The announcement of Morgan Jones jumping from The Walking Dead to Fear the Walking Dead might be more important for the two series than meets the eye.
Right off the bat, fans suspected Fear the Walking Dead would tell the backstory of a character who had died on The Walking Dead. Abraham Ford was the perfect fit. Michael Cudlitz is available for the part and Abraham's journey began in Texas, where Fear has moved for its fourth season. So, the idea of a backstory was prominently in mind.
After all, Abraham's backstory fit the bill of Robert Kirkman's New York Comic Con tease which included the question, "Are we going to see a Walking Dead character's backstory play out in Fear the Walking Dead?"
Of course, the tease ended with, "Is it going to be different than that?" which is the real reason the real crossover is very important.
Talking Dead officially revealed Lennie James would be "leaving" The Walking Dead to serve as the crossover character. He brought his Morgan Jones character to the Austin, Texas set of Fear just one week after the flagship series wrapped production on its eighth season in Georgia.
On top of the announcement, everyone involved is really selling the whole, "Lennie James is leaving," thing. Cast members have chimed in, saying how much they miss him, and James himself has expressed grief over parting ways with the original show's cast, all making it seem as though he will never be back.
The Walking Dead, however, has been known to pull stunts like this in the past. None have forgotten Glenn's dumpster dive with Nicholas, faking the character's death right down to removing his Steven Yeun's name from the opening credits.
Many are assuming Morgan will meet his end before The Walking Dead Season 8 comes to a close, only to be brought back to life in a past tense form during one his Walking Dead absences on Fear the Walking Dead. This probably isn't the case for several reasons, including a flat out lack of interest in following a dead character.
However, the chief reason for Morgan to survive The Walking Dead's current season before joining Fear the Walking Dead is to keep fans interested. Should The Walking Dead follow its comic book source material (though it already isn't, seeing as Morgan died long ago in the books), concluding its All Out War story in the Season 8 finale before pulling off a massive time jump to start Season 9, it's a perfect jumping off point for many fans. The war they have stuck it out for is over... What else can there be this fall?
After all, less than 8 million fans tuned into the most recent episode, which is less than half of the audience which was present for the Season 7 premiere and more than 40% less than Season 8's premiere.
By "continuing" Morgan's story on Fear the Walking Dead (which is the exact word being used), fans of The Walking Dead would basically be getting The Walking Dead Season 8.5 by watching Fear: they follow Morgan in the aftermath of leaving Alexandria for whatever reasons he may have. Maybe he's on a quest to find his wife Jenny and finally put her down? Maybe he just doesn't want to be a part of Rick's group and their ways anymore?
In any case, he will be on a collision course with Madison Clark and company.
Surely, Morgan's encounter with Alicia, Nick, Strand, and the Fear gang will inevitably lead to him suggesting the survivors head east to a community he was once a part of. Keeping such a secret would require one heavy falling out with Rick and company. Maybe this was a recruiting mission in the first place. Maybe the Whisperers are teased along the journey to make things interesting.
But, most importantly, maybe Morgan's arrival back to Alexandria with a new batch of characters leads up to the moments where The Walking Dead begins its ninth season.
Rather than waiting months to know what's going on in the world of the zombie apocalypse, Walking Dead fans would be tasked with exploring more parts of the United States on a journey from Texas to Virginia as the groups unite and the show goes on.
While the crossover only promised one character jumping shows, no one ruled out the possibility of the two shows merging entirely, afterwards.