Spoiler alert: This story contains spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead and The Walking Dead.
The character of Morgan Jones officially crossed over from The Walking Dead to Fear the Walking Dead on Sunday night, and it seems like a good move for both the character and the
Presumably it didn’t escape the attention of Lennie James, the actor who plays Morgan, that in the past couple of seasons Fear has become the better series.
He was the centrepiece of Fear’s Season 4 premiere, hooking up with a couple of other new characters before a surprising meetup with some of Fear’s core survivors. And he didn’t gratuitously stab anybody in the throat or see any dead people, so hopefully we can leave the Mad Morgan of Walking Dead behind.
When we first meet Morgan on Fear he’s at the campsite of a man named John Dorie. John has just used an antique pearl-handled revolver to pick off a zombie that Morgan was about to kill.
But before we can learn more about John, we are taken back to the immediate aftermath of Walking Dead’s all-out war with the Saviors. Morgan has retreated to the Scavengers’ junkyard after the victory and is preparing to hit the road. Jesus, Carol and Rick all try to talk Morgan into returning to either Hilltop or the Kingdom, to no avail. He sets out on a journey by foot and car — which James told the Hollywood Reporter would likely have taken six or seven months — before landing in Texas and John’s camp.
Here are the highlights of the episode.
We meet John: I’ve been a fan of Garret Dillahunt’s since he played a sadistic geologist on Deadwood in 2004/2005 and he’s accumulated a solid body of
We meet Althea: Maggie Grace of Lost fame plays Althea, or Al, who happens upon John and Morgan in her armoured SWAT truck as they’re being held captive by a group of thugs. Her price for saving them from getting shot up is to hear their stories. She’s a former journalist and she’s recording people’s tales: who they’ve met, where they’ve been, where they’re going. I can’t tell you how happy I am that someone is trying to keep journalism alive after the zombie apocalypse, but Morgan is less impressed. After another run-in with the desperadoes, during which John saves Al, and Al saves him and Morgan from walkers with the big-ass machine-guns in her truck, Morgan relents and tells her about Alexandria and the Kingdom, and King Ezekiel and his tiger (we miss you, Shiva!). But he notes that Al hasn’t shared her story and I’m sure she’s got a good one.
Morgan still wants to go his own way: Morgan tries hard to shake John and Al. First he sneaks away after spending part of the night in John’s truck, but John tracks Morgan to bad guy Leland’s so-called “mouse trap” and tries to save him before they’re both overpowered. After Al’s rescue, Morgan tries to leave Al and John behind but gets interrupted by the return of Leland and his group. There’s a battle that includes Morgan getting shot in the leg and falling through a roof with his opponent into a nest of zombies, which he blows up with an old grenade. But even wounded, he’d rather take his chances on the road than stick with two people who have saved his life.
Al wants to know “one real thing” before Morgan goes: “Why’d you leave Virginia?”
“I lose people and then I lose myself,” he replies.
Morgan almost loses his life when he can’t out-limp a group of zombies and loses his stick, but it’s John to the rescue once again. Morgan grudgingly agrees to stay with John and Al until his leg heals.
But then our heroes turn up: As Al, John and Morgan drive along chatting they see a woman in the road ahead, crying. It’s Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey). Al, John and Morgan approach with weapons drawn. “There are bad people here,” Alicia tells Al. Next thing you know she’s got a knife at Al’s throat and Strand, Nick and Nick’s girlfriend Luciana come jumping out of the shrubbery forcing the trio to drop their weapons.
Al asks what we’re all thinking, “So what the hell’s your story?”
I’m sure we’d all like to know why the Clark siblings and their friends are acting like desperadoes, and what this means for Morgan and his new pals. Whatever the answers, we’re off to a good start.
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on AMC.