Morgan Jones is a character portrayed by the massively talented Lennie James. Introduced during The Walking Dead’s pilot episode, Morgan has wrestled with his morality and mental health since the early days of the main series. In the final season of Fear the Walking Dead, it appears that Morgan had entered into a state like his Walking Dead “Clear” days while processing his job as a collector for PADRE.
In the opening episode of the eighth and final season of Fear the Walking Dead, Morgan and his new traveling companion, Madison (Kim Dickens), a character who returned to the series in the season 7 finale, made their way to PADRE to rescue his daughter Mo. Things didn’t go as planned, and the storyline quickly advances to the promised seven-year jump.
Viewers discover that Madison had been imprisoned for trying to help Morgan and Mo escape, Mo, now named Wren (Zoey Merchant), was living at PADRE and being trained in combat, and in a crazy twist, Morgan was currently employed as a “collector” for PADRE.
Fear the Walking Dead – Morgan’s mental state in season 8
In an interview with TV Line, James talked about Morgan and his new job and where his mind is regarding PADRE’s practice of removing children from their parents.
"It’s typical of Morgan that he will do this thing that he finds abhorrent, but he tries to find a moral center to it. He tries to find some good that he can do in this terrible thing that he is doing, so he will only take kids whose parents give them up. He won’t snatch them. He won’t harm anyone in the taking of them; it has to be voluntary. That is fundamental to who Morgan is. At the heart of it is, I think, Morgan walks with Jenny (Keisha Tillis) and Duane (Adrian Kali Turner) every day of his life. I think he carries them with him always. That’s why, despite his love for Grace (Karen David), he still wears his wedding ring around his neck. Despite taking on the responsibility of raising another child and sticking to a promise he made to keep her safe, the way he chooses to do that is to put her somewhere where he isn’t. I think that has a lot to do with how he protects himself from the people he loves."
In episode 1, “Remember What They Took From You,” Morgan is very harsh towards Mo, a child he and Grace (Karen David) took over care of when her biological parents, Rachel (Brigitte Kali Canales) and Isaac (Michael Abbott Jr.), died. He tells her she is better off with PADRE and goes so far to tell her that they aren’t her parents that her birth parents died.
The houseboat that Morgan has been using as a residence revealed some exciting information. He has reverted to his wall graffiti as he did in The Walking Dead season 3 episode “Clear.” This was after losing his son Duane when he was attacked by the reanimated version of his wife, Jenny. This was an event too traumatic for Morgan to handle, and his mental health suffered greatly.
It appears that in season 8, while Morgan only takes children for PADRE, who their parents willingly give up, this is still a difficult concept for someone like Morgan to grasp. He was stripped of his “collector” role in the first episode of season 8, so seeing where he goes from there will be interesting.
Is he still bound to PADRE? Or will he set out on his own to undo some of the things he did in separating families? Or will he continue a downward spiral into the “Clear” Morgan of season 3 of The Walking Dead? Viewers know he will return to King County, Georgia, at some point his season but have no idea how or why.
Fear the Walking Dead airs new episodes on AMC on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET and AMC+ early on Thursdays.