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The Surprising Inspiration Behind Fear The Walking Dead's SWAT Vehicle Chase Scene

The fifth episode of Fear the Walking Dead season 6 served up a thrilling action scene that didn't involve a single walker. After reuniting with Sherry, Dwight and Al helped the new group of outcasts from Virginia's communities hatch a plan to steal Ginny's SWAT vehicle. Since she knows the vehicle inside and out, Al played an instrumental role in the plot, but it turns out the infinitely cool SWAT van chase scene had a uniquely Western inspiration that Al may not have had in mind when she concocted the plan.

Fear the Walking Dead isn't a show with any interest in shying away from its Western influences. From its Texas setting to the cowboy hat-wearing villain that is Ginny, the show owes a great debt to classic Western films of the past. It seems the post-apocalyptic future looks an awful lot like High Noon with the added bonus of zombies, and showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss are quite happy to keep finding news ways to incorporate Western tropes in the show as the series progresses.

In "Honey," that meant orchestrating a stagecoach style chase scene between a man in an armored van and mask-wearing "bandits" on horseback.

Yes, the Fear the Walking Dead showrunners wanted the SWAT van chase scene to be reminiscent of a stagecoach heist

In a post-episode interview with Entertainment Weekly, Goldberg and Chambliss shared that the SWAT van chase scene's resemblance to classic Western stagecoach heists was totally intentional. The writers saw the moment as a chance to pay homage to a genre that has long informed many elements in FTWD, as well as The Walking Dead — and as an opportunity to get the powerful SWAT vehicle out of Ginny's hands.

"Yeah, it definitely was a stagecoach robbery, a train robbery. We wanted to get the SWAT van back, and we were trying to think of the coolest way to do it," Chambliss said.

As we were thinking about it, we struck on this idea of, really, the only way you can get in that thing when all the doors and hatches are locked is through the gun ports. Just this idea of having no initial attack leading the charge to try to draw the fire and really leaving the door open for Dwight to slip in."

As cool as the scene was, it also marked the beginning of Dwight and Shelly's reunion going down hill as they both fought to keep each other from returning to the people they were before they escaped Negan's clutches. With the question of what to do about Virginia still lingering between them, it could be some time before these two star-crossed lovers get back together for good (if that's even in the cards for them — never forget how ruthless this show is when it comes time to kill off characters). But if they can continue to set their differences aside long enough to pull off a few more instantly classic scenes like the SWAT heist, it would be much appreciated.