RECAP: The Walking Dead “Here’s Not Here” [Season 6, Episode 4]

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If you thought this show would return to confirm Glenn’s fate, you must be a new fan.  We open to something equally interesting (in my opinion). We open to Morgan’s backstory as we find him talking to someone to whom he confesses his sins and his pain.  Before we can get the full gist of the conversation, we are transported back to the small, well-guarded room Rick and Michonne found him in.  As the room is burning down around him, Morgan seems to be having a conversation with his (clearly dead and long gone) son, Duane, about not using the knife to defend himself against his walker mother, Jenny. It is a guilt-driven conversation since we know that Morgan was also unable to put her down – making her return, and Duane’s death, possible.  The next time we see him, he is in riot gear out in the woods killing bonfire worthy piles of walkers. He does start a walker bonfire and waits for the flames and heat to draw the next set of walker kindling to him.  He is on a one man mission to rid the world of this virulent threat.  When they aren’t coming to him, he’s in the woods stalking them, no longer hesitant to kill.  We also see him, sadly, kill two humans who were either stalking him or seeking him out for help, it’s not clear. One of the two men is apologizing as Morgan strangles him.

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The one man elimination band keeps playing as Morgan pulls walkers from the stakes surrounding the temporary camp he has set up for himself.  In walker blood he writes on the large rocks, “Pointless Acts” and “Here’s Not Here”.  On the trees he writes “Clear” (seemingly to signify that he has cleared the area).  There is a point of peace, and then breakdown, when he walks into a glen filled with wildflowers, lush grass, and sunshine. He appears to be mumbling to his son again when he hears a bleating goat and follows the sound to a nearby cabin covered in solar panels. The goat’s owner asks him to leave her alone.  He needs the goat as he’s still learning to make cheese. Morgan answers with gunfire and receives an invitation to dinner, in return. Refusing to put the gun down, he is hit with a staff, knocked unconscious, waking up in a jail cell with fresh food and juice. He responds with “kill me” when asked his name, repeatedly screaming the request. His captor, Eastman, can see that Morgan’s pain is real. Morgan’s carrying on is incomprehensible, and Eastman leaves him to it as he continues with his daily life, including practicing the use of his staff.  Whatever is happening in the world outside, Eastman’s life is idyllic as his biggest worry, other than putting down the occasional walker, appears to be perfecting his goat’s milk cheese.  We learn he was a forensic psychiatrist in the state prison system who helped determine whether the worst offenders could be released back into the public without reoffending. He begins to question Morgan, who says that his job is to “clear” anything that got near him, including people. Why? To stay alive.

Later, the ever brilliant Morgan has figured out a way to escape, but does not manage to do so before Eastman returns to tell him that he believes that Morgan has Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  Morgan recounts the murder of the two men, the day before. He admits to killing quite a few others, not all of whom were attacking him, although there are those he saved. He  calls it a matter of “Pointless Acts” to save anyone since “everybody turns.” Eastman brings up Morgan’s wedding ring and realizes that Morgan deeply loved someone, has seen them turned, and it’s what led him to re-living the pain and trauma.  He tells him that it can all end. When Morgan threatens to kill him, Eastman tells him that they are people, and are not meant to kill. He tells Morgan that he’s only met one evil person in his work, that most are able to heal, and he believes Morgan can, too.  He tells Morgan the cell door is open, the key was thrown out long ago, and that he can go “clear” if he wants, or he can stay and they can work through his issues. He won’t allow Morgan to kill him. It doesn’t stop Morgan from trying, and from having his ass handed to him by Eastman until he finally relents and breaks down. Eastman almost reconsiders killing Morgan when he sees that the child’s drawing posted on the wall behind him has been destroyed.  He reiterates the two choices and a shaken Morgan returns to the cell, closing the door behind him.

