Morgan was Initially Set to Return Much Earlier in 'The Walking Dead'
After appearing in the pilot, Lennie James' Morgan appeared once more prior to the season 5 finale of the show, in a standalone episode back in season 3. During that period, the character was mourning his son and had well and truly lost it.
He's been back with us for an entire season now, but originally he was meant to come back in a much different way. In a blu-ray bonus feature, Scott Gimple said that Morgan would have returned in the closing moment of season 4.
"At the end of 416, Rick would say, 'They’re screwing with the wrong people,'" says Gimple, "and a gentleman would come out of the shadows of the train car and he would say, 'Yeah, they are.' And that would be Lennie, as Morgan. And it looked like it almost could have happened."
The writers opted for Carol to be the group's savior, and held off Morgan for another day. "We almost made it happen," James said in the commentary. "Because it looked like a show that Lennie was on was ending," continues Gimple. "The time was right.
" But Lennie had a commitment to another show, which allowed us to do something super cool, which allowed Morgan to go on a journey after this episode in Season 5 to see how he catches up to Rick and the group."
This may have been for the best. Rick's climactic words in season 4 were both epic and a tease for things to come. Morgan's arrival may have diminished the moment. Or it may have worked out for the best. I enjoyed the character's return, personally, and it felt organic to the story.