'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 6 Episode 6: How Virginia convinces people they need her is Tyrant Tactics 101
Virginia's methods of bringing out loyalty in people are tactics that have been used by tyrants throughout history
Spoilers for 'Fear the Walking Dead' Season 6 Episode 6 'Bury Her Next to Jasper's Leg'
Throughout this season, we've had a chance to look at Virginia (Colby Minifie) from a number of different angles, from all the different people whose lives she's affected. We've already seen how she's convinced Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) to work for her, but Strand's brand of cold practicality was always going to have him line up with what he feels is the winning side. In this episode, we see just what convinces someone as empathetic and caring as June (Jenna Elfman) to throw their lot in with Virginia - and it's the same kind of tactics that have been used by successful tyrants time and time again.
Make no mistake, whatever her motivations, Virginia is a tyrant, running an oppressive regime and crushing all hints of dissent. Nothing has rattled her more than the organized and zealous nature of the 'The End is the Beginning' cult - they're the first true threat to her power that she's come across. She's shown how much she's willing to let people die so that she can have her answers - and she's shown, before, how willing she is to kill, torture and coerce those who dare think of anything but following her laws. She's been very open about all of these things - so why is June throwing in her lot with Virginia, even knowing how much it hurts her husband John (Garrett Dillahunt)?
June tells him that Virginia is necessary to fight the 'The End is the Beginning' cult, who appears to have been responsible for the oil drill explosion. Like every good tyrant, Virginia has taken a threat to her power and is making the community fear it. She's making people believe that she's the only person who can save them from this outside threat. On top of that, she sweetens the deal - she recognizes that June is a vital member of the community due to her medical expertise, and gives her what she wants so that June can't say no to Virginia's demands.
Virginia's fallback tactic is always to identify and give people what they want. She bolsters that by spreading fear throughout her ranks, and by cementing her position as a leader who can keep people safe. Frightened people want safety, and if it looks like Virginia is the only person who can provide that, they are okay selling their souls slowly, one piece at a time, until they're unable to turn back. John recognizes this, and knows that if he continues to work for Virginia he will lose his soul completely. June hasn't seen the things that John has, and by saving Virginia's life and agreeing to stay after being granted a hospital, June's already begun to sign away a piece of her own soul, cementing Virginia's power.
The next episode of 'Fear the Walking Dead' airs November 22 at 9 pm ET on AMC.