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TV Review: The Walking Dead 6.4 “Here’s Not Here”
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The Walking Dead Lennie James as Morgan Jones

The Walking Dead
Episode 6.4 “Here’s Not Here”
Directed by Stephen Williams
Written by Scott M. Gimple
Starring Andrew Lincoln, Danai Gurira, Lauren Cohen, Norman Reedus, Melissa McBride, Lennie James, John Carroll Lynch
Air date: Sunday, November 1, 2015, 9pm

Tonight’s The Walking Dead, Episode 6.4 “Here’s Not Here,” was undoubtedly one of the best and most profound episodes of the series. Unfortunately, it came at the worst time. Last week’s installment saw the possible and likely death of a beloved character, and everyone wants to know what the hell happened. But that’s not where this fourth episode begins.

Episode 6.4 is all about Morgan (Lennie James), a great character for sure. Since Season 1, Morgan has been an endearing part of the series, and every time he’s made a return, it was a welcomed one “” even back in Season 3 when Rick and Michonne find him and he’s apparently lost his mind.

When Morgan finally meets up again with Rick at the Alexandria Safe Zone at the start of Season 6, he’s a different man. He’s more like the man from Season 1 who helped Rick, and didn’t want to shoot his undead wife in the head.

The Morgan who follows the trail to Terminus, and meets up with Daryl and Aaron, who then reunite him with Rick in Alexandria is now a man of peace. We saw him get ambushed by the Wolves, who flat-out tell him that they will not only be taking everything Morgan has, but they will also be taking Morgan, too. Yet, in the end, Morgan does not kill these men.

When the Wolves later attack the Alexandria Safe Zone, Morgan still does not want to kill anyone, even though the invaders are slaughtering everyone. When he sees Carol killing someone, he tells her that she didn’t have to kill them. Carol disagrees. (I’m with Carol.)

During the attack on Alexandria, Morgan comes face-to-face with the Wolf who tried to kill him, and the last we saw, he tells his attacker “I’m sorry” before hitting him with his staff. At the time, it seemed like Morgan probably killed his opponent. But, in Episode 6.4, we learn that, no, Morgan let him live, and there’s a reason why. (A reason, as it turns out, that I’m not on board with.)

Episode 6.4 shows us how Morgan went from beyond crazy to a staff-wielding pacifist. The episode starts with Morgan talking to someone, saying he’s going to give the person every last bit of himself. It’s obviously the Wolf we thought (and hoped) was dead. Thus begins a flashback, where we see Morgan walking through the woods, killing everything in sight, whether it be Walker or human, whether it be threat or not. He even chokes a man with his bare hands. Eventually, someone hits him, and says “I’m sorry,” before knocking him out “” the same thing Morgan later does to the W Man.

When Morgan awakes, he’s inside a cabin, locked away in a cell. His captor is a man called Eastman (John Carroll Lynch), who tries to talk to him, but the prisoner only has one thing on his mind “” death, his own death. “Kill me,” Morgan pleads repeatedly to Eastman. But that’s not Eastman’s intention, and that’s not Morgan’s fate.

Until the very ending of the episode, the rest of the story follows Morgan and Eastman, and it’s a powerful story.

We see that Eastman spends his days tending his tomato garden, practicing aikido, and attempting to make goat cheese.

Cue Tabitha the goat, who is now one of my favorite Walking Dead characters ever.

I spent the rest of the episode hoping that Tabitha would be OK!!!

Eastman continues to ignores Morgan’s wish to be killed, and instead gives him a copy of The Art Of Peace, which has a handwritten message inside about Aikido, a martial art that protects both the user and their attacker.

This is the fighting style we’ve seen Morgan use, and now we know how he learned it. Eastman brought Morgan back from the brink, and gave us back a character from Season 1 that we missed.

But what was equally as compelling as Morgan’s journey was Eastman’s. We learn how he came to his philosophy that all life is precious. Not surprisingly, it was after a violent event in his life. While working as a forensic psychologist analyzing the most violent of offenders, he comes across one particular prisoner who is both psychotic and charismatic. But only he could see through the man’s facade, which is why the psychologist recommended the prisoner not be paroled. The prisoner eventually escaped, but they he did so for one reason, and one reason only “” to kills Eastman’s family. After the murders, the killer even turned himself in to the authorities with a full confession.

This situation would be enough to drive any person mad, and it nearly did Eastman in, especially after he exact his own revenge. But, revenge is not always sweet, he soon discovered. And that’s when he found Aikido and adopted his newfound philosophy of peace, and the sanctity of life. That’s also when the world ended.

Now, in his cabin in the woods with his goat Tabitha in the yard, Eastman gives Morgan a choice “” he can leave, or he can stay and learn the way of peace. It’s at the end of the episode that we see that Morgan did not kill the Wolf, but rather, he’s telling him the story of Eastman and giving him the same chance he was given.

I’m all for having beliefs and a personal philosophy, but as soon as you make a decision to kill someone for no reason, then the sanctity of your life is forfeit. This is what has been frustrating me about the “new” Morgan since his return. There’s a difference between Morgan’s mentality when Eastman meets him, and the one of the Wolf. Morgan had gone mad, believing that in order to survive, he had to “clear” everything – meaning, he has to kill everything in sight. He felt that he was in a kill or be killed world. The Wolves, on the other hand, are aggressors, who lure and trap people. When the Wolves attacked Alexandria, they were saying things like “We’re freeing you” as they killed the residents.

Another issue I have with Morgan “” who again I love as a character and I do not want to be mad at him, but I am “” is that if he truly believed every life is sacred, then he would do what he could to protect more lives. His first mistake was letting the Wolves who attacked him in the woods live; these men went on to lead an invasion on the Safe Zone, which left a lot of people dead. Morgan then let the surviving Wolves LEAVE, telling them never to come back. Let’s just say they never came back “” what about all the other unsuspecting people out there who could meet their deaths at the hands of these killers? Lastly, these same Wolves left the Safe Zone, and ambushed Rick on the road in the RV!

And now, at the end of the episode, there’s Morgan telling the head Wolf his story, and giving him the same opportunity to find peace. The Wolf, of course, laughs it off, and promises to continue killing. Again, Morgan makes the decision NOT to kill, and instead, keeps the man locked up in the house. What will happen next is unclear. At this point in the story, Rick is still stuck in the RV and surrounded by Walkers; Glenn is likely dead; Daryl, Abe, and Sasha are still slowly leading a herd of Walkers away from the Safe Zone, and the Safe Zone residents are burying their dead.

Is there room for Morgan’s peaceful philosophy in this post-apocalyptic world? Or is Rick’s less trusting method the way to go? It seems like Glenn was the only person who seemed to have found a perfect balance between the two extremes.

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1 Comment »

  1. One thing I loved about this episode were the parallels between Eastman finding Morgan and Morgan finding Rick in the pilot. Both men take a huge risk in bringing home a stranger and caring for him. The early scenes in the cabin highlighted the contrast between who Morgan was in S1 and who he had become; and the hope for him to walk through the metaphorical door.
    Also, Tabitha’s death hurt me more than Eastman’s. :(

    Comment by Kristina Meek — November 4, 2015 @ 12:48 pm

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