The Walking Dead: Here's Not Here
November 2, 2015 4:32 AM - Season 6, Episode 4 - Subscribe

A new face and setting are introduced. With all that's gone on in the apocalypse, can people be trusted?
posted by mama casserole (74 comments total)
 
When we had that first fuzzy shot of Eastman, I thought for a second Morgan had come across The Dude.

Also, what was with the totally unnecessary Blurry Eye Cam on Morgan when he got to Eastman's place? I thought we were finally going to get part of an episode from a zombie's POV and was disappointed that it seems like they were just playing with the camera for no reason.

Oooh! Or was it from Tabitha's POV?
posted by TwoStride at 5:28 AM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also: RIP Tabitha!! That was even more upsetting than the turtle.
posted by TwoStride at 5:28 AM on November 2, 2015 [14 favorites]


I think Eastman was as close to The Dude as we'll get on TWD.
I'm still waiting for a scene where Morgan warns Alexandria there's a herd of quarry walkers coming.
posted by areaperson at 6:35 AM on November 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


I felt more emotion over that damn goat than over Glenn. Really good episode, overall - very human. The serial killer story was a bit of a stretch (they let him out to plant daisies after he kills a family? no), and Morgan's odd non-reaction to Eastman getting bitten felt off, like we skipped a moment somewhere, but I liked this episode a lot.
posted by mediareport at 6:39 AM on November 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


Also, what was with the totally unnecessary Blurry Eye Cam on Morgan when he got to Eastman's place?

It was to represent Morgan's unraveled state of mind. In those moments, he was in full-on fight-or-flight mode, his reason having abandoned him entirely. I thought it was fairly effective.

A decent enough episode—probably my least favorite of the season so far, but still far stronger than the weakest episodes of Season 5.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 6:40 AM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Morgan's odd non-reaction to Eastman getting bitten....

I would call it more of an odd actual reaction, full of therapeutic emoting like in Good Will Hunting.
posted by cardboard at 6:56 AM on November 2, 2015


I'm still waiting for a scene where Morgan warns Alexandria there's a herd of quarry walkers coming.

I think Rick had sent Morgan back to town for some reason, it was right after he killed that guy who got his face bit. It was a little bit of time after that when the horn went off.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:56 AM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


That makes a lot more sense of my beloved Morgan!
posted by areaperson at 7:22 AM on November 2, 2015


Man, that fence sucks. No way it keeps walkers (or any other predators) out, and no way it keeps a goat in.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:55 AM on November 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


RIP Tabitha, indeed. I cried real tears for her! brb, going to sponsor a rescued goat in her honor.
posted by divined by radio at 8:07 AM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I am very sad to hear that Norm Gunderson's wife and child were killed.
posted by bondcliff at 8:11 AM on November 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


I liked this episode. Kind of dorky but I liked how it fleshed out Morgan's philosophy, and how important it is to him. It sets up a good future conflict between Morgan's philosophy and the show's general message of "do unto others before they do unto you". And probably some internal conflict for Morgan, as he tries to reconcile this new path, so important to his sanity, with the reality of the situation. e.g. those Wolves he let free a couple episodes ago were the ones who tried to kill Rick last episode.

I spent the episode imagining the possibilities for future episodes and that was the best part. Might fall flat, probably will, but I had fun.

The bo kata looked more like isshin ryu or some Okinawan style than Aikido to me. But zombies are walking around too so...
posted by natteringnabob at 8:33 AM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I like the gimmicky thing with the first four episodes so far taking place mostly within a one-hour timeframe. I know we've seen it before, e.g. with everyone walking towards Terminus (and nicely tied in with Morgan's flashback even), but I like it. I am still trying to recall the moment he leaves the house and rejoins the action in Alexandria, though. If I liked the episodes just a little more I would go back and tie all these moments together.

I thought it would have ended with clearer insight into whether he is leaving Alexandria at the end, when he passes Carol. I am still not sure, but at least it's clear that he isn't seeing the world in black and white, that all lives are not equally precious (or he can temporarily cast off the delusion). The episode explained his past but didn't give me any insight into where Morgan might go next.
posted by tracicle at 9:02 AM on November 2, 2015


The ending seemed to confirm that the writers are intent upon destroying any sort of humanistic philosophy (bye-bye Glenn's belief in the human ability to change and Morgan's belief in the sanctity of all life) and reinforcing that the only way to survive is to be like Rick.
When they did that, I breathed a sigh of relief. It felt like those writers were getting out of their comfort zone. (Okay, so I sighed, but it wasn't with relief).
posted by Seamus at 9:27 AM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


When it became clear that the guy was going to die and that Tabitha may die as well I paused and hit fast forward.
Until I read this thread I didn't know for sure what happened to the goat. :( Think I'm just going to stay with my fast-forward version where no one died and they decided to just go separate ways.

