‘Fear The Walking Dead’: Morgan Accidentally Hits The Road Again (RECAP)
If Morgan’s goal was to travel the country during the zombie apocalypse, he’s doing very well.
Rick’s former pal found himself in a different state on this week’s Fear The Walking Dead, as his method of taking shelter from the storm ultimately left him miles and miles from his friends in Texas.
His predicament brought him into contact with some generous new characters who are willing to help him find his way home — but does their kindness have a cost?
On the Road Again
At the beginning of the episode, Morgan searches for Alicia at the outset of the storm. He stumbles upon a semi truck — the door is locked, but fortunately, the gate to the trailer isn’t. Morgan climbs inside. He turns on a light and finds the space filled with boxes, all bearing the slogan “take what you need, leave what you don’t.”
Morgan follows those instructions, pulling out a blanket and a peanut butter protein bar. He makes himself comfortable and spends the night there. When he wakes up, he leaves the trailer and finds himself at the “The Flip-Flop Truck Stop,” which has the “best mud pie in Mississippi.” Mississippi?
Justifiably confused, Morgan goes into the gas station. No one answers him when he asks if anyone’s there, but when he flips the light switch, the electricity works! He wanders around a little longer and finds a radio, where a woman’s voice asks, “Is that you, polar bear?”
Morgan decides to answer this call. A voice on the other end demands to know who he is, and Morgan explains: he must have accidentally hitched a ride. The woman asks which location he’s at and tells him to make himself at home, but when he asks who she is, she remains silent.
Take What You Need
In the next scene, Morgan stocks up on protein bars, water and walkie-talkies. When he finds a map, he traces his way back to Virginia: poor guy is really homesick. He heads into the restroom, where he finds running water. As he uses the facilities, he hears the sound of a gun being cocked, and someone tells him to get out.
When he exits, Morgan finds a man, near his age, in a wheelchair. He points a gun at him and asks Morgan why he used the handicapped stall, and Morgan responds, “I’m gonna be honest. It always seemed like a little apartment.”
The man agrees, and asks Morgan what’s in his bag. Apparently he wasn’t too pleased to find he had taken some of their stash, because the next scene features him pointing a gun at Morgan again. A woman then walks in, de-escalating the situation.
Morgan goes out into the parking lot, where several of the box-stocked semi-trailers sit. The woman, a former truck driver named Sarah, tells him that they kept doing what they’d always done after the world ended. They pack and drop the boxes of supplies at mile markers.
“We been living on the fringes,” she says. “Fringes are all that’s left.”
They offer to get Morgan to where he’s going, and Morgan tells them about Alexandria. Apparently the truck brought him 400 miles closer to home, and got him through a pretty nasty hurricane. Upon hearing that this storm wasn’t just a little cloudburst, Morgan decides he needs to get back to “his people,” and though the trucker pair can’t get him back to Texas, Morgan says he needs to try.
The truckers set Morgan up with a car and supplies, and give him directions to a bridge that would get him back on the road to Texas. Morgan tells them there aren’t many people doing what they’re doing, but the man, whose name is Wendell, tells him about the trucker code. “You gotta help people when they need that help, and then you gotta keep that truck movin’.”
On the road back to Texas, Morgan runs into a few obstacles. A downed tree forces him from his car, and he treks forth on foot. He reaches the bridge, but starts hearing the voices of his friends wishing him farewell and sprints in the opposite direction. He radios Wendell and Sarah and lies, saying the bridge is out. He asks them to take him to Alexandria.
Morgan makes it back to the gas station. The truckers tell him they can meet him at a different mile marker, and apologize about his friends.
“I know helping those people meant a lot to you,” Sarah says.
As he’s driving, Morgan sees a man with a bag over his head, running from the dead. He saves him and removes the bag, and his restraints. The man brews beer, and was kidnapped because his assailants wanted his recipe.
Morgan takes him in, and they keep driving. When he asks who this guy makes his beer for, the brewer expresses his optimism that things are destined to start over. They’re trying to do the same thing in Alexandria, Morgan says — rebuild a better world — and offers the man a place there.
They make it to Sarah and Wendell’s truck. Sarah tells Morgan they’re in back, but the brewer’s reaction is surprising; he splutters, “What the hell, Morgan?” and runs to the car. Wendell cocks his gun, and it becomes apparent that these truckers aren’t as benevolent as they seem.
