AMC’s Fear the Walking Dead season four episode one begins with a shot of someone reading Love Story. The romantic novel reader turns out to be a new character named John Dorie, played by Garret Dillahunt. He hears a noise in the woods by his campfire at night and would love to finally engage in a conversation with another human being. He claims he hasn’t spoken to anyone in a year. He promises the unseen visitor popcorn if he/she steps forward.
Still speaking to possibly no one, he recalls the story of a woman who came to his door. They had feelings for each other, but he doesn’t elaborate on the outcome. A walker shuffles toward him from the woods and as he fires, Morgan is immediately behind the walker with his staff poised for attack. (Welcome to Fear the Walking Dead, Lennie James!)
SPOILER WARNING: If you haven’t watched the final episode of The Walking Dead season eight, read no further until you’re caught up on TWD‘s season-ender.
A flashback shows Morgan hanging clothes in Jadis’ now-empty dump camp. Jesus (Tom Payne) stops by for a visit, wanting to get to know Morgan better. He reminds Morgan the reason he fought was to protect people, and Jesus believes Morgan should be with the group.
Next up is a visit from Carol (Melissa McBride) who asks Morgan to come back to The Kingdom. She says she knows who he is and that he belongs with people who care about him, echoing Jesus’ message.
And yet another The Walking Dead member arrives to try to convince Morgan to return to The Kingdom. Rick (Andrew Lincoln) says he wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for Morgan. Rick reminds Morgan that when he was hurt, he helped him out. Now that Morgan’s hurting, Rick thinks he should return to be part of the new world. “I’m here now…a lot of people are here now…because you helped me right at the beginning,” admits Rick.
Morgan claims he’s not that person anymore, but Rick’s sure he is. He also thinks Morgan will end up in a community somewhere because that’s his destiny. Even with Rick nearly begging, Morgan doesn’t change his mind.
Morgan hits the road with only a backpack full of supplies and his trusty staff. He pauses and rethinks his decision, taking a seat at the crossroads before ultimately striking out on his own.
He stumbles upon a car with a full gas tank and drives it until it runs out. Continuing on foot, he spots a group of people and veers off another direction. Days go by and sometimes he lucks out and finds a car. More often than not he’s on foot.
When he stops at a car, he finds a man injured and curled up in the backseat. After he places a bandage and water in the car, the man yells at him to take the supplies back. Morgan apologizes, saying he thought the man was on his own and needed them. The man sends Morgan away, unwilling to accept any help.
Morgan continues his journey and passes the border into Texas. He hears John talking and sees the walker heading toward the voice. After John shoots the walker, Morgan informs him he’s just passing through even though it’s obvious John would really like to have a conversation. Morgan introduces himself but declines to stay for a meal of beans. They carry on small talk and it’s quite clear John craves company. John asks Morgan if he’s happened to have seen a woman carrying a pistol identical to his, but Morgan hasn’t.
Morgan wants to leave but John offers him a night’s sleep in his truck. Morgan, reluctantly, agrees. However, he sneaks away in the middle of the night as John is snoring.
Morgan spots a tent with a lantern inside and before he can react, he’s knocked out from behind. Two men look through his bag and take his staff while holding him at gunpoint when he comes to. John arrives and shoots the gun out of the stranger’s hand. Unfortunately, John didn’t realize there were more of them inside the building and he’s easily disarmed.
While the gang is holding Morgan and John, a big truck pulls up driven by another new season four character, Althea (Maggie Grace). The men know her and suggest she leave, but she sees John and Morgan and claims she likes new people. Althea (who goes by “Al”) says she’s got a case of Cup of Noodles and a case of Pall Malls, if they give her John and Morgan. And, it turns out the men don’t really have a choice. Her truck is equipped with a spotlight and machine guns she can control from the cab.
Morgan, John, and Al hit the road, getting to know each other. She says Leland and his boys have taken all the supplies from stores so it’s harder to find food in the area. Morgan asks if he can be dropped off, but Althea reveals that now they both owe her since she rescued them.
Once back at her camp, Al wants to find out their stories and reveals she’s a journalist. She takes out a video camera and beings filming John first. John talks about Laura, the woman he fell for and who has the other gun. He’s sure he’ll find her, but admits their parting wasn’t a happy story.
