Fear the Walking Dead Showrunners Break Down Season 5’s Cliffhanger Ending

The fate of one major character is left up in the air following the series’ latest season finale.

By Chris Morse

Last we heard, fans of The Walking Dead were not, in fact, fans of cliffhanger endings and Fear the Walking Dead just delivered quite the doozy, leaving the fate of one character hanging in the balance.

Unfortunately for viewers, answers are not on the way until sometime next season, presumably the Season 6 premiere, but showrunners Ian Goldberg and Andrew Chambliss were available for a chat with EW to help fans unpack the finale and prepare for what’s ahead. It goes without saying that major spoilers lie ahead, so turn back now if you aren’t all caught up yet.

The Season 5 finale brought this season’s conflict to a head and left franchise mainstay Morgan Jones on the receiving end of a bullet. Wounded and surrounded by the undead, he leaves his companions one final message: “Just live.” However, it remains to be seen if Lennie James’ character can heed his own advice given his rapidly-deteriorating situation.

“What I’ll say is we heard Morgan’s final message that he spoke over the walkie that he hopes everyone in his group hears,” said Chambliss. “The last words he said were ‘just live,’ and we’re going to see A) whether everyone else heard that, and B) whether they’re going to be able to do that. But the biggest question, which we’re not going to give an answer on one way or the other is whether or not Morgan can do the very same thing and follow his own advice.”

“It certainly doesn’t look good for Morgan,” commented Goldberg. “We’ve seen Morgan survive some pretty scary things in the past, but this might be the biggest test he’s faced yet. He’s completely alone. He’s without his entire group. He’s been shot. He’s got walkers encroaching upon him. So you know, as Andrew has said, he tells everyone else to live, whether he’ll be able to do that, we’ll have to see. And we’ll have to see if even his message reached the rest of the group because there’s nothing that tells us that anyone even heard. So that’s a question for Season 6.”

“And I think it’s a larger question than just whether or not Morgan’s going to live,” added Chambliss. “It’s whether this whole way of life that he was trying to build of trying to be better and trying to make the world a better place, whether that’s going to be able to live or whether that’s going to die as Ginny tries to have her own way.”

Regarding Morgan’s parting message (at least for now), Chambliss says there’s a lot of meaning to those words, particularly with respect to the ideals this group has been fighting for all season long.

“I think Morgan’s intention in that moment was to let everyone know that the things they had been fighting for, the decisions they had made and, and namely the decision to try to keep Grace alive even though it looked like there was no future, were about protecting the future,” he explained. “Morgan finds out she’s pregnant, and I think he’s trying to deliver that little bit of hope. But I think on a more global scale it is addressing the questions that Morgan and everyone else had been wrestling with all season.”

“We saw one of the biggest examples of it in this episode, even though June and Dorie knew Ginny was on her way and knew that they were most likely going to get separated, they still decided to go forward and have this wedding,” continued Chambliss. “And that really is a viewpoint that everyone has come around to embracing in the apocalypse amongst our group. They’re living in a world where they don’t know what the fate is going to be from one moment to the next and they’re just going to make the most of every moment. And that’s why it was so important for the group to have that wedding and hold onto a piece of the way the world used to be, the things that make surviving worthwhile. So, that wedding was a very bittersweet moment because it was June and Dorie kind of professing their love to each other when they know that it may be the last time they ever see each other again.”

“So Morgan has come a long way,” added Goldberg. “The bittersweet part of it is that this season was about rallying behind a philosophy in a way of being in the world of benevolence and helping people as a redemptive path both for Morgan and for everyone. And they were able to do that for a lot of people. And unfortunately, in the end, that way of life is meeting bit a roadblock right now with the way Ginny’s separating everybody. But it doesn’t mean that what Morgan did wasn’t kind of extraordinary with these people. And so despite all the progress he’s made, Morgan does end up alone at the end of the season. But that doesn’t mean that it was a loss. He was fighting for the right things. He came a long way personally, emotionally and as we said, we’ll have to see if this is the end of the line for him.”

As a final note, Chambliss teased what might lie ahead for Season 6, at least aside from learning the fate of Morgan. “I think what we’re really excited for in season 6 is the fact that everyone got split up and we’ve already heard Ginny reference the fact that she has quite a few settlements under her control,” he said. “She is like a colonizer. She is like someone who franchises these settlements and comes in and fixes things and then kind of seizes control. But it means we’re going to see a lot of different places and get a lot of different flavors and we’re going to be able to dive in really deeply with our characters.”

“As you know, we watched them struggle to be apart, as we watched them fight to get back together. We will see whether or not some people buy into Ginny’s philosophy, or if they will try to hold onto those words that Morgan’s spoke out over the walkie. We’re really trying to set the stage for a different kind of storytelling than we’ve done before on the show. And you were very upset by Skidmark and Daniel being separated. We can say that Daniel’s going to want that cat back, and Skidmark may want to be back with the Daniel, so maybe we’ll see the apocalypse from the point of view of our own Milo and Otis.”

Fear the Walking Dead was renewed for a sixth season back in July, but it feels like we have a long way to go before seeing this cliffhanger resolved. Either way, you can stick with us here on Dead Entertainment for all the latest news and updates on the show. Stay tuned!

About the Author

Chris Morse

Programmer by day, writer by night. Having grown up surrounded by plenty of horror movies and video games, it only made sense for Chris to combine all of these passions into one place: Dead Entertainment. Whether he's working on designs, tinkering with the platform, or just writing up the latest horror news, he's sure to be hard at work keeping the wheels turning on this website no matter what time of day it is. When not coding or gaming, you can find him donning a Cheesehead and heading to the Midwest to cheer on his favorite NFL team, the Green Bay Packers. #GoPackGo