While Fear the Walking Dead’s penultimate episode of the season may have rubbed certain fans the wrong way, there’s no denying that a lot went down. A lot of changes happened to a couple key characters, setting up a season four finale with plenty of potential. Finding out more about what happened to Jim and Morgan will only make the season-ender and the next season more impactful, and who better to explain their fates than showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss?
The pair sat down with EW to talk about the episode and the “fundamental” changes that the two key characters underwent.
*This story contains spoilers for “I Lose People…”*
This wasn’t just a key episode for the bitten Jim, but also for Morgan who, trapped on the roof with his squad, is despondent when the episode begins. As Morgan finds out that Alicia is alive and relatively successful thanks to his advice, Morgan gets enough of a boost in self-worth that his very character begins to shift.
As Goldberg says, the change’s key component is “really that moment at the end when everyone comes back for him and Morgan’s seeing how much he’s impacted all of them. It really changes him in a pretty fundamental way. The person that ran away being of essential importance to them and being at the center of this very unlikely group of people is a big sort of game-changer for Morgan.” Even if the character bears his responsibility with a self-destructive gravity (“I think if you had asked Morgan he would say, ‘I’m the one who got all these people into this mess, so I’m the one who’s going to get them out. Even if that means I don’t make it out’,” Chambliss said) he’s becoming more accustomed to belonging to a group.
Jim, on the other hand, had to become ready to say goodbye. “He gets to choose the way he goes out,” Goldberg said, “and I think it’s seeing the impact Morgan had on everyone else, and they on him, that he finally is able to be selfless and makes that really powerful sacrifice — not just to save everyone but also, in giving up his beer recipe, which in this case is an equally selfless action for Jim because he’s giving it to Sarah and it will never benefit him because he’s not going to be alive any longer.” Yes, a swan dive off a roof to distract walkers and revealing a secret beer recipe; if you’re Jim, they’re equivalent.
However, Jim’s fate isn’t over — now that he’s a walker, Goldberg teases his future, saying that “even though Jim is dead, there’s still more of his redemption story to be told. Even though he may be a walker now, Jim may still be able to do some good in this world.” What in the world could a zombie do to help the world? Perhaps the finale, airing on Sunday, has the answers.