Initially I didn’t want to do this, and I know that I am more than a week late, but it has been getting to me… I have to address the two latest episodes of The Walking Dead. The most recent of the two episodes, “Here’s Not Here,” did not have the same impact on me as the previous one, “Thank You,” but it did make an impression on me and cause me to think more about the direction of this season. For that reason I will actually talk about these episodes in reverse-order and there will be spoilers ahead if you aren’t caught up yet, but I will be brief.
“Here’s Not Here” is the backstory of Morgan’s transformation from homicidal madman to staff-wielding peacemaker. After being captured and subsequently mentored in Aikido by a former forensic psychiatrist named Eastman, Morgan begins to regain his humanity. Eastman is an interesting character in his own right and the audience gets a bit of his backstory from the horse’s mouth, but what is most interesting is how his family was murdered and how he got revenge for them. The same cage that Eastman places Morgan in when they first meet is the one he used to imprison the man who killed his family so he could watch him starve to death. After getting his revenge on the man, Eastman intended to turn himself in to the authorities only to find out that the apocalypse had already started. Eastman’s transformation before and after the zombie apocalypse is juxtaposed to Morgan’s; the men meet as polar opposites yet both have lost everyone important to them.
While it was kind of nice to see how Morgan became the awesome Jedi master he is today, the episode was a bit of a letdown because of the cliffhangers from the previous week that went unanswered. This was more like a filler episode, but in the end it is revealed that Morgan did not kill the member of the Wolves he fought during the invasion of Alexandria, instead capturing him and telling him the story of Eastman in the hopes rehabilitating him as well. From the conversation between Morgan and the Wolf at the end of the episode, it was made clear that Morgan’s captive has no intentions of changing. Such stubbornness foreshadows the death of a lot of Alexandrians, and possibly Morgan’s demise as well.
And as for “Thank You,” the episode that angered and saddened so many fans of TWD, there has not been a lot to go on since it aired. After the multiple snafus that took place as Rick and company tried to redirect a herd of Walkers with help from a small band of Alexandrians, Michonne and Glenn ended up separating from part of the group to lead the others to safety. Unfortunately, Michonne, Glenn, and his new charge, Nicholas, find themselves trapped in a small town overrun with Walkers. While Glenn and Nicholas split off to find a way to get everyone else out, they end up getting cornered on a dumpster in an alley by the herd. It is there that Nicholas’ cowardice wins out over Glenn’s optimism as he opts to shoot himself in the head, falling on top of poor Glenn and knocking him down into the crowd of Walkers.
Rick is also seen at the end of the episode having some engine trouble with the camper he commandeered after slaying a small band of Wolves and being surrounded by Walkers himself. The only positive note in this episode is that Michonne got a few Alexandrians out alive and Daryl abandoned the mission to lead the Walkers away, possibly to save Glenn, Rick or Michonne. There is plenty of speculation that Glenn will somehow survive (the most popular theory being Nicholas is the one being eaten after his body fell on Glenn’s) though there has been very little clarification. Honestly, I’m convinced that the intestines the Walkers were feeding on were Glenn’s and the only version we will see of him from this point will be as a Walker, but I was upset when I saw a character I related so much to receive such an unworthy death.
That is really all there is to say on these episodes for the moment. I will hold out hope for Glenn, but as it has been pointed out numerous times, the world of TWD is cruel and there is no place in it for a nice guy.