Fear the Walking Dead recap: Morgan is changing lives across America
Morgan was blown way, way off course by that hurricane. He tried looking for Alicia out in the rain, but the storm became too chaotic, so he took refuge in the back of an abandoned freight truck that happened to be filled with all those “take what you need, leave what you don’t” boxes. When he woke up, he was at a Mississippi “Flip-Flop Truck Stop” with “the best mud pie” in the state, roughly 400 miles away from where he was.
He’s left with a choice: backtrack to Texas to make sure everyone’s okay or just accept the possibility that they all died and head to Virginia alone. When he meets new people who prove to be just as awful as most other people in the world today, just in ways that closely resemble the worst parts of Morgan, I think he realizes that he too can’t be awful. If he’s awful and everyone around him is awful, then everything is just… awful. The concept of fear, as we’ve seen on Fear the Walking Dead, can spread just as fast as any viral zombie plague, and he’s not going to let it consume him again… for now, anyway.
The first new character is really just a new voice over the radio inside the station. A woman is calling out for someone called “Polar Bear.” Morgan, being the only one around, answers and explains his situation. The woman tells him to sit tight and help himself to supplies, reiterating the familiar cardboard box motto. There’s food, water, coffee, walkies, and a bathroom with proper running water and a proper filtration system. He heads to a map pinned to the wall, as well, to trace a potential route to Virginia. He’s about to read an issue of Toy Dog magazine on the toilet when he hears the cock of a rifle from outside the stall.
He walks out to find a man who uses a wheelchair named Wendall, played by a man who uses a wheelchair, actor Daryl Mitchell — which, yes, AMC. Props! Wendall is very wary, not just because Morgan had been using the handicap bathroom stall. He’s trying to get information out of the unexpected guest when yet another new face walks in: legendary newswoman Joan Callamezzo. Yes, Mo Collins as Sarah, a trucker, emerges and gets Wendall, whom she calls her brother, to cool down a bit — but not lower the gun. Outside, she claims they are part of a network of truckers who had already been “living on the fringe” before the outbreak. Now that “fringes are all that’s left” post-outbreak, they’ve been gathering supplies from warehouses, packing them into boxes, and leaving them at mile markers on the roads for others to find.
Their “code” is “keep on truckin’.” They’re lying. Wendall can’t even remember the exact wording of the code, but Morgan eats it up. When conversation turns to hurricane-ravaged Texas, Wendall tells Morgan his people are probably dead. Morgan resolves to go find out if that’s true because he, too, has to keep on truckin’. Sarah and Wendall give him supplies and a car, but when Morgan makes it to the bridge, he proves that he’s still an unpredictable character. Like, seriously, I can’t tell anymore what’s going on with this guy. There was mention of a bridge that would take him back to the epicenter of the storm. It’s still intact, but he steps foot on it and hears the voices of John, Al, and the others rush through his head. He decides to pretend the bridge is out and goes to rendezvous with Sarah and Wendall. I guess the truckers weren’t as inspirational as he thought they were.
Circling back he meets another new character, Jim (Aaron Stanford, a.k.a. Pyro in X-Men: The Last Stand and James in 12 Monkeys), who’s screaming and running away from walkers with a bag over his head and his hands tied behind his back. After Morgan intervenes, Jim, a beer brewer, says people tried to kidnap him in order to steal his recipes. Turns out those people were Sarah and Wendall, which Morgan learns when he brings Jim straight to them.
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Now both Morgan and Jim are tied up in the back of the freight and the masks of those people who once gave him hope are off. Wendall sees his condition as a message from the universe not to help other people. They stole the truck off the real guy who was delivering boxes in Texas and since Morgan has been telling everyone he possibly can about Alexandria, they now all want to go there. As they start driving in the general direction of Virginia, Jim, another figure of hope for Morgan, even takes Sarah and Wendall’s side and agrees to make beer for them in Alexandria to turn a profit. Morgan refuses to give up the location, which proves to be a problem for them, so he stays in restraints.
This proves to be an ever bigger problem when the truck becomes too heavy to traverse the terrain, so they stop and unload a few of the beer-making supplies out back. As walkers begin to approach underneath the bridge, Jim accidentally knocks Morgan, still cuffed, down a dirt hill and into the dead’s path. He finds himself stuck when he seeks safety on top of a crashed car. Sarah offers to help if Morgan gives up the location of Alexandria. He gives them directions (or what they think are directions) but then they leave him to die, claiming he doesn’t need their help. Sarah mentions this is pretty much what Morgan did to his friends in Texas; she knows the bridge wasn’t really broken like he said.
So there Morgan sits, alone, restrained, and with his thoughts. He still has a walkie attached at his waist and he’s able to switch it on in the hopes that Sarah, Wendall, and Jim are listening. He admits he lied about the bridge because he was scared to make things worse if he went back. There were things he felt Alicia and the others needed from him that he didn’t think he could give. There’s a lot of assumptions happening and it’s all toxic. Sarah and Wendall never answer back so he figures a way out that involves leaping over the snapping walkers, grabbing a pocket knife from one of those cardboard boxes Sarah said wasn’t helping anybody anyway, cutting himself free, and then using a turned over mile sign as his new stick to clear out the herd.
Eventually, he meets back up with Sarah and Wendall on foot on his way to Texas. Morgan’s speech over the walkie helped grease the wheels a bit, so when he made his case for why they should all act like decent human beings, they were more receptive. The man they stole the truck from tried to do good even though there were no guarantees he could, so now Morgan’s gonna make these SOBs try a bit, too. He agrees to take them to Virginia, but first they have to go back to Texas, pick up some people, try to find the guy who really owns the truck, and also drop boxes of supplies at various mile markers along the way. Jim even goes a little above and beyond by placing a bottle of his beer in one of catches.
Morgan is saying some inspirational words over the walkie when yet another new character shows her face. This is the character played by Tonya Pinkins and she seems crazy. It seems she was the voice Morgan was talking to over the walkie when he first arrived at the truck stop, and she’s there now writing “take what you need, leave what you don’t” in marker on a walker named Pervis. We saw a glimpse of Morgan in the season 4 return trailer with the words “I lose people, I lose myself” written on his forehead in the same kind of marker. She doesn’t seem like the heartwarming type, and now she’s going to Texas, too.