The Walking Dead: Season 6, Episode 4 “Here’s Not Here” Review

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The Walking Dead Season 6, Episode 4 Recap (Spoilers)

“Here’s not here” gives us a chance to catch our breath and decompress from the action packed, super intense start to the season. The Walking Dead is no stranger to characters evolving in surprising ways from when we first met them. The difference with Morgan is that unlike Rick or Carol we haven’t witnessed his gradual transformation over the years.

The few and far between times we have caught up with Morgan, namely Season 3’s Clear and Season 5’s Conquer, his state of mind had distinctly changed. As much as we are wondering what’s happening with Glenn and the rest Rick’s gang in the present day, the timing aside, we needed to eventually have a Morgan centric flashback that fills us in on what happened to him.

As expected, Lennie James is fantastic here, he has a great ability to convey, particularly through his eyes, Morgan’s post traumatic breakdown. There’s an emotional gravitas to his performance that when Morgan cries out, “kill me, kill me”, there’s not a sliver of inauthenticity in his voice.

Before Scott Gimple became the show runner, one of his best written episodes was “Clear”. Gimple has a great handle on Morgan and in general the psychological makeup of characters. While Morgan’s no kill rule is not going to work in the many life or death situations that are bound to occur in the post apocalypse, Gimple did a great job of showing us how this belief saved Morgan. Essentially, Gimple had to convincingly transform Morgan from a lost, broken man who “cleared” everything into a peaceful minded, believer in life.

I imagine another challenge in writing this episode is that Morgan, at least this mentally distraught version, isn’t very talkative. So a lot of Morgan’s shifts in mindset has to be conveyed through his actions, in most scenes this worked for the better. For example, rescuing Tabitha the goat from the walker signaled Morgan first step towards regaining his mental state.

Conversely, when he froze upon realizing the walker was the same man he strangled it represented his regression to his old self, although I didn’t quite like the fuzzy camera perspective. But arguably the best visual representation of Morgan’s psyche is the unlocked jail door he didn’t know he was free to walk through at any time.

Perhaps the scene which is a little harder to put together at first is when the metaphorical light bulb goes off in Morgan’s head after the lady he inadvertently saved says “Thank you”. For the most part, I think this moment works but could have benefited from a few lines of dialogue when Morgan returned back to Eastman’s cabin. “Thank you” also happens to be a nice callback to Nicholas’ famous last words to Glenn. 

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As for Eastman, his affable nature was a good counterpoint to Morgan. If I were to nitpick, Eastman was way too trusting of a stranger nevermind one who tried to kill him more than once. I guess his “Art Of Peace” mentality helped to explain why but had it been anyone else it’s possible Morgan could have been put out of his misery as requested.

To a certain extent, I can subscribe to the idea that the right people can come into our life at the right time and in terms of script writing it makes sense for there to be parallels between Eastman and Morgan. However, some of it is a little convenient, for example, Eastman happens to be a psychiatrist, exactly what Morgan needed. But at least the jail cell inside the cabin was explained and formed the crux of Eastman’s backstory.

It could have been an interesting twist if Eastman turned out to be the charming psychopath Crighton Dallas Wilton, although it wouldn’t have made sense story and character wise. But in an episode which needed to go through a check list, ie. how Morgan got his no kill policy, learned how to use the staff and establish the character who taught him all of that, some sort of twist could have added more tension to an otherwise foreseeable ending. It was pretty clear from the beginning that in the present day Morgan was talking to the wolf he knocked unconscious in episode 2. 

“Here’s not here” is well written and well acted. Morgan’s flashback is handled with a lot of thought.  This was also a slower, drawn out episode which eases up on this season’s momentum. Some might consider this one to be relatively dull compared to the the first three episodes. At the same time, it’s nice when a show can take these off-course detours, a redirection if you will, from the main story, to further develop a character which is hopefully going to pay off as the season goes forward.

What did you like or dislike about this episode? What do you think was going through Morgan’s thoughts when the couple he rescued said thank you?

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Posted on November 2, 2015, in Comics, Television, The Walking Dead, TV Reviews and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 20 Comments.

  1. Great recap Eddie. I actually really enjoyed this episode. It really helped establish who Morgan was and his transformation.

    The fact that parts were somewhat predictable (no spoiler here) made it bittersweet because I liked the connections and camaraderie developed here.

    • Hey Rob. Nice to hear you really enjoyed this episode. This episode seems to divide the fans, some think it’s great and others got bored.

      I like that TWD can do character driven stuff too. Yeah the connections were well drawn without it being too sentimental.

  2. Lennie James is a great actor that’s for sure. I think the whole thing works well as a complete character study instead of endless action or just mindless dialogue.

    • I like that this show can go from intense, action oriented episodes and then switch gears to do a well done character study like you said. Yes, the performance from Lennie James is great and so was the guest star. Thanks for commenting!

  3. I thought for sure the woman was giving Morgan their stuff because they were frightened. I had no idea she was thanking him for his kindness. That threw me for a loop. Nothing else about this episode surprised me though. Not one damn thing. Because like you say, we already know where Morgan ends up. Obviously his teacher is dead. The man has a cage in his cabin, of course the door doesn’t lock. I knew that one immediately. However the sound of Eastman shutting his bedroom door was a complicated sound which led me to believe he doesn’t sleep without at least one locked door. I did think when he said he threw the key in the river that he threw it there as to not let Creighton out as he tortured him and felt bad but I didn’t think it through because he obviously chucked it when the door was unlocked. But because everything in the episode was so blatantly obvious, I didn’t like it. I really didn’t like the very end and beginning bookends. And I get that he needs someone to tell the story to besides us. But is that guy supposed to represent us for the narrative? I don’t want to be that guy. He’s a total dick.

