- Lennie James portrayed the legacy character Morgan Jones on The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead for over a decade.
- Morgan’s trauma and grief has sent him in circles during his time on both shows, but it finally comes to a close in “All I See Is Red.”
- Morgan finally accepts that grief is a part of life, and the only way to move forward is to treasure the time he has with his daughter.
The following contains spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 12, “The Road Ahead,” now streaming on AMC+.
Over its past few seasons, Fear the Walking Dead had its fair share of storytelling and writing issues. Granted, that’s to be expected with any series that runs for an extended amount of time, but it was particularly bad when Alycia Debnam-Carey’s Alicia Clark unexpectedly left the series at the end of Season 7. It was a confusing episode that left fans unsatisfied, and her character’s fate completely up in the air.
Something similar just happened in “All I See Is Red.” At the end of the episode, Lennie James’ Morgan Jones sailed off into the sunset with his daughter Mo. After the episode, James confirmed it was Morgan’s final episode on Fear the Walking Dead and (barring some incredible story) his last appearance in the TWD universe. The thing is, unlike Alicia’s final episode, “All I See Is Red” was a worthy sendoff for Morgan.
Updated on December 6, 2023 by Katie Doll: Death is par for the course in The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead. Morgan Jones was tremendous representation of those who suffer under the weight of immense grief. This article has been updated to expand on Morgan’s appropriate farewell compared to other Fear TWD characters.
Dr. Eastman Helped Morgan Jones Find Himself in FTWD
Fear the Walking Dead: Why Morgan Returned to King County and How It Completes His Arc
Morgan Jones makes the trip back to King County on Fear the Walking Dead. With this chapter of his life closed, he has a chance at a new life.
Morgan Jones is one of the original characters from The Walking Dead. Rick Grimes met him during the mothership series’ pilot episode. After that, Morgan appeared in one episode in Seasons 3 and three episodes in Season 5 before joining Alexandria and becoming a series regular in Season 6. He was a major player in the Savior War against Negan, but after the war, he decided to leave everything behind and find himself. That allowed for his crossover to Fear the Walking Dead, where he took on more of a leadership role. However, the most interesting part about Morgan’s character actually started off-screen.
While he was separated from Rick, he lost his son, Duane. Losing his wife during the outbreak was bad enough, but losing Duane was too much. Grief-stricken, Morgan lost himself, and he couldn’t do anything but “clear” the living and the dead as a way to redeem himself. He lived like that for a long time until he met a man named Dr. Eastman. The latter had killed the man that killed his family just before the apocalypse, but it didn’t grant him peace. Since then, he had become a pacifist and vowed never to kill another human being. Using his skills as a psychiatrist and his newfound Aikido-based pacifism, he helped Morgan find himself.
Morgan’s FTWD Exit Included an Eastman Homage
Fear the Walking Dead: Lennie James Breaks Down His Final Episode as Morgan Jones
In an interview with CBR, Lennie James discussed closing the chapter on Fear the Walking Dead and the possibility of Morgan and Rick Grimes reuniting.
For most of his time on Fear the Walking Dead, Morgan practiced Eastman’s teachings, but that was threatened in “More Time Than You Know,” when Morgan’s wife, Grace, succumbed to a walker bite. It got even worse in “All I See Is Red,” when PADRE forced Mo to go clear a massive horde of walkers. Convinced that he was going to lose his family again, Morgan regressed and started “clearing” everything in sight.
On The Walking Dead, Morgan explained that when he “cleared,” he only saw red. So, “All I See Is Red” literally did that. Whenever it shot from Morgan’s perspective, there was a red filter around everything. It also showed how everything that he saw circled back to the awful things he experienced in his life. Luckily, he was able to overcome that by the end of the episode. With the help of Madison Clark, he realized that he had never really lost anyone. Even when people died, Morgan still carried their memories with him.
