The Walking Dead: 6.04 Here's Not Here
Every Fan of The Walking Dead is eagerly awaiting the fate of Glenn, poised at the end of their seats waiting for an answer. Sadly this is not what we got. After all the questions raised in last week's episode, I expected some time away,"Here's not here" gave me exactly that. What i didn't expect was the episode to be such a triumph.
This is primarily a stand-alone episode, it gave me a huge amount of insight into Morgan and his time leading up to the present. Morgan's refusal to kill anyone has left the group in danger a number of times, and up until this point Morgans actions seemed misguided. This in depth look however, shines new light on his actions and retrospectively helps me appreciate why he made his choices.
We find Morgan at the start of this episode, delusional, murderous and almost suicidal, going through each area, ensuring that they are void of life.
This is up until we meet Eastman, a man living seemingly peacefully in the midst of a wooded area. Lennie James and John Carroll Lynch both give amazing performances throughout the episode as a rapport is built. Eastman becomes almost a Sensei to Morgan showing him the error of his ways through Aikido, a martial art focusing on redirecting incoming attacks. From first glimpses he seems to be a man that has everything planned out.
As the episode progresses we see more and more of Eastman's story come to light, and it's beautifully realized. We hear snippets about his life from losing his family to building a prison cell in his house and about his work as a psychiatrist.
What makes Eastman stand out as a character is something we gradually learn towards the end. His family were actually killed by a crazed former patient looking to destroy him, in turn he had kidnapped the killer, letting him starve to death over 47 days in a purpose built cage. He didn't lose everything to due to Walkers, nor was he by any means a peaceful man before the Apocalypse. Eastman had been helped by Aikido, post end of the world, and knew it could help Morgan too. Eastman buried every walker he needed to kill to protect himself, creating headstones through the information found on the corpses. Eastman had heart and was also humorous, something rarely seen in this show. Seeing this character bitten after saving Morgan from a walker was saddening, although a little expected. His suicide happening off screen, handled with a little more finesse that we have come to expect as viewers.
Morgan, although hostile to Eastman at first, learns nearly everything he currently stands for over the course of a few days, we see him progress from a delusional psychopath to a man that cares, a man that has beliefs and will fight to uphold them. He leaves Eastman's home changed, and this path of enlightenment is masterfully told throughout.
Then we come to the end, Morgan's face to face with the Wolf. Morgan has told his story in the attempt to bring the Wolf round to his mantra, however this is to no avail. I was unsure how this would play out, wondering if Morgan would kill the Wolf, but was glad to see this not be the case, even if it did leave the group in danger. I had been through a journey with Morgan and didn't want to see it all wasted in the final moments.
This may not be the episode fans were expecting, or the episode they really wanted, but it was a stand out experience. I finally understand Morgan and what he is capable of. Rick and Morgan are two very different characters, who have been through very similar circumstances, yet turned out almost polar opposites. It's only a matter of time before the uneasy friendship we have seen so far starts to break down completely.