After struggling through an entire week of adulting to make it to tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead and learn Glenn’s fate, fans were treated to 90 full minutes of Morgan’s backstory.
Hey, Morgan is a fantastic character. Not to mention that Lenny James, who brings the character to life, deserves a veritable Emmy for the performance he turned out tonight.
Having said that, this extended flashback episode would likely have been far better received had it not been following in the footsteps of the cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers — finding out whether Glenn really was disemboweled by a throng of bloodthirsty walkers last week. See also: Rick is still stranded in the camper with a wounded hand, y’all. How are we supposed to last another seven days without answers?
But perhaps tonight’s Morgan-centric episode revealed more than the identity of the mysterious cheesemaker Morgan once referenced. Here are seven ways I’m pretty convinced this week’s episode was actually suggesting that Glenn will live on (at least for the meantime).
1. Steven Yeun wasn’t in the opening credits.
OK, so I understand this might seem to contradict Glenn’s livelihood — doesn’t removing Steven Yeun’s name from the opening credits simply prove he is/will no longer be a main character on the show? Nah. It seems more likely to me that they are simply trying to throw us off the scent. They have to keep up appearances if they have any hope of getting anyone to give up hope that Glenn is still alive. But would they really make a move like this that seemingly confirms his death before alluding to his fate on the show in any way, shape or form? Not likely.
2. There has to be a solid reason for this huge Morgan arc.
Generally, when TWD gives us some majorly meaty backstory on a character, it’s because something huge is about to happen in the character’s storyline that affects the original characters. Seeing what Morgan has come through to get to the place he is now makes it seem as though he is poised for a defining moment — could that moment possibly come in the form of saving Glenn? In an interview with THR, showrunner Scott M. Gimple said, “Everything that has been going on this season… everything is part of a great story for these characters. Everything.”
3. Much like Eastman, this episode was all about redirecting.
A huge part of Eastman’s, aka the cheesemaker’s, teachings to Morgan is mastering redirection — diverting the brain’s energy from one focus to another. C’mon! What was tonight’s episode for if not to distract us from Glenn’s life hanging in the balance for a bit? Just as I suspect they were attempting to pull off with the opening credits, TWD is trying to keep us from guessing or dwelling on Glenn’s fate.
4. It reminded us all that life is precious.
Admittedly, Eastman teaching Morgan that all life is precious could allude to the fact that Glenn isn’t the only important character on the show — despite the fact that the Twitterverse is ready to pillage villages in the name of bringing him back. However, I’m choosing to look at it from the perspective of Morgan finally realizing what Eastman explained to him in that cabin: That, in the end, life is all about the people around you. And, uh, sometimes those people need to be rescued.
5. Two more characters (and likable ones, at that) were killed off.
Yes, I am absolutely referring to Tabitha the goat as a likable character. Let’s be real — it gutted all of us when she was, well, gutted by a walker. So would they, I ask, get us emotionally invested in both Eastman and a goat (a goat, for goodness’ sake… these writers are genius psychological manipulators) and have us suffer through those losses, only to bring us back next week and drive home Glenn’s death? Surely not.
6. There are several parallels being drawn between Morgan and Glenn.
Glenn is in the situation he’s in based on a decision he made at the end of last season to give Nicholas a second chance. Near the end of tonight’s episode, we see that Morgan is at a similar crossroads with a Wolf. But we also know that Eastman was a man who brought peace to Morgan when he needed it most — in more ways than one, he saved Morgan’s life. There has to be something buried in those crosshairs, right? Morgan is obviously laboring under a lost cause with the Wolf, but he can still save Glenn when Glenn most needs it. Perhaps Morgan will become something of an Eastman to Glenn.
7. Back in the present, Morgan runs off to rescue someone.
Admittedly, it sounds as though Rick is the one screaming to open Alexandria’s gates. However, I still contend that Morgan could very well be the one to save Glenn’s life. So even if it isn’t Glenn at the gates, maybe Rick has somehow rescued Glenn and they are now in trouble just beyond the safety of Alexandria. Do I sound desperate yet? It’s because I am. I need Glenn to live, you guys.