WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 episode "Humbug Gultch," which premiered Sunday on AMC.
Dwight (Austin Amelio) finally made his promised debut on Fear the Walking Dead tonight in "Humbug Gulch," when he crosses paths with June and John at an Old West town amusement park. After a rough start, the three come together to save themselves from a windstorm and a walker onslaught. During the course of the episode, Dwight reveals how he arrived at their corner of Texas, and who led him there.
We last saw Dwight in the eighth season of The Walking Dead, just after "All Out War." He'd spent most of the season navigating his role as Savior turncoat, and his efforts to aid the communities in their fight to end Negan's reign narrowly saved him from execution. Dwight's early behavior, specifically his disturbingly cold-blooded murder of Denise, led many community members to call for his death. It's Darryl who eventually decides whether Dwight lives or dies, and he clearly struggles with the choice. But he does allow the former Savior to go free, and Dwight heads off into the sunset, on the trail of his wife Sherry. Unfortunately, when we catch up with him on Fear the Walking Dead, we learn that search isn't going well.
In "Humbug Gulch," June (Jenna Elfman) and John (Garret Dillahunt) experience trouble while mapping out the strange border created by various walker barriers. They find themselves near Humbug Gulch, and the titular Western park is part of a chain that formerly employed John Dorie as a sharpshooter. He tells June about his history with the park, and the possibility of a large stash of bullets, when Dwight opens fire on them. The two wound Dwight, and eventually he opens up about following Sherry's agonizingly faint trail across the country. That trail goes cold in Texas, and Dwight's both panicked at the thought of never finding his wife and exhausted by his long journey.
To make matters worse, all the good he did to undermine Negan during the war doesn't hold a candle to the guilt he feels about the acts he committed as a Savior. His personal demons, combined with the idea that Sherry might be lost for good, have made him desperate and mistrustful. He shoots at June and John as soon as he sees them because he thinks they're in a van Sherry alluded to in one of her letters. Eventually they're able to convince him that they come in peace, and Dwight feels all the more guilty for shooting first and asking questions later. But June, John and the power of their love manage to perk him up and convince him there's still a great chance Sherry's still alive. The moment feels a little sentimental and optimistic compared to the tone of Dwight's first turn on The Walking Dead, but the fifth season of Fear has leaned into a tonal dissonance with its sister show that's been executed well more often than not.
Whether Dwight will eventually reunite with Sherry remains to be seen. While there's been plenty of press surrounding actor Austin Amelio joining the Fear cast, but there's been virtually no word on whether Sherry, or actress Christine Evangelista, will follow suit. And there's something to be said for keeping Dwight's journey purely existential instead of adding another OTP to a show that already sports an incredibly popular pairing in June and John.
Regardless of the outcome, we can be sure we'll be treated to at least a few solid scenes between him and Morgan, full of blended-universe goodness. It's difficult to overstate how tickled we are that Dwight appeared this early on in the season, and we didn't have to wait too many episodes before Austin Amelio returned to The Walking Dead universe.
Airing Sundays at 9 PM ET on AMC, Fear the Walking Dead stars Lennie James, Colman Domingo, Alexa Nisenson, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Garret Dillahunt, Jenna Elfman, Austin Amelio and Karen David.