It turns out that Eastman is skilled in Aikido. His five year old daughter found him crying in the garage after a heavy night of drinking, trying to get the stories of his clients’ atrocities out of his head.  She’d given him a rabbit’s foot for luck, and the next day he found the flyer for Aikido classes. Eastman won’t answer Morgan’s question of whether his wife and daughter are dead, referring to him as “shit conversationalist.” He only tells Morgan he wants to teach him so that they can travel together. Where they are going, he isn’t sure. Considering that neither he nor the goat, Tabitha, are in Alexandria, I’m guessing they don’t get very far together. The next day, Eastman leaves Morgan in charge of Tabitha while he goes to scout for more food for their trip.  In a booklet left behind, Morgan learns that Aikido is a peaceful art, translating to “Not To Kill,” not even the most evil person. Aikido is about redirecting a person, not killing them.  Dismissing the pamphlet, it appears that he is going to dismiss Tabitha’s  bleating, as well – a warning that walkers are near. Morgan kills two walkers, dragging one off, seemingly back to the pile, when he comes across a burial ground. He decides to bury them both. Eastman joins him and collects their IDs to keep with the others he has collected – presumably to let someone know who they were. He then tells Morgan he has to fix the fence around the tomato plant he broke when killing the walkers, and that he has to fix his spirit, handing him his own staff.

P.S. folks, I still remember that Morgan put the two unconscious wolves in the abandoned car and blew the horn to draw walkers to their location. Does Morgan have moments where he slips or is “death by walker” acceptable?


We are treated to a series of long talks and Aikido sessions. Eastman tells Morgan that the cell became part of the cabin after his work with an inmate named Creighton Dallas Wilton who seemed to be completely charming and reformed, but he recognized that the man was a true psychopath.  When he realized that Creighton knew that he knew there was no real change, it was too late to protect himself. Creighton attacked him and nearly killed him. Aikido saved his life and he made sure the man never got out again. Sadly, Creighton Dallas Wilton escaped prison, went to Eastman’s family home, killed his wife, daughter, and son and then surrendered. Killing them was the only reason he escaped.  The plan was to put the man behind the bars of the cell in the cabin, and watch him starve to death. When asked if he succeed, Eastman answer that he later came to believe that all life, no exceptions, is precious and that’s why they are eating oatmeal burgers.  Morgan, who doesn’t seem to buy the answer he is given, tells Eastman that he is good at redirecting.

The next day they are picking up items for their trip, from Morgan’s old camp. Eastman looks around and asks him who was lost. Morgan tells him about Jenny and Duane. Eastman makes him practice his forms right at the campsite, burned walker bodies as the backdrop. Morgan protests, not wanting to practice at the site, a place he used when he was in immense pain. A walker approaches and it’s the man Morgan strangled earlier. When he freezes, Eastman moves him and is bitten. Both realize it is the end. Eastman is calm. Morgan loses it and attacks his friend. Eastman shows him kindness, still refusing to kill him, though he begs, again. Morgan is upset because he asked that they not practice that site and Eastman reminds him that, as the rock says, “Here’s not here.” As Morgan lays crestfallen, Eastmen takes the walker’s body to bury. 


Morgan goes on a rampage, killing walkers, this time leaving the humans he finds, alive. At camp, he kills a walker, standing over Tabitha’s body.  She died after escaping the cell.  Morgan takes her to the graveyard, where Eastman is still burying the walker that bit him. I get the enormity of Morgan’s guilt. Duane dies because he couldn’t kill Jenny. Eastman dies because he DID kill a human and left him to become a walker. In his last moments, Eastman confesses. He did take Creighton from his work detail near a road. He put him in the cell, and left him to starve. His death took 47 days. Eastman says that after Creighton’s death, he was as bad off as Morgan, finding no peace in taking revenge. He only found peace after deciding to never kill again. Sadly, he learned that the world had ended just as he went to turn himself in. When Morgan replies that it hasn’t ended, Eastman refers to his comments as progress.  He tells Morgan how he walked through 30 miles of the dead to retrieve the piece of drywall with a picture his daughter drew and it was the best thing he ever did. 

He offers Morgan the cabin, to safely spend the rest of his life, but tells him he shouldn’t stay.  He’ll be alone. Everything that is worth a damn is about people, says Eastman.  He gives his rabbit foot to Morgan, before going to the lockbox to retrieve the gun he has stored there. This is the end for him. After his death, we see Morgan practicing Aikido before he moves on, passing Eastman’s grave and stopping long enough to look at the rabbit’s foot. He sees the signs for Terminus and begins heading down the rail tracks. 

We learn that he has been sharing this story with the wolf cult member we saw him fight during the invasion – the wolf hiding out in the house.  The wolf has been bitten, and was hoping, when he saw how settled the town is, that there was medicine to save him. He now realizes that he will probably die, but if not, he will have to kill all of them, including the children, just like Eastman’s children.  That’s his code.  Morgan clearly wants to kill him, but can’t.  He walks away, leaving him locked in the house.

Who will die because of this decision?


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