Negan Casts A Heavy Shadow Over This Week’s ‘Fear The Walking Dead’

Two weeks ago, Sherry and Dwight reunited on Fear the Walking Dead for the first time since season 7 of The Walking Dead, giving us a reunion years in the making. It is maybe no surprise then that, in this week’s episode, the past would catch up with them.

The last time Sherry and Dwight saw each other, recall, is when Sherry escaped Negan, who was essentially her abusive captor. Negan tortured Sherry, and would sometimes pit Sherry and Dwight against each other. Dwight transformed into a different person when he was a henchman for Negan, someone Sherry could barely recognize. Dwight, however, has spent that last several years reforming himself so that, when he finds Sherry again, he can return to her as the man with whom she fell in love.

What no one considered — and I applaud Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss for this — is that Sherry would change while she was away. Of course, she would, and she is still scarred by her own history with Negan. So while Sherry and Dwight get to enjoy a brief honeymoon, it doesn’t take long before they’re brought back down to Earth. As it turns out, Sherry belongs to a rebel group of mask-wearing people who have escaped Virginia. One of those men is Rollie, a man that kidnapped Dwight last season, but when Dwight turned the tables on Rollie and had him dead to rights, he let him go. Rollie remembers that kindness (and it may have saved Dwight’s life).

Rollie and Sherry have been working together with the rebel faction to kill Virginia because Sherry has put all of her resentment and hatred of Negan onto Virginia, and it has warped her personality, too. She and Rollie are determined to steal back Althea’s MRAP from Ginny, and with Dwight’s help, they manage to do so. At this point, Morgan also joins the group, and he insists that Sherry not kill Ginny because an attempt to do so would endanger all the people they still have under Ginny’s control, including Grace, with whom Morgan is determined to reunite.

Sherry and Rollie not only reject Morgan’s plea, but lock Althea and Morgan away so that they can’t interfere with the plan to kill Ginny. Dwight, meanwhile, attempts to lure Ginny out so that Sherry can use the MRAP to kill her, which Dwight doesn’t particularly appreciate, either. He doesn’t like who Sherry has become. Sherry senses as much, and once Dwight makes the call to have Ginny meet him, she locks her own husband up so that he can’t stop her, either.

In the end, however, Ginny doesn’t make an appearance, and Dwight escapes in time to convince Sherry not to use the MRAP to kill a boatload of rangers. She listens, begrudgingly and tearfully, but after the rangers leave, Sherry and her faction decide to split off from Dwight and Co. again, because Sherry is determined to kill Ginny. She has become what Dwight once was: Driven by her animosities.

Negan did a number on Sherry, and the way he treated her still lingers, just as it lingered for so long within Dwight. Last time, Sherry left Dwight because he’d changed. This time, Sherry leaves Dwight because she has changed. All Dwight can do is hope that she finds herself and comes back to him again.

Meanwhile, Dwight followed through on the plan to fake his and Althea’s deaths so that Ginny doesn’t continue following them. Meanwhile, they join forces with Morgan and go back, grab the folks they met in the office building with the bubonic plague, and embark on a journey to the community behind the dam that Morgan hopes to build. Dwight, however, leaves behind an infinity symbol and a marker for Sherry so that she will know where to find him when she’s ready.


Additional Notes

— There were a few clever and very self-aware lines in the episode. Calling back to The Walking Dead, Sherry made fun of Morgan for his “every life is precious” bullsh*t. Morgan also referred to the “too-long” All-Out War on The Walking Dead, which actually only lasted a few weeks in real-time. It was “too long” because it lasted two and a half seasons on the show, which is to say: I think that was a little dig at the parent show.

— The writing on this show continues to be so much better than it has been the last couple of seasons, while a lot of the characteristics of the bad Fear writing are now showing up on The World Beyond. Scott Gimple seemed to be very focused on Fear in the fourth and fifth seasons before turning his focus over to The World Beyond. That’s all I’m saying.

— There were a couple of moments that seemed to call back to The Walking Dead. Using music to torture someone is exactly what Negan and Dwight did to Daryl on The Walking Dead. Meanwhile, Dwight’s decision to let the dog go at the end of the episode echoed Sherry’s decision to let Darryl go on The Walking Dead. Someone (specifically writer Ashley Cardiff) did their homework.