Fear The Walking Dead season 4 took a shocking turn Sunday when episode 4x03, 'Good Out Here,' killed off series veteran Nick (Frank Dillane), a major focus of the series since its first episode.
Nick, who wrestled with a lust for revenge following the ruination of the baseball stadium and whatever happened to MIA mother Madison, found himself under the tutelage of The Walking Dead transplant Morgan, who only recently overcame his own bloodlust.
The reformed Morgan attempted to impart his philosophy on Nick, a worldview he himself learned from wise cheese-maker Eastman (John Carroll Lynch) in a season 6 bottle episode of The Walking Dead, aiming to prevent a clearly wayward Nick from going down the same murderous path.
Morgan, once the lost soul in need of peace and salvation, has now become the wise old sage: he's in the position Eastman was so long ago when he dedicated himself to reforming a crazed Morgan, who at that time felt an obsessive need to "clear."
After abandoning his old ways following the merciful defeat of Negan and the Saviors in The Walking Dead, the spinoff series finds Morgan once again adopting his old mantra: "I don't kill," he told Nick after physically and philosophically grappling with the despaired survivor.
"You wanna hunt down whoever hurt you," Morgan told him later, "that's your business."
Morgan is a man who knows about acting out in grief and anger and wreaking righteous vengeance on your enemies — a vengeance Morgan attempted to prevent Nick from exacting on his personal nemesis (series newcomer Ethan Gamble).
With the mustached Vulture in his sights, Nick went in for the kill, only to be held off by Morgan.
"Are you gonna do what it takes to stop me?" Nick told Morgan, knowing he's duty-bound not to take a life. "You can. You did."
He dropped his stick, stepped aside, and let it play out.
Nick and the Vulture engaged in a bloody confrontation that ended with the Vulture impaled by the knife-like antlers of a toppled buck's head. Nick pressed down on the Vulture's body, finishing him off.
Nick emerged from the kill with blood-soaked hands, prompting Morgan to explain why he saw himself:
"It was my wife, my son, and my friends. That's who I lost. Before I lost myself," Morgan told him.
"I know where you are, Nick. Because I was there. I didn't know how to make it stop. I didn't know if I wanted it to stop. Didn't think I could ever find my way out. Then I met someone. A man didn't have to help me, but he did. He gave me something, Nick. He told me — he showed me that all life is precious, and that helped. It still does."
"This is part of it," Morgan said, withdrawing a pocket-sized 'The Art of Peace.'
But the gesture was "too late," Nick said.
"Believe me. Believe me, it's not," Morgan told him.
Nick took it in his bloody hands and was seen studying the book just before he was shot and killed by 10-year-old Vulture spy Charlie (series newcomer Alexa Nisenson), who committed the heinous murder before fleeing.9comments
Nick died clutching a Bluebonnet, the flower representative of Madison's belief there's "still good out here."
Fear The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.