I don’t know if this qualifies as news so much as it does intriguing speculation, but it looks as though a well-known character from the The Walking Dead comic book could be making his return to AMC’s breakout hit. I say return because in season one, the first living persons seen by our lovable leader were Morgan and Duane, the father-son tandem that set the pace for the show’s inability/refusal to allow important black characters to have longevity. For those whose memories have failed them and can’t think that far back, I’ll remind you (and for those whose memories haven’t failed them, feel free to gloss over the next few sentences).
Morgan, played by Lennie James, was a man who lived in Rick’s town. Rick was hit over the head by a shovel-yielding Duane shortly after waking from a coma and finding that the world had gone to hell and his house vacated, in that order. Morgan took him in, made him some Hormel (I’m assuming) Chili, and told him that the world as he once knew it existed no more. In a character developing moment, we saw Duane and Morgan struggle to come to terms with the misses of the household having become a walker.
Thanks to the timely resurfacing of some summer of 2012 quotes, coupled with some leaked photos, we may be onto something. Per Access Hollywood, who caught up with creator Robert Kirkman just a few short weeks ago, we have more information. When asked if Morgan’s character would be returning to the show, Kirkman, in typical non-disclosure form, responded, “I can neither confirm nor deny such things.” He went on to, ever so briefly, elaborate, saying, “I can say he’s definitely not, not going to come back, but, you know, if he’s coming back, I don’t know, I don’t know, you’ll just have to watch.” In English, as Kirkman obviously knows, a double negative equals a positive. So while his first response was as subtle as the Mona Lisa’s smile, his continued explanation revealed to us just what Kirkman (and Mona Lisa) was smiling about.
James’ words only fanned the growing fire, as he, when confronted with a similar line of questioning at this past weekend’s Independent Spirit Awards, responded with the surly but encouraging word couplet: Keep watching.
This is like the actor version of former NFL wide receiver Terrell Owens’ famous words, “Get ya popcorn ready.” Translation: get excited, because something exciting (and that you want to see) is going to happen. James is confirming without confirming, and Kirkman is confirming without denying. James repeated the same two words when asked if he had gone to Atlanta, where the show is filmed: Keep watching.
Put simply, Morgan is coming back, and he might even be coming back THIS SEASON.
Don’t believe me? Two responses: First, this isn’t my theory, I’m just a subscriber and defender of said theory. Secondly, look at these pictures from the guys over at TheWalkerStalkers.com
The man with the sniper rifle doesn’t come into focus, but we have many a clue to build on. Ignoring the quotes above, there’s still the obvious: Morgan was, when we were introduced to him, a fine marksman and owner/operator of a sniper rifle. I’m no gun expert, but the weapon the mysterious black man in the pictures is holding looks more like a rifle than an assault rifle. To wit, the obvious placement of the man with the rifle is the post-apocalyptic poor man’s equivalent of a sniper’s perch, one of the best strategic advantages in modern warfare.
Secondly (I don’t know when I started numbering, but go with it), the story is coming full circle with the comic book. Even though the series has deviated a discernible amount from the written word, Michonne and Rick do stumble upon Morgan, sans his shovel-yielding son, later on down the line in the story. When they find him, he’s kind of a mess, and understandably so. The point is, though, that it is they who find him.
Thirdly, it fits with the direction of the show. In a showing of solid writing from the show-runners, Rick needs to learn to trust Michonne and has chosen to take her and Carl out on his little expedition to prove to himself that he can. So Michonne accompanying Rick serves two purposes-it builds the relationship of Michonne and Rick, which is currently on shaky ground, and cushions and induces the reintroduction of Morgan. But don’t call it a comeback.
If you haven’t seen the trailer for this week’s episode yet, it’s clear that the triumvirate runs into some trouble. What role this perched rifle-holder plays remains a mystery, as does he, and so too does his expected arrival time in the show.
And lastly, let us briefly discuss what this might mean for the show, provided it all comes to fruition like the evidence suggests.
For starters, and most importantly, this could benefit Rick the most. Even if Morgan doesn’t stay with them, the two will hug it out, share bits of their stories with each other, and Rick will undoubtedly learn of Duane’s demise. This disclosure will likely lead Rick to sympathize for Morgan, as he is an alternate universe version (or not too distant future version) of Rick. To summarize, but not summarily dismiss, Rick lost Lori but gained a daughter and kept his son; Morgan lost his wife, his son, and gained nothing. If this were a morbidly depressing penis-measuring contest, Rick would lose, no contest. This will (theoretically) help Rick because it’ll force him to realize that while he has it bad, somebody else has it worse (everybody, really). And since Rick has been prone to persistent bouts of lunacy, Morgan’s plight might slap the sense into him that Herschel would if his hands weren’t glued to his crutches. All in all, a little more Morgan is good for Rick.
Additionally, as a reader of the comic books, it’s easy to predict the big picture story arc of the show, but difficult to pin-point where the smaller pieces will end up. For instance, Rick never turned away Tyreese, and Tyreese helped him fight off The Governor, as well as any other problems that popped up during the prison habitation. In the show, Tyreese appears to be a good man, but he is a man desperate for a home, and he’s just recently led his group to the open arms of The Governor after Rick’s insanity chased them away. He’s longing to stay somewhere, his group has a huge problem with Rick, and he has even offered to help The Governor with any problems he might have. It was a writing move that caught me by surprise and made me scratch my head because it’s so different from the world I know. The return of Morgan might assuage that and help even the playing field a bit, as the folks at the prison are at a clear disadvantage in just about every way possible. Since Andrea’s lost all the facets of reason and appears to have made her bed with the man she affectionately refers to as “Philip,” perhaps Morgan will step in to play the role of Sharpshooter Extraordinaire.
If you let me, I could conjure predictions until the real zombie apocalypse transpires, but it’ll be pure speculation. I ran out of actual evidence a few paragraphs ago. I’m done theorizing for now, so keep yourself busy till Sunday night, because even if our theories don’t come to pass, we get to see the genesis of what’s sure to be a great partnership between Rick and Michonne.
SOURCE: Access Hollywood
Written by Anthony Burrola