Well that’s a bummer.
John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) was one of the few remaining characters in Fear The Walking Dead that we actually cared about. One of the few characters that’s actually, genuinely likable. Someone we could root for. Now he’s dead.
And that little brat, Dakota (Zoe Colletti) killed him. It’s not really fair. It’s not really how I think the show’s best gunfighter should go down. In some ways, actually, it’s a repeat of Nick’s death—killed out of the blue by a girl with a gun.
What I disliked about the episode was the false hope. It’s just a dirty trick to have him sink to the bottom of the river and then swim back to the top and float away. Dakota chooses not to shoot him again, to let him live. He seems determined to survive.
But when June (Jenna Elfman) finds him washed up on the riverbank he’s already zombified. We’re reminded of another fake-out death: Glenn’s dumpster fake-out followed by Negan killing Abraham first, making us all think Glenn was dead—then spared—then dead again.
The death of John Dorie was a long time coming. I get the feeling that Dillahunt was not entirely happy with Fear and might have wanted to take his talents elsewhere. It’s a shame nonetheless. Dorie and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and Daniel (Ruben Blades) are my favorite characters and we’re getting awfully slim when it comes to enjoyable survivors. Along with Alicia and Daniel, only Strand (Colman Domingo) remains as a Season 1 alumni.
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Other than the big death, the episode was okay. I don’t buy Dorie as a suicide. Doesn’t really fit with everything we’ve seen about him. I guess that’s why he never pulled the trigger. The whole excuse to go find a door so that he could kill himself in peace was just that: an excuse. He could just as easily have faced the other way or gone into a different room. Blowing his brains out would ensure he didn’t come back as a zombie.
I was irritated by the bridge scene. First off, surely they could have found a different ride rather than fixing up an ancient Chevy pickup truck. They could have forded the river and bypassed the bridge entirely, or killed the zombies one by one instead of trying to push through. Why are these apocalypse survivors so stupid when it comes to killing zombies? Oh I remember. Bad writing.
Bad writing keeps putting our heroes into stupid situations. We saw this in the first half of the season when Strand and Alicia had to clear out that one warehouse. They fashioned a ramp/tunnel to funnel the zombies through but instead of killing them as they shambled down the ramp they let them out the other end. Somehow the writers made a clever plan stupid. They do this again with the bridge scene. Surely they could have picked off the zombies before driving through, or at least some of them.
In the end, the Dakota twist was actually pretty shocking and I liked that. We’ve been sympathetic to this young woman and her attempt to get away from her controlling big sister. But now we’ve learned that she’s a killer and a liar whose real goal is to get her sister killed. This seems extreme—we still don’t really know why she would want this. Virginia (Colby Minifie) is bad news but from what we’ve seen she genuinely wants to protect her (psycho) little sister.
I can think of a lot of characters I’d rather see dead on this show than John Dorie. Oh well. Them’s the breaks.
What did you think of the episode?
P.S. My headline is obviously a reference to the Pixar fish, Dory. It’s weird how well the line also applies to John Dorie’s final moments. I had to use it. I could not resist.