All 11 Wаlkinɡ Deаd Cаllbасks In Dwiɡһt’s Feаr TWD Sаnсtuаry Episode


  • The “Sanctuary” episode of Fear The Walking Dead revisits The Sanctuary settlement from The Walking Dead, reminding Dwight and Sherry of their traumatic past under Negan’s regime.
  • The episode explores Dwight’s mission to right his past wrongs and avoid repeating the cycle of fear and violence that he experienced at The Sanctuary.
  • The callbacks to The Sanctuary, including the chained-up walkers and Dwight’s burns, symbolize the guilt, trauma, and sense of hopelessness that Dwight and Sherry still carry with them.

The Walking Dead delivered multiple callbacks to Dwight’s days at the Sanctuary in Fear The Walking Dead‘s “Sanctuary” episode. With multiple spinoffs, it’s often a point of interest when The Walking Dead‘s timeline references moments from other shows in its universe or draws parallels to the past for characters who appear in multiple shows. Fear The Walking Dead‘s season 8 cast features characters from the main show, but Dwight (Austin Amelio) and Sherry’s (Christine Evangelista) story comes full circle in “Sanctuary.”

The various losses and traumas Dwight and Sherry face under Negan’s regime have a lasting impact. “Sanctuary” explores how this impact can affect the PADRE story in Fear‘s final season by drawing connections to different moments – big and small – that Dwight and Sherry experienced while at The Sanctuary on TWD. Additionally, audiences can see what happened to Negan’s Sanctuary by exploring Dwight and Sherry’s trauma.

11 Negan’s Sanctuary Settlement

The Sanctuary was mainly active in seasons 7-8 of The Walking Dead

The Sanctuary's Main Factory Building in TWD

The most obvious callback is the Sanctuary settlement itself. Dwight and Sherry return to this familiar TWD location, therefore stirring up memories for both of them. Even though the factory is dilapidated and seemingly abandoned at first, the fact that a group has taken residence there mimics Negan establishing his group there. There are also small nods to how Negan ran his settlement, such as the stolen medicine. Negan similarly used to forcibly take supplies from communities by instilling fear.

10 Dwight Needing To Reclaim Insulin From The Sanctuary

Taking insulin from the Sanctuary led to Dwight’s return there in TWD

Dwight infiltrates the Sanctuary to retrieve Jay’s insulin. What makes this so poignant is that in TWD Sherry steals insulin from the Sanctuary for her sister Tina, which leads to her and Dwight being forced to rejoin Negan’s settlement. This time, Dwight’s purpose is linked to a goal of making things right after losing his son and feeling hopeless about PADRE.

Jay also mentions losing loved ones, which resonates with Dwight as he agrees to help after this. Retrospectively, he tries to right wrongs and avoid repeating the cycle of what he and Sherry went through at the Sanctuary. Similarly, a photo of Dwight and Sherry resembles Jay’s family photo, again giving Dwight something in Jay to relate to. While Jay turns and dies – just as Tina did – Dwight’s intentions to help someone in need highlight his juxtaposition to the Sanctuary and all it stood for.

9 The Singing Fish In Dwight’s Room At The Sanctuary

Dwight uncovers bullets from his past to fight in the present

In TWD‘s “Hostiles and Calamities,” Dwight retrieves cigarettes from a hiding spot in his room at the Sanctuary. This is the mouth of a mounted singing fish, which is seen in “Sanctuary.” In this episode, Dwight retrieves a box of ammunition hidden in a hole in the wall and reloads his gun. These two instances hold different weight. In the former, Dwight finds a cigarette stained with Sherry’s lipstick, a sign that they still are connected even if separated.

In the latter, however, Dwight explicitly says he will handle the walkers alone, arming himself to take them on with the bullets. His defeat and tension with Sherry in “Sanctuary” highlight how they are distanced now when there isn’t an external force (Negan) dividing them. This demonstrates how Dwight’s hopelessness may be worse than his time at The Sanctuary due to his loss now. His willingness to die is also not hidden, like the cigarettes and box of bullets, as Sherry calls him out on it.

8 Sherry’s “Go Now” Note To Daryl From The Walking Dead

The note was part of helping Daryl escape The Sanctuary

Sherry's Go Now Note From TWD

Sherry’s note leads to her leaving and their separation. Dwight seeing it again undoubtedly brings up the same pain he felt then, but also symbolizes his devotion to Sherry. He once covered up her escape by claiming he killed her after Negan ordered him to find her. It also draws focus to how they are emotionally distant now by contrasting it to when they were physically apart. This foreshadows how their distance now is potentially not worth it since they found each other even after all the obstacles in their way.

7 The Chained-Up Walkers At The Sanctuary’s Fence

The Sanctuary’s defense system calls back to the Saviors’

Gordon As A Walker On The Fence At The Sanctuary

The Sanctuary used to make use of walkers chained to the perimeter fence as a means of defense. Keeping enemies out this way added to the initial security of the settlement. In “Sanctuary,” Dwight recalls the walkers on the fence, particularly the zombified Gordon from TWD. Gordon was a Savior who escaped and was found by Dwight. After begging to be let go, Dwight tells him to run only to shoot him in the back.

While this is an act of mercy, Dwight’s kindness backfires since Gordon is added to the fence later as a walker. Dwight recalling this particular chained-up walker symbolizes his guilt for his past actions, as well as the sense of pointlessness he feels now. By having walkers chained up again, there’s an implication that The Sanctuary is inherently rooted in antagonism since it has a new group using some of the same methods as the ruthless Saviors.

