While Fear The Walking Dead’s Morgan often criticized Rick’s leadership, his season 8 fate shows why The Walking Dead’s original hero remains the franchise’s best lead character. Rick Grimes clashed with many fellow survivors throughout The Walking Dead. However, few characters had as big an impact on The Walking Dead’s flawed antihero as Morgan. The first human who Rick comes across after waking up from his coma, Morgan crosses paths with Rick repeatedly throughout The Walking Dead’s meandering story. Morgan’s pacifist philosophy often led him and Rick into conflict, although this outlook also allowed Rick to access some of the humanity that he left behind to survive in the post-apocalyptic wasteland.
While The Walking Dead’s Daryl got a spinoff series of his own, Morgan’s story continued via another route. From season 4 onwards, Morgan played a major role in The Walking Dead’s spinoff, Fear The Walking Dead. While Morgan might be an accomplished survivor when he has lasted a long time, his first appearance in Fear The Walking Dead season 8, episode 1, “Remember What They Took From Us,” proves that his criticisms of Rick were a little premature. Morgan’s predicament shows that taking on Rick’s role is harder than it seems, and The Walking Dead’s antihero remains as irreplaceable as ever despite his flaws.
Fear The Walking Dead Makes Morgan’s Rick Criticism Look Hypocritical
Morgan was fairly critical of Rick’s leadership skills in The Walking Dead, largely thanks to his pacifist views. When “Remember What They Took From Us” begins, Morgan has given up his daughter Mo to Fear The Walking Dead’s shady villains PADRE. Not only that, but sometime during the spinoff’s seven-year time jump, Morgan also gave up hope, gave up fighting PADRE, and accepted a role working for the villains. This goes to show that maintaining the stability Rick held onto throughout The Walking Dead is a lot harder than it looks.
Surviving in a world overrun with Walkers was bad enough. However, trying to navigate the complex and often treacherous interpersonal dynamics between fellow survivors often proved equally lethal in The Walking Dead and Fear The Walking Dead. Many of the most odious villains encountered in both shows were human, and Morgan’s nonviolent resistance clearly buckled under the pressure of fighting PADRE at some point between Fear The Walking Dead seasons 7 and 8. This proves that The Walking Dead’s Rick, for all his flaws, got something right when he managed to eke out an existence and ensure the survival of (most of) his followers.
How Fear The Walking Dead S8 Sets Up Rick’s Spinoff Return
While Fear The Walking Dead season 8 has not set up Rick’s return (yet) in terms of story, the spinoff still contributes to this eventual revelation. By building up the legend surrounding Rick, Fear The Walking Dead reminds viewers that he is a major figure in the world of The Walking Dead. Morgan may soon realize that he needs to become more like Rick to survive in the show’s universe and to free Mo from PADRE’s grasp. This could further reinforce the idea that Rick is a folk hero in Fear The Walking Dead’s timeline, with Morgan keeping the influence of his worldview alive.
Morgan’s Failure Proves Only 1 Spinoff Character Rivals Rick Grimes
While Rick Grimes is on his way to becoming a living legend in Fear The Walking Dead, that doesn’t mean that the series is bereft of characters who can take up his mantle. For example, Madison has not stopped fighting the villainous PADRE in the years since Fear The Walking Dead season 7 and shows no signs of giving up even though the odds are stacked against her. While Fear The Walking Dead spent a long time trying to decide whether Alicia or Madison was its heroine, the spinoff made the right call when season 7 brought Madison back from her apparent death in season 4.
Like Rick, Madison has proven fearless in protecting herself and others and is not above using violence when necessary. Moreover, she has not yet encountered a totalitarian villain she was willing to give up against, which is Morgan’s greatest mistake. In the world of The Walking Dead, if the Walkers don’t get a character, a human enemy might crush them instead. However, Madison refuses to let PADRE defeat her despite years of battles with the cult, which bodes well for Fear The Walking Dead’s heroine and her attempts to live up to the example set by The Walking Dead’s Rick Grimes.