Al turns the camera on Morgan and he’s not interested in being a part of her video. He offers food instead, but she only wants his story. Morgan leaves and John follows him. He hands Morgan a pair of socks and wants to make sure Morgan will be all right if he leaves on his own. As they’re talking, Morgan and John notice the men have followed them into Althea’s camp and have them surrounded.
One of the men holds Al at gunpoint, demanding her truck.
John puts his hands up but hasn’t surrendered his gun. Morgan’s told to drop his stick and instead springs into action. John takes out a man on the rooftop and Al uses the distraction from the gunshot to attack the man holding her at gunpoint. She almost makes it up into her truck but is tossed out by her attacker.
Morgan takes out another attacker as John reloads. He opens a trailer door and walkers stumble out.
Al tosses the truck keys and attacker has to run to fetch them. He tries to find them and is bitten by a rattlesnake.
Morgan takes a shot in his leg but still manages to attack a guy who was shooting from the roof of a nearby building. The man falls off the building and is dangling above walkers when Morgan helps him back onto the roof. The ingrate hits Morgan and they both fall through the roof into a nest of walkers. Morgan uses a grenade to take out some of them as well as his attacker.
Al makes it back to her truck and the man demands the keys. (The ones she threw were to her footlocker.) John shoots the man but doesn’t kill him, instead the walkers take him out.
Al, back in the driver’s seat, yells for Morgan and John to take cover and then opens fire on the walkers. John and Morgan emerge from under a pile of dead walkers, and John’s sorry to have had to kill somebody today.
Back on the road, Al drives while John and Morgan rest in the truck. She’s got a flag that says “51” and explains markers like it have been popping up around this area. She doesn’t know what they stand for. She calls the zombies “the dead,” John calls them “the past,” and Morgan admits where he’s from they call them “walkers.” Althea reminds him he still owes her his story.
Morgan agrees and they pull off to the side of the road. He’s truthful about his name and where he came from, but she has to pull the answers out of him. Morgan tells Al and John that he was part of a settlement called Alexandria and part of The Kingdom, which had a King with a pet tiger.
When Al asks if they were good places to live, Morgan replies, “They were safe places – good people inside. I have been with some of them for a while.” He goes on to explain there was a fight with another big group. “We won,” says Morgan, admitting that he’d already left before he actually physically left the town.
Al wants to know why he left these good people, but Morgan doesn’t answer. Instead, he asks why she asks questions like this and what makes it so important to her. Morgan picks up his bag and prepares to leave, done with being interrogated and done with traveling with people.
Al decides she’ll call it even if he answers why he left Virginia. “I lose people and then I lose myself,” Morgan responds, staring straight into Al’s camera. He then turns and walks away.
Morgan, limping, continues his journey on foot. He comes across the same vehicle from earlier that had the man with the injury in the backseat. He sees a walker up ahead who could possible be that man and follows him. Morgan can’t move fast with his gunshot wound and a batch of walkers start catching up with him.
Morgan stumbles and drops his staff. He can’t get to his feet but fortunately John’s followed him and stabs the walkers. (Al’s truck is parked back by the deserted car.) John says Morgan was wrong about being on his own and then picks up his new friend’s staff and helps him to his feet. Morgan continues on the direction he was heading, telling John he needs to know about the walker up ahead. Instead of trying to convince him not to, John takes Morgan’s backpack and then supports his weight as they head down the road.
They catch up to the walker and it is the man from earlier who had a leg injury and refused Morgan’s help. Morgan puts the walker down, stabbing him through the brain with his staff.
Al and John stand by the edge of the road as Morgan buries the walker.
Back in the truck, Morgan claims he’s only traveling with them until his leg heals. Al assures him she’s not going to stop asking questions. John reveals Al’s taking him to look for Laura in exchange for more of his story. John’s trying not to think about the fact he might not find Laura, although part of him realizes that’s possible.
As they drive, they spot someone up ahead in the road. Al knows there aren’t a lot of people in these parts, so they’re all on high alert. Morgan won’t take a weapon, saying he won’t kill. John adds that he also doesn’t kill, unless he’s forced to. “Great moment for both of you to share this fact,” replies Al.
John and Al have their guns ready as they approach the woman in the road. She’s bent over and they can’t see her face. It turns out to be a setup as the “injured” woman is Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) and she has a group with her – including Nick (Frank Dillane), Strand (Colman Domingo), and Luciana (Danay Garcia) – who immediately disarm John, Al, and Morgan.
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