‘The Walking Dead’: Who Is Morales?

Juan Pareja
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Actor Juan Pareja arrives at the premiere of AMC's "The Walking Dead" 2nd Season at LA Live Theaters on October 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.

[Spoiler alert: This article contains spoilers from The Walking Dead Season 8, episode 2, “The Damned.” Read no further if you aren’t caught up.]

Morgan (Lennie James) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) each encountered less-than-welcome faces from the past in Sunday night’s episode of The Walking Dead.

Morgan, reeling from his dwindling ambivalence about the morality of killing anyone in the Grimes gangs’ path, felt it dwindle even further when he came across loose cannon Benjamin killer Jared among the Jesus-captured Saviors. Jesus saved Jared’s hide, reminding Morgan that revenge is a no-no. Even though that’s kind of what this whole All Out War thing is about. But I nitpick. I suppose.

Meanwhile, Mr. Grimes, reeling from the fact that he may have killed a living, snoozing infant’s father for nothing, found himself staring down the barrel of gun aimed at his face by a guy he knew way way way back when. “Hi, Rick,” the guy growled. “Your name is Morales,” Rick stammered back. Morales (a returning Juan G. Pareja) reminds him that Atlanta—and his goodwill toward Grimes—was a long, long time ago. And it was. A whole lot of new characters ago, as well. So long ago that we can’t quite recall what Morales was all about in the first place.

In the same boat? Here’s a quick catchup.

We last saw Morales in Season 1, when he, his wife and two kids opted to try to make it to family in Birmingham, rather than stay with Rick and the still-much-more-intact Grimes gang on their trek to the CDC. From the looks of it, Family Morales’ mission either went bad before they made it, or the entire Morales clan got an offer they couldn’t refuse from Negan and his ilk.

The return is not entirely unexpected to Dead obsessives, even though Robert Kirkman expressed his intent to let long-lost characters to remain that way. In January, Pareja tweeted an image that suggested he might come back to fight against Negan, with showrunner Scott Gimple on notice.


Sunday night, we learned the anti-Negan stance is not the case.

So what do you think, TWD fans? How much does Morales know about Rick and Company’s adventures since they parted ways? How much of his family survived intact? Can Rick talk him back over to team AHK, like pronto, before the Saviors Morales supposedly summoned come calling? I suspect we’ll find out soon.

The Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC