In the previous episode of The Walking Dead, Rick went off by himself and landed in serious trouble, while Daryl left Sasha and Abraham to handle the herd of quarry walkers on their own before ultimately returning to help them finish the job. Meanwhile, Michonne managed to get two of the Alexandrians back home safely, and Glenn may or may not have died thanks to Nicholas and lots of hungry walkers.
In this episode, “Here’s Not Here,” we see Morgan’s journey to Alexandria and learn how he mastered his stick and his Zen-like attitude. Alas, since this episode focuses entirely on Morgan, we will have to wait at least another week to learn Glenn’s fate.
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Now and Then
The episode begins in the present day with Morgan talking to someone. Based on what he says, I assume it is the Wolf he failed to kill last season but who I thought he killed two episodes back in “JSS.” Before we can find out what is going on, the show takes us back in time to Morgan’s crazy days, seemingly right after Rick and the others left him in the season 3 episode “Clear.”
This Morgan is still obsessed with “clearing” everything and proves it with a long montage of walker killing. He kills walkers and burns their bodies to attract more walkers to kill. Alas, pretty soon some humans stumble upon Morgan and he kills them, too. During his constant “clearing,” he uses walker blood to write messages to himself. The main message, of course, is “clear.”
At one point, Morgan stumbles across a cabin in the woods. In front of the cabin is an adorable goat, and Morgan is about to kill the goat when he hears a man’s voice. Morgan tries to kill the man instead, but the guy gets the drop on him and locks him up in a cell inside the cabin. This man feeds Morgan and leaves him alone for a time before introducing himself as Eastman. He asks Morgan for his name, but Morgan just asks Eastman to kill him.
Morgan and Eastman Bond
While Morgan is in the cell, Eastman talks to him. Eastman tells Morgan that he used to be a forensic psychologist and that in all his years interviewing criminals, he only met one man who was truly evil. Eastman also tells Morgan that he has PTSD but that he can come out of it if he just keeps trying. Morgan is not interested. Eventually, Eastman tells Morgan that the door to his cell is open and always has been, and that he can stay or go. But Morgan picks option number three and attacks Eastman. After a brief fight, Eastman gets the upper hand and once again gives Morgan the choice to stay or go. Morgan decides to go back to his cell, despite Eastman offering to let him stay on the couch.
Morgan spends a bit more time in his cell and Eastman keeps talking to him. He tells Morgan that he was able to beat him in their fight through Aikido. He says his daughter gave him a lucky rabbit’s foot on a particularly bad day, and the next morning, he saw a flyer for Aikido classes.
Morgan is still staying in his cell when Eastman goes off to gather supplies and some walkers show up. Morgan leaves his cell to protect Tabitha the goat, and that is seemingly his first step back to sanity.
Eastman returns home to find Morgan burying the walkers he killed in the cemetery Eastman has apparently created near the cabin. Each grave has a marker with a name on it, and before Morgan puts the dead walkers in the grave, Eastman does the same for them. After that, Eastman begins to train Morgan in Aikido.
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Morgan Gets His Zen On
We see Morgan and Eastman grow closer as they train, but their truest moment of connection happens one night when Morgan asks Eastman why he has a cell in his cabin. Eastman tells Morgan about the one man he interviewed who was truly evil. This man, Crighton Dallas Wilton, was a monster and Eastman saw that even when no one else could.
After Wilton realized that Eastman knew the truth about him, Wilton broke out of prison, went to Eastman’s home and murdered his entire family. He then turned himself back in to the police. Eastman says he built the cell in his cabin because he planned to bring Wilton back there and let him starve to death. Morgan asks if he went through with that plan and Eastman says that he realized all lives are precious.
The next day, Morgan takes Eastman to his old campsite to gather some supplies. But when Morgan is confronted with the evidence of his recent poor state of mind, he starts to lose it a bit. Eastman makes Morgan say the names of the people he lost — his wife, Jenny, and son, Dwayne — and practice his Aikido forms right there in the middle of his old camp.
This seems to center Morgan until a walker shows up and Morgan realizes the walker is a man he killed during his “clearing” days. Morgan freezes and Eastman has to step in. But in doing so, Eastman gets bitten and Morgan loses it. He starts screaming at Eastman and attacks him. After a brief stick fight that Eastman wins despite the bite, Morgan once again asks Eastman to kill him. Eastman returns home alone. So we know Morgan’s sanity is a very fragile thing.
Morgan starts to slide back into his “clearing” ways, but when he runs into a couple of living, breathing people, Morgan lets them leave instead of killing them. Morgan then rushes back home to find Eastman. Alas, by the time he gets back, it is too late for poor Tabitha. (Side note: people on this show need to stop naming animals. It never ends well for them.) When Morgan finds Eastman burying the walker who bit him, Eastman says Tabitha must have found a way out of the cell.
While at the cemetery, Morgan notices a grave marker for Wilton. Eastman tells Morgan that he did carry out his plan — it took Wilton 47 days to starve to death — but it did not give him any peace. He was gone for a while until he decided to never kill anything or anyone again. That is when he finally found peace.
As Eastman starts fading, he tells Morgan that he can stay at the cabin but that he shouldn’t. He tells Morgan that he should not be alone because everything that matters in this world now is about people. Eastman tells Morgan that he has a gun he can use to end his life and he gives Morgan his lucky rabbit’s foot. As Morgan packs up and leaves the cabin, we see Eastman’s grave. Morgan then travels for a while and comes across a sign for Terminus. As we already know, this will eventually lead him to Rick and company.
Returning to the present, we see that Morgan has been telling this whole story, his story, to the Wolf he apparently did not kill. The Wolf asks if Morgan thinks things can work out for him like they did with Morgan. Morgan believes they can. But this guy knows that is not the case.
He shows Morgan some kind of wound and says he came to Alexandria looking for medicine to heal himself. Now he is convinced that he will die, but he tells Morgan that if he does not, he will have to kill Morgan and every single person in Alexandria. That is his code. Morgan leaves the guy locked up in his basement. This seems like a really dangerous move to me. Assuming this guy does not die, will he launch another attack against the Alexandrians? Or will someone learn about Morgan’s secret prisoner before he can attack them again?
In the final moment of the episode, Morgan hears someone yelling to open the gate. It sounds like Rick’s voice, but we will have to wait until the next episode to find out.
What did you think of this episode of The Walking Dead? How quickly did you fall for Eastman and Tabitha the goat? Which death was more upsetting? Lennie James and guest star John Carroll Lynch gave incredible performances in this episode and I definitely enjoyed it, but I do not think it needed to be 90 minutes long. They could have trimmed some scenes here and there and maintained the episode’s quality. What do you think? Did you appreciate the extra running time in this episode? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9pm on AMC.
(Image courtesy of AMC)