When Fear the Walking Dead came back from its Season 6 hiatus, the unthinkable happened. One of the most genuine and good-hearted post-apocalyptic survivors, John Dorie, died. And it wasn't a death that made it seem like he could return at some point, healed and ready to re-enter the fold. It was the kind of death that made viewers know for sure that he would never be back.
What many fans are wondering, though, is why John Dorie had to be killed off at all. He had proven he could survive with and without people by his side, and many fans had hope that he and his wife June would reunite at some point. Apparently, it was just his time, and it might have been a death to spark an upcoming war.
Why did 'Fear the Walking Dead' kill off John Dorie?
At the start of the episode, John seemed like he had one foot into the grave. Some viewers may have theorized before the episode that John would kill himself. He didn't want to join Morgan and the others under Virginia's control, and he had no plans to be part of any communities after feeling disillusioned with the way things were.
Instead of John killing himself, though, Virginia's younger sister, Dakota, killed him to protect her secret. John found out that she had murdered Cameron earlier in the series. It rocked John's world and, to stop him from doing anything to change Dakota's plans, she shot him.
Fear the Walking Dead showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg told Entertainment Tonight that his death is integral to the story moving forward.
"They're still fighting Virginia, but now they've got this giant hole of missing John Dorie, and it's going to have huge ripple effects on everyone going forward," Ian said. "So it's a long way of saying we love him, and the characters love him, and people had to feel it."
Andrew added, "It is looking at all the characters in John Dorie's orbit, and thinking about how they'll move forward, and what it will do to them."
Does Dakota die in 'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 6?
The logical next step in the series might be for the writers to kill off Dakota to punish the character for taking away such a beloved guy. But, if she does die in the series, it might not be for a while.
Ian and Andrew also spoke to TV Insider about what's next for Dakota, Virginia, and the rest of the people whose lives have intersected on the show.
"She is a child of the apocalypse, and of Virginia's communities," Ian said of Dakota. "When you grow up with Virginia as a role model, it skews your morality. So while we definitely don't agree with her actions, she's not a monster. She has a lot of tragic qualities that we'll continue to see more of as the season goes on."
Dakota also expected Morgan to kill her sister so she can be free and leave Virginia's many communities behind. In the inevitable upcoming war between Morgan's people and Virginia's, it wouldn't be surprising if Dakota is killed. And, if we're being honest here, June is probably the best person to do it.
Watch Fear the Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.