New, Familiar Faces Make for Texas-Sized Season 4 Opener of Fear the Walking Dead
AMC, April 15, 10:00 PM ET
By Lori Acken
When The Walking Dead wrapped its midseason finale last December, fans were both mournful and intrigued to learn that fan-favorite Lennie James’ Morgan Jones would be the long-rumored character to bridge Dead’s world with that of its AMC sister series Fear the Walking Dead. James says his own reaction to the switcheroo was “brain freeze,” as he faced decamping his family to Fear’s new Austin, Texas, locale, coupled with “leaving or being separated for a bit from the group of people I’d been working with for the last God-knows-how-many years.”
And with Morgan still very much a part of Dead’s Season 8 drama, both he and fans wondered exactly how timelines would align; if the months that Morgan was MIA in the Dead storyline are accounted for in his time on Fear, or if Fear — which concluded its third season with a watery cliffhanger that left some characters’ fates unknown — makes a substantial time jump to catch up with Dead. Suffice it to say that Fear doesn’t drag its feet in connecting the dots when Season 4 premieres Sunday — and in a way that should tickle Dead fans, too.
“It’s very, very tricky,” James chuckles. “In a weird way, it is still part of his journey to finding some kind of inner peace, but it’s not necessarily told in a straight line. The journey we’re gonna see Morgan on expands his character but is still part of that battle that he’s having with himself and the world around him and trying to figure out how best he can continue with the punishment he’s been given. Which is to keep living.”
Asked if Morgan is ushered in alongside Fear’s trio of other newcomers — Lost’s Maggie Grace as tough-cookie Althea, Dharma & Greg’s Jenna Elfman as guarded Naomi and The Mindy Project’s Garret Dillahunt as personable cowpoke John — James is equally cagey.
“I wouldn’t want to, in any way, shape or form, take away from the impact of how Maggie brings Althea to life and into the story of Fear,” he says. “Her and Garret and Jenna, their characters are fantastic and absolutely strong characters within the world of this postapocalyptic zombie world — and they’re also refreshing and new. I can’t wait for the fans to see them.”
And, James adds, he’s excited to explore Morgan’s mindset in a series that has always viewed people as more dangerous than zombies.
“With the kind of reality that they have established, we can explore the living’s relationship with the dead in a very different way,” he hints.
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