Sarah, Dwight, and Luciana negotiate for the sake of the mission; Strand and Alicia race to the aid of a new survivor in a familiar place; a dangerous threat emerges. Directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer, and written by Ashley Cardiff and Nick Bernadone.
So with this week's episode"Leave What You Don't," we are introduced to Virginia aka Ginny (Colby Minifie) and her "militia" – and the wheels of possible CRM/Rick Grimes connections begin to spin out of control.
● OPENING CREDITS: burning oil refinery tank (similar to the one in the rock quarry)
● Ginny and her "militia" are first brought into the storyline during a flashback to what caused Logan's (Matt Frewer) attitude to change. Ginny gets to Logan at his most vulverable – and we found out what one of the tragic side effects was to Sarah (Mo Collins) and Wendell (Daryl Mitchell) stealing Clayton (Stephen Henderson) aka Polar Bear's truck:
● Logan and Ginny's constant references to what they're doing as being bigger than them and will help more people for a better future strikes interestingly close to how Isabelle (Sydney Lemmon) described her group and where she was from when she revealed it to Althea (Maggie Grace) in "The End of Everything":
"It's bigger than me, it's bigger than you – it's bigger than all of us. (…) And we're the past. And right now, it's the only thing that matters."
This is particularly evident at the end of the episode, during the standoff between Ginny's group and our folks at the refinery. We hear talk of creating a new society, and doing what needs to be done for a greater good.
Are we looking at a "ground team" for CRM?
Let me put it this way: if they're not connected, then that's one helluva' coincidence in a post-apocalyptic world where people would kinda' notice helicopters – and helicopters would notice people on horseback.
When you consider the different TWD/FTWD timelines, we could also be looking at the beginnings of the Commonwealth… but again, without CRM knowing?
● Let's also not forget that maps and symbols seem to come into play a lot, and that the woman Wes rescued claimed she was running from the group she was with and that they were after her – and now, they all might be in danger (Strand's ominous look at the end of the scene doesn't help matters).
● Side Note: seeing the group at the refinery on their knees brought back some uneasy Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) memories:
● Side Note: Sarah jumping out of the refrigerator to get the better of Rollie (Cory Hart) also brought back painful Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) memories, too:
● The killing of Logan and his crew by Ginny's much-bigger-than-realized "militia" caught me off-guard – but that move combined with Ginny's use of the phrase "non-essential" really had our CRM radar buzzing.
● The way Ginny attempts to win over our heroes is a fascinating one: proving that her group really has been watching them "both on and off screen," she makes individual offers of assistance like helping Dwight (Austin Amelio) find Sherry and June (Jenna Elfman) find a new home for the caravan. How quickly those negotiations went south was no surprise, either…
● Sure sign things are going to get uglier? Episodes ending on "sly grins" usually never lead to good things…
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.
In the second half of Season 5, after successfully proving their way can work, our heroes gain momentum, rescuing survivors, and spreading the message of hope along the way — until foes both familiar and unexpected arise, forcing the group to question whether their brand of altruism can really make a difference in a world filled with death and decay.
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.
Newcomer Colby Hollman is on board as Wes, a survivor who joins the group after meeting Alicia and Strand – and has more of connection to Alicia than either of them realized. Peter Jacobson (House, The Americans) is also on board as Rabbi Jacob Kessner. Colby Minifie (Jessica Jones, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) and Holly Curran (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) are also joining the series during 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.