To appreciate art, sometimes you need to watch it multiple times.

Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 12 was a poignant hour that didn't flow as well as it should have due to it coming immediately after the events of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 Episode 11.

A Grace-centric hour was inevitable, and with the powerhouse that is Karen David at the wheel, it was always going to be worth watching. Unfortunately, I wasn't a fan of the dream-like scenario.

Yes, it was cool to see how characters like Dwight, Morgan, Daniel, and Strand could end up in 16 years, but watching Grace meeting her daughter, only for her to be taken away in the end, was downright cruel.

Grace arrived on Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 and has quickly emerged as a fan favorite. Honestly, I've always had this feeling the rug was going to be pulled out from under us to reveal that she's been working with this new group all along.

Could you imagine the sheer shock on Morgan's face if he realized the woman he was supposed to have a child with was this evil villain determined to change the world?

The good news for fans is that Riley's pursuit of the key confirmed Grace was one of the good guys. This would have been the perfect opportunity for a throwaway comment to make Morgan realize there was something more going on here.

But this episode wasn't totally about advancing the End is the Beginning arc. It was about the desperate battle to save not only Grace's life but the life of her child. 

Morgan's struggle to save Grace felt natural because he'd already lost a wife and child, so he knew the pain of losing the people he loved and wasn't willing to take any chances.

The tragedy in all of this is that Grace witnessed a future in which Morgan's compound flourished, and in turn, their daughter, Athena, grew up knowing she had a safe place to call home.

In those post-apocalyptic times, that's a nice sentiment, so it was difficult to watch it all come crashing down when Grace realized this reality was not legitimate.

Admittedly, Athena picking up the traits from her parents was something else, and it was hard not to chuckle at the fact Morgan trained her how to kill walkers with a stick.

That pesky stick, you guys!

The battle between Riley and Morgan in the real world and Athena and Grace against the zombified version of Teddy's goon in the dream world was a cleverly directed scene, but it didn't feel like some of these developments were consistent with the series that came before.

I'm all for adapting and giving viewers something different, but it felt more like The Walking Dead: World Beyond than Fear the Walking Dead. Yes, I can understand why the writers made these decisions, but the episode should have been placed earlier in the season.

There will be a huge shift in Grace after losing Athena at birth, perhaps putting her on a much different path than what we've come to expect. If this risky storytelling has a huge payoff, it will be more worthwhile.

Had June been there and Grace not been under duress, we may have had a different outcome, so Riley pursuing her and Morgan is probably going to weigh heavily on her mind.

Morgan's pain as he delivered the child, only to realize it was a stillbirth, was another tough moment, and I can't be the only one that thought Grace would die and the baby would live, but that would be way too similar to the death of Lori on The Walking Dead Season 3.

Morgan and Grace will both be on a path of vengeance going forward, and it may well aid them in this looming battle.

Teddy getting his hands on the key when he already has one is somewhat concerning because it means we're in for the next stage of his hazardous plan.

There has to be a moment in which they try to end the world because that's what we've been building towards all season long, but it's mildly concerning that we're headed into the final episodes of the season with these doomsayers still very much at large.

It would have been nice to check in with Alicia, even just a throwaway scene, to show that she was still being put through the wringer at the Holding.

That's one of the other reasons the placement of this episode hindered it. There's been so much going on, and with us in the final episodes of the season, big things are happening.

Grace's dreamland, coupled with the battle to save her, would have had a much bigger impact had it aired at the beginning of a season, but I know COVID-19 has changed the way TV is produced, so there might be a more logical explanation for the placement of the episode.

In its final form, the storyline was great in that it successfully set the stage for big changes, but I wish the dreamland had been more realistic, if only to up the ante and make me question whether this could be a true vision of the future.

What did you think of Athena not surviving?

Did you like the style of the episode, or would you have preferred an approach more consistent with the rest of the series?

What do you think Morgan and Grace will do now?

Hit the comments below.

Remember, you can watch Fear the Walking Dead online right here via TV Fanatic.

Catch new episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.



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