And yes I did find it weird that I was more upset about the goat dying then Glen. And Glen is/was one of my favorites!
posted by Jalliah at 9:49 AM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well they actually showed Tabitha dead. They purposely didn't show Glenn dead.


Also Eastman wearing a Terrapin shirt and using a Bo staff and the crew being trained by a former Turtle.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 10:00 AM on November 2, 2015 [9 favorites]




Is it just me or is did the one extremely experienced stick-ninja-zombie-fighter getting bitten in the back by a single zombie because he was defending a feels-frozen Morgan feel a bit contrived. There's no way anyone should have been bitten in that situation, but the story required it, so it happened (you know, rather than creating a more believable situation where Eastman could have been bit helping Morgan)?
posted by Seamus at 11:25 AM on November 2, 2015 [13 favorites]


Seamus, I believe my exact words at the time (out loud even though I was alone) were, "Oh, come on!"
There were a few of those moments last week too.
posted by cardboard at 12:13 PM on November 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Well they actually showed Tabitha dead. They purposely didn't show Glenn dead.

I don't know, are we sure there wasn't a second goat on top of Tabitha, and that's the goats guts that got gulped?

I third the super contrived way Eastman got bitten. The weird thing to me is, they know how contrived it is. So do they just not care? Do they feel like no matter how it is set up, people won't really care because they know it is coming anyway, so why waste time coming up with something creative, when that isn't the point of the story? Kind of how Kirkman's philosophy was why waste time coming up with something creative around the whole walker thing got started, because that is boring to him.
posted by cashman at 2:57 PM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Is it just me or is did the one extremely experienced stick-ninja-zombie-fighter getting bitten in the back by a single zombie because he was defending a feels-frozen Morgan feel a bit contrived.

Yeah, nice redirection, akido master. Honestly, they couldn't figure out a better way for that guy to get bitten? Morgan took down 6 simultaneous live opponents in the last episode, and his master can't take one zombie?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:58 PM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


At first when we were just hearing him but not seeing him I was assuming Morgan was talking to neighbor Wilson from Home Improvement.
posted by larrybob at 3:12 PM on November 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


I honestly was majorly upset by the large (primarily Zed-occupied, I'm guessing) graveyard adjacent to Eastman's survivalist home.

I'm sorry, but that much rotting flesh potentially leaching god-knows-what into my indoor plumbing system, should a crack appear somewhere underground? UH, NO THANKS. And poor Tabatha... she died because Morgan was too busy digging Eastman's grave to keep one eye on a loud, totally undefended goat.

I thought that Eastman's "47 days without food, only water" story about the serial killer rang a bell. That's how long Louis Zamperini, the WWII PoW whose story was told in Unbroken, survived adrift at sea.

Per his Wiki entry:
Following the war he initially struggled to overcome his ordeal. Later he became a Christian Evangelist with a strong belief in forgiveness.
He then became fascinated with Billy Graham:
Graham's preaching reminded him of his prayers during his time on the life raft and imprisonment, and Zamperini recommitted his life to Christ. Following this, he forgave his captors, and his nightmares ceased.
I feel like this is the closest we're going to get about a Christian parable involving torture, nightmares and forgiveness for the wickedness men do under extreme duress -- regardless of whether it's wartime or a survivalist/post-Zompocalypse setting.

After all, Father Gabriel sure isn't bringing it, and Hershel's benevolent Southern Evangelical presence has been missing for more than a season now on TWD.

This could entirely be a coincidence, though. Morgan's backstory is okay, I guess, but unless everyone's going to be getting bo staff lessons going forward, isn't it way more important to WARN EVERYONE ABOUT THE GODDAMNED HERD????????
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 3:14 PM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I thought this episode was a waste. They've had some decent moments with Morgan, but to me this wasn't one of them. It might be unthinkable to say, but Lennie James is either doing a bad job of acting, or the show has just come up with a poor character.

