Sunday’s Fear the Walking Dead deepens the growing closeness between Morgan (Lennie James) and Grace (Karen David) when the pair hunker down in a mall as part of an effort to help a stranger, but will the friendship turn romantic?
“The connection that Morgan and Grace had was one where Morgan could understand what she was going through. She felt responsible for the deaths of people she was close to, and like the only way she could come back from that was killing walkers,” showrunner Andrew Chambliss told TV Insider. “In many ways, that was an echo of Morgan’s reaction to losing his son and his wife: All he could do was kill walkers.”
But for Morgan, the emotional turmoil caused by the traumatic loss of wife Jenny (Keisha Tillis) and son Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) is the biggest roadblock standing in the way of a Morgan-Grace coupling.
“As to whether or not there’s something between them, right now Morgan’s in a place where he still imagines he is married,” Chambliss said. “He has to deal with the tragedy there that he hasn’t dealt with, in order to move forward.”
When filming an interview with Althea (Maggie Grace) in 509, “Channel 4,” Morgan confesses his inability to say goodbye to his family. That same loss drove him to put himself at great risk to help Tess (Peggy Schott) and her son (Cole Whitaker), navigating a field filled with active landmines to give the boy a much-need inhaler.
“When we hear him talking about Jenny and Duane, I think he’s realizing he hasn’t grieved for them, and that’s what he means when he says he hasn’t said goodbye. He knows that’s what he needs to do so he can really look toward the future,” Chambliss said. “The journey he’s going to find himself on in the back half of the season is really grappling with what it means to say goodbye, how he can say goodbye, and whether it’s something he wants to do. That’s something we’ll be seeing a lot more of as we continue this season.”
Should Morgan and Grace get together romantically, it might be followed by another goodbye for Morgan soon after: Grace is more and more feeling the effects of frequent exposures to radiation, putting a ticking clock on any potential romance.
New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 5 premiere on AMC Sundays at 9/8c.