The Walking Dead
has told their audience repeatedly it is hard to find happiness in the apocalypse. Morgan looked like he had it figured out however. After a rough and mentally breaking start to the end of the world, Morgan had mellowed out on The Walking Dead
. He had found a new home in the Kingdom, kept to his path of peace and even gained a new surrogate son in Benjamin. It just took one episode and one bullet to bringing that all crashing down.
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The episode "Bury Me Here" gave us a very cynical view of Morgan as he was left all alone in Carol's isolation shack, sharpening his stick and promising to kill them all. "Bury Me Here" did everything to suggest that Morgan has lost his mind again but Walking Dead
would be much better served easing off that "crazy gasoline."
Forgotten but Not Gone
The circumstances between Morgan's break with reality in "Bury Me Here" were logical but not as emotional as they could have been for the audience. It made sense that Morgan would form an attachment to Benjamin and begin to see him as his new adoptive son but it is a relationship that happened mostly off-screen. Benjamin's death in "Bury Me Here" was undoubtedly sad but Morgan's reaction, with flashbacks to "Clear" and the insanity he succumbed to after Duane's death, was too much. Morgan slipping back into despair would have made complete sense and emotionally hit home if it was someone like Carol who had accidentally been killed but for it to be a new character like Benjamin was too extreme.
Yet there is a way that Morgan's reaction in "Bury Me Here" works moving forward. Morgan didn't just start mumbling to himself and having violent flashbacks. Morgan also killed again, strangling Richard to death and telling Carol he is going to kill them (presumably the Saviors) one by one. This isn't a terrible direction for Morgan on The Walking Dead.
Having Morgan lose his mind and regress to his mental state of "Clear" is too much happening too fast. The Walking Dead has spent too many seasons on Morgan becoming stable, and for him to regress so far makes his development feel meaningless. Morgan putting killing back on the table is a manageable step back for the character, though. A step that opens interesting new stories, especially in The Walking Dead's current state.
Not Too Many Steps Back
In "Bury Me Here" Carol and Morgan switched positions, not only geographically but emotionally. As Carol put herself back into society, Morgan withdrew. The key difference is that Morgan withdrew from The Kingdom to kill whereas Carol lived her isolated life to give herself some peace. While Carol made the right call as far The Walking Dead is concerned as a TV show, there is something compelling about there being a recluse and rogue agent in this upcoming war between the Saviors and pretty much everyone else.
Morgan fits this role of outcast far better than Carol ever did, too. Carol's break from society happened just as suddenly as Morgan's in "Bury Me Here" but the Morgan reversal works slightly better because of the character's history. Benjamin's death sparking Morgan's withdrawal might be extreme but the character has always been the Yoda of the zombie apocalypse. He is a man on the outside and if The Walking Dead can merge the calm Morgan we experienced in seasons 5 and 6 with the deranged killer of "Clear" that should be a fascinating person to watch.
Morgan returning completely to his broken brain, booby trapped, graffiti message ways is too rapid and regressive a transition. A middle ground should and hopefully will be reached, where the new and old Morgan exist side-by-side. The war between the Saviors and Rick is obviously shaping up to be one side versus another. It's a very black-and-white conflict. Morgan should represent that unknown quality and that should make the upcoming war very exciting.
But what do you think? Has Morgan completely checked out mentally? Would you like to see Morgan isolated and alone? Is Benjamin's death enough for you to send Morgan over the edge?