The pair tie up Morgan and the brewer (his name is Jim), and ask if Alexandria is close to Washington D.C. Morgan finds out that they aren’t the owners of the truck, or the boxes: they stole them from the owner, who was leaving the boxes for those in need. Wendell and Sarah are keeping the supplies, and keeping Jim captive because Sarah likes beer.
Pointing guns at Jim and Morgan, they demand to know Alexandria’s location. When Morgan refuses to share, they hold him and Jim in the back of the truck and start driving toward Virginia.
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Jim tells Morgan a story about how he was supposed to sell his brewery and become rich, but that never happened because of the apocalypse. He’s viewing Alexandria as a second chance to earn that wealth. He prattles on until the truck stops on a bridge, having sunk one of its tires in the road because of excess weight.
While Sarah unloads the truck — which is mostly filled with beer supplies — Jim tries to cut a deal with her and Wendell. When she hears they’ll get unlimited beer Sarah cuts him free. Walkers approach under the bridge, and Sarah decides they’re leaving. Jim decides he wants a beer chiller she unloaded from the truck. In a truly unfortunate turn of events for Morgan, Jim knocks him down into a ravine, and Morgan ends up face-to-face with a small horde. Morgan’s having quite a day!
His attempts to evade the walkers with his hands tied are less than successful, and he winds up on top of an abandoned car. When he sees the trio watching, Morgan asks if he can get some help. Sarah tells him he can, on the condition that he tells her where Alexandria is. With his life on the line, Morgan reveals his community’s location — and gets no help in return.
“You can’t just turn and walk away!” Morgan yells.
“Sure we can. You did,” Sarah says. Confused, Morgan asks her what she means.
She and Wendell knew the bridge wasn’t out; they know Morgan could have gone back to his friends in Texas. They walk away, leaving the stick-wielder without his weapon…. or a way out.
Leave What You Don’t
Night falls, and Morgan remains on top of the car. He starts talking to the truckers and Jim through the radio. Hearkening back to his days on The Walking Dead, Morgan calls himself a coward. As walkers snarl, he reveals that he left because he was scared he’d “just make things worse.” He tells the trio not to come back for him.
Morgan tries to get off the car by kicking the walkers’ heads, but falls. When he pulls himself back up he jumps over them and off the car, but keeps sliding down the ravine. He finds one of the boxes and uses a knife to break the restraints on his wrists and take down a few of the walkers. He uses a mile marker to handle the rest — who needs a stick when you have steel?
The next day, Morgan runs into the truck on the road. Wendell and Sarah tell him his directions to Alexandria were wrong. Morgan, of course, already knew that. They strike a deal: they’ll take him back to Texas, but he has to tell them how to get to Alexandria.
On the way back, the group leaves a box at every mile marker ending in the number 4, just as the owner of the truck did. Morgan radios the empty airwaves where the owner might be listening and says they’re bringing the truck back, and leaving boxes.
In the biggest “wtf” moment in an episode filled with “wtf” moments, a woman sits at the radio in the truck stop where Morgan first heard Sarah’s voice. She listens to Morgan’s broadcast and addresses a walker she has pinned to the wall, saying, “Looks like we’re going to Texas.” She writes, “take what you need, leave what you don’t,” on its forehead and cheeks, and laughs eerily.
- Morgan’s a good guy, but I don’t quite buy his over-eagerness to bring everyone back to Alexandria. I mean, he didn’t even ask Jim any of Rick Grimes’ Three Questions.
- This episode had, by far, the most blatantly humorous moments this season. It’s a stark contrast to last week’s “Close Your Eyes,” and while there were moments I appreciated, at times I had a hard time adjusting to the tone shift.
- So, Sarah and Wendell clearly weren’t delivering boxes. What were they doing the whole time? Have they spent their days since the downfall of society looking for a brewer? Here’s hoping we get elaboration on what their motives really are.
- That D.C. shoutout made me wonder about a potential reverse crossover or larger show merger. The Walking Dead’s Season 9 poster had D.C. on it, and with the truckers asking about it… I have to wonder if an endgame is being planned, though Fear was renewed for a fifth season.
- Was that walker the woman pinned to the wall the original owner of the semi? Judging by the outfit, he could be… Yikes.
See you next week for “Weak,” which will see Morgan continue looking for his friends and June helping an ailing Althea.
Fear the Walking Dead, Sundays, 9/8c, AMC