When we first see June, played by Jenna Elfman, and John Dorie Senior, played by Keith Carradine, in this week's upcoming episode of Fear the Walking Dead
, they are holed up in the bunker that Teddy (John Glover) built for after he set off the nuclear bomb. June recently lost her husband (Garret Dillahunt), John his son, so emotions will be running high. Elfman told SciFi Vision during a recent roundtable interview, that although it’s a blessing they have the bunker and each other, it has multiple layers. “She hasn't even properly had any time to mourn John at all, because it happened, and then she met John Senior, and then that is its own can of worms. Then, we come back [and] have to go face this enemy…and then, the nuclear bomb goes off. So, it's a pile-on situation emotionally for June… That we get to be the beneficiaries of [the bunker] and to be with family, John Dorie Senior, [is] a blessing. However, the two of them also have inner demons and trauma, and this is the worst possible environment.”
Carradine talked to SciFi Vision a bit about some of those demons. “Everybody's dealing with their foibles, and John has got a secret. You can only keep a secret like he's keeping for so long before it gets revealed and has to be dealt with.”
Elfman told the site that For June, it’s always about helping people and without that, she’s lost. “As soon as she's in territory where she can't [help people] or doesn't even know if they're the only two people that survived this thing…what does that do? Can she even help anybody out there? Is there anybody left to help?”
According to Elfman, that discovery will change June, and she’s excited for everyone to see it. “Just [going] through this discovery, is going to plant the seeds, definitely moving forward though the season of, how does that change June? I think there's a great thing that we've seen. They've all come together. The thing that's brought all these characters together repeatedly is the umbrella of law and agreement under Morgan (Lennie James)'s moral code, and I think, now that we are all split up in such an extreme way, and people are going to have to dig themselves out of this hell, what moral code are they going to use? That's going to start defining these characters in really essential ways moving forward in the story of season seven that thrills me, and I cannot wait for everybody to see.”
Carradine told the site that John was just beginning to be made aware of the structure of Morgan’s world and his code. “This is a guy who's been living on his own, without anyone's moral code dictating any of his actions. So, this is all new to him. John Senior has been on this quest for decades to try and eliminate this evil in the world that was Teddy, for which he felt powerfully responsible…He felt that there was simply simply nothing left. So, that, for him, to begin this journey now under these circumstances…this is a journey of redemption for John Dorie Senior.”
For the rest, be sure to read the full transcript below and watch the episode Sunday on AMC. Also, stay tuned for our exclusive interviews with both of the actors after the episode airs on Sunday night. Zoom Interview Fear the Walking Dead Jenna Elfman and Keith Carradine October 8, 2021
Obviously, the two of your characters are going to be spending some quality time together alone, underground, and after what happened with John, I would think that being together is going to remind you of that constantly. Can you talk about how much what happened to him is going to continue to affect you? Is there going to be a lot of grief, or is that maybe what's giving you guys the reason to keep going?
I think it's multi-layered. She hasn't even properly had any time to mourn John at all, because it happened, and then she met John Senior, and then that is its own can of worms. Then, we come back [and] have to go face this enemy, and we all go out, and then, the nuclear bomb goes off. So, it's a pile-on situation emotionally for June.
It's a blessing to have the the Dorie luck of being in this [bunker]. This is the bunker we get to be in by the guy who planned this nuclear thing, so, of course, he's stocked it to take care of himself. That we get to be the beneficiaries of that, and to be with family, John Dorie Senior, [is] a blessing.
However, the two of them also have inner demons and trauma, and this is the worst possible environment. Reading biographies of people who went through Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and that was not already in an apocalypse - I mean, they were in war, so that's kind of an apocalypse, but the way it diminished their life so much and just made them go numb, but, of course, underneath numb, the reason you go numb, is because it's just all too much. So, we're going to discover things of how this has affected them, all of this trauma that they brought in…For June, her sanity always is in how she can help people. When she's able to help people or find an avenue of assistance and to nurse people or contribute to saving, helping, enhancing, then she's in her zone; she's oriented. As soon as she's in territory where she can't do that or doesn't even know if they're the only two people that survived this thing, like to lose everybody, what does that do? Can she even help anybody out there? Is there anybody left to help?
So, I think discovering that in this horribly claustrophobic - the production design is extraordinary - but to just go[ing] through this discovery, is going to plant the seeds, definitely moving forward though the season of, how does that change June? I think there's a great thing that we've seen. They've all come together. The thing that's brought all these characters together repeatedly is the umbrella of law and agreement under Morgan's moral code, and I think, now that we are all split up in such an extreme way, and people are going to have to dig themselves out of this hell, what moral code are they going to use? That's going to start defining these characters in really essential ways moving forward in the story of season seven that thrills me, and I cannot wait for everybody to see.
Yes, for my part, John is the new kid on the block here. So, I've come into this family, and I was only just beginning to be made aware of the structure of everyone that was involved in Morgan's world. And the idea of his moral code, this is a guy who's been living on his own, without anyone's moral code dictating any of his actions. So, this is all new to him. John Senior has been on this quest for decades to try and eliminate this evil in the world that was Teddy, for which he felt powerfully responsible, and that it was his job to put an end to this guy or at least stop him from from committing the heinous acts he's been committing for all of these years. That was so a part of John's focus, that by the time he comes into the world as it is now, and then by the time he discovers that there was this person who is his daughter-in-law, [that] he still has family and he thought that that was over in his life, he felt that there was simply simply nothing left. So, that, for him, to begin this journey now under these circumstances…this is a journey of redemption for John Dorie Senior.
