- "The End Is the Beginning"
- —The cult's motto.[src]
This doomsday cult is a group of hostile survivors introduced in Season 6 of AMC's Fear the Walking Dead. The group was formed before the apocalypse and led by Theodore Maddox, a notorious serial killer in Texas during the 1970s. Due to his arrest by police officer John Dorie Sr., the group was seemingly disbanded. Following the fall of society, Teddy escaped the death row of Galveston County Jail and formed a new incarnation of the cult in order to enact his plan to bring a "new beginning" of the world.
His plan was partially successful when he launched the nuclear warheads to the landscape of Texas, turning the state into a complete nuclear wasteland. Before his death, Teddy chose Alicia Clark as his successor to lead the rest of the cult living underneath the Franklin Hotel's bunker where he imprisoned her. Although Alicia was reluctant to lead the cult, she eventually decided to stay with them and lead the cult to a new beginning. When the bunker was abandoned, the cult divided into two groups following an event that left a large number of its members dead and reanimated. Half of the group is led by Alicia while the other half, the Stalkers, is led by Alicia's former second-in-command Arnold. They served as the secondary antagonistic group for the first half and primary antagonistic group for the second half of Season 6.
In the 1970s, Teddy ran an iteration of the cult that lived in a compound in the desert. Teddy's intention was to bring an end to all living people, but his serial killings drew the attention of John Dorie Sr. who arrested Teddy and the cult was disbanded.
When the world ends, Teddy manages to escape from the prison that he has been locked up in for decades after it falls. Teddy begins once again gathering followers to restart his cult and finally complete his ultimate goal of bringing an end to every living person that is left in the world.
Two members of the cult are first seen camping out beside the USS Pennsylvania. One man spray paints the words, "The End is The Beginning" on the side of the submarine, but is interrupted by a walker, who he kills with the can. The man tells his companion that Emile LaRoux should have arrived by then, and the two agree to wait elsewhere.
When Dwight and Althea enter an office building, they find the same message from the submarine, "The End is The Beginning", spray painted on a wall, meaning that the cult was in the building at some point. After curing the survivors of the bubonic plague, Al examines the message and the empty rat cages nearby and deduces that whoever had painted the message had deliberately released the plague-infested rats into the building, killing many of the survivors that they had infected.
While traveling down the road, Morgan's car is struck by another car driven by the two men who were seeking the key to the USS Pennsylvania. When the first man exits with his companion, he is held at axe point by Morgan. They threaten him and demand he gives them a key. When Morgan refuses to comply, they attack. After Morgan kills his companion, the other man jumps on his back and begins to strangle him. Morgan is able to shake him off and once again warns him to stop. The man ignores him and attacks him with a knife, forcing Morgan to stab him in the chest. Morgan realizes that they were after the key and wonders out loud at its purpose.
This cult causes an explosion in at Tank Town. At least one unidentified member infiltrated Tank Town and managed to spray paint "the end is beginning" on a water tower several hours prior to the attack. While attending to the wounded in a garage, June is attacked by an undead woman with sharp blades attached to her finger tips, suggesting she was a member of the cult who sacrificed herself in the attack to do more damage with her fingertips as a zombie.
Later, Dakota reveals that Virginia had said that the cult had gone underground and she thinks that Virginia had meant it literally: that they moved underground somewhere. Dakota states that the last place that Virginia had sent her people to search for them was located two days south of Tank Town which Dwight realizes is Dallas, Texas where the cult had infected an office building with the bubonic plague. Luciana volunteers herself and Wes to join Alicia and Al's scouting mission to Dallas in the hopes of finding the cult as well as some answers.
Alicia, Al, Wes and Luciana are rescued from a herd by the cultists and brought into the Holding. Riley conducts interviews with each member of the group who lie that they were scavenging for supplies, having infiltrated the Holding in the hopes of learning more about the cult. Riley shows the three around the bunker, explaining their process of grinding up walkers and using them as fertilizer for their plants. He also reveals that the cult intends to seal the bunker soon and remain underground for years to come.
Shortly after the group's arrival, a team of cultists return led by Derek, Wes' believed-dead brother. While Wes catches up with his brother, the women attempt to discover more about the cult and their plans leading to Al and Wes sneaking into Derek's bunk while he is gone. The two find hidden maps of several other communities, including some maps belonging to CRM and discover that the cult has been targeting and destroying various communities, including Tank Town. Wes confronts Derek as he paints a mural of the destroyed communities, realizing that Derek is the one who organized the attack. Wes supposedly convinces Derek to leave with them, but Alicia becomes suspicious and decides to leave Derek behind.