Human beings are complex things for sure, and it's nice that Morgan isn't one note, but at the same time the monumental level of crazy they've had him display has seemingly been derived from the store that all the other characters have built up, but never exhibit. His wife had already been turned before the pilot. In the pilot, he couldn't kill (walker) her, and ultimately she bit their 10 or 11 year old son and he died.

Without even fully recounting how he said he'd kill a man who'd just woken up from a coma in the pilot, and how he damn near stabbed that same guy to death as he came as a savior with friends in "Clear", his behavior in this episode is just maddening. Yes, he's had some rough things happen to him and he's being combative as a result. But at the point where a single person is being nice to you while you're approaching with a gun....at the point where you wake up realizing that single person could have killed you, but instead that single person is giving you a really nice looking breakfast and treating you kindly, ...and yet the show still has Morgan acting lower than an animal?

All throughout the episode there are just multiple points where Morgan should have relented and been somewhat normal. Instead they write him to keep saying "kill me" over and over and over. And he keeps attacking and trying to hurt someone who is trying to help him so much it literally costs the guy his life. It just feeds into so many horrible narratives about who black men are. Pay attention to it on television and in film, and you'll start to see it. The white people, even when they're bad, are almost never as brutal as the black characters get written. It just happens over and over and over. I'm sorry, but a character being played by Lennie James, and one audiences are supposed to be sympathetic to, judging by how the show executives talk about him, shouldn't be portrayed as a subhuman beast, unable to tap into even animal level compassion for another human being.
posted by cashman at 3:16 PM on November 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


OK, at the end of the last episode, didn't Morgan walk away from Alexandria? Is the implication that he went out, caught that Wolf, and then brought him back and locked him in the basement? Without being seen? And without warning anyone about the incoming herd?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 3:17 PM on November 2, 2015


what was with the totally unnecessary Blurry Eye Cam on Morgan

I liked it because it was very much like a migraine aura and I am never as close to multiple unprovoked homicide in the woods as when I have a migraine.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:16 PM on November 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Idk why everyone thinks Morgan left at the end of that episode. He was walking through town and nodded to Carol, that's all. He wasn't storming out of town with all his possessions. All he has is his stick and a little blue bag that looks like a travel shaving kit or something.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:19 PM on November 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


maybe it's got a toothbrush and toothpaste for his filthy disgusting prisoner who frankly deserves to die for neglecting his gums
posted by poffin boffin at 5:23 PM on November 2, 2015 [8 favorites]


Norm Gunderson's bad-ass enough to take out Morgan and his M-16, armed only with a folksy attitude and a staff. Not quite good enough to use the six-foot reach of his staff to take out the zombie in the graveyard without getting within biting-distance though. I agree with the above sentiment, it seemed like the writers were not super interested in coming up with a reason he died. Basically, we all understand that this guy is a one-off character and he has to die to send Morgan off on his quest for Rick, so we're not gonna waste a huge amount of time with an elaborate reason for his death.

I felt like the principle reason for this episode's existence was to extend by another week the audience wondering about how Glenn is going to survive.

The wolf at the end, they weren't suggesting he was the psychopath who killed Eastman's kids, were they?
posted by skewed at 5:40 PM on November 2, 2015


Basically, we all understand that this guy is a one-off character and he has to die to send Morgan off on his quest for Rick, so we're not gonna waste a huge amount of time with an elaborate reason for his death.

He didn't need an elaborate death, just a good one.

The wolf at the end, they weren't suggesting he was the psychopath who killed Eastman's kids, were they?

No, because Eastman killed that guy - the first entrant to Eastman's graveyard. He was suggesting he is like that guy, that Morgan cannot rehabilitate him.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 6:04 PM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


No, skewed. That was my immediate thought, too, but then I was like, "Oh. Right. Morgan just told him all that stuff."

Cause, yeah: The whole episode was just Morgan sitting there telling this creep How He Met His Mother. Which -- though this seems beyond the writers -- may mean there's some unreliable narration going on there, especially re: Tree Cent Stamp's death.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:06 PM on November 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


OK, at the end of the last episode, didn't Morgan walk away from Alexandria? Is the implication that he went out, caught that Wolf, and then brought him back and locked him in the basement? Without being seen? And without warning anyone about the incoming herd

After seeing so many people ask the same questions, I decided to go back and watch a little bit.

