Fear The Walking Dead Season Five will find Morgan (Lennie James) and allies spearheading an effort to help needy strangers throughout the west and reconnect with the survivors found on the precious tapes belonging to documentarian Althea (Maggie Grace).
Season Four ended with Morgan assuming control of the out-of-the-way denim factory used by Clayton (Stephen Henderson), a.k.a. trucker Polar Bear, as the base for a network of kind-hearted truckers who indiscriminately dispersed supplies for strangers in left behind cardboard boxes. Morgan, backed by Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and their newly reunited pack of survivors, have agreed to forge something bigger as inspired by the late Madison Clark (Kim Dickens).
“I think we get a little bit of a taste of what they’re doing at the very end when we see that convoy go out looking for people. That very much is going to be what their mission is going forward,” showrunner Ian Goldberg told EW.
“It was very important for us that it wasn’t just Morgan’s idea, that the whole entire group was invested in it. And that’s why we did have that moment where Alicia said they need to keep Madison’s philosophy alive and where Al talked about finding people on the tapes. Even where Luciana invoked Polar Bear when she convinced Sarah and Wendell that they should be a part of this.”
Morgan and co. found resistance to their benevolence in the form of Martha (Tonya Pinkins), a.k.a. the Filthy Woman, who died and turned in the Season Four finale before being put down by a merciful Morgan.
Even with Martha out of the way, Morgan’s mission won’t go undeterred — and characters like Strand (Colman Domingo) and June (Jenna Elfman) still have a lot of healing to do.
“It was really about bringing all of our characters’ journeys over the course of the season together and making the synthesis of that into the mission going forward. You know, that being said, while the group sets out at the end of this episode bright tailed and bushy eyed, filled with hope, thinking they’re going to help people, what we want to explore in season 5 is just how difficult that might be in this world,” Goldberg added.
“Because of external obstacles, but also because of internal obstacles. These are characters who still have a lot of work to do on themselves. We’ve seen everyone change a lot over this season, but that doesn’t mean that they’re past all the trauma that they’ve been through.”
When asked if the denim factory will act as a more permanent base of operations — like Morgan’s version of Alexandria — or if the show will spend a lot of time on the move, Goldberg said we’ll see “a little bit of both.”
“What we see at the end of the season here is that their mission is to go out into the world and help people. They will be using Al’s tapes as a guide to find those people. They’ll find some other people along the way, but they’ll also realize that, as Strand said, finding people won’t be easy,” Goldberg said.
“They are in short supply. So, they have a strong mission that they’re rallying behind but who knows what obstacles they’ll hit on the way to do that, and what inhabiting the river mill will look like with the new purpose?”
Added showrunner Andrew Chambliss, Madison’s philosophy — passed on to Alicia, Strand, and Luciana (Danay García) when Madison sacrificed herself in the Season Four mid-season finale — will continue to fuel the characters going into Season Five.
“The group’s mission and their desire to help people as a way to kind of find their own redemption is something that is going to stick with them throughout season 5,” Chambliss said.
“But, that being said, this is a show that likes to reinvent itself every eight episodes. So I think the way the characters carry out that drive will change quite a bit over the course of the season.”
The fifth season of Fear The Walking Dead is expected to launch in spring 2019. The Walking Dead Season Nine launches Sunday, October 7 on AMC.