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The following contains spoilers for Fear the Walking Dead Season 7, Episode 13, “The Raft,” which aired Sunday, May 15 on AMC.

As Fear the Walking Dead whittles down its excessive cast one by one, the dragging show proves to be as slow as ever when fulfilling its promise of Madison Clark’s return. It’s an impatient journey fans are begrudgingly sitting through, but lo and behold, Fear the Walking Dead is actually making progress by sending off its main character so Madison can slip right in.

Season 7, Episode 13, “The Raft,” is another dud in the Fear the Walking Dead franchise. Honestly, that’s nothing new, and it’s worthless at this point to expect something exciting to happen in this show. What is new is the writers finally finding the guts to send off their beloved Morgan Jones — temporarily, of course. “The Raft” writes Morgan off as if this is the final goodbye between him and Alicia, but the worst ones never truly say goodbye in Fear the Walking Dead.

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“The Raft” begins with Sherry inflating the submarine’s raft for what seems like an emergency getaway. Turns out, she was preparing the raft for Dwight, who she believes would go off the deep end if he ends up joining Strand. That’s a whole other can of worms that doesn’t make any sense, but it leads to Morgan using the raft instead.

Dwight and Sherry came across a stranded woman in the beginning of the episode who claims to have come from a safe place by water, and Morgan saw the opportunity to ditch these losers and run. Considering Morgan has made quite the reputation to be all talk but no walk, it’s no surprise that he takes baby Mo to “protect her from Strand.” Sure, that’s exactly why he’s leaving Alicia to fight this war all on her own.

Morgan’s departure is quite sudden and unexpected, given the heightened stakes all these characters are proclaiming to be in, but it perfectly sets up Madison’s return. Morgan’s introduction to Fear the Walking Dead was at the expense of Madison’s “death,” and honestly, it was an expensive price that no one except showrunners Andrew Chambliss and Ian Goldberg wanted to pay for. The show instantly went downhill from there, and the only reason people are still tuning into Fear the Walking Dead is because Madison is promised to return in Season 7.

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Morgan being gone for the time being is everything coming back around as it should be. Morgan suffocates this show far too much to squeeze Madison back in while he’s present. At best, Madison’s return should be a harmonious reunion between her and Alicia, that is if Alicia hasn’t been booted off by then. Chambliss and Goldberg have committed plenty of wrongdoings in these past few seasons, but at least they can see that Morgan shouldn’t be there when Madison returns, because he’s truly an outlier on the show that was once about the Clark family.

Madison’s presence is increasingly becoming a reliance this show needs. Appropriately said, Fear the Walking Dead and its disappointing protagonist is about as lifeless as its zombies. Not even Alycia Debnam-Carey and Colman Domingo — arguably the best Fear the Walking Dead has got going for it — can save this show as their characters despairingly fall under the weight of Morgan’s mission. Lennie James is an applaud-worthy actor for being able to portray Morgan through such a heavy load of nonsense, but it’s incredibly difficult to follow Morgan as a worthy protagonist.

Morgan’s time on Fear the Walking Dead is far from over, but he definitely needs a break from the story. As Madison comes in to serve as the narrative driving force once again, Morgan can go on a character-building retreat — and maybe he can return with some qualifying traits. Ideally, Madison won’t have to share her rightful place as the protagonist with Morgan, and maybe he’ll keep rowing in that raft forever.

New episodes of Fear the Walking Dead air Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT on AMC and are available to stream a week early on AMC+.

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