Spoilers for The Walking Dead 8x03.
Morales (Juan Pareja) made his shocking return at the end of episode 8x02, resurfacing in Season Eight after parting ways with the Atlanta group way back in the first season. Embittered from the loss of his family, Morales assimilated into the Saviors where he became loyal to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) — going so far as to hold alliance leader Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) at gunpoint with the intention of handing his captured prize over to his Savior cohorts.
In a controversial move, Daryl (Norman Reedus) stepped up and cut Morales down with an arrow, delivering a fatal blow and a definitive answer to the oft-asked question, "Whatever happened to Morales?"
"Well, when I saw him, I gave him a big hug and I was like, 'Hey, how you been?" Reedus says in a behind-the-scenes featurette highlighting Pareja's surprise return to the show. "And we talked about being off the show, and then when he was a wrap, I had to go, 'Sorry, bro.' But you know, I didn't write it. That's [showrunner Scott M. Gimple's] fault, that's not my fault."
Rick tried to reason with Morales, but their history meant nothing to Daryl: "I know who it was," Daryl told a stunned Rick. "Don't matter. Not one little bit."
While some fans are asking why Daryl killed Morales, the crossbow-wielding Alexandrian gives no Fs this season: he's out to kill everybody. Daryl's "gone a little bit rogue," according to Reedus, who set up a forthcoming Rick vs. Daryl showdown on the live aftershow Talking Dead.
"He was one of those question marks," co-executive producer Denise Huth says of Morales. "We have a few of them throughout the story of, like, ‘Whatever happened to…’ or ‘How did that go?’ And I was thrilled when I heard he was coming back. It was really fun to have sort of that blast from the past there on the set."
"It was so lovely to see him again," Lincoln says of his Season One co-star. "He created the show with all of us in that first season. It’s very cool, man. It’s very cool."
"Ultimately, I think Morales went out with his family, trying to get to Birmingham, and apparently didn’t get too far," Pareja says. "Eventually they got overcome and he lost his family, nearly lost his life, lost his mind and was found by the Saviors."
The war against Negan and the Saviors continues in episode 8x04, "Some Guy," which will complicate the alliance's plans with the introduction of a scary new weapon in the Savior arsenal.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.