'Fear The Walking Dead' Finale: Morgan Confronts His Past and His Future (RECAP)
Clearly, Morgan Jones still believes "all life is precious."
Whether you're a fan of pacifist Morgan or his slightly crazier "Clear" persona, the Season 4 finale of Fear The Walking Dead offers a glimpse at both. Morgan's determination to help Martha leads him down some dark paths, and causes him to self-reflect in a way that brings out both his dark and light sides. Meanwhile, the rest of the group struggles with a mysterious illness.
Stronger Than Ever
Al narrowly escapes the hospital through the basement, and makes it into a parking garage where she tries to radio June and Morgan. No luck on contacting her friends, but she’s lucky in another way; she finds a news van with a working videocamera, which she happily takes.
From there, Al starts searching the city, presumably for Morgan. She stumbles on the car where Jim landed, and Martha in turn. The “Filthy Woman” says she likes Al, because she never helped people more than she had to in order to get their stories. When Al refuses to deliver a message to Morgan for her, she knocks the journalist out.
Al wakes up in her van, with June and John watching over her. They tell her they found her in the street, and Martha was nowhere near her. Though Al didn’t deliver the message herself, it seems Martha found a way to get her point across; Morgan watches a tape in which the woman tells him he’ll see her again, and she’ll be “stronger than ever.”
The group gathers around a campfire, and Morgan tells them about Alexandria. They’re planning to hit the road at dawn, which means something will go wrong before then.
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Mile Marker 54
Morgan keeps replaying Martha’s message. John approaches him and says he knows what Morgan’s up to — he’s going to try to leave again. That’s not quite Morgan’s plan, but he does want to help Martha, because, in his words, he “used to be her.” John offers his help, but Morgan refuses and instead gives him a map to Alexandria. If he’s not back in two days, Morgan says the group should go on without him. Because he’s John, he refuses to leave without him — but he warns Morgan that “some fish in this world just won’t be caught.”
They say goodbye, and Morgan radios Martha. She tells him she’s at mile marker 54, and the stick-wielding do-gooder heads her way.
The rest of the crew head to Sarah and Wendell’s truck stop, where they stock up on supplies and chat. Alicia, Strand and Luciana decide they have to find “something else to live for,” other than their Texas home. June discusses her fear that John doesn’t really know her, only for John to reassure her that “it doesn’t take a whole day to recognize sunshine.” (Swoon.) They share a sweet, romantic moment in which June tells him he made her realize who she really is.
Morgan goes to mile marker 54 and finds a weak (no pun intended) Martha lying on her husband’s grave. Despite her protests, he picks her up and puts her into the car she took there, telling her his people can help her. They drive away. His attempts at small talk fail, as does the radio signal after he tells John he’s bringing Martha back.
Al’s sick again — she tries to take down a pair of walkers, but ends up collapsing. June carries her inside.
In the car, Martha opens up to Morgan about her husband and how she blames herself for his death. Morgan starts to reassure her that what happened to him wasn’t her fault, but a transmission comes through from June. The whole group is sick, not just Al, and they need Morgan to hurry back with the antibiotics. Hearing this, Martha says she’ll take the pills for her injury, but when Morgan hands them to her she starts yanking his arm to throw his driving off. It works: he crashes the car.
Martha pulls Morgan out of the car and writes on his forehead, saying she’d “make him strong.” She pulls back her bandage to reveal a bite mark, claiming that Morgan will have to kill her, or she’ll kill him. Morgan continues trying to reason with her, saying she’s in a place where he’s been before. Of course, she won’t listen.
June tells the group they need to stay hydrated, and goes to open another bottle of water. After trying several, she realizes the seals on all of them have been broken: Martha poisoned them. With Morgan, Martha says she put antifreeze in the water. Enraged, Morgan nearly strangles her but relents at the last moment. Instead of killing her, he chains her to the ruined car — he’ll let her turn, but he won’t let her harm anyone else. This is apparently devastating to Martha, as she sobs while Morgan walks away.
