Warning: This article contains SPOILERS for the Fear The Walking Dead season 5 finale.
The Fear the Walking Dead season 5 finale, "End of the Line", ended on a cliffhanger, with a potentially major character being killed of, and it split apart the group, which is meant to fundamentally alter the series' story going into season 6 next year. Although Fear the Walking Dead's first three seasons followed the Clark family and their friends, such as Victor Strand and Daniel Salazar, season 4 and 5 have taken a different approach.
Thanks to not one but two characters from The Walking Dead crossing over into the spinoff series, along with a change in showrunners and producers, Fear the Walking Dead's story has shifted away from its horror side and more towards being a Western-esque series, with zombies spread throughout. And at the core of Fear the Walking Dead's new story is helping others who can't help themselves; it's a way for everyone to seek redemption for the things they have done.
Of course, not everyone agrees with their mission, and that has led to some enemies, such as the Pioneers, who are led by a woman named Virginia. The back-half of Fear the Walking Dead season 5 ultimately culminated in an event that required the group to disband. It's not the first time that a group has split up in The Walking Dead franchise - it's not even the first time that it's happened in Fear the Walking Dead - but it was done to end one story and begin another.
What Happened In The Fear The Walking Dead Season 5 Finale
In the penultimate episode of Fear the Walking Dead season 5, Morgan's group reaches Humbug's Gulch only to find that the place had been taken over by walkers; it's later revealed the reason for that is because all the people that lived there had died in a fight against Virginia and the Pioneers (though they lost some of their own people, too). So Morgan asked for Virginia's help in clearing out the place. As a counteroffer, however, the Pioneers offered to take them in.
In the Fear the Walking Dead season 5 finale, Morgan and the rest of the group seemed to have easily cleared out the walkers themselves, but since they already called Virginia and the Pioneers over, they were forced to give up and join their organization. While Victor and Alicia left together, most of the rest of them went their separate ways in different cars. Morgan, unfortunately, was shot by Virginia, though it's unclear if he's dead. She left as about a half-dozen walkers were surrounding him.
Why Victor Strand Gave Virginia The MRAP's Starter
Victor Strand is the series' designated smooth-talker, and he's been that way since the very beginning in Los Angeles. In the Fear the Walking Dead season 5 finale, Strand took the starter to the MRAP and rode his horse down to meet Virginia and the rest of the Pioneers. It's not revealed what he said to her or why he gave up the starter so easily, but it's heavily implied that he did it to earn some sort of gratefulness from them so that everyone Virginia was coming to collect would be safe. But there's more to it than that.
In past seasons, Strand has talked his enemies out of killing him and other people into helping him. Since the second half of Fear the Walking Dead season 4, however, it seems Strand is doing everything he can do benefit the group, not just himself. With that in mind, and taking into account what Stand says to Alicia before they get into one of Virginia's vehicles, his reasoning for all this is so they can break apart the Pioneers from the inside, instead of fighting them directly. Virginia wanted the MRAP, so the starter was the only bargaining chip Strand needed to get the job done.
Is Morgan Going To Die?
Morgan's speech at the end of the Fear the Walking Dead season 5 finale is meant to soften the blow and conclude his story (by having him admit that they succeeded in helping people who needed it); they did what they set out to accomplish, but he failed to do what he really needed to: protect the people under his charge. Since he failed in that regard just like Tom had done at Paradise Ridge, Virginia sought to kill him.
Whether she succeeded or not remains to be seen - though Morgan did appear to be bleeding out - but plenty of characters have gotten themselves out of worse situations before. Just look at Rick Grimes in The Walking Dead season 9. Fear the Walking Dead ending on a cliffhanger with a potential major character death shows that the creative team behind the franchise hasn't learned from past mistakes - most notably from Abraham and Glenn's deaths at the end of The Walking Dead season 6 finale - and it's something that's only meant to ensure people tune in to the season 6 premiere next year.
What Fear The Walking Dead Season 6's Story Will Be About
It's clear that Fear the Walking Dead season 6 is in for a seismic shift to the series' story, but what lies ahead doesn't appear to be anything new to franchise fans. Splitting up everyone means that Fear the Walking Dead's writers can focus on individual characters (or perhaps a pairing of them) instead of inundating viewers with more and more newcomers. It may also allow for some variety, but then again, this type of story arc is something The Walking Dead already tried - to an extent - with the Saviors.
In The Walking Dead seasons 7 and 8, the people of Alexandria, Hilltop, and Kingdom worked under the Saviors and provided for them. While the Pioneers aren't exactly the same, their leader has a penchant for killing the heads of - or at least one person from - certain groups they take over, and then she puts everyone else to work. For at least the first half of Fear the Walking Dead season 6, the core cast will likely work separately to achieve their primary goal of disrupting the Pioneers from within.