I didn't see Morgan leave, just him and Carol walking in opposite directions.
The wolf being held is the same one he fought in the house. We never saw him kill the guy, and I believe it was the last shot of the episode. It looks like he was transported to another house, not too unbelievable that he wasn't seen since half the town was just murdered and people were probably concerned with other things.

He probably doesnt know about the heard. He was sent back to town after Rick killed the guy who got bit in the face. Hes probably assuming that the zombies didn't hear the horn or it hasnt crossed his mind that the horde would be coming. Its over an hour to get back to the town and he was there a few minutes after the horn went off.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:22 PM on November 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


He didn't need an elaborate death, just a good one.

To be clear, I agree. I meant that the writers seem to have been particularly lazy here.

The whole episode was just Morgan sitting there telling this creep How He Met His Mother. Which -- though this seems beyond the writers -- may mean there's some unreliable narration going on there, especially re: Tree Cent Stamp's death.

I like this angle.
posted by skewed at 6:35 PM on November 2, 2015


And how is Morgan gonna just walk away from a cabin with SHOWERS and solar panels and and and...just, dammit, Morgan. Perpetual Ruiner.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 9:09 PM on November 2, 2015


I cant help but laugh every time Ms. Walker's name shows in the intro credits, she must be so sick of the comments! Speaking of names, I read Mr. Eastman's name as Lastman on his marker, like as if he were the last man of the old order...
Agreeing with cashman that having Morgan snarling, monosyllabically on the floor is poor treatment if the character. Also, is it just me or do we never see POC walkers? For all the black guys getting killed, the walker contingent is like a Fleetwood Mac concert.
posted by Iteki at 11:39 PM on November 2, 2015


Also, is it just me or do we never see POC walkers? For all the black guys getting killed, the walker contingent is like a Fleetwood Mac concert.
That's because they're some some racist m-f zombies.
posted by TwoStride at 4:28 AM on November 3, 2015 [5 favorites]


Am I the only one who just doesn't really care about Morgan? I felt like this episode took a weird, sort of corny turn ("Man with severe PTSD finds psychiatrist Zen master living in the woods"), and it did seem like a waste of time to me.
posted by torisaur at 6:06 AM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


There was a POC walker eyeball that was in the opening credits for a few seasons. That was the eyeball of one of my best friends!!! Sam Williams!! He was a walker several times and loved it. TWD had his picture in their official Instagram feed on Halloween as well. I agree that they should have more walkers of color on the show, especially when they were in Georgia. Sam and I always laughed that it looked like the white folks were the only ones dumb enough to hang around and get eaten.
posted by pearlybob at 7:48 AM on November 3, 2015 [10 favorites]


I started beanplating Eastman's name when I was watching. Like okay, east like sunrise like Brand New Day, and now Morgan is going to walk east into the dawn and a new beginning. But I have my doubts that the writers would be thinking even at Lit101 level about names as symbols.
posted by tracicle at 8:13 AM on November 3, 2015


I dunno. "Eastman" seems exactly like the sort of name a hack would give a man with wisdom from the East.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:48 AM on November 3, 2015 [8 favorites]


Agree with cashman about the sub-humanization of Morgan here and how upsetting that can be given how the show has typically handled PoC characters.

I still mostly liked this episode. I feel that John Carroll Lynch did a fantastic job, and I'm so very happy that, for once, they didn't go with the cheap, easy swerve for his character: I think would have thrown something at my television had he turned out to be the psychopath, who escaped, killed the therapist, and then turned to a path of peace.

It's starting to look like the writers don't like the Care Bears or The Tin Man because everybody -- and I do mean everybody -- who has a heart on this show gets killed or has to remove that heart to keep going. Granted, all the Shanes and Governors and Terminuses snuff it too, but it'd be nice to see someone who, in Cormac McCarthy terms, keeps that torch lit stick around to carry the light forward.
posted by lord_wolf at 9:18 AM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is it just me or is did the one extremely experienced stick-ninja-zombie-fighter getting bitten in the back by a single zombie because he was defending a feels-frozen Morgan feel a bit contrived.

Yeah, that was weak.
posted by homunculus at 10:51 AM on November 3, 2015


Oooh! Or was it from Tabitha's POV?

Now I want them to reshoot the entire episode from Tabitha's POV.

RIP Tabitha.
posted by homunculus at 10:52 AM on November 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


This episode felt like a big ol' neener neener to people who wants to know what happened with Glenn.

