Spoiler warning for those who haven't yet watched Fear the Walking Dead's latest Season 6 installment.
With Season 6's "The Key," Fear the Walking Dead delivered one of its most gripping and well-produced episodes to date, setting up Garret Dillahunt's John Dorie with a murder case he wasn't ever meant to actually solve. Rather, John was caught up in a larger scheme crafted by Colby Minifie's Virginia, who then rewarded him with June's return, all for going with the immoral flow without any major backlash. In praising him before the rest of the community, Virginia again hinted at another huge connection between Fear and the flagship Walking Dead series, by way of Lauren Cohan's Maggie and Jayne Atkinson's Georgie.
As this season has proven quite well, Virginia runs a tight (and often vindictive) ship in which she promotes and ranks her underlings by giving them keys meant to be adorned as proof of one's loyalty and skillset. While viewers no doubt picked up on John's discomfort with accepting Virginia's key knowing that she was responsible for both Cameron and Janis' deaths, what may not have been as obvious was Virginia's specific phrasing during the public event. Check it out below...
Goodness has prevailed all because of one man's dogged pursuit of the truth. With good, decent men like him on watch, the future of our little enterprise is bright with promise. You were a hero in our hour of need. Please accept this small token of our gratitude. A key to the future – our future!
For anyone listening closely enough during those moments, Virginia's speech directly recalled the world-rebuilding manifesto that Jayne Atkinson's mysteriously clean-cut Georgie gave to Maggie back in The Walking Dead Season 8 for Episode 12, which was not-so-coincidentally ALSO called "The Key." With references that direct, it would be criminal for Virginia NOT to be connected to Maggie and Georgie somehow.
For those in need of a brief refresher, Georgie first appeared to Maggie, Michonne and Tara asking for crates of vinyl albums and whatever other music was up for grabs, with the promise of sharing her own goods with Hilltop and others. (Also worth noting is that she had a pair of enforcers with her named Midge and Hilda.) By the end of the episode, Georgie revealed that she only wanted a single crate from Maggie, and that she intended to continue her bartering and trading with the Team Family communities in the future. At that point, she gifted Maggie a big instruction-filled book of guidelines, how-tos and more meant to help rebuild civilization. The book's oh-so-relevant title? A Key to a Future, which is almost word for word what Virginia said above, save for some article change-ups.
Granted, Georgie never actually returned to The Walking Dead in the two seasons that came later, though the show did take a few leaps forward in time beyond that point. Maggie (and Lauren Cohan) vacated The Walking Dead in the midst of those time jumps, but the actress and character did indeed return for the most recent episode, "A Certain Doom," which was originally intended to be the Season 10 finale. While viewers still don't have any big inklings on what Maggie was up to during her years away from the core protagonists, she was indeed rocking some western-esque clothing and a cowboy hat when she arrived just in time to save Father Gabriel's life. Though a distinct look for Maggie, it's one that called to mind the aesthetic that Virginia and her group have become known for on Fear the Walking Dead.
To this point, I can't recall any moments when Virginia or her sister Dakota made references that could be directly tied back to Georgie herself, in the sense of them talking about a bespectacled blonde woman with a van full of weird shit. But the fact that Virginia is espousing a warped version of Georgie's societal mission still makes me quite suspicious that those two plot lines will end up being connected at some point down the road, presumably in a non-optimistic way.
Considering a recent episode reunited Austin Amelio's Dwight and Christina Evangelista's Sherry for the first time since The Walking Dead Season 7, and also considering how Fear introduced Beta's musical backstory long before TWD brought its explanation, it doesn't seem like a very big stretch of the imagination to imagine that Virginia and Maggie crossed paths at some point over the years. (Not to mention World Beyond's big reveal regarding the group that took Rick Grimes.) With the flagship series' distant endgame now in place, and plans for spinoffs in development, Scott Gimple & Co. might indeed be looking for more ways to connect the respective shows' dots.
What do you think about these key-centric connections, dear readers? Do you think Georgie was a mentor to Virginia in the past, or is possibly even related to her and Dakota? Or is the "key to the future" idea just a universal concept for post-apocalyptic survivors to hang onto while trying to bring civilization back in the midst of the post-apocalypse?
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, followed by new episodes of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. While waiting for new episodes, be sure and head to our Fall TV 2020 premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows on the way soon.