In the fallout from Morgan Jones (Lennie James) and Victor Strand's (Colman Domingo) falling out over failing to stop Teddy (John Glover) from bringing about the nuclear apocalypse, Season 7 of Fear the Walking Dead asks one question: Whose side are you on? Spoiler warning for Season 7 Episode 3, "Cindy Hawkins." When June (Jenna Elfman) and John Dorie Sr. (Keith Carradine) hunker down six feet underground in the fallout shelter where serial killer Teddy embalmed his victims, it's attacking Stalkers who force the Dorie duo to pick a side topside. Except it's Victor who chooses for them: June and John Sr. wind up unwitting guests trapped in The Tower where Victor vows to "rebuild the world."
He's doing what Morgan was supposed to do.
"I'm done listening to you, Morgan. Everyone is," hisses Victor through the end of a walkie-talkie. "Everyone tried it your way, and look what happened. Death. Destruction. Face the truth, Morgan...you failed. You're a failure."
But the blame is Victor's, whose shocking decision to sacrifice Morgan aboard the USS Pennsylvania allowed Teddy and acolyte Riley (Nick Stahl) enough time to launch nuclear warheads. Says Morgan, "We are here because of what you did."
Strand sees it differently: to Victor go the spoils. It's his turn.
"I'm going to do what you couldn't. I'm going to rebuild the world," he taunts from the armory of the Tower untouched by the blasts and their radioactive fallout. "I'm going to help everyone that you let down. Well, the ones that I see fit. All while you watch from the outside."
Morgan tried to build a home for Grace (Karen David) and her daughter Athena, but the baby succumbed to radiation poisoning, and Teddy's bombs destroyed the Valley Town community. Now struggling to survive with Grace and adopted daughter Baby Mo aboard the USS Pennsylvania, Morgan challenges Victor: Rebuild the world.
"You should help people. I'm not gonna stop you from doing that," Morgan says into his radio. "But if I hear that is not what you're doing, if I hear that you've hurt anybody that I care about, I swear to God...I will come for you, Victor. And I will do what you tried to do to me on that submarine. Only I won't miss."
A smirking Victor snarls back: "Bring it." It's war.
"Strand is really enjoying the fact that he is the leader now and Morgan's on the outs," said co-showrunner Andrew Chambliss on Fear TWD Episode Insider. "I think in many ways it really speaks to Strand's need to kind of be recognized, and that's a big part of what his journey's gonna be as we continue to go forward in the season."0comments
After Victor committed an unforgivable kill to keep away Alicia Clark (Alycia Debnam-Carey), this episode-ending Morgan versus Victor standoff "really is kind of setting up this antagonism between these two characters as we continue to go deeper into the season," Chambliss said. "I think it creates a question of, 'Whose side is everyone gonna fall onto as the conflict continues?'"
Follow the author @CameronBonomolo on Twitter for all things TWD and stay tuned to ComicBook for coverage all season long. New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead Season 7 premiere Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.