Fear The Walking Dead's midseason premiere revealed Morgan (Lennie James) intends to head home to Alexandria, Virginia, and tell close ally Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) "he was right" — but will the reunion ever come to pass?
"Morgan has been on an incredible journey already on Fear The Walking Dead. When we saw him at the beginning of season 4, he was running away from Alexandria. He was running away from all the people he was closest to because he felt that was the only way he could survive in this world, he had to be on his own," co-showrunner Ian Goldberg said on Talking Dead.
"It was a very different Morgan at the end of episode 4x08 — he was at a campfire surrounded by people he never could have imagined that he would have been surrounded by. Some that were friends, some were foes that became friends, and now he says he wants to go back to Alexandria."
Morgan extended invitations to new friends John (Garret Dillahunt) and Althea (Maggie Grace), and unsteady newfound allies Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Stand (Colman Domingo) and Luciana (Danay García) — but despite saying he intends to leave in the morning, Morgan may never make the journey.
"I would just say that Morgan has his reasons he says he wants to go to Alexandria — he says to Alicia he wants to look Rick in the eye and tell him that he was right, that he would find his way back toward people — but there's actually, there's more going on there," Goldberg said.
"There's actually a deeper issue that Morgan is wrestling with, and I think you see it at the end of the episode when Alicia says, 'Why are you leaving?' And he can't answer. But he will be able to answer by the end of the back half of the season. So I would say keep watching."
"The exciting thing for us as writers is, the Walking Dead universe is constantly expanding," he added. "It's just amazing to be able to sort of use those reference points — Morgan talking about his conversations with Rick, and the people that he was close to back at Alexandria — it gives such a rich history."
Fear season 4 started with Rick trying to convince Morgan, who had relocated to the Scavengers' now-abandoned junk yard to live in solitude, to "come back" and rejoin society.
"You'll end up with people, one way or another. You're connected ... you're part of the world already," Rick told him. "You'll find your way back to it, because it'll find its way back to you. So just come back. Like I said ... you can hide, but you can't run."
Morgan later admits to John he "never should have left," telling him, "my friend, I think he was right. It's where I belong, it's where I should be." Trying to redirect a grieving and solitary Alicia, Morgan advised her against running from people and making the same mistake.
"That friend I told you I got back there, the one who said I'd find my way back to the world, back to people? See, I left straight after I heard that. To get away. To make it so that he was wrong," Morgan told her.
"I just want to look him in the eye and tell him he was right. Think he deserves to know. 'Cause he was. I'm just telling you, because I don't want you to find out one of the hard ways."
Both shows synced timelines in Fear 4x01 when that season premiere picked up where The Walking Dead's season 8 finale ended. The flagship series will jump ahead with an 18-month time jump in season 9, where Morgan is nowhere to be seen — leaving Morgan a year and a half to reconnect with Rick before leading man Andrew Lincoln brings his time with that series to a close.
"There was a sort of sense, certainly, with Lennie, that it's until we meet again," Lincoln told EW of James' exit from The Walking Dead, months before it was learned Lincoln would be ending his tenure as Rick Grimes.1comments
"It's always been that way with Rick and Morgan. I don't know, there's something in the air, that I feel that it's not quite the end yet for Rick and Morgan."
Fear The Walking Dead airs new episodes Sundays at 9/8c on AMC. The Walking Dead returns Sunday, Oct. 7.