After last week’s “Thank You” leaving us wondering about both Rick’s and Glenn’s fate, it was a bit of a shock to spend well over an hour with Morgan and an entirely new character.
While I absolutely wanted to know what had happened between the Walking Dead Season 3 episode “Clear” and when Morgan reappeared in season 5, I can’t say that I loved the timing of this explanation…and I doubt I’m alone in that.
It doesn’t help that to me, the flashbacks seem nothing short of intrusive this season. I feel like this show is trying to be artsy and failing miserably, starting with the badly-edited premiere (sorry not sorry, you’ll never convince me that the back and forth between black-and-white and color was well done). And in “Here’s Not Here”, they shoved the giant “THEN” in viewers’ faces, then highlighted Morgan’s craziness with horrible blurry-edged scenes – and the best thing I can say about those is that they were generally short.
Despite making it unnecessarily obvious that we were entering flashback territory, the writers then did very little to explain anything else until much later in the episode. I’ll admit that I’m grateful to finally fully understand the whole “clear” thing, and I’m glad that Morgan admitted that he had no good reason to kill the father and son who ran into him at the wrong time, but until he told those tales, I was mostly just confused about what was going on.
Thankfully Eastman was a great character, and whether the writers know about PTSD and psychology, or whether they just did a lot of research/brought in a consultant, so much of what he said was spot on. Additionally, while Morgan’s actions and attitude were at times a bit maddening, that is quite often how mental illness works – so many steps forward, so many steps back.
What’s sad is that one of Morgan’s steps back led to Eastman’s death, though of course it was obvious that he would die eventually. To be honest, Tabitha the goat’s death hit me harder – I know that Morgan never had a goat with him on his travels, but I’ll admit that I was conveniently ignoring that point throughout this episode because I’m tired of seeing animals die on this show. (Especially considering how many of their deaths are gruesome ones.)
Overall, “Here’s Not Here” told a great story, even if I wasn’t completely enamored with its execution. That said, I’m still more than a little bit skeptical about this whole ‘all life is precious’ thing working in the zombie apocalypse – and for good reason. When it turned out that Morgan had been telling his story to that horrible guy from the Wolves, it was hard to not roll my eyes…and it wasn’t surprising that the wolf guy responded with something along the lines of “I’m probably dying, but if I don’t I’m killing you and every person here, even the children”. All I can say is that I really hope Morgan locked that door properly and that his leaving this guy alive doesn’t come back to haunt him…but then again, this is Walking Dead, so it probably will.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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