But I enjoyed it. I know this show has problems writing POC characters, but I think given an hour, they did alright turning a crazy person into a zen master. I didn't see his portrayal as "subhuman", just a very damaged person. I actually really like Morgan as a character, his past and who he is now, so this episode was interesting. They're grooming him to be a complex POC hero of the show, maybe because of the complaints about previous black characters. At this point I'll take what I can get before I just give up on this show.

Is it just me or is did the one extremely experienced stick-ninja-zombie-fighter getting bitten in the back by a single zombie because he was defending a feels-frozen Morgan feel a bit contrived.

I told my roommate that Eastman was going to die in a stupid and unnecessary way, and I was almost disappointed that I was right.
posted by numaner at 12:29 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is it just me or is did the one extremely experienced stick-ninja-zombie-fighter getting bitten in the back by a single zombie because he was defending a feels-frozen Morgan feel a bit contrived.

Not to mention that Morgan inexplicably failed to ensure that the guy he strangled to death would not walk again as it were (I suppose he was extremely out of sorts so he just didn't care or forgot somehow)? So much for clearing. Ironically, in his new state he's failing to wrap up what are effectively extremely dangerous loose ends as well that will have some terrible consequences no doubt.

I did enjoy this episode despite the over the top musical score and the usual horror genre inexplicableness. It did pretty well for the clearing theme and how Morgan's outlook went from almost animal to expanded and clearer, though still not entirely clear of course.

I completely ignored this show when it debuted because I have absolutely no love for the horror genre but it was so well shot, directed, and acted. But it's quality has been extremely inconsistent. This season seems more pulply, actionish with some philosophical/moral/life, whatever questions and answers done in a way tha only pulp can, and can do well. Alternately, it can be very terrible.

Still, that said, it's far better than network television which is so unfathomnably bad words fail me.
posted by juiceCake at 1:30 PM on November 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eastman was totally a TMNT tribute no? Eastman and Laird? Turtle shirts. Cheese (goes on pizza, cowabunga)
posted by ian1977 at 1:43 PM on November 3, 2015 [4 favorites]


goatabunga, surely
posted by Sys Rq at 1:48 PM on November 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Plus didn't his grave marker say 'D. Eastman'? D for Donatello I bet. (Who uses a staff)
posted by ian1977 at 1:48 PM on November 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


Guys I think Tabitha was Eastman's sensei

Tabitha, Tabby, cat, rat

QED guys
posted by cortex at 11:08 PM on November 3, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm just glad at this point they don't show walkers munching on a kitty. (We've had dog, horse, goat). Where did all the cats go, anyway?
posted by angrycat at 5:02 AM on November 4, 2015


Even zombies fear the rage of a feral cat
posted by torisaur at 5:41 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ever since seeing Dead Alive, I've had this hankering to see a scene in a zombie show or movie where an entire zoo's worth of animals has gotten zombified. Zombie rhinos. Zombie pumas. Zombie chimps. Zombie parrots. Zombie meerkats. Zombie sea lions. Zombie camels.

I would have considered zombie Tabitha a small step in the right direction. Zombie cats? So they'd be dangerous, dead inside, and out to get human beings? How would you know the difference?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:35 AM on November 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


Unicorn on the cob: And how is Morgan gonna just walk away from a cabin with SHOWERS and solar panels and and and...just, dammit, Morgan. Perpetual Ruiner.

Eastman said it himself:
You can stay here. You have enough food, power, security. For the rest of your life, you could stay here.

But you shouldn't stay here. Can't expect such a splendid guest as yourself to show up.

You stay here, you'll be alone. You were alone. Everything is about people. Everything in this life that's worth a damn.

It couldn't be just me. It shouldn't be just you. Hell, Tabitha's gone now.
And I agree with Sys Rq: Man, that fence sucks (though Morgan's perimeter of sticks with hardened points was pretty effective for his little piece of land in the beginning of the episode).


numaner: I told my roommate that Eastman was going to die in a stupid and unnecessary way, and I was almost disappointed that I was right.

When we first saw that Eastman was a pretty decent guy, I said to my wife "I already miss Eastman." He's not in later episodes, so you know he's doomed in this episode.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:06 AM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I liked this episode - I get the sub-humanization of Morgan aspect, but I can also rationalize that he's pretty far gone into his "Clear Everything" mode to magically come around because one person is nice to him. And previously seeing the wolves (who are mostly white), the slightly more mellow reavers of the Walking Dead universe, there are lots of people who are lost in some "animalistic" mode. In fact, their view of the world ("We're freeing you. You're trapped. You need to know, people don't belong here anymore.") is pretty similar to Morgan's "clear everything."
posted by filthy light thief at 9:14 AM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


(though Morgan's perimeter of sticks with hardened points was pretty effective for his little piece of land in the beginning of the episode).

