Warning: Review may Contain Spoilers!
Fear the Walking Dead 604 – The Key
John Dorie gets his time in the spotlight in The Key. As the episode opens it’s clear that John’s sparse living conditions, while not terrible are far from ideal. Being a ranger in Lawton has taken some toll on him physically as well as emotionally due to his separation from June. Through it all, John has come to see a ray of light in Virginia’s vision but everyone doesn’t share his point of view.
When Cameron, one of his fellow officers ends up dead on a barbed wire fence, John’s investigative instincts take over, even after Virginia does her best to lay them to rest. Her only interest is keeping the peace but John can’t help but look deeper into the real reason behind his friend’s death.
The Key then shuffles off into police procedural territory with John searching for clues and tracking down leads. His first stop brings him to Janis, who was close with Cameron. He shows her a single earring he found near the body but she denies knowing anything about it. It doesn’t take too long for things to get a little more complicated when Janis is caught trying to breach Lawton’s fences and is found carrying the matching diamond ring.
John digs deeper into the true cause behind Cameron’s death and soon finds himself in grave danger. He enlists Strand, who seems to be enjoying his new role as a member of the inter settlement council, to help with the investigation. Their major obstacle though is Virginia, who seems to have her finger on every pulse in the community.
John’s dilemma is mirrored by what is going on in his mouth. His rotten tooth, hidden from view, is a constant reminder that things aren’t right. Janis’ twist of a confession exposes the rot at Lawson’s foundation. She can see it, hell even Dakota can see it but it will take more than one move on the chess board to fix things.
Maintaining lost love is one of the central themes of The Key. Cameron and Janis’ connection aside, the episode touches on John being without June, and new hope for Morgan reconnecting with Grace. John, faced with a difficult decision, balances justice for Janis with the inevitability that his noble actions will mean that he’ll never see June again.
The best-laid plans have a way of unraveling however. John’s disappointment explodes into rage, not just at Strand or Jacob, but at the realization that he’s too small to take on Virginia and the system she’s created on his own. While an unexpected victory arises out of tragedy, John realizes that its come at a heavy price. One that he will have to fight against to make sure the rot inside of him doesn’t extend beyond his tooth.