Fear the Walking Dead: Rick Grimes and Morgan's Full-Circle Moment

Fear the Walking Dead's final season is bringing Morgan Jones full circle. Before AMC's original Walking Dead spin-off ends with its eighth season, the show is returning to where it all started for Morgan (Lennie James): King County, Georgia. Co-showrunner Ian Goldberg remarked during a WonderCon panel, "We talked about conclusions, and we talked about beginnings. Everything is about characters going on this journey: where did they start, and where do they end up?" With a seven-year time jump shifting Fear into a timeline now 12 years removed from the outbreak, the survivors this season are confronting "things that they've grappled with since the beginning of their journey in the show."

"You see it a bit in the trailer with Morgan and that sign for King County, and he's holding the gun that Rick gave him," Goldberg continued. "It really is a full-circle journey for all of our characters, and that's how we're going to see how far they've come when they're faced with a lot of ghosts and scars from their pasts that are rearing their heads in different ways."

The Grimes' Neighborhood

The season 8 trailer ends with Morgan, Grace (Karen David), and their now eight-year-old adopted daughter Mo (Zoey Merchant) in the King County, Georgia, neighborhood where Morgan met Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) 12 years earlier in The Walking Dead's "Days Gone Bye" episode. When Rick returned to find the Grimes family home deserted, he encountered Morgan, who had holed up in the abandoned Drake household next door with his wife Jenny (Keisha Tillis) and young son Duane (Adrian Kali Turner).

(Photo: Images: AMC, Graphic: ComicBook)

The Gun

In "Days Gone Bye," Rick raided the King County Sheriff's Department where he worked as a deputy for guns and ammo, parting ways with a promise to check in on Morgan and Duane over walkie talkie. At the Drake household, Morgan had unfinished business: putting down the zombified Jenny, who succumbed to a bite's infection and was roaming the Grimes' neighborhood as a walker.

But Morgan couldn't bring himself to fire the gun and put down Jenny. She wouldn't be put to rest until after Morgan's walker wife bit their son — a loss that would push Morgan over the edge as a crazed killer compelled to "clear." Grace is heard telling Morgan in the season 8 trailer, "Rick, he gave you this gun for a reason. Use it."

(Photo: Images: AMC, Graphic: ComicBook)

The Speech

"I want to tell you something that a friend once told me. He said you can hide, but you can't run," Morgan says in the trailer, adding: "He was right." The only thing that matters now, Morgan paraphrases, "is the people you still have left. Just don't do what I did. Don't run." 

Morgan recalls what Rick told him in the Fear the Walking Dead season 4 episode "What's Your Story?," when Rick, Carol (Melissa McBride), and Paul "Jesus" Rovia (Tom Payne) tried to convince Morgan to rejoin the group after the war with Negan's (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) Saviors. Morgan had exiled himself to the Alexandria, Virginia-adjacent junkyard once inhabited by the Scavengers, refusing offers to come home.

(Photo: Images: AMC, Graphic: ComicBook)

Rick tells Morgan: "You can hide, but you can't run. Look, I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you. I wouldn't. I was hurt. You brought me in. You didn't have to. Morgan, you don't have a gunshot in your side, but you are hurt. Come back with me. Don't wait this time. Don't waste one more second. You're alive. You're part of the world. I'm here now — a lot of people are here now — because you helped me. Right at the beginning."

Morgan counters "that's not me anymore," but Rick insists. "It is," he tells Morgan. "You'll end up with people one way or another. You're connected. It'll be a shout from outside that door. Me asking for help... Maggie. You're a part of the world already. You'll find your way back to it, 'cause it will find its way back to you. So just... come back." Morgan runs away to Texas, but Rick knows it's true: "Like I said, you can hide... but you can't run."

Part one of Fear the Walking Dead's two-part final season premieres Sunday, May 14th, on AMC and AMC+.

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