The Fear the Walking Dead Season 6 premiere revealed Morgan's fate. So, did he survive?
When Lennie James' character Morgan moved from The Walking Dead to Fear the Walking Dead, it essentially rebooted the show. Most of what was left of the Clarke family was dispatched of, and a slew of new characters to support Morgan were introduced. Whether or not you enjoy this new version of Fear the Walking Dead, it's hard to ignore the fact that it's a 100% different series.
Warning: The following contains spoilers for the Season 6 premiere episode of Fear the Walking Dead, titled "The End is the Beginning." If you haven't watched it yet, stop reading now.
Unfortunately for that show, this new series is far less interesting than what came before it. There's no disputing the fact that Season 1 of Fear the Walking Dead was a very rough start. The show hadn't figured out what it was going to be at that point and was on rocky ground, following a family from Los Angeles as the world crumbled around them. However, in the two seasons that followed, Fear became the better of the (at the time) two The Walking Dead shows. While the mothership series became less and less interesting--and continues to do so--Fear felt like a breath of fresh air.
At the heart of the series was Madison Clark (Kim Dickens), a strong female survivor that was, essentially, the Rick Grimes of this piece of The Walking Dead's universe. She was fierce, she was dangerous, and she was loyal to her people. And then she was killed off without warning.
It began with the introduction of Morgan at the beginning of Season 4. With new showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss taking over the series, it veered in a wildly new direction. By the halfway point in that season, Madison was dead, along with her son Nick, who was killed off a few episodes earlier. All that remains of the first seasons of the show are Madison's daughter Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), Nick's girlfriend Luciana (Danay García), and Strand (Colman Domingo), a friend of Madison's who was made after the apocalypse.
Since her death, Fear the Walking Dead has completely shifted over to becoming the Morgan show. While that was clearly the intention, fans of Fear the Walking Dead in the form it used to take can't help but feeling left behind. This isn't the series they signed up for.
Then, in the Season 5 finale, it looked like the show recognized the odd turn it had taken and was looking to correct the course. Morgan was shot and left for dead, leading many to think he wasn't long for this world. A trailer for Season 6 released at San Diego Comic-Con revealed that while Morgan may not be dead yet, something was very wrong.
Now you've seen the Season 6 premiere and there is, indeed, something wrong. What's wrong is that essentially nothing has happened to Morgan, other than the fact that he's traded his walking stick for an ax. In the episode, Morgan is traced by a vicious ax-wielding bounty hunter and at one point seems to give up. After all, he's lived a hard life and can't seem to get a win.
If you've watched The Walking Dead at all, though, you should know that at this point Morgan is pretty much invincible. So, naturally, the episode ends with the bounty hunter beheaded. Morgan claims his ax and tells the villainous Virginia (Colby Minifie)--via walkie talkie--that the Morgan she knew is no more. He's something else now.
While Season 6 of Fear the Walking Dead will see episodes that center on other survivors from the series, given that they were all separated at the end of Season 5, there's a major problem facing the series. Fear the Walking Dead is unwilling to let Morgan go, even as the character weighs the show down.
It's an unfortunate turn, as it also tarnishes the character's legacy. Morgan was a fascinating character to trace on The Walking Dead. From meeting Rick Grimes while his son was still alive, to the mentally disturbed man encountered seasons later, to the full-fledged member of the group, his trajectory throughout the series was among the most heartbreaking of anyone.
Now, though, he's overexposed and simply not that interesting--regardless of how badly Fear wants him to be the focal point.
The biggest problem with the Season 10 finale episode of the Walking Dead is that the stakes felt so low. With fans knowing the series is ending in Season 11, it seems impossible that any meaningful character will meet their end before then.
That's the same problem Fear faces, but specifically with Morgan. He's essentially been shown to be unkillable at this point. Even when shot in the chest and left to the zombies, he manages to walk away stronger and more determined. It's hard to get invested in a character like that, especially when you realize all of the characters that had to be sacrificed to give him the spotlight.
Here's hoping that there is an interesting future ahead for Fear the Walking Dead--and even for Morgan. He can still be salvaged, but it's going to take some work to humanize him again. Show us that Morgan is flesh and bone, just like the rest of the show's characters.
Until then, it's hard to get excited about what's to come.
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