Spoilers below for the latest episode of Fear the Walking Dead.
For all the Fear the Walking Dead viewers wondering when Matt Frewer's Logan would turn into a full-fledged villain, the episode "Leave What You Don't" delivered a fatal blow to that line of questioning with the arrival of Virginia and her horse-riding group that referred to themselves as settlers and pioneers. It was quite the game-changer of an installment from a season that has seen a lot of new elements coming and going.
Let's take a look at what we know about Virginia (played by The Boys' Colby Minifie) and the Settlers, as well as what we might expect from them in the final three episodes of the season.
Logan's Group Was Working For Virginia
In the time since Logan was introduced as Polar Bear's less philanthropic brother, Fear the Walking Dead never really drove home what he and his ragtag group were actually up to, nor why they were so heavily invested in finding the oil and gas outfit that Clayton talked about. "Leave What You Don't" only partially answered that question by revealing that Logan wasn't actually the person in charge at all, and that he answered to the show's newest group leader, Virginia.
Virginia's first appearance prefaced that reveal, though. She and a few from her group first popped up in the episode's cold open, which showed viewers the very moment when Logan shifted from being a supply-sharing good samaritan to a demanding jerk. Naturally, that was the day when Sarah stole Polar Bear's rig, setting Logan down a less virtuous path. But just when it looked like Logan had found some of his samaritan spirit, he and everyone else in his group got shot down.
Of course, Fear the Walking Dead still didn't really explain what any of these half-villains are really working toward. Like Logan, Virginia offered up mostly flowery claims about wanting to make the world a better place, just not with the nick-and-dime bullshit approach that Fear's protagonists have been doing. They're apparently looking at the big picture.
With Logan Dead, Luciana Is Working For Virginia Now
With all of Logan's people dead now, thanks to becoming untrustworthy, Virginia needs fresh bodies handling the production process. Naturally, none of the protagonists want to bow down to someone they've just met, even if that person is leading a ton of people. While it looked like Fear the Walking Dead's two opposing factions might make the ridiculous idea to have a large-scale standoff in the midst of the oil field – well, not really – Luciana steps up and volunteers to stick around and help so the others could leave.
That move does spice up Luciana's gone-stale narrative push, putting her directly in cahoots with the series' newest threat. Luciana has a way of winning people over with kindness and compassion, and even though Virginia seems primed to oppose those advances in every was possible, she's bound to have a weakness somewhere.
Though no one else looks ready to join Luciana with getting their hands (and hair and feet and back) dirty, Fear the Walking Dead likely won't keep her separated from the rest of the characters for too long. Especially now that almost all of the characters are being used in the same episodes again. But what will Luciana learn about Virginia and the others during her time with them?
Virginia Will Likely Stick Around Fear the Walking Dead For A While
During the Fear the Walking Dead panel at San Diego Comic-Con, showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg teased a big moment coming near the end of Season 5 that would put the show on a radically different path going into Season 6. While it's certainly possible that one of the next three episodes could kill off Virginia and all of her Settlers, only to have a new group come in to take their place, it's not the most likely.
So Virginia's group is likely going to become very important within this franchise, something that was already implied by their size and their commitment to (at least conversationally) changing the world in a positive way. One big question that likely went through a lot of viewers' heads is, "Do these Settlers have any connection with the helicopter group that got more fleshed out earlier this season?" Or the similar inquiry: "Does Virginia have any connection with The Walking Dead's Georgie?"
At this point, it's not quite clear yet what Fear the Walking Dead aims to do with Virginia. Given her willingness to allow the vacating group to take a tanker full of gas, Virginia proved that she's not a complete monster. She did have her squad kill off Logan's entire posse, true, but it wasn't exactly unprovoked. Viewers were very aware that no one in Logan's crew was a class act citizen, so by murdering them, Virginia was kind of doing everyone else a favor, right?
Was the woman that Wes saved a former member of the Settlers? Also, is Virginia the kind of leader that allows defectors to walk away with their dignity and breathing intact, or does she aim to hurt every single person who betrays?
Below, you can check out the trailer for next week's episode, titled "Today and Tomorrow."
The previous episode of Fear the Walking Dead, "Ner Tamid," drew series-low numbers for its Live + Same Day airing, so it's clear that some narrative changes would likely need to be made if there weren't already plans for them. Some of the viewership dip was in response to the previous installment's reveal that the trees Alicia was so interested in were actually painted by new character Wes, and weren't a sign that Kim Dickens' Madison Clark survived being overrun by walkers in Season 4. But perhaps Virginia and the Settlers can put the viewership numbers back on track moving forward.
With only three episodes left in Season 5, Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET. The series was already renewed for Season 6 earlier this year at AMC, so no worries about the show coming to a close before Virginia and her group are able to cause enough havoc.