One cunningly-placed Fear The Walking Dead Easter egg turns up the tragedy on two major deaths. Garret Dillahunt’s John Dorie wasn’t in Fear The Walking Dead for a long time, nor was he in Fear The Walking Dead for a good time, dying painfully in season 6 after debuting three years prior. Like most who fall victim to the zombie apocalypse, John Dorie’s death was steeped in tragedy. Shot and shoved into a river by evil brat Dakota, John picked a treasured photo of his father off the riverbed, then boldly hauled himself onto a floating door. Driven by both his wife and a longing to one day make peace with his estranged father, John swore, “Not today…” He died several minutes later.
Fast forward to Fear The Walking Dead season 7, and John Dorie Sr. has joined his son’s old apocalypse friends, forging a partnership with daughter-in-law June. “Sonny Boy” sees Mr. Dorie charged with helping Victor Strand find his missing baby, and that investigation leads to the office of Strand’s right-hand man, Howard. A historian pre-outbreak, Howard’s room is filled with curios, trinkets and relics, but Fear The Walking Dead lingers on one in particular – a pair of boots worn by “Deadeye Driscoll” when he died at Blackwater.
Aside from riffing on Red Dead Redemption, Fear The Walking Dead‘s Deadeye Driscoll Easter egg is a neat callback to season 6. Keith Carradine had recently debuted as Mr. Dorie, and was telling June the history of their family’s pistols, mentioning how John Dorie II used them to gun down Deadeye Driscoll at Blackwater, earning a picture in the local newspaper. The boots in Howard’s office, therefore, are a piece of history Mr. Dorie’s ancestor was directly involved in – an accomplishment the family name was founded upon.
Raising the specter of Deadeye Driscoll makes for a great Fear The Walking Dead Easter egg… but it’s much more than just a knowing nod to season 6. When Strand later realizes Mr. Dorie is taking Baby Mo back to Morgan, Deadeye Driscoll’s boots are gone. Dorie commandeered them (along with other wearable relics from Howard’s office) to create a makeshift suit of armor. The gear allows Dorie to get Mo safely into Morgan’s arms, but not without getting nibbled by undead along the way. By making his last stand in the boots of Deadeye Driscoll – the man his great-grandfather killed to put the Dorie name into gun-slinging history books – John Sr. is carrying his ancestors across that zombie moat alongside him. The line of Dorie men has stood firm for generations, but that legacy dies in Fear The Walking Dead‘s “Sonny Boy.” It’s a fitting, tragic touch that the “Last of the Dories” bows out wearing a piece of his family’s history.
Deadeye Driscoll’s boots also add poignancy to the original John Dorie’s death. The story of Deadeye Driscoll proves peacekeeping flows through the Dories’ DNA, and for generations, Dorie men have been putting bad guys behind bars. Keith Carradine’s John Sr. was so determined to fulfill that obligation, he failed his own son, abandoning the youngster due to immense guilt over how serial killer Teddy was brought to justice. Mr. Dorie chose the law over his child, and the duo failed to make amends before John died. In Fear The Walking Dead season 7, Mr. Dorie uses his final moments to bring a father and his child (Morgan & Mo) back together – the reunion he and John never had. By swiping Deadeye’s boots from their pedestal and giving them a meaningful, family-orientated purpose, John Dorie Sr. is rejecting his ancestors’ celebrated history as law-keepers, and finally doing right by his son.
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Fear The Walking Dead continues Sunday on AMC.