So, what he is going to discover, especially when he and June wind up in this isolation together, [is] John has demons. As Jenna said, everybody's dealing with their foibles, and John has got a secret. You can only keep a secret like he's keeping for so long before it gets revealed and has to be dealt with.
I think that that's a journey that the audience is going to be invited into, particularly when they first see John and June together in episode three of season seven. I think that that journey of figuring out who they are to one another, how they can help each other get through what they are going through in this circumstance, in this isolation in this bunker, what exists now in the world beyond there? Are they ever going to get out and see that? Is there anything left? Is there even a Morgan left for there to be a moral code to adhere to? That all remains to be seen, and I think that as as we get the answers to those questions, it's just going to be terrific entertainment.
It made me have a thought, just really fast, about what are you honoring when you're in extreme circumstances like that? What are you going to honor? Which path do you take? Are you honoring the way your parents taught you? Are you honoring the way some other person taught you? Are you honoring your own observation and the necessity of the moment? What are you going to honor to make it through? That's something I think is really interesting that will become more apparent.
…Both John and June, they’re characters that have a lot of trauma in their past and a lot of issues with abandonments that they've taken part in. Is this going to be a season you think where this is finally going to be the opportunity for them to confront that particular part and find peace in the process?KEITH CARRADINE:
I think the quest for peace will continue. I think that John's search[ing] for some kind of healing, some kind of center that he could find in himself, that justifies his own survival, and not to mention whatever ability he might have to aid in other people's survival as well. This is a guy who has been fighting for the law for his entire life, and that idea of the morality of adhering to the law, that there are laws for a reason and that we must obey them to have a civil society, well, what's left of that now? That's a big question, and whether or not he can continue to have a positive effect in his own life and on the lives of anybody that's around him, especially considering the amount of loss that he has experienced.
Jenna, what about your thoughts?...I think what I'm really curious about is if you think this situation that they're in now will finally force them to confront and heal a lot of the trauma that they've been dealt and a lot of the abandonment issues that they've had to deal with.
I think through each one of those evolutions that we've already seen them go through, lessons have been learned. So, not every trauma is the same, because each trauma they encounter, they've got a backpack full of lessons they've learned. And the learning curve of them digging themselves out of those traumas, comes away with some knowledge.
So, this is now a brand new one, with this nuclear apocalypse and the damage it does to them emotionally and spiritually. So, I think that it's probably the most extreme you can go that we can all think of, aside from the actual planet just exploding. [laughs]
So, it's great. I love that the writers chose this, because it takes everyone to literally the edge of the earth, of “who am I?” Who am I going to be? Which pocket am I going to dig into? Which pocket of experience, which pocket of knowledge, which pocket of emotion, which pocket of purpose am I going to dig into to get myself through this to find my friends? Or do people not look for their friends? Is it just about them? Where does this take them? It changes people when it gets this extreme. So, I think that it's not necessarily about finding - well, peace is a relative term. What is the new normal? Which cloak do they have to put on to move forward? I think each character's choice of cloak is going to be very revealing moving forward.
Also, beautiful strings that connect to the greater Walking Dead
universe of story, of things that go on and phenomena that occur with each of these characters sort of establish some new territory that inform[s] the greater whole moving forward, which I find thrilling.
And I love June's thing. I think we saw a dose of her taking it upon herself to kill Ginny (Colby Minifie) and giving no F's about [it]. It's her sort of deciding what she needed to do, not what John said to do, not what Morgan said to do. This is what she needs to do, and she has that right, to think for herself and to make a decision for herself of what needs to happen. And I think we're gonna see more of that moving forward, which I really enjoy.
What's interesting about this relationship, [is] John Senior wasn't around and, of course, Jenna, you were around. So, the only common denominator you both have is John Junior. So, he's going to learn about him through you. Is that going to play a big part in this season as well?
I don't think you have a character or all the stories about John Junior without it affecting things moving forward, whether it is how to connect more to John Junior in some way, how John, having learned things from his father that his father didn't know he learned, that then affected me, that I can then pass back to John Senior, to June finding her own way and not just being a Dorie, but being June. I think there's many nuances to that and that all of the John informs all of that, for sure.
Yeah, from my point of view, this is a chance for John Senior that he had never dreamt he would get. He's known that his son has gone. He knows how he lost his son or how he gave him up when he was a child and sacrificed that in his own quest for bringing Teddy to justice. That became his obsession, and it cost him everything. I don't think that he ever dreamt that he would have the opportunity to regain or reconnect with any of that, until he suddenly found himself in the presence of John Junior's widow. I think that discovering who she is, who she is to him, that this is actually his daughter-in-law and, by this extraordinary circumstance, this happenstance of winding up in her company and being able to regain some semblance of knowing his son, some knowledge of his son that she can give to him, it's an extraordinary gift that he will receive from his daughter-in-law. And it's redemptive; it gives him some sense of hope, perhaps, and not just for himself, but for his perception of humanity in general, that he can regain some sense of that.
Then, to wind up in the circumstance that he does with his daughter-in-law while they are struggling to survive, and that they are basically thrown together in a way that they desperately need one another to get through this, during the course of that, being with each other and supporting one another in this sheer act of survival, they also discover things about each other and about themselves. And John will be forced to deal with some darkness that he has kept under wraps and will eventually have to face and deal with. And just by sheer luck - as Jenna said, she and John Junior used to talk about how they would get lucky - just through John Senior's luck of having encountered this extraordinary woman who is his daughter-in-law, she's going to save him on a certain level. And I think he has a sense of that. I think that that will be a wonderful adventure that the audience can take with these two characters.