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We’re a long way from Atlanta, Walking Dead viewers.
When the creative minds behind the AMC zombie drama promised a flurry of callbacks to its own past during the course of season eight, they weren’t kidding. The second episode of the season, “The Damned,” featured the return of one of the most obscure, but still kicking (for now), figures from the show’s lore: Morales, one of the original survivors of the Atlanta camp, who parted ways with Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and friends right before the group reached the CDC at the end of season one.
Back then, Morales and his family were heading for Birmingham, Alabama, on a mission to reconnect with the rest of their loved ones. How did that turn out? Who knows, but somewhere between then and now, Morales became fully integrated with Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the Saviors — at least, that’s how the end of “The Damned,” and the first look at next week’s “Monsters,” makes it look.
In the first official clip for the third episode of the season, Morales keeps his gun trained on Rick and spits out threats about what’s coming down the line. According to the man, Negan wants three people alive from the Alexandria side: Rick, Maggie “The Widow” Greene (Lauren Cohan) and King Ezekiel (Khary Payton). The way Morales states this information, it’s almost as if it’s coming from a different guy altogether. This is not the same even-mannered man who worked so well alongside Rick Grimes during their short time together in Atlanta. Then again, that short time was ages and ages ago.
Watch the scene in the video below:
Beyond the first clip for “Monsters,” a new preview teases us up for what to expect from the third round of “All-Out War.” As with the first two hours of the season, “Monsters” looks like it will take a shotgun burst approach to its storytelling, spreading out multiple plotlines rather than focusing on one or two individual stories.
Among the stories in play next week: Ezekiel and his crew surrounded by Saviors, juxtaposed with a particularly ironic line about how not a single person will die from their side of the fight. Unfortunately, we have every reason to believe that Ezekiel’s prediction is wrong — and wrong in a very big and personal way for the king.
Follow THR.com/WalkingDead for our continuing coverage of season eight.
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