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Fear the Walking Dead: Why Dwight Is a Perfect Addition

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 episode "Humbug Gulch," which premiered June 16 on AMC.

Austin Amelio returned to The Walking Dead universe in the June 16 episode of Fear the Walking Dead, "Humbug Gulch," and Dwight already feels like a full-fledged member of the family. The timing of his appearance, and what he brings to the table in terms of story, made the character uniquely well-suited for the survival drama.

We don't know much about Dwight's time between his departure from The Walking Dead and his arrival on Fear, but according to the conversations he had with June and John this week, he's been following a trail set by Sherry since leaving Virginia. His search hasn't yielded positive results, though, and Dwight's showing clear signs of losing hope.

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He's desperate when he meets up with the Fear crew, and that's because Sherry's more to him than the wife and lover he wants back. Finding Sherry alive and well is also a huge part of Dwight's redemption arc, and it's that redemption arc that makes his arrival on Fear the Walking Dead so timely.

After showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg took the reins in Season 4, Fear the Walking Dead has undergone a dramatic makeover. Both Kim Dickens and Frank Dillane exited the series in the first half of the season, and the second half reset the show's trajectory, focusing on Morgan's humanitarian mission alongside the band of misfits he's pulled together.

Their decision to create a lifestyle around helping those in need now governs the narrative as the survivors attempt to do some good in an environment that isn't always receptive. Every character embarks upon the journey in an attempt to atone for the various sins the apocalypse forced them to commit, and Dwight has no shortage of misdeeds to make up for.

 

Outside of the murders we know he committed as a high-ranking Savior, the sin that probably weighs heaviest on Dwight's soul is his inability to stop Negan from victimizing Sherry, even if it helped them to survive. The compromises in his own integrity Dwight made to keep both he and Sherry alive ultimately proved too great for him to live with, and he betrayed the Saviors and left after the war.

But guilt still dogs Dwight, that much we saw in "Humbug Gulch." We can conclude that at least part of his mission to find Sherry is based on the idea that if she's alive and still willing to be with him, some of what he did as a Savior will have been worth it somehow.

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Adding another star-crossed lover storyline into the mix after June and John found their happily ever last season was also a stroke of genius. June and John and their sweet love story turned out to be a huge hit with Fear fans, and the couple has their own gaggle of intense shippers. Creating that same kind of magic with Dwight and Sherry (should she wind up ever making an appearance) could potentially attract the same kind of energy.

Or, conversely, Dwight's relationship with Sherry could end badly and serve as a sprinkle of cynicism on what's become a really, really optimistic post-apocalyptic story. Not that we're complaining.

Airing Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT 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.

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