“The Walking Dead” Returns to Season 1 to Reveal the Fates of Early Characters
In a recent episode of “Fear The Walking Dead” season 8, titled “King County,” the popular series revisits the origins of Rick Grimes’ journey and uncovers the grim destinies of two characters from the first episode. This episode, centered around Morgan, takes a departure from the conflicts surrounding PADRE and the search for a zombie virus cure, and instead takes viewers back to the Georgia location where Rick Grimes’ story began. Set a decade after Rick encountered Duane Jones, “King County” offers intriguing insights into the fate of characters previously unseen in “The Walking Dead” series.
One of the most significant revelations in “Fear The Walking Dead” season 8 is the confirmation of what happened to Jenny and Duane Jones, two characters who played a role in the early days of Rick’s journey. When Rick met Morgan’s wife, Jenny, she had already turned into a zombie, constantly trying to break through doors. However, Duane, the young son of Morgan, formed a heartwarming friendship with Rick. These characters were never seen again in “The Walking Dead,” as an unwell and confused Morgan returned alone in season 3. Now, in “Fear The Walking Dead” season 8, the narrative gap is finally filled.
The episode reveals that when Rick left Morgan in “The Walking Dead” season 1, Duane was still alive. However, when Rick reunites with Morgan in season 3, Duane has already succumbed to death. Due to Morgan’s declining mental health during that period, he was unable to provide a clear explanation of what happened to his son. Morgan’s unreliable memory and scattered thoughts kept the specifics of Duane’s demise a mystery for an entire decade. It is only in “Fear The Walking Dead” season 8 that the truth about Duane’s fate is finally unveiled.
According to “King County,” Morgan did lose his son, and it was indeed Jenny, his zombie wife, who bit Duane. However, Morgan couldn’t bring himself to kill his reanimated loved one. As a result, Duane has spent the past ten years of “The Walking Dead” timeline trapped in an attic, mindlessly struggling to break free.
In “The Walking Dead” season 1, Morgan struggled emotionally with the decision to kill his zombified wife, Jenny, regardless of her increasingly aggressive behavior. In the episode “Clear” in season 3, it was revealed that Morgan had failed to put Jenny down, and she ended up biting their son. Only then was Morgan able to shoot her. “Fear The Walking Dead” season 8, episode 4 confirms that Jenny’s lifeless body remained where Morgan left her, never buried or given a proper farewell. In this new season, Morgan returns to King County to rectify this, finally giving Jenny the respectful send-off she deserved.
Interestingly, “Fear The Walking Dead” indirectly explains why Jenny behaved unusually in the earlier seasons of “The Walking Dead.” In those seasons, she attempted to open doors and stayed close to her husband and son, behaviors uncommon for zombies in Robert Kirkman’s universe. The reason behind this was that the rules for zombies were still being established in season 1 of “The Walking Dead,” and subsequent seasons quietly disregarded these smarter zombies.
However, in “Fear The Walking Dead” season 8, Morgan explicitly acknowledges Jenny’s abnormal behavior and wonders about the reason behind it. By addressing this forgotten detail, the spinoff series essentially confirms that Jenny belonged to the zombie variants introduced in “The Walking Dead” season 11 and “The Walking Dead: World Beyond.” This revelation explains why Duane was killed by his mother, out of all
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