Fear The Walking Dead has a new arch foe for Morgan (Lennie James) in Filthy Woman (Tonya Pinkins), who “genuinely scares him.”
“Filthy Woman surprises him, and there’s not many times that Morgan has been genuinely surprised, and she does,” James said on Talking Dead.
“She kind of outsmarts him. By the time he realizes what’s going on, it’s already been going on for a bit of time. The first time she calls his name and says ‘Morgan,’ it’s a genuine shock to him. This person knows much more about Morgan than he would willingly choose to give to anybody again, and she’s got it. And it just feels like to him that she’s already three steps ahead, and I think it genuinely scares him,” James added.
As audiences have come to learn, Morgan and Filthy Woman are diametrically opposed: Morgan wants to help people, adopting the mission of Clayton (Stephen Henderson) — the "Polar Bear" trucker who distributed help boxes at various mile markers, with marker-scribbled instructions telling survivors to “take what you need, leave what you don’t” — while Filthy Woman believes such acts of kindness and selflessness makes survivors “weak.”
“It’s just this idea that help begets more help, and benevolence begets benevolence. It’s a pretty unique way to live in this world and that’s going to be very much of the storytelling going forward,” showrunner Ian Goldberg told EW.
“Even though, it also puts Morgan directly in the cross hairs of the Filthy Woman that we see in this episode. She doesn’t like that he is carrying forward Polar Bear’s legacy and I think we see just how determined she is to stop that and to be the opposite of that help that Polar Bear was trying to promote,” Goldberg continued.
With just three episodes left this season, answers about Filthy Woman’s twisted ideology are soon to come and will arrive “as soon as next week,” added showrunner Andrew Chambliss, who said there is “a very good reason for the philosophy that Filthy Woman espouses and why she is so dead set against stopping this group of people who have picked up Polar Bear’s mantel and kind of continuing to do what he set out to do.”
Viewers can anticipate learning Filthy Woman’s name and what Chambliss called “one of our favorite needle drop montage sequences” that will reveal more of the villain’s blood-soaked past.
For now, the first trailer for the back half of Fear Season Four released during San Diego Comic-Con contains a hint at just how Filthy Woman affects Morgan: he can be seen stood alone in front of a bathroom mirror, staring at his oft-repeated mantra — “I lose people, I lose myself” — written in marker on his forehead.
That just so happens to be the identifying trademark of Filthy Woman, who writes sayings on the usually-dead faces of her victims. Worse still, she threw Morgan’s famous catchphrase in his face as recent as this past episode, just before unleashing the full arsenal force of the stolen S.W.A.T. van on Morgan and his friends, an attack that will play out in next Sunday’s episode as the survivors come face-to-face with Filthy Woman.
Fear The Walking Dead airs its next episode Sunday, Sept. 16 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.