About three-quarters of the way through the fourth season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead, Morgan Jones (Lennie James) — who crosses over from The Walking Dead — meets Althea, played by Maggie Grace (Lost). Playing a character who feels like a nod to World War Z, Althea drives around in a suped-up military vehicle loaded with machine guns. In one of her first exchanges with Morgan, she asks him about his past. Morgan, still traumatized over the events of the All-Out War, reluctantly shares a little about where he’s from.
“There was a place called ‘The Kingdom,” Morgan says, smiling at this absurdity. “It actually had a king. He even had a pet tiger,” he grins, eliciting a laugh out of Althea and their other travel companion, John (Garrett Dillahunt).
It’s a telling moment in the episode, which acts as a bridge between The Walking Dead and the new Fear the Walking Dead. In laughing off the King and his pet tiger, Morgan — in a way — is distancing himself from his own past. He’s not just putting the events of The Walking Dead behind him, the show itself seems to be putting that entire world behind it. Fear is not the show with the cartoon villain, the king with the tiger, or the bullet maker with a mullet and a strange way of speaking.