Major spoilers below for Fear the Walking Dead's latest episode, "J.D.," so be warned if you haven't yet watched!
After delivering one of the biggest and most depressing shocks of its run in the form of John Dorie's death - to say nothing of everything involving Karen David's Grace - Fear the Walking Dead thankfully isn't done with Garret Dillahunt's character, or at least his family history. Deadwood and Madam Secretary vet Keith Carradine joined the post-apocalyptic drama in Episode 613 as John Dorie Sr., the former lawman who totally left his family behind due to a rampant obsession with catching John Glover's cult leader Teddy that started four decades prior to the show's current events.
Keith Carradine spoke with CinemaBlend ahead of "J.D." debuting on AMC, sharing how much he appreciates his new role, even if it wasn't exactly easy to take on a role that tied so deeply into Garret Dillahunt's John Jr. The actor also talked a bit about his character's decades-long history with Fear the Walking Dead's mysterious cult leader. So let's dive in without further ado.
On Playing The Father Of Garret Dillahunt's John Dorie Jr.
If you're going to bring someone with the acting pedigree that Keith Carradine has, the role needs to match up accordingly, and I think it was a perfect alignment of the stars for him to land on Fear the Walking Dead as John Dorie's absentee father. The actor is capable of being rude and dismissive while still maintaining a warmth and relatability that makes it easy to side with him even in situations where he's at odds with Jenna Elfman's June. (After all, she DID break into his RV and went through his shit.) So it was a pleasure to hear that Carradine was so pumped, though apprehensive, over landing the role and bringing John Dorie Sr.'s complicated story to life. In his words:
It's obviously a damned shame that viewers didn't get to watch Keith Carradine actually sharing the screen with Garret Dillahunt, which would have been narratively impossible, considering John Jr. was so young when his father bailed on the family. But in a way, that just makes his storyline all the more impactful, knowing that John Sr.'s obsessions (and Dakota's shitty impulses) destroyed our chances of seeing the two characters together as adults. Speaking of obsessions...
Oh John Dorie Sr.'s Connections With Cult Leader Teddy
Truth be told, had Keith Carradine's character only entered the story as a catalyst for June to reach some sort of closure over John Jr.'s death, I would have been completely good with it. So it was a huge bonus for Fear the Walking Dead's showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss to take the additional step of connecting John Sr. to Teddy and his "End is the Beginning" doomsday cult. It obviously sucks that Teddy played a part in splintering the Dorie family, but it makes Carradine's franchise future all the more appealing. According to the actor, fans should be excited to learn exactly why his character was so transfixed by Teddy.
While I have no idea where things are going, it sounds to me like Teddy was viewed as being extremely dangerous, and that he probably made some direct threats against John Sr.'s wife and son, causing him to sever all ties with them. (Although that theory might not hold water, since Teddy could have still harmed the others without John Sr. being around.) In any case, Keith Carradine talked about how interesting it is to him that while Teddy was the initial cause for John Sr. to become a loner, it's also Teddy that leads to John Jr. reconnecting with others to potentially take the killer down once and for all. In the actor's words:
With John Dorie Sr. now serving as more connective tissue between the protagonists and Teddy's cult, as well as the impetus for June being welcomed back into Morgan's camp, I can't wait to see where things go in the final three episodes of Season 6. Hopefully Alycia Debnam-Carey's Alicia hasn't been fully swayed by Teddy's teachings, and doesn't end up being responsible for John Sr.'s death in any way. (This show does have a way of asking viewers not to hate certain characters after they murder other well-liked characters.)
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC at 9:00 p.m. ET, so be sure to keep watching to see what happens next with John Sr. and Teddy. In the meantime, stay tuned for more exclusive Fear coverage ahead of the 2021 Summer TV season.
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Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.