TV Show Review

TV Review: THE WALKING DEAD: Season 6, Episode 4: Here’s Not Here [AMC]

Lennie James The Walking Dead Heres Not Here

AMC’s The Walking Dead Here’s Not Here TV Show ReviewThe Walking Dead, Season 6, Episode 4: ‘Here’s Not Here,’ was a tale that needed telling, I suppose; to someone who needed to hear it, other than us. I can tell you, up front, that he didn’t appreciate it as much as I did.

For those who didn’t quite get it, from where Rick & Morgan (Lennie James) had left off (back in season 3 episode, ‘Clear’), Morgan had been carrying out the imperative function that his loss had left him compelled to. As Rick had found out, the hard way, this was the indiscriminate elimination of anyone in his path/ radius – living or otherwise – or die trying.

For Morgan, this was a win-win, since clearing those weaker than he kept him in a sense of purpose, while being overmatched would mean the end of his suffering. Fortunately for him, becoming overmatched ended his suffering in a way he had not accounted for.

For those who wondered what kind of man could so radically transform the twice removed Morgan Jones, it was the delightfully unassuming form of a man named Eastman (John Carroll Lynch), and that was all that really needed to be said. Beyond the present tense context, to this stretch of history, even the most casual fan of the series could see the various writings on the wall, regarding where their paths would diverge. ‘Here’s Not Here,’ appropriately enough, was one of those more-about-the-journey-than-destination deals – and very well done, at that. Even if you had the foresight to see it all as tragic hindsight, moments like a goat in peril likely allowed for investment in these characters (yes, Tabitha included) in real time.

Eastman wasn’t just a fittingly unassuming mentor figure (they’re usually dismissively short, older types… or a rat – short, older, but still rat), he was also a logical one. He had both a thorough background & backstory that made him more than qualified to get through to Morgan. He wasn’t infallible (I contend that Humans are made to kill; the reason we don’t have claws & fangs: tools to do the killing for us), but he was the right mix of comfort, competence, and complex simplicity. Unfortunately, it just couldn’t be that straightforward.

There was a gap to Eastman’s positivity that allowed Morgan to slip; so a series of more (stereo)typically drastic events were necessary, in order for Morgan to finally commit to the path he is currently on. It was made clear, early on, just how far off the deep end Morgan’s mania had taken him. One particularly brutal act, on his part, would frame both the climax & resolution to Monk Morgan’s backstory; but even with a somewhat tragically conventional course to it, ‘Here’s Not Here’ was still a story that needed be told, and was told well.

That tale filled in the gap, from ‘Clear’ to ‘Here,’ in order to cement Monk Morgan’s place on the series – a position that has been left open for two previous incarnations of the character. As Militia Morgan was Rick’s mentoring introduction to Walker World, it was only fitting that Mad Morgan’s mentored rehabilitation to the series be covered as well. As I am still hoping that the warrior monk aspect keeps Morgan safe from the High Road Curse (as in Dale & Hershel) – in which case, he will be a counterpoint to Rick –  the making of his apparent new role was something worth knowing.

Beyond the rationale for the episode, it was just a nice break in the action – not so much a breath of fresh air, as a really deep breath (y’know, before we’re meant to hold it, again). As for its in-house audience: Morgan’s old campfire buddy (Benedict Samuel) was not the heir apparent Morgan may have hoped him to be. In fact, I fear he may represent a tragic addendum to Morgan’s ongoing evolution.

No doubt, some of you are still eager to get back to the matter at hand, and the episode left off on that note. As far as bottle episodes go, however, ‘Here’s Not Here’ did not disappoint. Arguably, the cast needs Morgan – not just as a strong voice of reason, but as a counter to Carol, in having Rick’s ear. In that case, we needed to know not just how Morgan got ‘here,’ but what he may have brought with him, as a redeemer in his own right.

“It’s all a circle and everyone gets a return.”

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About the author

Sam Joseph

Sam is an Avid consumer/observer of Geek culture, and collector of Fanboy media from earliest memory. Armchair sociologist and futurist. Honest critic with satirical if not absurdist­­ wit with some experience in comics/ animation production.

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