The grand odyssey of Morgan Jones first began in The Walking Dead pilot more than a dozen years ago. It will end (for now?) during the final season of Fear the Walking Dead, which premieres May 14. Over the years he's really gone through it — losing family and friends, leaving communities and building new ones, battling both walkers and humans, finding new love, and parenting amidst a post-nuclear apocalypse.
To catch up on Morgan's journey ahead of Season 8 of Fear the Walking Dead, check out AMC+ for The Walking Dead: Best of Morgan, a collection of five episodes in The Walking Dead Universe that have been crucial to Morgan's journey.
The first episode in the collection is The Walking Dead's "Days Gone Bye." From his first moment on screen in the series pilot, Morgan's presence was electric. He blasted onto our screen 26 minutes into the episode, shooting a walker dead and then confronting Rick Grimes. The tension rose when Rick couldn't answer his questions and Morgan threatened to kill him. After realizing that Rick wasn't infected, Morgan helped him recover from a bullet wound and then became his entrée to this new world of walkers. Morgan's the one who explained what walkers were and how to deal with them. Viewers were also introduced to Morgan's young son Duane, who was still getting schooled in manners and proper grammar by his dad even as the world fell apart. We also learned the dark secret of Jenny, the undead wife of Morgan that he'd been trying — and failing — to put down ever since she died. "I just didn't have it in me," an anguished Morgan tells Rick. "She's the mother of my child."
Morgan's rare appearances in the first few seasons had viewers clamoring to see more of him. After the pilot he showed up infrequently — in Season 3, Episode 12, "Clear" (where we learned that Walker Jenny killed Duane) and in post-credits sequences in the Season 5 Premiere, "No Sanctuary" and the Season 5 Midseason Finale, "Coda." He then joined The Walking Dead as a series regular and reunited with Rick for three seasons, from the Season 5 Finale, "Conquer" until the Season 8 Finale, "Wrath."
A mentally broken Morgan left after Season 8 of The Walking Dead in a bid to heal in isolation, later making his way into Fear the Walking Dead's Season 4 Premiere, "What's Your Story?," the next episode in the Best of Morgan. In his first FEAR episode, Morgan traveled from Virginia to Texas, where he encountered John Dorie and Althea and uttered one of his famous lines, "I lose people and then I lose myself." He tried to break away from the two of them several times — and avoid more questioning from Althea — but decided to stay with them while healing from a leg injury he sustained in a gunfight. The episode ended when the trio crossed paths with Alicia and were held at gunpoint by her, Nick, Luciana, and Strand.
Next up in the Morgan mini-series is Season 5, Episode 10, "210 Words Per Minute," which is The One Where Morgan Falls in Love (Again). Against the backdrop of a mall full of growling walkers, Morgan and Grace had what was essentially a first date. They talked about what jellybeans are actually called (not "candy beansies,") Grace's fears that she could have cancer, A Tale of Two Cities, and their pasts. Morgan reminisced about Duane's remote-control car and how he had a "giant stupid smile" on his face after his first date with Jenny. He ends up smiling more in this episode than in the entire series put together. Grace even convinced Morgan to ride the mall merry-go-round with her. But as the episode came to a close, Morgan decided abruptly to help Althea and leave Grace. Morgan and Grace said their farewells and revealed nothing about their feelings for each other; both of them teared up as Morgan drove away.
In the next episode of the Morgan collection, the Season 5 Finale, "End of the Line," Morgan and the survivors found a place to live, Humbug's Gulch, but they had few supplies and little to no weaponry. After much debate and an aborted attempt at a zombie attack, Morgan decides to ask Virginia, the season's new adversary and the leader of the Pioneers, for refuge in her communities. Virginia agreed to take the 40 people in Morgan's charge but separated them all, including newlyweds John and June and siblings Sarah and Wendell. Even Daniel was separated from Skidmark, his cat. Morgan and Grace were split up too, but not before Morgan told her that he had feelings for her when they were at the mall. He was scared because he'd only felt that way before with Jenny. "Maybe this is something different. Maybe it's the same thing that I had with her, but I felt it. I felt the possibility of it. I felt like it was more. And whatever happens to us and wherever we end up, I need you to know that, okay?" he said to Grace. As she was led away, Grace cried out, "I felt it too, Morgan. I need you to know that!" At the conclusion of the episode, Virginia shot Morgan and left him for dead. Before walkers descended upon him, Morgan left a message for his friends, "Grace, if you're listening to me, live. All of you, if you can hear me, just live!"
The final installment of Morgan's essential episodes is the Season 6 Premiere, "The End Is The Beginning." Morgan survived into the new season because a mysterious stranger heard Morgan's message, killed the walkers surrounding him, and treated his gunshot wound. Even so, Morgan was in rough shape. He was weak, his eyes were bloodshot, and gangrene had set into his wound, which gave him the advantage of passing through the undead unnoticed. A man named Isaac needed Morgan's newfound walker superpower to help him get through a horde to his pregnant wife, Rachel, in a secure location that Morgan would repurpose for a future community. Isaac repaid Morgan for his help by cleaning his wound and removing the bullet, and by helping him take down Emile, a bounty hunter hired by Virginia to kill Morgan. Isaac then succumbed to a walker bite and Rachel gave birth to a baby girl named after Morgan. Morgan proceeded to place Emile's reanimated head in a box labeled "Morgan Jones" for Virginia to find. Upon discovering that Emile was dead and Morgan was not, Virginia contacted Morgan to warn him away. A resolute Morgan, who had taken Emile's coat, hat, and weapon for his own, replied, "Morgan Jones is dead and you are dealing with somebody else now."
Morgan's adventures continued into Seasons 6 and 7. He and Grace found their way back to each other and adopted Isaac and Rachel's daughter Mo after Rachel died. He suffered another loss when John Dorie was killed. As Season 7 ended, Morgan had lost Mo too and was trying to get her back from PADRE.
To understand who Morgan is, the sorrow he bears, and the hope he still holds despite everything, track his progress across shows and across the years in this celebration on AMC+ of Morgan's essential moments in the iconic episodes detailed above. And don't forget to tune in to watch Fear the Walking Dead's exciting conclusion when the final season premieres on Sunday, May 14 at 9pm ET on AMC. AMC+ subscribers will get early access to every episode on Thursdays beginning May 11. Try AMC+ for free here.