All out war on The Walking Dead is not the best time for infighting and bickering, but with so many disparate groups going up against the Saviors it’s kind of inevitable. The epic duel in Sunday, Nov. 5’s episode was fun to watch, but ill-timed and possible indicative of a larger problem. What’s happening to Morgan on The Walking Dead? He may have given up his fight with Jesus and left the group, but it seems like something is really wrong with him.
This conflict started as a philosophical debate. Jesus wants to take the Saviors who surrendered to the Hilltop as prisoner. Morgan isn’t willing to trust them and wanted them dead. They’ll just keep coming, he thinks. They’re not going to change. The debate really hammered home the reality of the show at this point of the story. They’re at war — really at war. That doesn’t just mean shooting up the other side. A lot of people are involved. It means soldiers, prisoners, bystanders, and ultimately treaties, negotiations, and peace.
Morgan is right not to trust the Saviors, especially when they’re whistling Nutcracker tunes in your ear, but Jesus is right too. Eventually, the war will end and the Saviors and the other communities are going to have to learn to live with one another. The way they treat those who surrender matters.
Unfortunately, Morgan isn’t having it, and the fight turns physical. Then but after the two spar it out, Morgan seems a little dazed. It’s almost as if he blacked out, or wasn’t himself. “I’m not right,” he says. “I know that. But I’m not wrong.” It’s good to know that he can defend himself no matter his mental state, but this is really scary! Is Morgan OK? Is he having another breakdown? Did he have a stroke? Could this kill him?
The Walking Dead has always been more about human conflict than zombie effects, as cool as those rolling walkers were in the episode. Unless something else supernatural is going on, whatever is happening to Morgan seems to be a distinctly human issue. Sure, something supernatural could be going on. Morgan did say “I don’t die” in a previous episode and then proceed to survive against all odds. Most likely he’s having a bit of a break with reality, possibly because he just started killing again after being on the wagon for a while.
It harkens back in to what Morales says to Rick before Daryl took him out with the crossbow. Speaking of — do Daryl and Rick need to have a talk as well? They’re not exactly seeing eye to eye when it comes to negotiation tactics. Anyway, Morales not only states pretty plainly that he had lost his mind after losing his family, and seems convinced that the same had happened to Rick and pretty much everyone else. Is this The Walking Dead tackling post-apocalyptic mental illness? It isn’t the first time that characters on the series have dealt with depression, and post-traumatic stress. Still, a serious look at how this type of stress in a fictional environment affects normal people could be interesting.
Morales also says that he and Rick are not who they used to be. They’ve changed. That’s interesting, because Morgan clearly thought he had changed, but he hasn’t. Morgan tells Jesus that the Saviors can’t change. Is anyone right? When Morgan kept a Wolf prisoner, it didn’t work out so well. It’s totally understandable for him to be wary of showing anyone mercy. What’s concerning here is not that Morgan got in a fight to begin with, but the fact that his grip seems to have loosened.
After getting caught with his stick at Jesus’ throat and cooling off, Morgan leaves the group. Being alone may not be best for his mental wellness at this time. Hopefully he’ll get stopped by somebody who cares about him. Something is truly going on with Morgan on The Walking Dead and he needs the group right now as much as they need him.