New de facto group leader Morgan (Lennie James) will continue to be guided by two central figures from his past in Fear the Walking Dead Season 5: Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Eastman (John Carroll Lynch).
“When [Morgan] left Rick and Virginia, his focus very much was to be away from people, and not be anywhere near people, and to be on his own. Didn’t quite work out that way, and now he not only finds himself as part of a new group, but also – partly because of his history – how he survived in a role where they are looking at [him as a leader],” James told press during a set visit (via CinemaBlend).
“He has to start to make a choice about if he’s going to take that on, how he might [do that]. The way that he’s decided to take it on is by learning from the two obvious men that happen to be in his life that have taught him anything, and that’s Rick and Eastman.”
Rick and Morgan’s relationship extends back to the first season of The Walking Dead. Morgan later encountered loner Eastman in Season 6, at a time when Morgan was driven mad by the loss of only son Duane (Adrian Kali Turner).
It was Eastman who imparted onto Morgan the mostly pacifistic philosophies that have defined the character in the years since — namely “all life is precious” — a new way of life that carried over into Morgan’s debut season of Fear the Walking Dead, where Morgan tried to pass those same lessons onto a wayward Nick Clark (Frank Dillane).
Morgan departed Virginia after witnessing another major lesson handed down by Rick, who spared archfoe Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) after suffering the death of his own son, Carl (Chandler Riggs).
Though he didn’t stick around to see it, Morgan’s own teachings had an influence on Rick, who embraced a more benevolent and civil way of life in the 18 months that followed Morgan’s one-man trek west after the war against the Saviors was ended.
It’s an attitude that comes into play in Fear Season 5, where Morgan and company continue their goodwill mission to seek out and help needy strangers, guided by the cache of tapes collected by Althea (Maggie Grace).0comments
“With the premise of Eastman’s philosophy being ‘all life is precious,’ I think that Morgan has taken that on, but in this environment, it’s that there’s a positive thing to ‘if we’re going to be alive, let’s be alive adding something positive into the world, because we don’t know how much longer we’re going to be here,’” James said.
“Everybody in this group is aware of how immediate death can be, and he wants whatever is in between today and death to at least be them trying to walk in a positive direction. To help folk.”