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Spoilers below for those who haven't yet watched the second episode of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6.
After setting Virginia up with the disappointing news that Morgan survived her multiple attempts to take him out, Fear the Walking Dead gave viewers a better look into the female villain's mindset with Episode 2, "Welcome to the Club." Rather surprisingly, her plan has seemingly become to turn Strand into the leader of a Morgan-hunting army after she witnessed the way he handled that sticky batch of molasses walkers. Virginia even gave Strand one of those keys that first came up in the Season 6 premiere.
During a recent Fear the Walking Dead press event, stars Colby Minifie, Maggie Grace, Colman Domingo and Alycia Debnam-Carey spoke with CinemaBlend and other outlets about the early days of Season 6 and what fans can expect from the future. When I asked about Virginia's somewhat strange usage of physical keys while acting out plans to find the metaphorical keys to her group's survival, here's what Minifie had to say:
The keys are Virginia's way of putting a gold star on her favorite people. I think it's a form of how she keeps the power structure in her communities. She plays favorites, and she issues her favorites keys.
Now, fans probably could have surmised that detail just from watching Episode 2 and picking up on the context clues, such as Virginia and all of her Pioneer pals proudly boasting their special keys on their shirts. Not to mention Strand earning one for his work in taking out the ooey-gooeyest zombie herd of the post-apocalypse. But to have it confirmed that the keys are specifically Virginia's gold-star reward system offers up additional insights beyond what was shown in the episode.
For one, the keys represent Virginia's lingering sense of humanity and her particular brand of hierarchical living, which is definitely unlike most of the villains viewers have seen before in the Dead-verse series. As well, she is obviously protective and impulsive when it comes to her sister Dakota, who serves as another source of vulnerability. Thus, Virginia's not a complete anarchist, she's not a full-on tyrant, and she clearly views people as more than just sheep and/or machines.
That said, she doesn't view them as "free" in most cases, and takes pleasure in ruling over her worker communities, which is where she certainly falls short of becoming a traditional protagonist. Nobody is out of the woods yet, of course, but combined with the keys serving as a measured look into how Virginia's thinks, her single-minded plan to target Morgan will likely allow for Strand, Daniel and others to figure out a way to take her down from within.
Not that Colby Minifie's Virginia is the only threat that Morgan and others have to worry about in Season 6. The premiere episode also introduced a particular duo whose spray-painted message – "The End Is the Beginning" – served as the installment's title. While it wasn't necessarily clear if those characters were meant to be "good" or "bad," so to speak, Colby Minifie's limited insight makes them sound quite menacing indeed. Here's how she put it:
In terms of 'The End Is the Beginning,' I can't say much, but I can say they scare the shit out of Virginia. [Laughs.]
Of course, it's entirely possible that Virginia would be just as scared of a group of so-called heroes as she would a group of foes even more depraved than she is. For all we know at the moment, those "End Is the Beginning" dudes might very well be Morgan's saving grace by the time the first half of Season 6 comes to a close. I mean, it probably won't happen that way, but it could. However it goes, I do hope that fans get to see Virginia getting the shit scared out of her, since that would be an intriguing visual. Dear readers, what say you all about these mysterious characters? Let us know in the comments.