Every Episode Where Morgan Sees Red
- The Walking Dead Season 3, Episode 12, “Clear”
- The Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 13, “Bury Me Here”
- The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 13, “Do Not Send Us Astray”
- The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 14, “Still Gotta Mean Something”
- The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 16, “Wrath”
- Fear the Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 6, “All I See Is Red”
Armed with that knowledge, he made good with Grace’s death and started a real relationship with his daughter. The two of them then sailed off to find Rick Grimes and the other people that Morgan had left on The Walking Dead. But Morgan had one stop before heading to Alexandria. He went to Eastman’s cabin in the woods and buried Grace in his cemetery. There, Morgan saw a flash of all the people he cared about, except the red tint was gone. They were a part of him and always would be.
Other FTWD Characters Weren’t Granted the Same Type of Sendoff
REVIEW: Fear the Walking Dead’s Bumpy Road Ends at a Long-Awaited Stop
Fear the Walking Dead’s final episodes feature copious moments of fan service and reflect on a hard journey. Here’s CBR’s review.
After the final episode of Fear the Walking Dead, “The Road Ahead,” it’s fair to say that Morgan got one of the most fitting farewells of all the characters on the series. Madison found her daughter, Alicia, after years of fans begging for a reunion, but not without sending the character down a rabbit hole of nonsensical journeys where she lost valuable friendships. Victor Strand, Daniel Salazar and Luciana Galvez all survived the series in a satisfying manner, but their endings were rushed due to the crammed nature of the final two episodes. Most disappointing of all, especially compared to Morgan, Dwight and Sherry abandoned any type of personal growth by returning to the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary was a place of trauma for both of them. Dwight and Sherry were forced to separate as Negan forcibly gave Sherry two options: marry him or have Dwight be killed. Sherry chose the former to save her husband, and was coerced into an abusive relationship without consent. Dwight became Negan’s henchman in the meantime, and endured a hot iron to the face as both a punishment and a warning. Finally, the pair faced their trauma together in Season 8, Episode 9 “Sanctuary,” by returning to the Sanctuary one last time and watching it crumble to the ground.
Then, in the finale, they both agree to return to build a new community at the Sanctuary in their son’s name. It’s a flawed sentiment that will only revert them back into a traumatic state of mind, unlike Morgan’s own acceptance of his past. Morgan is able to move forward because he accepts that death is a part of life, but doesn’t condone it in any way. He doesn’t stay in the place where his daughter was forced to become a soldier, and instead chooses to take her somewhere where she can be safe. At the very least, Morgan was given the gift of self-awareness in his final episode, but Dwight and Sherry were refused such a thing.
Where Viewers Can Find Lennie James Outside FTWD
Fear the Walking Dead: Lennie James on Ending Morgan’s Story in Season 8
In an interview with CBR, Fear the Walking Dead’s Lennie James talks about the final chapter for Morgan Jones and returning to King County.
Many fans of Fear the Walking Dead universally agree that Lennie James wasn’t given quality writing that stood at the level of his acting. James was a renowned actor before The Walking Dead franchise, and has only grown his filmography since then. Despite being his longest-running piece of work, Fear the Walking Dead, unfortunately, doesn’t stand as tall as other films or television series he’s appeared in.
Outside of The Walking Dead and Fear the Walking Dead, James is most known for his role as Glen Boyle in the British medical drama Critical on Sky 1. Other British shows that he’s celebrated for are Save Me, Line of Duty, Run and The Met: Policing London, the latter of which he narrated. But he’s also made a name for himself in American television series such as AMC’s Low Winter Sun, Jericho, Hung and Human Target.
In 2023, James guest starred in an episode of Invincible as Darkwing, joining other former Walking Dead cast members in the animated series. His most familiar films range from independent to blockbuster: Outlaw, Get On Up, Blade Runner 2049, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway and the upcoming film The End. But despite Fear the Walking Dead‘s critical backlash in the later seasons, Morgan Jones will always go down as one of Lennie James’ most iconic roles, and at least he had the proper ending he deserved.