6 Dwight Getting His Face Burned By Negan

Dwight exhibits similarities to Negan at the furnace

Dwight flashes back to Negan approaching him with a hot iron and hears his words, “There is always a cost. It is what it is. The rules matter. Who are you, Dwight?” For Dwight, the cost of his past actions causes his burns and his return to The Saviors, mainly because he breaks Negan’s rules. Most notably, his actions after the “who are you” line foreshadow his similarity to Negan.

Dwight calmly tells Phil, a member of the villain group, that he’s retrieving something they stole to return it to its owner. Phil comments on Dwight’s burns and threatens to do the same to the other side of his face. Dwight deflects and tosses him head-first into the furnace, then recalls how Negan did the same to Dr. Emmett Carson. He stares at the furnace in the present, seemingly in shock. This illustrates his turmoil about his intentions to do good and his capability to do things as bad as Negan has done.

5 Sherry’s Negative Pregnancy Test From The Walking Dead

Sherry’s flashbacks highlight her and Dwight’s loss

The Positive Pregnancy Test In FTWD Sanctuary Episode

While June gets supplies to tend to Dove’s bullet wound, Sherry spots an old positive pregnancy test in the infirmary. As she stands frozen, Dwight notices it and her reaction. Sherry recalls when she showed Dwight the negative pregnancy test in the main show after they returned to the Sanctuary and Sherry was made one of Negan’s wives.

This, coupled with other flashbacks related to Finch, emphasizes the loss both Sherry and Dwight have gone through and suggests how the Sanctuary caused them loss too. Equating their lives as Saviors with their lives now, even with their relationship at a rocky point, demonstrates just how much trauma the Sanctuary instilled in them. Negan’s reign meant they couldn’t be together or start a family, and PADRE led to them losing that yet again.

The metal head walkers add to The Sanctuary’s defense

A Metal Head Walker On FTWD

Similarly to the chained-up walkers, the metalhead walkers also call back to TWD‘s Sanctuary days. This one adds to the walkers’ strength as their heads are a more challenging target with the metal. While Eugene’s suggestion to case the walkers’ heads in metal is inspired by a walker he’d seen previously, the purpose is similar now as it makes them indestructible and less likely to deteriorate.

Sherry encounters them after she traps Dwight in a room and heads out to fight the walkers alone. Fighting them when their heads are more protected adds to Sherry’s challenges. She resorts to shooting them in the eyes. These walkers’ presence here potentially solves a 7-year-old Eugene mystery from season 6 of the main show because it suggests that this fortified form of walkers could have come from the villain group now residing in the Sanctuary.

3 The Infinity Symbols On The Walls At the Sanctuary

The symbol signifies togetherness and overcoming difficulties

The Infinity Symbol Dwight Draws At The Sanctuary

Dwight points out the infinity symbol on the wall in his room and reminds Sherry about how he used to put it around the Sanctuary where Negan wouldn’t see it as a reminder that they are always together. This symbol, also carved near the furnace, hints at a possible reconnection for the pair. Dwight explains how the symbol made him feel like they could turn anything bad into something good but not anymore, represented by him punching the wall where the symbol is later.

Dwight’s solution is to clear the walkers weakening the building as a way to honor Finch. However, Sherry says Dwight is selfish for knowingly wanting to put himself in mortal danger and traps him in the room. This act suggests that the symbol is still relevant and they can still turn something bad (their estrangement and loss) into something good, like working together to fix PADRE and reconciling. By the end of the episode, Dwight admits he shouldn’t have left and reiterates that he, Sherry, June and Dove (now going by Odessa) are a family.

2 The Herd During The Siege Of The Sanctuary From The Walking Dead

The fall of The Sanctuary symbolizes healing

Sanctuary destruction in Fear The Walking Dead

The walker herd starts infiltrating the Sanctuary and acts as a plot device. Their presence propels Dwight through his struggle of hopelessness to his reconnection with his family as they represent the chaos and danger associated with Negan’s settlement, which Dwight overcomes. Additionally, their destruction of the building mimics the walkers that got in and killed many people while damaging the Sanctuary in TWD‘s “Time for After” episode.

Once the herd breaks through the walls of the building, they overcome Marty and the rest of his group, signifying the defeat of villains at the Sanctuary once again. After the building is collapsed and the walkers are crushed by debris, Dwight and the others are safe. This fall of the Sanctuary marks the end of a threat and the start of true healing for Sherry and Dwight. It also shows how the once indestructible structure can be destroyed, just as Negan was defeated despite being viewed as an untouchable threat

1 Dwight’s Final Conversation With Daryl From The Walking Dead

Daryl’s words impact Dwight’s attempts to do the right thing

Daryl Talking To Dwight In The Walking Dead Season 8 Episode 16

Dwight has a few flashbacks of Daryl in this scene, such as when Daryl was a prisoner at the Sanctuary. The most notable is when Daryl tells him, “Go out there, and you make it right.” After this occurs in TWD, Dwight goes to Texas in search of Sherry, essentially to make everything that happened in the Savior and Militia battle have something positive come out of it. Since Dwight and Sherry aren’t on good terms and Finch is dead, Dwight struggles with what it means to make things right.

After Jay turns, Dwight calls out to Daryl saying that he tried but couldn’t make it right, and that Daryl should’ve killed him. This display of grief showcases Dwight’s pain over his losses. Although he pleads for Daryl to kill him, Sherry, June, and Dove arrive. Their return symbolizes a second chance of sorts for Dwight to make things right since their arrival forces him to persevere since they need him. Fear The Walking Dead weaves numerous references to Dwight and Sherry’s experiences at the Sanctuary on TWD into this episode, highlighting how much has changed and the trauma they still share.

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