***WARNING…Spoilers beyond this point! If you have not seen the season 4 premiere episode and do not want to know what happened, turn away now! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!***
With that being said, did you all survive #SurvivalSunday? We all finally got to watch the highly anticipated crossover of Morgan Jones as he decided to leave Rick and the group and begin his own journey and for me, the episode did not disappoint.
The season 4 premiere of Fear the Walking Dead obviously focused mainly on Morgan, played by Lennie James, who at the end of The Walking Dead‘s Season 8 finale, lets Jadis (Pollyanna McIntosh) know that she would be allowed to join Rick’s group but he would remain at the junkyard because he needed to be alone.
We are pleasantly surprised to see that Morgan was not the only character to crossover in the premiere. Jesus, Carol and Rick all do their best to convince him to return. After they each plead their cases, he packs up and comes to a crossroads, literally and mentally. There are 4 choices: Rick (ASZ), Hilltop (Jesus), Carol (Kingdom) or alone. Guess which one he chooses. Reminiscent of the iconic scene in Forrest Gump, wherever Morgan decided to go, HE WAS RUNNING, finding cars along the way that would take him as far as they could then ditching them before continuing on. He comes across a truck and finds a man lying in the back seat with an obvious wound to his leg. He is sick with fever and shivering and Morgan attempts to help by leaving him supplies. The man refuses his help and Morgan continues on eventually making it to Texas. Walking through the brush, he hears John Dorie (Garret Dillahunt) who we meet in the opening scenes talking to whoever is rustling in the woods. (His opening monologue is one of the best in my opinion.) Morgan notices an infected headed in John’s direction and before he can put it down, the gunslinger shoots it and calls to Morgan:
“What’s Your Story?”
John Dorie is exactly what Fear needed and that’s Dorie like the fish but with an “i-e” no “y”. He is a true to life cowboy with the gun to prove it and adds a bit of comic relief. (He had me at “platypus”) He is also traveling alone when Morgan comes along. He gives us a little bit of his backstory. He used to watch movies but now can only read books. He enjoys candy and had a metric ton of popcorn. He hasn’t heard his own voice in about a year and he used to have someone that he cared for. He trustingly invites Morgan to sit, eat and sleep to which Morgan refuses and states he came from back east and John asks if he came across a woman with a gun identical to his, Morgan says no. Morgan decides to take John’s offer to sleep but sneaks away during the night later coming across a small tent with a lit lantern but no one in sight. Scoping out his surroundings, Morgan is suddenly knocked out.
He awakens to a not-so-friendly group holding him at gunpoint. John shows up and shoots the gunman’s gun out of his hand but they find that they are outnumbered. An armored van approaches and we meet Althea or Al for short played by Maggie Grace. Just at first glance, you can tell that she exudes badassery in every way. She obviously is familiar with this group as they refer to each other by name. She senses that something is not right with what they are about to do to their captives and offers a trade, the “new people” for food and smokes. Group leader Leland knows they have no choice because Al literally drove in with her tank, guns blazing with her hand on the “lever.”
Although she saves Morgan and John, she doesn’t let them go so easily. She wants something in return, their story. We find that Al is a journalist and wants to document the stories of the people she encounters, much like Deanna did when Rick’s group came to Alexandria. The next morning, John tells her about Laura and how he believes he will find her again. She moves on to Morgan who is reluctant to give her anything. She allows him to leave but not before John gives him a pair of socks…popcorn socks. They notice that they are no longer alone and that Leland’s group has arrived in hopes of taking Al’s truck.
They wait for their moment and a fight ensues. The usual bad shooting has bled over to Fear from The Walking Dead because it still seems as though anyone with a gun can’t aim or shoot a darn thing. John lets out some infected that were locked in a trailer. Trying to take out a sniper, Morgan is shot in the leg and fights with the man before falling through the roof where more infected are inside. Morgan fights his way through the horde and sets off a grenade allowing him to escape. Eventually, Leland and the horde are taken out when Al pulls that lever. Well, at least the guns in the truck have auto-aim. John and Morgan emerge from under the pile of bodies.
The trio take off. While driving, they discuss the significance of the “51” flag. Al tells them that markers have been popping up but she didn’t know. They tell each other how they refer to the infected. Al calls them “the dead,” John refers to them as “the passed,” and Morgan tells them they call them walkers where he’s from. Al reminds Morgan that he still owes her his story and he tells her to pull over. He tells her about Alexandria, The Kingdom and Shiva. He also tells her about fighting the Saviors and winning. When her questions become more personal he turns it around on her. He get’s up to leave but before she allows him to, she asks him to tell her one real thing about himself to which he finally responds,
“I lose people and then I lose myself.”
Limping on the road, he finds the same truck from earlier in the episode with the injured man but the truck is empty. He sees the man limping on the road up ahead and follows behind trying to get to him. Due to his own injury slowing him down, two infected catch up to him but before they could attack, John comes out of nowhere and saves the day. (My hero) He helps Morgan get to the man up ahead because he “needs to know.” The infected turns and Morgan puts him down.
Morgan joins John and Al who has decided to help John look for Laura in exchange for more stories. Driving on the road, they come upon a lone woman. They stop but before getting off, Morgan informs Al that he doesn’t kill. Is he embracing his Aikido beliefs again or taking Jesus’ advice? They cautiously get off the truck and slowly approach the woman who is kneeling on the road and appears to be hurt and crying. Al asks if she’s injured and sends Morgan for first aid kit. The woman looks up and tells Al that there are bad people there. The injured woman is Alicia Clark…Whaaaaat? When John asks where the people are, Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) suddenly pulls her weapon on Al. Before John can help Al, Victor Strand (Colman Domingo) and Luciana Galvez (Danay Garcia) emerge from the brush with their guns drawn. Morgan is about to lay some Aikido ninja smack down when Nick Clark (Frank Dillane) comes from behind and orders him to drop his staff.
-YES…it was that WTF moment!-
Al, John and Morgan put down their weapons and Alicia and Al stare each other down. Al, who shows no fear at all simply asks Alicia,
“So what the hell’s your story?”
I loved this episode and the crossover was perfect! Also, watching it on the big screen made it even more enjoyable! Sure, there are a lot of answers that we need because obviously, Fear has time-jumped about 2 years to catch up with The Walking Dead. I was so engrossed in Morgan’s journey and the introduction of Al and John that I truly forgot the fact that the Clarks even existed. It was like a whole new series. So, we now know from this episode and from promos that Nick, Madison, Alicia and Strand survived the explosion at the dam. We are still unsure about the whereabouts of Daniel Salazar who was noticeably absent in any of the promos. And how do they find Luciana? We knew she was headed to Mexicali but did she find them or did they go looking for her? Is Proctor John still alive and is the reason why they end up in Texas because of the information he gave to Alicia? Where’s Madison and will they actually end up being “bad” people?
So many questions and so little answers so far. I also can’t wait to see what Naomi (Jenna Elfman) will bring to the show. What’s her story?
Fear the Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9 pm on AMC.