By Kyle Sacchi
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR
It’s official: Morgan is back and so is the “Rick Dictatorship!”
In the last few seconds of The Walking Dead season five finale, the character–a fan favorite–arrived at Alexandria just in time to see his old friend Rick shoot a man in the head.
The first time the two met was in the debut episode of The Walking Dead back in 2010. Morgan knocked Rick out with a shovel, mistaking the confused, newly awoken-from-a-coma Sheriff for a “walker.” He later took Rick in, saving his life, and getting him up to speed on the whole zombie apocalypse scenario. The second time the pair met, Morgan was reduced to a paranoid and violent wreck after the death of his son. Rick was unable to help him.
Now recovered, Morgan had spent months tracking Rick down. His survival had become a symbol of hope at a time when things were grim and characters were dying. Morgan was still okay and was on his way to see Rick.
Because of this sustained build-up, reuniting the characters at the very moment Rick shot Pete was flat out cruel. True, Pete, an abuser, and, as of this episode, a killer, may have had it coming, but the look on Morgan’s face as he witnessed the murder and saw the desperate man his friend had become, made for quite a close to a strong season, and reinforced just how significantly Rick has changed since the series began.
These changes have been a direct response to the viciousness of post-apocalyptic life–something that was really brought home in this episode.
The episode may have been twice as long as normal, but it didn’t feel any different–a testament to its addictive quality. When it was over, I had a “What, already? Give me more!” reaction. It was the final encounter between Rick and Morgan that provided the episode’s emotional kick-in-the-stomach moment. Now fans are longing to hear their first post-reunion conversation for season six. It’s going to be a long wait.
Now fans are longing to hear their first post-reunion conversation for season six. It’s going to be a long wait.