Let's Agree Fear The Walking Dead's Garret Dillahunt Deserves A John Dorie Murder-Mystery Spinoff

fear the walking dead john dorie garret dillahunt

Spoilers below for Episode 4 of Fear the Walking Dead Season 6.

With Fear the Walking Dead's creative team having taken on a more anthologized avenue to the storytelling for Season 6, it obviously means some characters are getting left by the wayside from week to week. The latest installment, "The Key," finally brought Garret Dillahunt's John Dorie back into the narrative to make sense of a mysterious death for Colby Minifie's Virginia and earning one of her keys in the process. It was easily one of the series' best episodes from start to finish, so can we agree that, if AMC is happy to keep the Walking Dead universe alive through spinoffs, Garret Dillahunt definitely deserves at least one of them?

Specifically, though, the episode makes it quite clear that Garret Dillahunt's John Dorie should absolutely be at the center of a "private investigator solving an important murder" spinoff. Even if it's just one season, even if that one season is only like six or eight episodes, even if those episodes are only 22 minutes long. So let's go over a few reasons why it should happen, shall we?

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(Image credit: amc press)

Garret Dillahunt Is A+ Talent In The Walking Dead Franchise

Even if John Dorie was an absolute garbage character, which is definitely not the case, Garret Dillahunt has the chops to make any character worthy of viewers' attention. He quickly became one of Fear the Walking Dead's more sympathetic and engaging survivors upon entering the show in Season 4, and while I understand that this series is perfectly comfortable with bouncing between its plots and characters, any episode that lacks John Dorie is one that very likely isn't hitting its full dramatic potential. So to have a season full of episodes that focus mainly on John would be the chef's kiss of Dead-based offshoots.

garret dillahunt the mindy project

Garret Dillahunt Excels In Any TV Genre

There's no denying that some of the inherent enjoyment in John Dorie comes from Garret Dillahunt's TV legacy, particularly his dual roles on Deadwood. (It's the same feeling that came with fellow Deadwood alum Timothy Olyphant's arrival in the Star Wars universe via The Mandalorian.) But Dillahunt doesn't just shine in modern westerns, though he also rocked in Justified. He's been aces in everything from comedies like Raising Hope, The Mindy Project and The Guest Book to dramas such as The 4400, Hand of God and The Gifted. He hasn't yet been the lead in a post-apocalyptic murder-mystery – so few actors have – but "The Key" was basically a prototype for that concept, and he nailed every second. He's good for fight scenes, for "pulling his teeth out of his head with pliers" scenes, and everything in between.

John Dorie Remains Dedicated To Justice

Even though he may not have been around as long as Norman Reedus' Daryl and Melissa McBride's Carol, who are getting their own spinoff in the future, John is reminiscent of Rick Grimes in that he never lost the instincts he picked up as a cop, and has almost never lost sight of the importance of truth and justice, even in a setting without any official law and order. Considering how many characters in The Walking Dead's universe have proven themselves to be selfish assholes without true loyalty, John remains a pillar reminding everyone what the world used to be like. Even though he was inevitably revealed to be a pawn in Virginia's plot against Janis, John tried his damnedest to actually solve the case, and that's what counts here.

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But It's More Interesting When John's Morals Are Tested

Detective TV shows and murder-mysteries aren't very fun whenever the investigator is a complete goody two shoes always going by the book, but it's also not fun to watch someone who breaks the rules 100% of the time. Rather, it's more enjoyable and more important when those characters are put into predicaments where their values and mettle are stretched to the point of breaking, which is exactly what "The Key" did by giving John the ultimate reward for his role in Virginia's scheme. Though he reached the frustration point where he was ready to take Janis and leave, completely threatening his future well-being, he was brow-beaten into place. And then, in an orchestrated twist of fate, Jenna Elfman's June arrived at John's doorstep, having been transferred as John's discrete prize. I can't imagine he'll give up their relationship for the sake of Janis and Cameron's wrongful deaths, which makes John that much more interesting as a character.

Does everyone agree with me, or am I just a superfan alone on an island shaped like John Dorie's hat? Let us know in the comments below.

Fear the Walking Dead airs every Sunday night on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, followed by new episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. While waiting to see what happens next, stay current with everything hitting primetime soon with our Fall 2020 TV premiere schedule.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.