As the group attempts to make their escape, they are captured by several cultists led by Riley who are interested in Wes' mention of Morgan Jones whom they are seeking. The cultists take the group to the embalming equipment taken from the funeral home in order to keep their bodies from contributing to the cycle of life once they are gone. Derek convinces Riley to allow him to take Wes to the walker set up amongst some plants in the middle of the bunker in an effort to get Wes to see as they do. After confronting Derek about his near-death experience in Tank Town, Wes fights his brother, resulting in Derek's death and rescues his friends using Riley as a hostage.
Escaping into a room filled with embalmed walkers, the group block the door with an axe and begin making their way to an exit on the other side of the room. Al notices a zombified CRM soldier, presumably the source of the CRM maps and checks to make sure that it isn't Isabelle. Alicia puts the woman down and declares that they need to take the Holding down. Al states that embalming fluid is flammable and points out that it is in all of the walkers in the room. As Al retrieves matches from the dead CRM soldier's pocket, Alicia begins slashing the walkers and releasing their embalming fluid on the ground where it begins to spread under the door into the room where several cultists are trying to get at them. Once enough embalming fluid has been released and as the cultists are about to get through the door, Alicia sets the fluid on fire, sending a fire spreading throughout the bunker.
At Valley Town, the group reports on their experiences in the bunker to Morgan and presents him with the recovered maps. Al states that the fire was "bad" and that they aren't sure if Alicia got out or not. Wes reports that some of the cultists survived the fire, but they aren't sure how many got out as all they could see was fire. Luciana is sure that whatever the cult was planning was big since it was going to keep them in the bunker for a long time.
Having survived the fire, Alicia is locked in the badly damaged embalming room where Riley has Harvey prepare her for embalming. Alicia manages to kill Harvey before Teddy arrives to talk to her. Teddy reveals that setting fire to the Holding has destroyed everything that the cult had been working towards for years, but he attempts to convince Alicia to join them nonetheless.
Riley and three other cultists set a trap for Morgan Jones, painting "The End is The Beginning" on a car and rigging it to explode. Grace is caught in the explosion and knocked unconscious, forcing Morgan to hide in the Paperno Equine Veterinary Clinic.
In Grace's dream, she and Athena are hunted by Riley and his men with Grace managing to kill Riley. However, Riley later reappears in a reanimated state in search of the key before Grace and Athena take out his men and Morgan puts him down. Athena is wearing the key in Grace's dream and she tells Grace that Morgan had given it to her as a reminder of "the price of peace."
In reality, Riley and his men locate Morgan and Grace in the clinic's stables and Riley explains that the cult had hired Emile to recover the key and when he didn't return, they had sent two friends after him who had also failed to return. Riley correctly deduces that Morgan was responsible for this and Morgan promises not to do the same thing to Riley and his henchmen if they leave without further trouble. However, they refuse to comply and attack Morgan. Armed with his staff, Morgan effortlessly defeats the cultists, killing Riley's three men and wounding Riley in the right shoulder. Rather than kill Riley, Morgan allows him to escape with Riley warning that Morgan can't defeat them despite Morgan's belief that he already has.
Shortly after Grace regains consciousness, Riley crashes his truck into the stables and demands the key at gunpoint, threatening Grace's life. Remembering what Athena had told her in her dream, Grace orders Morgan to give Riley the key, convinced that it won't matter as Athena will bring everyone together. Morgan reluctantly complies and Riley departs without any further trouble, having gotten what he came for. However, despite Grace's beliefs, Athena is stillborn due to the radiation that she has absorbed from her mother's body.
June attempts to discover more about the cult, scouting out areas that they have been such as Tank Town where the cult has spray painted "The End is The Beginning" on the road leading into it and taken the remaining gas.
As June talks with Dwight and Sherry, they come under fire from an unknown attacker that they believe is from the cult. Breaking into the man's RV, June discovers a series of pictures depicting where the cult's motto has been found, revealing that it has gone further south than Morgan's group even knew about. The man ambushes June who realizes that they are on the same side and convinces him to allow her to take him to the Orchard where he hasn't yet seen one of the cult's signs. The man explains that he came to the area after the fire at the Holding, but the cult's trail has been growing cold. He warns that if the cult catches wind of how close they are, they will accelerate their plans.
