'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 6 Episode 6 Review: Ginny forces June to pick a side as Virginia prepares for war

Countdown to the war has already begun and as June works to save lives after an accident at an oil spill, June chooses her side


                            'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 6 Episode 6 Review: Ginny forces June to pick a side as Virginia prepares for war
'Fear the Walking Dead' (AMC)

Spoilers for 'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 6 Episode 6 'Bury Her Next to Jasper's Leg'

As big-budget sets and fiery explosions are usually the antitheses of focused, grounded storytelling, 'Fear the Walking Dead' continues one of its strongest seasons ever. The AMC show manages to have its cake and eat it too. Focusing on June (Jenna Elfman), the episode shows that while she's been run ragged under Virginia's (Colby Minifie) rule, her priorities are still deeply tied into the community she's now a part of. Virginia manages to convince one more person that life with her is better than life without, and though June and John (Garrett Dillahunt) are finally reunited, that's a far cry from them being in the same place.

After interrogation with a member of the elusive 'The End is the Beginning' cult goes sour, Virginia is shaken, and more determined than ever to find out exactly what kind of threat they pose to her and her community. It might be the first time we've seen Virginia really rattled – though it won't be the last. In the meantime, June is doing her best to use her medical expertise to save lives, but working out of a ramshackle truck has spread her thin. Things come to a head when the people behind 'The End is the Beginning' cult blow up one of Virginia's oil drills, as motivations collide. Virginia doesn't care who she hurts to get the answers she needs, while June is out to save as many lives as she can.

It's a story that's well told. After Ginny's botched interrogation scene, we're treated to a tense surgery scene with June that neatly serves several purposes. It shows just how in over her head June is, how hard she fights to save every life, and how much it hurts her when she can't. It's also a sharp reminder that receiving a bite isn't necessary for a person to turn when all they have to die, meaning that every injured person has that much more risk associated with them, something that becomes a major problem later in the episode when someone on the verge of death passes, turns, and tragically turns an entire truckful of injured people into walkers.

The fiery remains of the explosion of the oil drill is a gorgeous scene, making great use of the show's budget. The constant threat of the flames as they rage towards more barrels of oil, as even more oil rains down everywhere - the danger is everywhere even without the threat of walkers with razor-tipped fingers, hungry for a meal. When the explosions do happen, it's the very best of beautiful devastation.

The episode also features one of the best performances we've seen from Colby Minifie as Virginia. While we've talked about how she's the show's weakest link in terms of being a worthy villain, a bite from a walker leaves her vulnerable and trapped with June. That vulnerability is where Minifie's performance really gets to shine, allowing the hard-edged leader a moment of softness that rings more true than anything else she's done on screen. It's humanizing in a way that Virginia's character has needed for a while.

Between June and John, we've seen two very different sides of Virginia. The hope that she represents, and the rot that lies underneath it all. John makes no bones about being unable to live with it anymore, but June is not about to leave the community behind - especially not after Virginia has authorized the building of a hospital for the community that June would oversee. After all, it took for John and June to be together, it's heartbreaking to see Virginia breaking them apart without even trying. It's starting to look like Morgan's (Leslie Jones) group of survivors are all falling on different sides of the upcoming war against Virginia, and though the conflict is shaping up slowly, the stakes are all the more effective for how well they're being set up.

The next episode of 'Fear the Walking Dead' airs November 22 at 9 PM ET, on AMC.

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