It’s been a long, long time since The Walking Dead had its characters looking for answers at the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta. But a major character from those early days made a horrifying return — as a high-ranking lieutenant of the Saviors — on the newest episode of The Walking Dead.

Spoilers for The Walking Dead Season 8, Episode 2.

In this week’s episode “The Damned,” the survivors of Alexandria, Hilltop, and the Kingdom move forward with their plan to storm a Savior outpost where most of the Saviors’ guns are stashed away. But Rick, who is isolated from most of his people, ends up getting cornered by none other than (first name unknown) Morales, the father of a family Rick befriended way back in Season 1.

That’s right, The Walking Dead went way deep into its own long history for this shocking moment. It’s so deep, you might not even remember who the Morales family are! They appeared and then left within a very short span of time in Season 1.

If you can’t recall, the Morales family were brief members of Rick’s group, until they left hoping to find their own way towards Birmingham, Alabama as the rest of the group went on their way to the CDC. For years, fans of The Walking Dead wondered whatever happened to this family, but now in Season 8, fans know a sad, depressing truth: They joined the Saviors.

The Walking Dead Morales
The Morales family, left, in Season 1 of 'The Walking Dead.' Also, remember how different Carol was?

Or, at least, the Morales patriarch did. It’s still unknown what happened to the rest of his family — the episode ended too soon before more could be revealed. But it was a legitimate shocker when it finally hit Rick, in the middle of the Saviors’ armory, to find an old, not-so-friendly face.

In The Walking Dead video games from Telltale, which feature a branching narrative where your actions dictate what happens next, you can safely bet that being nice to other people and helping them will pay off in some beneficial way later down the road. But that’s just not how the TV show behaves.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on AMC.


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