Synopsis of 6×04: A standalone episode that gives us a look at Morgan’s backstory, which may have been better received by the fandom if it had been before last week’s episode.
Anyone who was looking forward to finding out whether Glenn is alive or dead is going to have to wait (rumors are that we won’t be getting answers until after the mid-season break in February). “Here’s Not Here” is a ninety minute look at how Morgan got from “Clear” to the zen master he is today through his own words, as told to the W Man that he still hasn’t killed (twice now).
He clears out of the town that he’d set up in “Clear” when his ranting and raving hits a fever pitch – also, you know, he knocked over a gas lamp and set the whole place on fire. So Morgan sets out to kill walkers in the woods, burning their bodies, and sets up a new perimeter as he attracts them to himself. He also kills two people that he comes across in the woods before he finds a cabin with a goat and a tin can perimeter.
When Morgan goes to take the goat, someone unseen asks him to please not bother Tabitha. He offers Morgan food and shelter, but Morgan tries to shoot him and the man has no other option but to incapacitate him. When he comes to, Morgan finds himself in a cell with food waiting for him. The man, Eastman, asks his name and Morgan is pretty inhospitable, yelling, “Kill me!” over and over again.
Morgan is witness to him going outside to defend the goat against a walker with a stick. He brings the goat inside and asks Morgan not to hurt her before turning in for the night. While in the cell, Morgan is witness to Eastman’s every day – practicing aikido (the thing with the stick), attempting to make cheese, making small talk. He even lets Morgan in on what he used to do before the apocalypse. He was a forensic psychologist from Atlanta.
In return, crazy Morgan intimates that he “clears” now – that’s all he’s good for, walkers, people, anything that gets near him he kills and he clears. When the man tries to pull some psychology hoodoo on him Morgan says that’s the only reason he’s still here.
Before Morgan can spring himself from his cell, Eastman tells him that he has PTSD and tries to talk to Morgan about what that means and how he can get past it. He reveals that the cell has always been unlocked and when Morgan opens the door, he attacks Eastman. Throughout the fight, Eastman uses his staff to subdue Morgan and nearly breaks his nonviolent vow when he sees that a piece of drywall with drawings on it was damaged in the process.
Eastman shares more about his life, talking about his daughter, and when Morgan asks where his wife and daughter are now, all he can answer is that aikido will help Morgan. He wants Morgan to be prepared for the trip they’re headed out on and leaves him in charge of the goat. At the last moment, Morgan does go out and save Tabitha from certain death at walker hands, damaging some of the property in the process.
At the back of the property, there’s a makeshift graveyard for walkers and they go about burying the two newest walkers that Morgan killed. Eastman goes so far as to find their wallets and put grave markers for each of them. These baby steps segue in to Morgan learning aikido and slowly coming back to the land of the sane.
When Morgan asks about the cell, Eastman tells him the story of how he bought it before his family. He talks about the only truly evil person he ever met, Crighton Dallas Wilton, and that when he interviewed him, he saw the mask slip. From then on, he made it his mission to keep the charming Wilton behind bars. It worked until Wilton escaped, killed his wife, daughter, and son, and then turned himself back into the police. He only broke out to destroy Eastman’s life and then he was right back to his cushy, charming prison life.
He admits that the cell was for Wilton and that he was going to let Wilton starve to death in it. When Morgan asks if he did, Eastman’s only answer is that he has come to believe that all life is precious.
They take a trip to where Morgan was staying out in a field prior to finding Eastman and it’s another testament to his crazy. They talk a little bit about Morgan’s family – Jenny and Duane – and then do some aikido, even though Morgan is insistent that they not do it here. When they finish, Eastman tells him the encroaching zombie is all his. He freezes up when he realizes it’s one of the humans he strangled to death without putting him down permanently.
Eastman ends up bitten when he saves Morgan’s life and they get into an argument where Morgan storms off once more. He keeps insisting that he said not here and Eastman loads up the walkers they killed to be buried and informs him that that’s the thing, “Here’s not here.” In the woods, Morgan finds two new injured people that are immediately scared of him. They give him a can of chicken noodle soup and a bullet as thanks before they stumble away.
When he returns to the cabin, he finds Tabitha being eaten by a walker and Eastman laboriously digging graves. He helps Eastman before finding Crighton Dallas Wilton amongst the grave markers. Eastman explains that it would have been better if they caught him, but they didn’t. For 47 days, he let Wilton starve to death and then he went to turn himself in. The world had ended in that time period and he never knew, taking on a new stance of never killing anything ever again.
After he failed to turn himself in because there was no one to arrest him, he went all the way home to his house and cut off that drawing that was previously damaged. He brought it back to the cabin and he’s been there ever since. He gives the rabbit’s foot to Morgan, which we saw in season five as being put on the altar at Gabriel’s church with the previously offered Goo Goo Cluster and bullet before he sees the sign for Terminus.
This leads viewers back to the present and the W Man that Morgan has just shared this story with. He has hopes that this man can turn himself around like Morgan had, but he lets Morgan know in no uncertain terms that he will kill every person in Alexandria if he gets free. Those are his rules and that’s the code he lives by and he’s not sorry at all. Stupidly, Morgan leaves him locked in the basement alive and we hear Rick shouting for someone to open the gates.