Although Morgan was one of the first characters audiences were introduced to when The Walking Dead first aired back in 2010, he only returned once in season three before becoming a series regular again near the end of season five. According to a commentary track on the new The Walking Dead: The Complete Sixth Season Blu-ray + Digital HD Set (due out Aug. 23), Lennie James’ character almost came back much earlier and at one of the show’s most intense moments.
On the commentary for the “Here’s Not Here” episode, showrunner Scott M. Gimple sheds light on their original plans for Morgan, saying that they wanted him to show up in the train car Rick and his group find themselves in in the final shot the season 4 finale. “At the end of 416, Rick would say, ‘They’re screwing with the wrong people,'” Gimple reveals, “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.”
“We almost made it happen,” pipes up James, who’s also on 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.”
Honestly, the season four finale was one of The Walking Dead’s most shocking episodes even without James in the picture, but it certainly would have made that final shot even more of a cliffhanger if Rick and his group had stumbled upon a captive Morgan. Although, if Morgan had shown up earlier, we may have never gotten that excellent Morgan flashback episode (the aforementioned “Here’s Not Here”) so perhaps everything worked out for the best.
(Source: Entertainment Weekly)