After June turns the tables on him, the man reveals that he is John Dorie Sr. who had recognized the cult's signs from his hunt for Teddy in the 1970s. As he travels with June, John explains that the cult intends to kill everyone and that Teddy is insane, but good at motivating people to his side. John puts down a walker that he identifies as one of the cult's victims as she has been embalmed, explaining that Teddy had done the same to his victims before the world ended and that he believes that being embalmed and preserved prevents their souls from passing on when they die. John later confronts Hill who tells him that the Pioneers were never able to find out much from cultists, but he knows that the cult is planning something big and that they intend to kill everyone.
June later takes John to Valley Town where she tells Morgan that John knows everything about Teddy and will be of great help against the cult. John warns Morgan of the cult's destructive plans and they start preparing to stop the cult.
Now based in an abandoned school, Teddy continues his efforts to convert Alicia Clark to his cause. Teddy reveals that they have found a new home, a bunker stocked with enough supplies to last them for years. People found on the cult's scouting runs, including Dakota, are transported to the school as the cult prepares to leave. Deciding to go on a mission with just Alicia and Dakota, Teddy gives Riley the two keys that they have collected. Despite Dakota's urging, Alicia chooses not to kill Teddy, needing to know what he's planning and sure that the cult will finish what he started even if he's dead.
After the fight with Cole's Group, Teddy reveals that his plan is to use the keys to launch at least one nuclear missile from the USS Pennsylvania to destroy everything. Dakota converts to the cult's cause, but Alicia grabs Teddy's radio and manages to make contact with Victor Strand as Riley, Mike and a number of other cultists arrive in response to Teddy's earlier radio call for help. Alicia passes along a warning about the cult's plans to Strand before Riley takes the radio. Pleased with Alicia's actions and with Dakota sure that Strand will simply run away rather than pass on the warning, Teddy is convinced that Alicia is in fact the person he has been looking for and takes her with him.
The cult drives to the Franklin Hotel where the government had built a doomsday bunker in the 1950s which was forgotten about until Riley discovered it in an article talking about the resort's bankruptcy. Riley reveals that the bunker is much better than the Holding ever was and Alicia asks if Teddy's followers know the truth about his plan. Teddy admits that they don't know and simply think that "they just think they're going to live in a very well-stocked new home." Riley confirms that everyone is inside and Teddy leaves Dakota behind with Mike while he leads Alicia inside. Leading Alicia to the bunker, Teddy states that he's convinced that Alicia is the one to finish what he started. Teddy is the ending so he can't be the beginning, but he believes that Alicia can. Alicia has the ability to do what needs to be done without losing sight of hope which will be in short supply once his plan is over. Teddy locks Alicia in the bunker, stating that she is going to rebuild the world from inside of the bunker. Teddy believes that they are both alike: way ahead of their time living in a world ill-suited for them, locked up while the world changed into one perfectly suited for them which is what's going to happen with Alicia inside of the bunker. Teddy wishes Alicia good luck and begins leaving. Alicia yells that she won't make the world what Teddy wants it to be, but he states that that's what he's counting on and leaves the hotel, leaving Alicia to lead the people he placed into the bunker to survive.
The doomsday cult will appear in this episode.
With impending nuclear destruction approaching, two cultists take over the Larson Family Home's storm shelter in order to survive. Stumbling upon the home, Dwight and Sherry evict the two cultists, killing one and hobbling the other so that he will die in the coming nuclear destruction.
At the same time, a captured Riley is taken by Rollie and Wes to the Texas Naval Base where Rollie reveals that Riley has given up the location of the cult's bunker where they can all ride out the coming destruction. Daniel Salazar, having received coordinates over the radio, insists upon going to the location that he was given instead, but with Daniel being unsure, the group chooses to allow Riley to lead them to the bunker. A suspicious Daniel questions Riley on his motives while they are stopped when the SWAT van breaks down. Based on Rollie echoing a comment that Riley had made, Daniel realizes that Rollie is a spy for the cult and kills him. Riley attempts to attack Daniel, but is shot and mortally wounded by Charlie. Riley admits that Rollie had lost faith after the incident at Valley Town with Daniel had caused everyone to turn upon each other. Rollie had revealed to the cult that Morgan's group was coming to the sub to stop them and is presumably the reason that the cult knew who Morgan is and that he had the key. With Riley revealing that he and Rollie were only leading the group to their doom, they decide to go to Daniel's coordinates instead where they find nothing. Riley dies after taunting the group one last time, but a CRM helicopter sent by Al arrives to rescue them. Wes spray paints the message "This Isn't The End" onto the road with the last word ending up on Riley's back. As the helicopter flies away, Riley reanimates and wanders off towards one of the nuclear explosions.