The Healing Power of...Ethanol?
Morgan keeps trying to contact the group as he walks, runs and finds a car, but his transmissions won’t go through. In the meantime, the group is getting worse and worse. His car runs out of gas, and he still can’t contact the group, or so he thinks. Al radios him and tells him she won’t let Martha beat her. This opens a line of communication between them, and Morgan tells them they’ve been poisoned by antifreeze. June knows ethanol is the antidote, and Sarah knows there’s a tanker of it outside. All they have to do is fight their way through the horde of zombies surrounding the truck stop in their weakened state. No big deal, right?
It isn’t too big of a deal — they manage to get through quite a few of the walkers, but aren’t able to handle all of them. Strand and Luciana make their way to the truck and try getting the ethanol out, but Strand can’t get the valve open. They’re about to become lunch when Al opens fire from her tank; she saves their lives, but drains the ethanol onto the ground. Whoops.
Morgan has a heart-to-heart with his dying group members, telling them he can’t lose them or he’ll go back to the way he was. John comforts him and says he won’t, even if they’re gone — and then the signal drops.
The group keeps suffering, and many of them seem to be moments away from death. Al records a last message for whoever finds her tapes. Alicia says she thought she’d get a second chance. Charlie says she’s happy she saw the beach. All hope seems lost, until…Morgan arrives! He realizes “ethanol” is just a fancy word for “beer,” and brought the group some of Jim’s brews.
"We're Coming For You."
They drink up and feel better. Strand and Alicia drink together. June, John and Charlie sit together around a table. Luciana says something cryptic that seems to address Nick’s memory. For a little while, all is well.
Morgan goes back to mile marker 54 and finds Martha has yanked her own arm off. He sees her walker and puts it down, and — for some odd reason — chooses to bury her. The rest of the group watches, and Wendell asks if they can hit the road to Alexandria. They can, Morgan says, but he won’t. Seeing how far Martha fell because no one helped her really resonated with him, and he says he needs to help people. He brings up Polar Bear as an example, but stops mid-sentence and asks if Luciana still has his journals.
The group next makes their way to a former denim factory, based on directions in Polar Bear’s journals. They decide to make the place into “something more,” like Madison did with the Dell Diamond. Al volunteers her tapes and says they can take in those people. “What?” she says as her friends turn and look at her. “I got layers.”
Slowly, color seems to be returning. The trees are green. The sky is blue. From their new home base inside the factory, Morgan and several others are heading out to find more people. “I don’t know if any of you are out there,” Morgan says. “Don’t know if any of you are listening. But if you are, hang in there. We’re coming for you.”
In a genre oft-dominated by men, these girls show the boys who's boss.
- It took all season, but somebody drank with Strand! And not just anyone — Madison's daughter! I was happy to see them spending time together and acknowledging that connection, even if it was just a few lines.
- John Dorie is too good for the post-apocalyptic world. That quote about recognizing sunshine? Him telling Charlie drinking the alcohol was a "one-time deal" until she's 21? I know they're safe — for now — but he must be protected at all costs.
- I didn't understand Martha, as a villain. Sure, her goal was to make people "strong," but I never quite felt the urgency of a threat from her as I did with The Governor, The Vultures or even Troy Otto (who wasn't a straight-up villain, but he could have been). I also don't know why Morgan thought he was the same as her: Morgan wasn't specifically trying to kill people, post-"Clear." He was just taking down anyone who was in his way. That's not quite what Martha was up to.
- I'm also not sure why Alexandria was brought up with such consistency if the goal was never to go there. 4B seemed like the half-season of preparing to go back, only for it to not amount to anything because Morgan felt guilty about not being able to save a woman who — for all intents and purposes — was probably too far gone.
- I am interested to see how the factory storyline plays out, though. I enjoyed the prison on the main show, and this seems like it could be similar.