‘The Walking Dead’ cliffhanger: Who is Morales and how does he know Rick?

Episode 2 of “The Walking Dead’s” eighth season, titled “The Damned,” ended with a shocking cliffhanger as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) was reunited with Morales (Juan Gabriel Pareja). But wait … who’s Morales? You’re forgiven if you don’t remember who this character is, as he hasn’t appeared on “The Walking Dead” since the fifth episode of Season 1, titled “Wildfire.” Scroll down for a brief refresher on how Morales and Rick know each other, and then sound off in the comments section about what you think of Morales’ long-awaited return.

Back in the first season, Morales survived the initial outbreak with his wife Miranda and their two children, Louis and Eliza. Their family unit was part of the original Atlanta crew, which included Rick, Carl (Chandler Riggs), Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Carol (Melissa McBride). Before the rest of the group traveled to the CDC, Morales and his family decided to head for Birmingham, Alabama in the hopes of finding other members of their family. While the group thought Morales was making a bad decision, Rick still gave him a gun, a box of ammo and a walkie-talkie as they said their goodbyes. Morales and his family were never mentioned again on the show, which makes his reappearance in Season 8 all the more surprising.

SEE [PHOTOS] ‘The Walking Dead’: Every episode ranked, from worst to best

“The Damned” ended with Rick and Morales’ awkward reunion, with Morales holding a gun on him. “Keep your hands down. Turn around slow. Hi Rick,” Morales ordered his former ally.

“Your name is Morales,” declared a shocked Rick after staring at the man for a long while. “You were in Atlanta.”

“That was a long time ago,” Morales said as he held up a radio. “That’s over, Rick. I called the Saviors back and they’re coming.”

How did Morales go from a family man and friend of Rick, to a ruthless Savior who does the bidding of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan)? Here’s hoping next week’s episode fills in some of those blanks.

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