Spoilers below for anyone who hasn’t yet seen Fear the Walking Dead’s Season 4 premiere, as well as The Walking Dead’s Season 8 finale.
After years of waiting for AMC’s zombified universes to come together, fans finally got to watch The Walking Dead‘s world collide with Fear the Walking Dead, with Lennie James’ Morgan Jones as the previously announced lead making the cross-country leap. And following the present-set cold open that introduced Garret Dillahunt’s lonely pardner John Dorie, the episode jumped back into the past to add further wrap-up to The Walking Dead‘s Season 8 finale, with Tom Payne’s Jesus, Melissa McBride’s Carol and Andrew Lincoln’s Rick and all making surprise appearances to add context to Morgan’s journey.
No specific timestamps clued fans in on when these events were going down, but clearly the All Out War had concluded, with Team Family winning in the end. (A victory that Morgan referenced later in the episode as well.) But it was a war that nearly broke his already tenuous mental state, and he’d once against secluded himself away from other survivors, this time within Jadis’ former junkyard home. (She was sent off to hoof it alone.) It was there where Jesus, Carol and Rick each tried persuading Morgan to stick around for the Savior-free future.
Rather than going big and bombastic, Jesus chose a softer approach, referencing the Walking Dead finale moments when he offered advice about only using the sharp end of his staff on the dead. As well as commenting on how he’d settled in. (Does no one hate the stench in that place?) Saying that “here and there” are just labels, Jesus appealed to Morgan’s urge to protect others, which was the whole reason he became such a lethal force again as the War got more hectic. But that one didn’t work.
At some later point, presumably on a different Laundry Day, it was Carol’s turn to give it a shot. She wanted Morgan to return to the Kingdom with her, since that’s apparently back up and corpse-free now. Carol and Morgan have seen the other in the darkest states possible, and were rarely friendly during it, so Morgan is aware of what it means for Carol to make that trip for that reason. It looked like she was about to say something else when a quick edit pushed the sequence forward, but regardless of what those words may have been, her attempt didn’t work either.
“You can hide, but you can’t run,” was how Rick started off his interaction with Morgan, which was more than just a bit presumptuous, considering Morgan packed up and hauled off for good so soon after. Rick tried to make Morgan feel more like a hero for all that he’d done to save Rick and to help bring the world back around as a result of that. And though Morgan claimed that life wasn’t for him anymore, Rick kept at it, saying that Morgan would always find his way back to other people. Rick then said he and others would just end up at his door, needing his help again, which can be considered a serious catalyst for why Morgan decided to leave the junkyard altogether. You should have just said you’d leave him alone, Rick!
Interestingly enough, Andrew Lincoln got the biggest of the Walking Dead cameos, which is to be expected, considering Rick and Morgan introduced this apocalypse to viewers. As well, Rick’s conversation was the only one where Morgan’s point-of-view and replies were seen and heard, with Jesus and Carol just getting the slightly apologetic lowered-head response.
Did things really end so badly that Morgan won’t return in Season 9, or could that still be a possibility after the events of Fear the Walking Dead Season 4? There are a lot of episodes left to go, and a lot of trouble left to be caused, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. If nothing else, Morgan has a better shot than that dude that rudely refused Morgan’s goodwill supplies (and then later turned and ended up many miles away, where Morgan could find him again).
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights on AMC, with next week’s episode reverting back to the normal 9:00 p.m. ET time slot. Check out everything we learned about Maggie Grace’s Althea from the star herself. To see what other shows will be making their premieres soon, with or without crossovers involved, head to our midseason premiere schedule and our summer premiere schedule.