Teddy takes Dakota to an overlook to enjoy the end, but they are confronted by John Dorie Sr. and June who offer Dakota forgiveness for her actions and discover that Teddy actually has a secret bunker hidden in the ground of the overlook. Teddy reveals that once the dust settles, he intends to return to the sub and finishing launching the rest of the nuclear missiles with John deducing that Teddy is only keeping Dakota alive as he needs a second person to turn the sub's launch keys. John and June are able to disarm Dakota and enter the bunker, but Dakota chooses not to join them. Enraged that Teddy was only using her, Dakota shoots the insane cult leader dead.
As planned by Teddy, nuclear warheads detonate throughout Texas, killing many people, including Dakota, and causing the cult's ultimate plot to partially succeed.
During the months following the nuclear destruction, the cult is led by Alicia Clark in the bunker. With the bunker's structure compromised by the nuclear blasts, they are eventually forced to abandon it in search of a new home. Alicia leads the group in search of the mysterious PADRE, having learned of it from a binder left behind by Senator Elias Vazquez in his quarters and from Will. However, the cult's attempts to find the zombified Vazquez leads to a large number of people dying and reanimating under unknown circumstances. Blaming Alicia for their losses, Arno splits the cult, taking one more volatile group while Alicia leads the other in a continued search for PADRE.
Will reveals that the cult had slaughtered a number of survivors at the Franklin Hotel when they took it over, including his brother and that Alicia hadn't let being trapped with them turn her into a cynic. Eventually, according to Will, Alicia exiled him from the bunker for refusing to do something that would protect the people inside, but not her.
While at the Lighthouse, Will recognizes the members of a small herd as cultists from the bunker. Realizing that something must've gone wrong and wanting to find out if one of the walkers is Alicia, Will and Strand work together to put down the herd, but discover that none of them are Alicia.
Will leads Strand to the bunker which they find to be completely abandoned and a note for Will from Alicia reading "Padre". Will believes that Alicia led the cultists in search of Padre which he calls the something better or at least the possibility of it, even though he doesn't know if Padre is a person or a place. However, Will is convinced that Alicia is only going to get herself killed in the search for it.
In a flashback, after being locked in the bunker by Teddy, Alicia is captured by one of the cultists and dragged into the main room where he attempts to feed her to the zombified Elias Vazquez who is tied to a tree in the center of the room. Recognizing Alicia, Arno stops him and Alicia manages to break free, grabbing the man's gun and shoving him into Vazquez who bites him in the neck and kills him. While the other cultists deal with their dead member, Alicia flees deeper into the bunker.
Trying to escape from the bunker, Alicia meets Will who reveals that the cult had pretended to be hungry survivors looking for food and tricked Vazquez into letting them in before killing everyone but Will who was off doing maintenance at the time. Hearing Arno and his people looking for her, Alicia leaves Will in hiding and Arno leads her to the senator's quarters where he returns Alicia's Sharpened Barrel Shroud which had been taken from her at the Holding. The cult captures Will and attempts to "return him to the earth" by feeding Will to Vazquez. However, Alicia finally takes charge as Teddy had wanted, stopping Will's murder and ending the practice of returning people to the earth.
Following Alicia and Will's failed escape attempt, Arno and a few of the others help Will to treat Alicia's injuries. Will reveals to Alicia when she wakes up a week later that Arno had heard from some of Teddy's other people on the surface just before the bombs went off that Alicia's friends had tried to stop Teddy, but that Victor Strand had gotten in the way.
Alicia reveals to Paul that the cult was ultimately forced to abandon the bunker as the nuclear blasts had compromised its structure. Following a dream of the zombified Elias Vazquez telling Alicia to follow him to PADRE, Alicia had led the cult in pursuit of the escaped walker, but something happened that led to a number of people dying and reanimating. As a result, Arno blamed Alicia for the deaths of his people, causing the cult to split into Alicia's Group and the Stalkers.
After capturing Alicia, Arno reveals a wagon full of zombified cultists that Arno intends to feed Alicia to as a punishment for her actions. However, Alicia is saved by Paul, resulting in the walkers being released from the wagon and attacking the Stalkers with two dying and Arno being forced to retreat. During the fight, Paul and Alicia put down two of the reanimated cultists and then hide out in an abandoned van until the rest eventually move off on their own.
