By Sherry Lipp
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
The burning question that’s been on my mind since the pilot episode of The Walking Dead is what ever became of Morgan (Lennie James) and his son Duane (Adrian Kali Turner)? We last saw them in the pilot episode. When Rick (Andrew Lincoln) left them, he promised to contact them via walkie-talkie every morning at dawn. We saw Rick keep this promise, but never had a word back from Morgan. Just as I was giving up on ever finding out, this week’s episode “Clear” sheds some light on their fate.
While I didn’t realize they were so close to home, I thought it was cool to get to see what things were like so much time later. I also found it a nice break from the prison and Woodbury stories. This episode was sparse, featuring only Rick, Carl, Michonne, Morgan, and a lonely hitchhiker begging Rick for help. The backpacker was not so much a character in the story, but a symbol. He also showed just how much has changed since the beginning of the show. There was a time when Rick would have helped the hitchhiker, but that Rick no longer exists. Well, maybe there is a little of that Rick left, but more on that later.
Rick’s hometown was vastly changed from that last time we saw it. It wasn’t in good shape to begin with, but now it has definitely taken on a post-apocalyptic appearance. It’s filled with booby traps and warning messages scrawled everywhere. Also scrawled everywhere is the word “clear.” There is only one resident left in the town, and he doesn’t want visitors. Guess who the one resident is? It’s Morgan. I might have been surprised if I hadn’t attended an appearance by Danai Gurira at Emerald City Comicon on the day the episode aired. There she mentioned Morgan as being a good character. I figured he must be coming back, why else mention him? That very night, a mysterious figure was seen in Rick’s hometown. Otherwise it would have been a cool surprise. I was still pretty happy to see him, though he wasn’t exactly the same person we last saw.
In the meantime, Carl went on his own mission to find a family photo he knew was hanging in the town diner. Michonne went along, against Carl’s wishes. He wanted the photo so his baby sister would know what their mom looked like. I liked that we got to see a different side of Michonne. She seemed to loosen up a little around Carl and let her guard down a little. I’m not sure what to make of her wanting the cat statue from the diner, but it was kind of funny.
It made me think about what direction this show is headed. It made we want to see more of the world outside the group and Woodbury. Although I have enjoyed the Governor storyline, I’m looking forward to moving past it. Now that the battle is a foregone conclusion, there is less surprise. Not that they won’t throw some surprises in most likely, but I’m looking forward to seeing something really new.