Last week's episode of The Walking Dead featured the shocking return of a past character, Morales (Juan Pareja), who resurfaced hundreds of miles away from where viewers saw him last way back in the show's first season.
When viewers saw him last, Morales and family — a wife and two kids, a boy and a girl — took refuge outside of Atlanta as part of a larger group of survivors that included Shane, Lori, Carl, the Peletier family, Glenn, T-Dog, Andrea, Dale and more. Following a disastrous surprise Walker attack during a fish fry, Morales and family decided to part ways with the group and head to Birmingham, Alabama, where they would try and reconnect with family.
It was seven years ago in real time, but it's been just a little over twenty months since Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Morales last saw each other in the time frame of the show. Since departing from the group, Morales somehow ended up as part of Negan's army of Saviors — and as seen in this extended sneak peek look at tonight's episode, "Monsters," Morales is taking their beliefs to heart. Morales seems dangerously unhinged and almost gleeful to hand Rick over to Negan, saying Rick is a "prize": as the leader of Alexandria, Rick, de facto Hilltop leader Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and the Kingdom's monarch, Ezekiel (Khary Payton), are under "no kill" rules; Saviors are to bring these three in, alive, if possible.
Rick Grimes is under no such restrictions.
Considering the offer Rick made to Negan's lieutenants in episode 8x01, it's likely Rick will first try to reason with Morales, taking into account their shared history — brief as it was. Normally, being the grunt soldier of the show's big bad and training a gun on Rick "neck biter" Grimes would get you killed; but considering Rick's aversion to killing Saviors if he doesn't have to — he'll kill in battle, but he'll give you the option to surrender, if possible — it's likely Rick will extend this same courtesy to Morales, who he once knew as a good man just looking out for his family.
Despite Morales' threat that more Saviors are on the way, Rick isn't exactly helpless: Daryl (Norman Reedus) is somewhere nearby, with the two having seized the building in search of a Saviors weapon cache reported to be somewhere on the premises. Rick didn't find any guns — all he found was a now-orphaned little girl named Gracie — but we don't know what Daryl is up to, and he'll likely be Rick's ace in the hole.
Find out what happens tonight at 9/8c on AMC.