Wes and Luciana recognize the Stalkers as being members of the cult that they had met while they were at the Holding. Arno also reveals that he was recruited into the cult by Derek and Wes attempts without success to gain more information on the cult's attack on Tank Town and Derek's role in it.
- Cultist 3 (Worker)
- Cultist 6
- Cultist 5
- Theodore Maddox (Leader)
- Jason Riley (Second-in-Command)
- Rollie (Spy)
- Cultist 4
- Harvey (Embalmer)
- Derek (Scout)
- Paige (Spy)
- Cultist 1 (Scout)
- Cultist 2 (Scout)
- Numerous unnamed members (Pre- and Post-Apocalypse)
- Alicia Clark (Former Leader)
- Sabrina (Former Worker)
- Arnold (Former Second-in-Command)
- Many unnamed cultists
This list shows the victims this cult has killed:
- Walter Schowski (Caused)
- Randall Perez (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Sullivan Daniels (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Michael Jenkins (Caused, Alive)
- Mary Anne (Caused, Alive)
- Harvey (Before Reanimation)
- Johnson (Zombified)
- Theodore Maddox
- Dakota (Caused)
- Emma (Caused)
- Acolyte (Caused)
- Elias Vazquez (Alive)
- Cultist 6 (Before Reanimation)
- Rowan (Caused)
- Muhammad (Caused)
- 13 unnamed funeral home survivors (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- 15 unnamed office workers (Caused, Alive)
- At least 30 unnamed Tank Town workers (Caused, Alive)
- 1 unnamed CRM soldier (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Several of Senator Vazquez's aides
- Many unnamed captives (Caused or Direct, Alive)
- Many unnamed Texas survivors (Caused)
- Numerous counts of zombies and unnamed people (Caused and/or Direct)
- Cultist 2
- Cultist 1
- Cultist 4 (Alive and Zombified)
- Jason Riley (Alive and Zombified)
- Theodore Maddox
- Dakota (Alive and Zombified)
- Cultist 5
- Cultist 6
- Many unnamed cultists (Alive and Zombified)
- "The End Is the Beginning"
- "The Key"
- "Bury Her Next to Jasper's Leg"
- "The Holding"
- "In Dreams"
- "USS Pennsylvania"
- "The Beginning"
- "The Beacon" (Zombified)
- "Cindy Hawkins" (Corpse/Zombified/Flashback)
- "Reclamation" (Zombified)
- "PADRE" (Flashback)
- "Follow Me" (Zombified)
- The Creative Visionaries Agency may not be the only place where the cult released the plague-infected rats: as Dwight couldn't have been infected with the plague there, he suspected it was rats that were in his sleeping bag a day or so before at a different location.
- They call the zombies "Posters".
- While the exact number of cultists who died and reanimated following their departure from the bunker is unknown, it appears to be in at least the dozens given the number of cultists seen as walkers in "The Beacon" and "Follow Me".
- The cult's population breakdown is as follows:
- After several deaths in Season 6, approximately one hundred twenty-seven (127) cultists were selected to inherit the Earth under the guidance of Alicia Clark at the Franklin Hotel. One deranged acolyte is killed prior to the nukes falling.
- After a dream, Alicia begins sending squadrons of cultists to search for a rumored safe haven known as PADRE after the hotel's structure is compromised. At least thirty (30) people are killed as a result, causing a rift between her and devoted acolyte, Arnold. Around ninety-six (96) cultists remain under Alicia's leadership.
- The cult splits into two groups as Alicia and Arnold's conflict comes to a peak: At least twenty-seven (27) cultists choose to follow Alicia, while around fifty-nine (59) join Arnold and form the Stalkers.
- Over the course of multiple conflicts with other survivors, at least thirty (30) Stalkers were killed on various occasions.
- In "Till Death", two (2) patrolmen in Alicia's group were shot by Tower rangers while on duty.
- By "Sonny Boy", with the deaths of Arnold and Sage, Luciana is able to convince the remaining thirty (30) Stalkers to join the fight against Strand's Tower. With the cult united once again, fifty-five (55) ex-cultists march to war, once again under the leadership of Alicia Clark.
- During the battle at the Tower, at least four (4) ex-cultists are killed. The remaining survivors retreat after the battle and evacuate the Texas wasteland via raft, leaving fifty-one (51) ex-cultists and Stalkers alive as of "Amina".