I was really annoyed about his perimeter. He set it up, zombies came, he dispatched them. He goes away for an indeterminate amount of time...days, weeks, or months, and comes back and there are NO zombies impaled? And as soon as Morgan and Eastman arrive, a zombie strolls in?

Argh, come on writers.
posted by tracicle at 9:33 AM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


(Also, Eastman despite being a good man in general is portrayed as having done an evil thing w/r/t his serial killer nemesis; in doing that evil thing, he was, at least provisionally, an evil man, a villain; he did the villainous thing at his carefully-constructed prison-house, a sort of dungeon in the woods; a villain's dungeonous headquarters is a lair. Ergo, Eastman was Lair'd.)
posted by cortex at 9:42 AM on November 4, 2015 [6 favorites]


Just so I don't become too much of a negativlandian, here's a positive thought I had during this episode:
Armor! Morgan wears reasonable clothes! Shin guards, yes, those probably should have been forearm guards/bracers/vambraces, but whatever. A heavy canvas coat. Leather gloves. A scarf protecting the neck.
Granted, he's not a woman and thus allowed to wear reasonable clothes, but this is something I think any reasonable person in the apocalyptic zombie wasteland would wear.

(I started watching Z Nation again. I had previously stopped after a few episodes in. Mostly the people wear more reasonable - if excessively sexualized for the women - clothing. I have a whole lot fewer "oh come on" moments than I do with TWD, though using vodka as fuel did make me cringe.)
posted by Seamus at 12:14 PM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


George R.R. Martin on Z Nation (spoiler.)
posted by homunculus at 12:25 PM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


I think I had a more positive response to this episode that anyone else here--it's one of my favorites from the TWD. Most of that, I'm sure, is because I am a pacifist, and it is really nice to have a nice, long, mediation on non-violence in a very violent show. I thought the Eastman character was great--grounded, realistic, canny, but committed to his path. And while his death was dumb and Morgan was probably overly feral, I tend to read the whole thing as a sort of mid-season parable and philosophical reflection, so that didn't really bother me. It's just great to see a character, even for a one-off, and shout "Hey! That's one of my people! Go team pacifist!"

I though the best touch was the very end, when Morgan pulls out the key and locks the Wolf inside. He wants to follow the path of peace, but he can't go so far as to leave the cell unlocked, like Eastman did for him. I'm really hoping for some decent reflections in the rest of this season on how far Morgan can go with the pacifist route in TWD's universe.

That probably won't happen, or it will be ham-handed, but I'm still hoping.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:26 PM on November 4, 2015 [9 favorites]


Dirtyoldtown, I think you've got a good pitch for Rupert Murdoch's National Geographic channel there with the zombie nature show.
posted by larrybob at 12:39 PM on November 4, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just so I don't become too much of a negativlandian, here's a positive thought I had during this episode:
Armor! Morgan wears reasonable clothes!


We noticed that, too. But a note for Georga: TWD is doing you no favors for making your state look appealing. Disregarding the zombies, everyone looks hot and sweaty all the time, so much that I can feel the wet air, making everything they do more work. (Don't visit the South in the summer, unless you like chewing air, or you have gills.)

(Then again, I may be spoiled, as a Southern California boy who moved to the desert where 20% humidity makes the air feel heavy.)
posted by filthy light thief at 12:47 PM on November 4, 2015


I was really annoyed about his perimeter. He set it up, zombies came, he dispatched them. He goes away for an indeterminate amount of time...days, weeks, or months, and comes back and there are NO zombies impaled? And as soon as Morgan and Eastman arrive, a zombie strolls in?

