The Walking Dead: Every Time Morgan Left Rick's Group (& Why)

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Rick Grimes and Morgan Jones became close friends early on in The Walking Dead‘s apocalypse, but they never seem to stay together for too long. Rick famously woke up from a coma inside a hospital after the end times had already begun. Rick was understandably not in great shape either mentally or physically at that point, but thankfully, he met Morgan in the pilot episode, who gave him shelter and explained what happened while Rick was unconscious. Yet before too long, they went their separate ways.

That’s been the story of Rick and Morgan’s friendship, which is taken from Robert Kirkman’s comics, but presented a bit different than on the page, as is so much of AMC’s TV adaptation. The two men are always happy to see each other, and still clearly possess a bond of loyalty that would probably be impossible to break, despite how fast their friendship formed. Unfortunately, there always seems to be some reason they can’t stand united for an extended period of time.

Related: Why The Walking Dead Really Doesn’t Use The Word “Zombie”

Of course, with Rick now missing and bound for the theatrical Walking Dead movie, it remains to be seen if he and Morgan will ever reunite to battle a common foe once again. In the meantime, here’s a look at the times they’ve parted before, and what led to that happening.

In The Walking Dead‘s pilot episode, Morgan and Rick amicably part ways with the intent to find each other later in Atlanta. Rick also gives Morgan a walkie talkie so they can stay in touch until then. After Rick leaves, Morgan kills a few walkers, but can’t bring himself to shoot his undead wife, as he had planned to do before leaving with his son Duane. Rick makes it to Atlanta, and tries to reach Morgan, but receives no response.

By season 3 of The Walking Dead, many fans were wondering if Morgan would ever be seen again. That is until the highly acclaimed episode “Clear,” in which Rick, Carl, and Michonne encounter Morgan while out on a supply run. Morgan has lost his grip on sanity, thanks to the sad death and zombification of his son Duane, and initially gets shot by Carl after having a shootout with the trio. Thankfully, he was wearing body armor. Rick is eventually able to get through to Morgan, and offers him a chance to return with him to the prison. Morgan doesn’t want to join Rick’s coming battle against The Governor though, and declines, staying put.

Morgan finally reunites with Rick in Alexandria near the end of The Walking Dead season 5, just in time to see his friend shoot Pete Anderson. Between their last encounter and the present, Morgan had met a man named Eastman that helped him to regain his faculties, and taught him how to use a martial arts staff as a weapon. He’s also tried to embark on a life free of killing, which brings him into strategic conflict with Rick.

Morgan remains a member of Rick’s group up through season 8, although he isn’t always in the same physical location. As the war between Rick and Negan goes on though, Morgan starts to become unhinged again, and while Jesus eventually gets him back on the right path, he decides to leave and live by himself for awhile at Jadis’ junkyard following Negan’s defeat. Rick visits and attempts to get Morgan to come back, but instead he ends up in Texas, and on spinoff series Fear the Walking Dead.

More: The Walking Dead: Morgan & Duane Can Fill A Key Season 11 Role

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