    • I guess that scene can be read in different ways. At first it did seem like that woman was scared but then maybe wanted to do something nice for Morgan. I only saw that scene once so I might change my mind on a rewatch. I knew his teacher would die at the end too, I think the way he got bit could have been handled better. I didn’t guess that the door was unlocked. Seeing Morgan easily begin to pry open the jail bar by the window, makes me wonder how in 47 days Creighton couldn’t escape, considering he escaped from a real jail before. I heard one interpretation of the ending, which I didn’t really pick up on, is that Morgan might reconsider his no kill rule on that wolf. I guess when Morgan started off the episode talking directly to the screen it made it seem he was talking to us. But by the end it was shown to be the wolf, who of course, mirrored what Morgan gone through. That wolf gives me the creeps.

      • At the end I thought Morgan was considering leaving the gate unlocked and then changed his mind and locked it. As soon as it was shown that his teacher was all zen I knew the door wasn’t locked because it’s so cliche. I thought the entire episode was too cliche. But you right it works as a cool down ep because the first three were all action all the time. But also I knew they had to leave the Glenn mystery completely unsolved for awhile. I’m hoping they at least give us some hint next week. Maybe at the end.

        • Oh I didn’t pick up on that but you’re absolutely right. Morgan would be crazy if he’d keep that door unlocked. I just hope that the wolf won’t be Morgan’s new pet project like Glenn with Nicholas. When we first saw Eastwood, I thought he looked like Friar Tuck from Robin Hood, a big guy with a staff lol. It didn’t bother me that much this episode had a predictability about it, but I agree there weren’t much surprises. I haven’t seen the trailers for next ep, probably will focus back on Rick. Some hints one way or another about Glenn at the end would be good.

  4. Really enjoyed this episode. Sadly it was badly timed in terms of when it aired. Given most of the fan reactions I’ve read, most people didn’t like it. Most viewers wanted insight into what happened to Glenn and the airing didn’t allow most viewers to appreciate the episode.

    I agree with you about how Eastman was conviently a psychiatrist. The writers didn’t have to be so heavy handed about that. Lennie James is wonderful. I think it’s sometimes harder to act without words but James captures the necessary nuances of wordless acting.

    A really good episode but one that I think won’t be seen that way due to the ambiguous fate of Glenn and most fans wanting a different episode. Though, if anyone caught the previews, this Morgan based episode should really not have been a surprise.

    • Since you game me the heads up that this week would be a Morgan based episode I knew to expect no answers or even hints about Glenn. I remember when watching Lost it took sooo long to find out what’s in the hatch, I’m okay with waiting a few episodes to get insight on what happened to Glenn. This season, in particular, would make for a good binge watch.

      Yeah, Morgan got free therapy sessions in the post apocalypse lol, at a secluded cabin resort to boot. I really liked that we can just look at Lennie James’s expression and body language to see his mental state. I really liked this ep too! I won’t be able to recap the next ep on the same night, I might do a quick post the day after. Talk to you then!

  5. Morgan traded one form of insanity for another; from indiscriminately killing everyone to indiscriminately saving everyone. And, if only Eastman had a long and hard item in his hand to kill the Walker wit– oh, right…

    Beyond the contrived way Eastman had to die, this was a great episode. So much so that it works as an effective character study of Morgan. Can’t really say the same for other TWD episodes.

  6. Yo man, late this review haha but I had to comment on it. I saw this episode I think on Tuesday night and I really loved it. While it wasn’t what I expected I really appreciated this Morgan-focused episode to give us clarification on what he went through and how he changed and more importantly why he doesn’t kill. It was so smart and handled with care, the amount of drama and emotion Lennie James was able to convey in this episode was insane. Normally slow burn episodes like this come across as boring but this was quite fascinating and engaging especially when it came to his training and the man who helped him too.

    • Hey there! Good to get your thoughts on the ep. Not everybody liked this one as much as you, some fans had the opposite reaction. I thought it was good for all the reasons you mentioned. The acting is top notch, I would hate to imagine this episode with less capable actors. I didn’t mind the slow burn, it could have felt rushed if they tried to trim this down to the regular sized ep. I happen to like Morgan a lot so an episode focused on him is a good thing to me. At the same time I understand some fans complaints about the timing of this ep. Cheers!

  7. I though that Eastman was going to be Wilson too! Although I was (and still am) dying to know what happened to Glenn and was frustrated to find out this was a flashback episode I did like ‘Here’s not Here’. Lennie James was great. It was good to have more insight on Morgan’s no kill policy as it was really annoying me in the wolves rampage that he was letting them go. Although it’s still frustrating I can understand his stance a bit more after watching this episode. Poor Tabitha though! 😦

    • That would have been quite the twist. I also I liked that Eastman had this dark past to him, that he wasn’t always zen like. I was given the heads up that this would be a Morgan flashback episode, so I was prepared to not find out what happened to Glenn. I totally agree, Lennie James is great and I liked getting to see how Morgan got his no kill policy and why it’s important to him. Yes Poor Tabitha … poor any pet/farm animal that’s on this show.

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