Fear the Walking Dead episode 2 of season 8 “Blue Jay” begins with the one and only June Dorie. Unlike Morgan, she is very anti-PADRE. She looks isolated and stocked with weapons and tranquilizers while hanging up signs reading “Turn back PADRE will take your children,” and “PADRE is a lie turn back.”
Jungle June is the fierce badass June we’ve all been waiting for. Almost looking like something out of Apocalypse Now. She tracks PADRE on the radio and takes out two of them. In a shocking turn of events, it seems that June is doing a different kind of collecting. Taking all the collector’s fingers putting them in a glass jar.
A man named Adrian stumbles upon June’s quarters. He wants to help to get his daughter Hannah back. From the little he’s seen of June and what she’s capable of she’s just the woman for the job.
June’s arc right now seems a little Carolesque of The Walking Dead. She has seen so much death and devastation. Lost the love of her life and his father. Life has hardened her she doesn’t want to get to know anybody else because more of the same would follow. She’d have to kill for them, help them, and falling back into those old patterns would only cause her heartache in the end. That is not something she’s looking to repeat.
The two men June thought she had shot on the boat turn out to be Dwight and Sherry when she goes back to check on them. She’s quickly stopped by Dwight and Sherry’s son Finch who is in full PADRE uniform. Their son has no idea who their real names even are. Dwight is known to him as Red Kite. PADRE has no idea Dwight is the father and Finch is unaware they are his parents.
Their son needs an appendectomy. And they offer June a boat and the freedom to go wherever she wants after. But they have to threaten her to do the procedure or they will call PADRE and release their location. PADRE has wanted to capture June for years even though they don’t know it’s her who is behind the missing fingers of the collectors.
Dwight teaches combat training to the children, and Sherry works in the nursery. They follow PADRE’s rules in order to keep an eye on their son. They need June’s help now and she agrees to do it as long as they hold true to their word. Finch is in a lot of pain they don’t have time to go back to PADRE’s clinic.
June has clearly been through something awful. Something that pushed her to this way of life. Something that PADRE subjected her to. She takes Dwight, Sherry, and Finch to a place for the surgery in an old train car.
Before the surgery, Sherry comes across files of previous patients. Something doesn’t look right about it and they want answers. Saved by the bell they are interrupted by Adrian who tracks them down demanding answers about his daughter Hannah.
Forced into the situation June tells them all they had her conducting experiments. PADRE wanted Shrike to find a way to stop the infected walker bites. She had a treatment plan of radiation, a slow and painful death in June’s mind. She refused to do it and fled from them.
Adrian tries to plead with June. She needs to live for something. These little sniper attacks she is doing are great for revenge. Great to anger PADRE and make a statement about what they are doing but it’s not accomplishing a whole lot. Helping save these children and becoming reunited with their parents would be a greater joy and greater purpose.
For Sherry, the way of PADRE life is starting to feel too much like The Sanctuary. It’s safe depending on your standpoint. She wants to flee like June and find a place. And stop living their lives from afar. At the time when they all got off the rafts, they had to adhere to PADRE’s rules to keep their children safe. It was more important for them to keep their children alive than being on the run and risking their lives at every turn.
“I still have something to live for, You need to find yours.”
While Finch is asleep and waiting to have surgery Sherry and Dwight find themselves in trouble. Falling through one of the train cars, June has to go rescue them. Even though they tell her to save Finch and take care of him if anything happens. But her fear sets in, she doesn’t want to be responsible for a life. They need to survive. She goes after them and finds her own trouble, but Adrian comes to her rescue just in time.
Adrian tries to make her see that she needs something to fight for. Because there’s no point in living otherwise.
Finch is the reason Sherry and Dwight keep fighting. Even if it’s for a glimpse of their son. But for them, it’s not enough now, and PADRE isn’t safe enough. Learning the things that PADRE made June do help them reach the decision. They admit this all to Finch who doesn’t believe them.
June reluctantly reveals that she treated Hannah. She had left the island and got bit on her back. There was no way to amputate so June did what she had to do. She gave her radiotherapy and it started to clear the infection. But the amount of radiation was too strong. She wanted to show her Mercy and end it for her but Shrike wouldn’t let her. She wanted to watch her turn and study how long it takes.
“If stayed away from people nobody else I cared about can get hurt.”
The reason June fled was because without her they couldn’t do the treatments. Shrike had a gun to her head making her continue the experiment on Hannah. A girl who missed her father and was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. June took her trigger finger just as she took many others in the hopes that it would save someone else’s life one day. PADRE uses the one thing you care about most to threaten. June was forced to do these things or the people she cared about would pay the price. Running away and taking away their power was the best choice for her.
Now that one thing Adrian was living for was gone he steps away and finds his daughter, giving his life up to be with her as a walker. June screams for him not to do it but he’s attacked. A poetic and tragic ending.
Dwight and Sherry plan on leaving as soon as Finch wakes up from surgery. They did offer June a boat and a way out but revealed they aren’t going back to PADRE. They want to be a family, and they want June to be a part of it. Not to have the same fate as Adrian. June and John were the reason Dwight is still here to do and today, and the reason he can even have a family. He wants her to be a part of that.
Before that happy ending could be had, they are surrounded by the train care. Shrike finds June and knocks her out. Making her continue her experiments again. Of course, she was going to refuse but Shrike does what PADRE is known for and threatened Finch’s life in order to get her to change her mind.
For a group that claims children are the main thing they care about, they are not making that evident. However, Shrike believes so much in this treatment this was a way to force June to have to save him. By doing that, it would push her into continuing the experiment in order to save her family.
In an effort of revenge and security, Shrike takes June’s trigger finger in hopes that her sniper days will be over. But to me, it seemed more like an eye for an eye.
At the end of “Blue Jay” Madison and Morgan are on the back of a military vehicle. Unsure where PADRE is taking them. She is curious about what is holding Morgan back from being the man Mo needs to be. Morgan won’t tell her but admits it’s something from a long time ago. And creates a diversion for him to get away. She holds the men back giving him just enough time to escape, and ending it with “Do what you need to do.”
Could this be his mistakes of the past with his previous family? Or perhaps something with Rick that was never quite finished. Tune in next week to Fear the Walking Dead on AMC and AMC Plus to find out.