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The Walking Dead “Clear” 

Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

Finally, the moment that most Walking Dead fans have been waiting for since the Pilot happened tonight with the return of Morgan Jones (Lennie James).  Next only to the Governor and Woodbury storyline, I think this was the most anticipated moment for any die-hard fan.  Morgan saved Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) life in the Pilot, and the plan was for them to eventually meet up again, once Morgan got better at shooting and of course, after he finally killed his walker wife.  Well, Rick and Morgan finally do meet again in tonight’s episode, but they soon realize that neither of them is the same person they knew way back when.

With the prison gearing up for war against the Governor, Rick and his group have to find more weapons — and fast.  With Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carl (Chandler Riggs) in tow, Rick heads to the only place he knows where he might be able to find weapons and that’s the King County Sheriff’s office where he worked in his past life.  However, I don’t think any of them were prepared for what they saw when they arrived.  Rick’s hometown is now completely deserted, with walker booby-traps and crazy “Away With You” signs everywhere.  Clearly, the town had been taken, fortified, and pretty much become very similar to the prison and Woodbury.  What’s more, whoever the “leader” of the town might be, Rick, Michonne, and Carl had to assume he was dangerous and would not welcome any visitors.

After a big firefight, they soon realize that the town hadn’t been taken by a group, but by a single person, and that person was Rick’s old friend, Morgan — or at least what was left of the man.  We know that Morgan didn’t have the courage to shoot his walker wife, and for that he paid the ultimate price, with his wife eventually biting and infecting his son, Duane.  Since Duane turned, Morgan has spiraled into a deep pit of madness, even deeper than Rick after Lori’s death.  Morgan’s solution is just to hunker down 100% and not let anyone close to him, that way he won’t have to watch anyone he cares about die ever again.  This ultimately means Morgan not going back with Rick, the friend that both he and his son waited for weeks on the walkie talkie before finally giving up.

For those that are familiar with the comics, you might be a little dismayed with how the Morgan storyline ended tonight, but in my opinion, it was a brilliant move on the writers’ part.  Folks, just because Morgan didn’t go back with Rick doesn’t mean Morgan won’t return eventually (and, I would be shocked if he did not).  In the comic series, Morgan does eventually join Rick’s team and even has a relationship with Michonne, but as we know, the show wouldn’t be much fun if the writers just blindly followed the comics.  Plus, while Morgan may seem to be very good with the gun and appears like he would be a huge asset to Rick’s team, Morgan’s current mental state would actually only make him a liability.  Simply put – Morgan’s not ready to be a part of Rick’s group.

          The good people die.  The bad people die too.  But, the weak people, the people like me, we have inherited the Earth – Morgan to Rick

The bottom line is Morgan is a very weak man, and Rick needs a strong group to fight the Governor.  Carl had the strength to shoot his own mother, but Morgan couldn’t even shoot his wife after she turned, which ended up costing him his son.  Oh, and where exactly is Duane?  In the comics, Morgan couldn’t put down Duane, and kept him chained in a room, and while we don’t see that tonight, I’m willing to bet that’s exactly what he did in the television series.  Rick needs leaders on his team and not this emotionally weak, unstable man.  Make no mistake, though, I do believe Morgan still wants to live regardless of his “Please, please kill me” rants to Rick; otherwise, he would have blown his head off a long time ago.  So, to all the devout fans out there, just hold on and be patient because I’m certain this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Morgan.

Besides the reintroduction of the fabulous character, Morgan, the episode was jammed pack of all kinds of little goodies, very small details that the writers’ threw in that you may have missed if you weren’t paying extra attention.  First, remember the “bicycle girl” from the Pilot?  And, do you remember what Rick said to her before he put her down?  He said, “I’m sorry this happened to you”, and then tonight, Rick said the exact words to Morgan while he is still unconscious.  We should also remember all of the handwritten signs and notes Rick tried to leave for Morgan, telling him where his group was headed.  When the group left the camp and began heading for the CDC in season one, Rick left such a note on Glenn’s stolen red car.  Tonight, the episode opens with a similar note that says, “Erin – we tried for Stone Mountain”.  Is that déjà vu or what?   While these details may appear small, they were all fantastic tiebacks to the Pilot when Rick and Morgan first met, and little tidbits like this are what make wonderful storytelling.

Finally, we get some amazing character development for Michonne and Carl in tonight’s episode.  Michonne is really not trusted by anyone, least of all by Rick and Carl, but tonight was a game-changer for the character.  Michonne left Rick’s group high and dry in the attack on Woodbury and really has done nothing that demonstrates she is 100% loyal to the group.  But, tonight she actually does what she is told and that is to protect Carl, while he attempts to retrieve some items for his baby sister, Judith, including the only photo left of his mother, Lori.  In fact, does Michonne help Carl but she saves his life, leading Carl to reveal to his Dad that he thinks Michonne is “one of us”.  So, it appears that Michonne is finally a solid member of Rick’s team, and now, if only Merle would shape up…

Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

All in all, I thought this was a fantastic episode, probably one of the best of the entire series.  In my eyes, the episode was nearly perfect, and I can think of only one thing that could have made it better – airing it in black and white.  Last summer, the black and white version of the Pilot with Morgan premiered on AMC, and I think it would have been a stroke of genius to air tonight’s episode in the same fashion.  But, on the other hand, if it were in black and white, we wouldn’t have seen how beautiful the cat that Michonne retrieved was, right? 🙂 Regardless, it was a top-notch episode, which is what we’ve come to expect every, single week for this extraordinary series.

Most memorable quotes

  • We’re eating his food  now? – Rick

        Well, the mat did say ‘Welcome’ – Michonne (the absolute best quote of the night!)

  • Please, please, just kill me! – Morgan to Rick
  • You’ve got to be able to come back from this! You have to! – Rick to Morgan
  • I used to talk to my dead boyfriend.  It happens – Michonne to Rick

The Walking Dead airs on Sunday nights at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.





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