A brief moment, but one that made fans cheer. After fading into the background for a season and a half, Morgan was revived in a brief snippet that followed Season 5’s explosive premiere, “No Sanctuary.”
At first shown only as a mysterious figure wearing a hood, Morgan found Rick’s “No Sanctuary” sign and eventually removed his mask, making himself known to a shocked and excited fanbase. Speculation swirled about what role he might have to play in the upcoming seasons, but one thing was for sure: he was hot on Rick’s heels.
All life is precious
One of Morgan’s more controversial decisions was keeping one of the Wolves, a terrifying group that attacked Alexandria in early and mid-Season 6, alive in a jail cell rather than killing him. Because of his firm belief that “all life is precious,” Morgan just couldn’t do Owen in, no matter how rotten he was.
Whether or not it was the right thing to do, in the end, it was a good thing he left him alive. Owen saved Denise’s life, and in turn, she saved Carl during the pulse-pounding midseason premiere “No Way Out.”
There’s no way to have a list of “Morgan’s Best Moments” and not include his first minutes on the show. Part of the reason fans were so excited to have Lennie James back was because he made such an impact in the Pilot, and his conversations with Rick — and struggle over whether or not to put down his wife’s walker — were incredibly moving.
Morgan nearly kills a then-clueless Rick outside his old house, but instead takes him in and teaches him about the world Rick woke up in after his coma. Andrew Lincoln and Lennie James make the friendship formed at the end of the world compelling and heartfelt.
Morgan and the cheesemaker
A brief moment of peace in a chaotic Season 6, Morgan’s bottle episode, “Here’s Not Here,” explained how the stick-wielding survivor came to be just that.
Opening with him in full “Clear” mode and ending with him accepting his new mantra of “all life is precious,” Morgan’s interactions with an aikido master and cheesemaker named Eastman. His journey to learn his now iconic mode of self-defense and embrace the world again after closing himself off from it is touching.
“Bury Me Here”
For better or worse, Morgan’s character is known for flirting with the line between sane and insane…and crossed over it fully again in the Season 7 episode “Bury Me Here.” Reacting to Ben’s death and then killing Kingdom soldier Richard for the role he played in it, Morgan lost his grip on the real world and started having elaborate hallucinations.
Lennie James’ acting was phenomenal, and the hallucination scenes were utterly striking and even unsettling: especially one in which Morgan kneels in an open grave with a headstone that bears the episode title and commits suicide. Morgan’s pain and regret at being unable to save Ben is obvious, and the events of the episode impact him for the rest of his time on The Walking Dead.
Retelling Duane’s death
The entire season three episode “Clear” might be considered a “Morgan best moment,” given the essential role Morgan plays in it and Lennie James’ incredible acting. But perhaps the most powerful moment of all occurs when Morgan tells Rick about the death of his son, and how he was powerless to stop it.
Slipping into gut-wrenching remorse and fading in and out of sanity, Morgan recalls how his inability to put down his wife’s walker — and his son’s inability to do the same — led to the boy’s demise. “All I see is red,” he says, and ends with the final, chilling words: “The weak people, the people like me… have inherited the Earth.”
Morgan and Nick
When Morgan and Nick were shown together in the Season 4 trailer for Fear The Walking Dead, many assumed Nick might take on a sidekick role to the stick-wielding survivor. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Fortunately, they still had some fun interactions.
Especially humorous was Morgan’s conversation — or perhaps lack thereof — with Nick in the season’s third episode. When a tied up Nick asks Morgan to get him something to eat from his bag, Morgan unties him and tells him he can get it himself. When Nick suggests he might run away…well, the eldest Clark sibling learns how speedy Morgan’s reflexes are, and how much being hit with a stick of bamboo hurts.
Meeting John Dorie
Morgan’s first meeting with John is very different than his first interactions with Rick. After walking, running and driving to Texas, Morgan sees a walker heading toward a campfire, but before he can take it down, the fire-starter gets it with a headshot. From across a field.
Morgan might have wanted to be left alone, but it’s hard for him to resist John’s innocent, optimistic nature, and the two gradually become friends. John shows Morgan that people aren’t all bad, a lesson he needs to re-learn from time to time.
Not a lengthy moment, but a fun one — and a seed that would eventually blossom into one of The Walking Dead’s most enduring friendships.
When Morgan first arrives in Alexandria, Carol Peletier is still deep in “Stepford Carol” mode, attempting to gain intel on the citizens of the neighborhood by pretending she’s a meek housewife instead of a force to be reckoned with. Unlike the others, Morgan sees right through her act, and they eventually form a bond.