Yesssss! Morgan Jones (Lennie James) returned at the very end of The Walking Dead Season 5, Episode 1, "No Sanctuary," appearing in the woods. What was he doing? He seemed to be heading to Terminus, but then he saw Rick's "NO" Sanctuary sign. (Rick is the zombie apocalypse Better Business Bureau.) Where is Morgan going now? When might we see him again? He didn't seem ... mentally unhinged or anything, although that's hard to gauge in a short scene. At least he's not "clearing" any more. It's a step in the right direction.
After Episode 1, comic book writer/TV exec producer Robert Kirkman told Entertainment Weekly that Morgan is possibly in better shape than we last saw him in Season 3, Episode 12, "Clear," "but he’s on the road, he’s alone. You never know, we’ve got to see him interact with people. He could still be a loon. But yeah, he’s on their trail. Rick left him a map, so he knew roughly where Rick was, and it’s clear that he’s decided, 'Hey, you know, living alone in this horrible town is not for me. Maybe I do need to reenter society. Maybe I do need to find these people.' And I like to think he got to that prison and was like, 'Wait, what’s going on? Like, everyone’s gone now?' So yeah, he’s actually on their trail, and the Terminus thing is helping him hopefully stay on that trail. And it’s certainly a question as to whether he’ll meet up with them, or when he’ll meet up with them, but we’ve got a lot of big plans for the character of Morgan, so stay tuned."
Big plans! Yes! Showrunner Scott Gimple added to The Hollywood Reporter that there's more Morgan story to come, even if he woudn't confirm when that story would be told. "That definitely seemed like the start of something; he was on a path and his path changed. Looking at him, how he's dressed, how he's acting — it's not a 42-minute episode there — but you get some hints about where he's at. I would look at that carefully."
There we go — we have our marching orders: Re-watch that final scene carefully for hints.
Note: Here's the ending of AMC's episode description for "No Sanctuary": "Months after Rick's escape from Terminus, a masked stranger marches down the railroad tracks. He stops to see the Terminus sign Rick modified, and hangs his head. He removes his mask. It's Morgan." Months after. So there's a time jump and Morgan is only finding that sign months later.
PREVIOUS UPDATE: Guess what! Morgan (Lennie James) may not have returned in Season 4, as we hoped, but spoilers suggest we will see a glimpse of Morgan at the tail end of The Walking Dead Season 5 premiere, "No Sanctuary," as a special surprise after the credits.
According to this play-by-play rundown: "The show cuts to the credits, but don’t switch off just yet. When the credits end, we go back to the train tracks and see a man walking towards the [Terminus] sign Rick just wrote on. The man turns round with a mask on his face, but when he takes the mask off, we see it’s Morgan who Rick met earlier in the show, but he’s on his own!"
Let's hope this Morgan sighting is true, and not still another false trail. By the end of Ep 1, Rick and company had blasted their way out of Terminus, but there were still some survivors. Where will Morgan go from this point? We can only hope he finds his way back with the group, even if filming spoilers never said anything about Lennie James. LOVE a pleasant surprise!
We were looking forward to his return in Season 4, but that casting tease was debunked. Still, when he told Entertainment Weekly Morgan was a no-go for S4, showrunner Scott Gimple added, “Will he be on the show again? Yes. I am absolutely certain of that."
Scott is keeping faith on the Morgan promise; during his recent interview with Larry King, Scott was asked, “Will we see Morgan again?” He answered, “I am so determined to make that happen by hook or by crook. I can definitely say yes.”
Yassssss! Morgan is a lock. He’s not a definite lock for Season 5 — we’re not going to fall into that assumption trap again — but TheWalkingDead.com issued a poll, asking fans when they think Morgan will return.
Here are the results so far:
First half of Season 5 - 37%
Second half of Season 5 - 49%
Season 6 - 7%
Later than Season 6 - 3%
Never - 3%
So at this point fans seem to think the second half of Season 5 is a good bet. There’s valid reason to think that way, based on the comics.
We kind of had the comics-to-TV story on fast-forward for Season 4, figuring the “A” of the season finale might mean the Alexandria Safe-Zone of the comics. Now that we know that’s not the case, and our group hasn’t even hit the road for Washington, D.C. yet, it does make sense to think the first half of Season 5 might involve getting out of Terminus, determining what to do next, perhaps meeting with Gabriel Stokes (and Beth?), and then possibly hitting the road for D.C.
In the comics, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) and Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz) took a detour to Rick’s old hometown to get supplies and ran into Morgan. Morgan ultimately joined the group on the road. TWD the TV show did something similar to that in Season 3, but without adding Morgan back into the mix, so maybe they won’t want to cover that ground again. But there are other ways to get Morgan on the show, even if we don’t go back “home.”
Season 5 filming looks like it’s keeping to the usual 16-episode schedule of May to November. Comic book writer/producer Robert Kirkman said the Season 5 script would all be finished by this summer. We’ll have to keep an eye out for any hints that Lennie James is back on the show — although we’ll avoid trusting IMDb on that one again.
What do you think? Will Morgan return in Season 5? If so, first half or second? If not, Season 6 or later?
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October 2014 on AMC.