This post contains spoilers from Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead comic books and thus potential future spoilers for the series
There is a certain irony to the fact that it was announced last week that a character from The Walking Dead, Dwight (Austin Amelio), would be joining the cast of Fear the Walking Dead because (again, spoilers) that character was killed off in Robert Kirkman’s comics in December 2018 issue. In fact, it was one of the biggest and most shocking deaths in the comic series in quite some time. For our purposes, what’s most interesting about his death, however, is how The Walking Dead universe can keep that shocking death intact on the series even though Dwight is now on Fear the Walking Dead.
Let’s back up a moment, first. In the most recent issue of the comics, #186, Rick Grimes and Co. are at the Commonwealth, a new community in Ohio of some 50,000 people. It’s a modern community with musicians, a sports arena, an army, and a lot of the amenities one would expect from a typical American city. If that sounds too good to be true, it’s because it is. The Commonwealth is also corrupt and operates like a caste system — those who did well in life before the apocalypse maintain their status in the Commonwealth, while those who were poor before the apocalypse are forced to maintain their lowly positions as servants to the higher social classes. The entire operation is overseen by another Governor, this one by the name of Pamela Milton. She’s corrupt and power hungry, and she keeps much of the citizenry in line by manufacturing fear.
For the purposes of Dwight, however, it’s enough to know that Rick has given some consideration to overthrowing the government of The Commonwealth. However, Michonne (while appreciating that there are problems within the community) is more interested in resolving differences peacefully. Dwight believes the complete opposite — he thinks the only way to save The Commonwealth is by assassinating its leader, who he believes is another Negan. In fact, Dwight gets an opportunity to kill Governor Milton during a meeting that is meant to be a negotiation, but before Dwight can shoot and kill Governor Milton, Rick pulls his gun and shoots Dwight dead to save Milton (Rick, for the record, is not happy that he’s forced to resort to this, though he and Dwight’s relationship still remains shaky).
It’s a major and shocking death, and while someone within the existing The Walking Dead cast may eventually assume Dwight’s role from the comics, it’s also possible that Dwight keeps the role, at least in this respect.
To wit: Fear the Walking Dead has not been renewed beyond its fifth season, and there has been some fan discussion of Fear and The Walking Dead eventually merging into one show again at some point. The Commonwealth storyline offers the perfect opportunity. The fifth season of Fear will see the characters spread out around the country to help transport goods to those in need. This is how I suspect Morgan and company will cross paths with not only Dwight, but Troy and Daniel, as well.
With the Fear characters expanding across the country, it’s not unreasonable to believe that they will eventually come upon a member (or members) of The Commonwealth and make their way toward that community. Likewise, The Walking Dead will eventually find their way there, too (in fact, we may have already been introduced to the eventual Governor of The Commonwealth, Georgie, with whom Maggie is already working).
Should characters from The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead come upon The Commonwealth around the same time, it’s quite possible that Dwight could step right back into his The Walking Dead role, only now as a representative of Fear the Walking Dead. In this scenario, Daryl (filling the role of Rick) could be the one to pull the trigger and kill Dwight in that meeting with Governor Milton (or Georgie). However, Daryl — the guy who exiled Dwight from Alexandria — would feel much less remorse about killing Dwight than Rick does in the comics.
Of course, this is all speculative, but I can absolutely see Scott Gimple ending the fifth season of Fear the Walking Dead in The Commonwealth, where characters from The Walking Dead meet up with them in the midseason finale of the 10th season of The Walking Dead, effectively merging the two series back into one and eventually killing off Dwight, just as Kirkman did in the comics.
The earliest that would happen, of course, is 2020. In the meantime, The Walking Dead continues its Whisperers arc when it returns next month.