Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead.”
Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” showed the return of a familiar face fans never thought they’d see again.
As Rick and Daryl brutally fought their way through one of the Saviors’ safe houses, Rick was brought to a standstill when he caught sight of a photo of a couple.
When a gun is put to his head, Rick recognizes the man holding it immediately as Morales. You remember him, right? He and his family were with Rick, Carol, Carl, and Daryl back at a campsite in Atlanta in season one.
Here he is from season one:
Longtime fans of the show lost it.
“It’s over Rick… I called the Saviors back and they’re coming.” – Morales
HOLY SHIT!!! #TheWalkingDead
— #TWD Fan Page (@FTWDFans) October 30, 2017
— Lazna Saad (@SLazna11) October 30, 2017
If you didn’t recognize Morales, here’s a quick refresher on what you need to know about the character’s big return.
As Rick mentioned, Morales and his family were with the original group of survivors outside of Atlanta in season one. When Rick and company decided to head to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for answers, Morales told the group he and his family were going to head their own way.
When we last saw Morales, his wife, and two children, they were heading off to Birmingham, Alabama to be with family. Morales said he needed to do what was best for them as Rick was doing for his own family.
It’s not known yet whether or not Morales ever arrived in Birmingham or how he arrived in Virginia with the Saviors. We don’t even know Morales’ first name. The character only went by his last name on the show’s first season. Those are two things we’ll have to wait to see if we’ll find out next Sunday.
Fans have been wondering for a while if we’d ever see Morales and his family again. The past few seasons people thought there was a chance we may see him again, especially since Morgan, another season one character, returned years later after being off screen for so long.
His reentry onto the show right now is pivotal at a time where its easy not to have compassion for any of the characters fighting for Negan. With the exceptions of maybe Dwight and Eugene, many of Negan’s followers come off as cold and heartless. It’s tough to connect with any of them when they appear to be shells of characters introduced briefly only to be taken out seconds or minutes later.
But fans know Morales was a good family man at the show’s start with values which aligned with Rick’s. Has he changed?
Or better yet, has Rick?
Rick’s core allies — Morgan and Tara — were relentless in taking out Saviors Sunday night. It was a bit scary how much they felt like the hardened group of survivors. Had it not been for Jesus and some of the other members of the Hilltop, they would have slaughtered everyone without a second thought.
Morales’ reintroduction could help hold a mirror to Rick, Carol, Daryl, and Carl to show that their current way of taking out the Saviors may not be the perfect answer to Negan.
We already saw Rick questioning himself when he looked into a mirror near the episode’s end after murdering countless Saviors and spotting a baby in a crib. Who is the man he is becoming, or has become, and is this the better world he’s truly fighting for?
The next episode of “The Walking Dead” will air next Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.