Fear the Walking Dead: June’s past helps Dwight with his guilt

Jenna Elfman as June, Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC
Jenna Elfman as June, Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie - Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 3 - Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

June, Dwight, and many other characters have distanced themselves from other people to cope with their past. Season 5 is showing us just how much of a commonality this is among our survivors.

Surviving the walker apocalypse is not an easy thing. It never has been and it never will be. It requires giving part of oneself up in the name of staying alive. This has been a major theme of seasons 4 and 5 of Fear the Walking Dead as certain characters struggle to live with who they have become as the result of their difficult actions.

Episode 503 draws parallels between the character of June and newly arrived Dwight. Since her introduction at the beginning of season 4, June’s arc has been one of loss and slow recovery. Many of her first episodes featured her running away from other people, especially John, whom she clearly had feelings for, but couldn’t let herself become too attached. Through backstory in the episodes “Laura” and “Just in Case”, it was explained that June’s past was the reason for her constant need to run.

June was hit with a ton of tragedy all at once. Her daughter died from pneumonia and turned, attacking an entire FEMA shelter and bringing forth its downfall all while June was out on a supply run. This created immense guilt for the character and she felt as though she didn’t deserve to be around other people or even be alive. Much of season 4A featured her character slowly seeing that she did in fact deserve a second chance and could be connected with other people. Moving on from something like this is obviously not easy at all, but June was able to persevere, because of her internal strength, but also because she was surrounded by good people who cared for her and relied on her, specifically John and Morgan.

Austin Amelio as Dwight, Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC
Austin Amelio as Dwight, Garret Dillahunt as John Dorie – Fear the Walking Dead _ Season 5, Episode 3 – Photo Credit: Ryan Green/AMC /

When Dwight makes his crossover from The Walking Dead in “Humbug’s Gulch”, he is carrying the heavy burden of his past. Since his introduction in season 6 of the main series, he has done a ton of terrible things, particularly the killing of Denise and the abuse of Daryl. In hindsight, he was doing all of this as a way to keep Sherry safe, but that doesn’t excuse his actions. Slowly, he did work to make up for what he did by aligning with the united communities and sabotaging the Saviors from within. By the time All Out War was over, Dwight knelt before Daryl, fully apologetic and ready to pay for his sins with death…but he was given a second chance.

It is incredibly fitting that the first characters that Dwight meets upon crossing over are June and John. Even after all he has been through, Dwight is still doing everything in the name of Sherry. Even he admits that he would have killed these two strangers if he though they had something to do with his missing wife. After he gets to know June and John a bit, he realizes that he’s still doing the same old thing he used to do…and that’s a problem. Feeling hopeless about Sherry and guilty for what he’s done, Dwight considers suicide. Thankfully, June is able to use her own past to talk him down and prove that there is a way forward. She is living proof to Dwight that he can come back from the things he has done, find the love of his life, and live among other people.

The reason this connection between Dwight and June is so fitting is because we have followed Dwight’s journey over the years and seen him on a redemption arc that has had several bumps in the road. Additionally, we have been on June’s path from being on the run and ridden with guilt to opening up to people and accepting the fact that she not only belongs with John, but that she deserves to be happy with him. Love is the single greatest driving force of characters in The Walking Dead universe, and as seen several times, it heals the most hopeless of characters. Evidence points to Sherry still being alive and Dwight meeting the Fear crew just makes it all the more likely that he will find her one day.

It is important to point out that the guilt that June and Dwight feel is going to stick with them forever. Their actions and losses don’t just go away even though they may have a new lease on life. What this franchise teaches us is that your past doesn’t have to define your present or future. Still, your past is part of who you are and that is important, because it helps you learn and navigate for the future. Hopefully season 5 will further a bond between June and Dwight, because their similar feelings of guilt give them an understanding of one another. It says a lot about June and her character that she would open up to a complete stranger like she did. That shows immense growth. Maybe Dwight will be able to do the same for someone else down the line.

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What do you think about June and Dwight’s similar struggles with guilt? Share your thoughts in the comments!