by Sherry Lipp
WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD
Every once in a while The Walking Dead breaks off and does a character-based episode that is set apart from the current storyline. Sometimes it works, sometimes it seems like time filler. Season six episode four, “Here’s Not Here,” is one that worked.
I have to admit I had some doubts at first. Coming after last week’s cliffhanger I wasn’t sure a Morgan (Lennie James) flashback episode would work. Don’t we want to know the fates of Rick (Andrew Lincoln) and Glenn (Steven Yeun)? I do, but I can wait.
What I loved about this episode was getting a new story and a new perspective. Though I hadn’t really been thinking about it lately I had wondered how Morgan got from where we last saw him to the present. How did he go from “clearing” to the Zen state he’s in now?
It wasn’t easy and as it turns out he didn’t do it alone. Eastman (John Caroll Lynch) is a lone survival who helps Morgan find himself again. Eastman’s story is fascinating and takes some unexpected turns. I liked that his story didn’t tie directly into the current Walking Dead storyline. It was new and different and made Eastman such a different character than we had seen before. Every time I accuse the show of repeating itself it throws something like this and proves that it is capable of dynamic storytelling.
What was cool and what wasn’t in “Here’s Not Here:”
Eastman: Great job in creating a complete character arc in a single episode.
Eastman’s back story: Who would have thought his family died at the hands of a murderer and not in the zombie apocalypse?
Morgan’s slow turn around: You can’t accuse his transformation from traumatized mad man to and anti-killing zenmaster as being too easy.
The ending: I’m not sure what to say about the end. Wow. I’m not sure that’s exactly what Eastman had in mind for Morgan.
The not so cool:
The goat: I’m not going to knock the storytelling, but introducing animals on this show is like torture. Can’t any of them survive? RIP Tabitha.
Expanded episode unnecessary: I think this story could have been told in the usual hour. I normally wouldn’t complain about a little extra Walking Dead, but it feels more like a little extra commercials.