"As we saw in the first half of the season, Morgan's been on a pretty big journey. He started out as someone who ran away from Alexandria, from everyone he was close to because he believed that the best way for him to live in this world was to be on his own. He didn't want to be around people. That changed over the first half of the season, and by the end of the half of our season 4, he's sitting around a campfire with people — some of whom were friends, some were foes that became friends. It was an unexpected turn of events for Morgan," co-showrunner Ian Goldberg told EW.
"But there is still a big part of Morgan that is connected to the people he left behind. We're going to see that he's also wrestling with some other emotional demons that we're going to unpack as the back half of this season goes on. And he may say that he's going back to Alexandria, but the journey to get there is going to be filled with a lot of unexpected turns. We look forward to hearing how people react to that journey."
"Alexandria is a good place for good people. We'd be lucky to have you," Morgan said, extending invitations to the mostly split-up pack of survivors — John, June, Althea, Charlie, Alicia, Strand, and Luciana — only to be met with resistance.
When Morgan tells a self-exiled Alicia she can pull the aimless survivors together, she confronts him with a retort he hadn't considered: he could help them, but he's leaving.
"It's a very good question that Alicia asks Morgan and I don't think it's necessarily one that he has consciously been wrestling with. As he told Alicia earlier in the episode, he left a lot of people he cared about back in Virginia without saying goodbye. And it's almost like Morgan isn't even processing the fact that he's now doing the same thing again to this new group of people that he's grown close to," co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss explained.
"When Alicia throws his advice back in his face and says, 'You're telling me I should help the people around me, well, you should be doing the same thing' — that's really the first time Morgan is realizing that, in a way, he may be going back to people in Virginia doing the same thing he was doing at the beginning of the season. He's running from people."
Morgan accompanied Alicia on her mission to save a struggling survivor who was communicating strictly through scribbled help notes, but upon learning the man was already dead, Alicia stormed off to continue her solitude — just as an actual storm rolled in.
"I think a lot of it stems from the fact that [Morgan] doesn't know how to help these people. In the same exact way that the reason Alicia isn't living in that house with Luciana and Strand — they remind her of all these really dark things she did, but I don't think she has an easy answer for any of them about how they can move forward," Chambliss said.
"It's just easier to put your head down and get focused on a mission like following these help notes. Going forward, both Alicia and Morgan are going to have to come to terms with that question about how they can help the people around them. It's obviously not going to be easy, because by the end of this episode, Alicia and Morgan part ways just as the storm is reaching its peak intensity."
The Walking Dead will undergo an 18-month time jump when it returns for Season Nine in October. As we know from the Season Nine trailer, Morgan ultimately doesn't rejoin the network of communities back east — but there is a sizable gap that makes it possible, as likely as it may be, for Morgan to make good on his intentions to reconnect with Rick Grimes before Andrew Lincoln exits that series.
Last month, AMC officially renewed Fear for a fifth season. Fear The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.