In the writers' defense, the zombies don't just stagger aimlessly, exactly. They come when they hear (smell? sense? whatever) something alive. So it does kind of hold up that there wouldn't be any impaled zombies waiting for them, and that they'd start to come exploring as soon as Morgan and Eastman show up making all kinds of noise.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:47 PM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Just so I don't become too much of a negativlandian, here's a positive thought I had during this episode:
Armor! Morgan wears reasonable clothes!


he was wearing like almost a full armor when Rick and co. left him on his cot of crazy. I guess when it burned down all he could take were the shin guards.

the roommate made a good point during the last episode. You'd think by this point anyone who could would have some kind of limb protection against zombie bites. I know the first thing i'd stock up on are those limb protection pieces for extreme sports.
posted by numaner at 2:50 PM on November 4, 2015


I though the best touch was the very end, when Morgan pulls out the key and locks the Wolf inside.

I liked that about the episode too. I enjoyed this one, actually.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 4:19 PM on November 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


In the writers' defense, the zombies don't just stagger aimlessly, exactly. They come when they hear (smell? sense? whatever) something alive. So it does kind of hold up that there wouldn't be any impaled zombies waiting for them, and that they'd start to come exploring as soon as Morgan and Eastman show up making all kinds of noise.

I probably shouldn't think this much about a zombie show, but really the whole thing just has a gaping hole in it. If the zombies can navigate around trees without having been attracted to anything - and we see plenty of them walking through the woods on no particular mission - then they can and would navigate around Morgan's rather substantive wooden spikes.
posted by cashman at 8:26 AM on November 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


My favourite part of this episode was when Morgan is first digging zombie graves (about 35m in). There's a closeup of him holding a shovel while he talks to Eastman, and you can read the grave marker in the background, which says AVID BASHER (the name is cut off by the left side of the frame). Avid Basher! Now that's a good zombie name.
posted by oulipian at 4:35 PM on November 5, 2015 [2 favorites]


I liked the bit where Eastman tells the story of the time he looked at the picture of Wound Man and then at Hannibal Lecter and he knew that Hannibal Lecter knew that he knew that Lecter was a violent psychopath and then Lecter attacked him.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 5:57 PM on November 8, 2015 [2 favorites]


I though the best touch was the very end, when Morgan pulls out the key and locks the Wolf inside.

That irked me. The "circle closing". I wish they just didn't have to neatly "conclude" everything - Did Eastman have to die? Why? Would it not have been more "Aikido" of Morgan had learnt all there was, and Eastman bit him a fond farewell?

Also - if Eastman is such a martial arts dude - really getting bitten in the back by a lumbering zombie?

I'm getting pretty sick of it. They left the plot at Terminus, they need to do something. They need to develop characters, they are all too thinly drawn.
posted by mattoxic at 8:47 PM on November 8, 2015


Eastman bit him a fond farewell?

FREUDIAN SLIP
posted by tracicle at 7:09 AM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


We do see Morgan see the bite wound, but we don't see Eastman actually die on screen.

Proposal: along with the aikido, Eastman was also a big SFX/props guy. Owned every copy of Fangoria. Did makeup for a few indie monster flicks. Knows how to fake up a wound, rig a squib, etc.

When Morgan's learned enough of what Eastman is trying to teach him—physically, spiritually, philosophically—Eastman rigs himself up with a back wound under his shirt, gets too-obviously "bitten" in a heroic gesture (one that involves bodily shoving Morgan around so he can't get a clear view of the moment of bite), and then spends the next however long giving Morgan his final stage of instruction, one of coping with Eastman's "death".

And now he's traveling around the US south, seeking out likely candidates to train, one after another, in the violent preservation of life.

(shut up I know Morgan probably buried Eastman but maybe he's just THAT GOOD at special effects)
posted by cortex at 7:37 AM on November 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


More plausible and sensible than Glenn surviving, at least.
posted by skewed at 7:16 PM on November 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really liked this episode, but this should have been in last season somewhere. It's placement in the serious is really just stalling at this point, the audience needed a check-in with Morgan a long time ago. But if you're going to stand behind the "we're a show about human drama NOT zombies" motto, this kinda episode works better for me than the rest of this season.

Seriously, John Carroll Lynch deserves an Emmy nod for guest starring in this episode and also more film roles and also an Oscar and also like extra pizza or whatever food he likes.
posted by dogwalker at 11:19 PM on November 17, 2015 [2 favorites]


FFS, Morgan. We don't store insane murderers in the spare house, especially when he can probably kick his way out of it.
posted by ktkt at 4:40 AM on November 29, 2015


This was the worst episode of the entire series. Nothing Eastman (ugh that NAME) said was believable. His story has a million implausible holes in it. No way.
posted by agregoli at 1:35 PM on March 22, 2016


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