So I was pondering this episode of The Walking Dead last night as I was making dinner and I thought to myself, “There is no way they are going to resolve last week’s episode this week”. This is the sixth season of this show. I know how they roll.
And I was right.
Of course, I’m dying to know what happened to Glenn. I want confirmation that he squirmed under that goddamn dumpster and is waiting for Maggie to come rescue his walker bait ass.
I LOVED this episode, though. I’ve seen a lot of people hating on it on the Interwebs, but I disagree. This was absolutely beautiful character development. We had to be immersed in that world to fall in love with Eastman the Cheese Maker. And Tabitha, of course. Then we could kind of understand Morgan’s motivations and how he came to where he is today.
So, I’m willing to wait another week to find out what happened to my boy. It gives us another week of this fun:
On the subject of Internet hating…I find it annoying when people get truly pissed off about stuff like this. If you love the show, you agree to take the ride. You trust the writers and the show runners and directors and producers to take you on the best possible ride they can. At least I do. I enjoy sitting back to see how they piece everything together. They do a beautiful job every season.
I will now get off of my fangirl soapbox and stop lecturing the Internet as a whole. Sorry.
Down to business….
We start with Morgan having a chat with the Wolf that he DID NOT KILL LIKE I THOUGHT HE DID.
Morgan, I am having concerns about the potential consequences of your actions, here. I do not think they will be good. I do not think they will be good at all.
Anyway, Morgan recounts their first fireside chat and reminds Wolfy that he said he wanted every last bit of what Morgan has. And Morgan’s going to give him every last bit. By telling his story, I guess?
Morgan, I think this dude may be way too far gone for this. But you give it the old college try.
We flash back to Batshit!Morgan back in the disturbing Apartment of Crazy. He’s ranting at someone about how they had the knife and the gun. “You know you were supposed to.”
Is he talking to himself? Or to Duane? Or to non-specific voices in his head?
Either way, an oil lantern tips over and the place goes up in flames.
Roll the opening credits. Stephen Yeun’s name does not appear next to the pocket watch as usual. TROLLS. THEY ARE TROLLS, I TELL YOU!!! I may be part of Team Delusional, but this makes me even more convinced that Glenn is alive.
And if you’ve seen photos of filming later in the season that prove one way or the other I don’t want to hear about it. That takes all the fun out of it. Boo Spoilers.
We come back to Morgan in full paintball gear stalking something through the woods. Things go all tunnel vision when he hears and starts killing walkers. He drags them all into a pile and torches them. At night. Heeeere, WalkerWalkerWalker.
That seems like it would be a really stinky fire. Just saying. You might want to step back, Morgan.
LOVED the walker who just walks through the pyre to get at him. Classic.
Morgan sets up his pointy-stick perimeter and heads out into the woods. He hears people following him, hides and kills one of them with a pointy stick to the throat. The first guy he kills TOTALLY looks like a taller version of Littlefinger from Game of Thrones. Wouldn’t it be awesome if the casts of the two shows started doing stealth cameos back and forth?
He kills one and ends up strangling the other with his bare hands while they guy is trying to apologize. Not pretty. Morgan tells him, “You don’t. You know you don’t.” Don’t WHAT, Morgan? He’s looking a little shaken afterward.
Back to the pyre, then pulling walkers off his pointy stick perimeter, then marking trees with a big, bloody letter A.
He writes “Pointless Acts” and “Here’s not Here” in blood on rocks in his clearing. He writes “Clear” on a tree.
He stumbles into a gorgeous glade, complete with God Rays slanting down and starts mumbling to himself, “You’re still the same. You’re still doing it. You know what it is.”
Morgan is totally hallucinating. Poor Morgan. Who are you seeing, Morgan?
He hears something and runs across….
WTF, is that a GOAT? Don’t hurt the goat, Morgan. I love goats.
That is a damn fine log cabin. Morgan goes for the goat and someone calls out, “Can you step away from the goat? She’s not yours. I still need her. I’m still trying to figure out how to make cheese.”
This is when I know that I am going to like this someone very much. Especially after he fucking offers Morgan FALAFEL. Falafel? Not the first food one expects to be offered in the ZA.
Morgan’s sneaking around the VERY nice cabin and goes all tunnel vision-y again. Is it bad that I kept getting distracted by the gorgeous stone work on this cabin during this scene? LOOK AT IT!
Morgan gets told he has one last chance, then a dude in jammies and a bathrobe clocks him with a wooden staff. He at least tells Morgan he’s sorry. So we know where THAT came from now.
Morgan wakes up in a prison cell with a tray of food, including a VERY nice-looking tomato, waiting for him. He sees a kid’s drawing on the wall. Stick Man comes in and asks his name. Morgan says “Kill Me” and Stick Man tells him it’s a stupid name. I like Stick Man. He is snarky.
In response to Morgan yelling “Kill Me” over and over, he tosses him a copy of “The Art of Peace” by Morihei Ueshiba and introduces himself.
Stick Man is Eastman.
Morihei Ueshiba is the founder of Aikido.
Morgan eats his yummy tomato and continues to mumble to himself while Eastman completes a pen and brings his goat inside. He loves his goat.
He tells Morgan, “You shot at me. I fed you. Please don’t hurt her.”
Morgan continues mumbling. WTF does “16 hours in 19 on the floor” mean?
Eastman is trying to make goat’s cheese and has some spectacular fails.
Eastman used to be a forensic psychiatrist and asks what Morgan did or what he does now. Morgan says “I clear.” Eastman is unimpressed and basically tells Morgan that his whole clearing philosophy is the biggest load of horseshit he’s ever heard.
Will Eastman be my shrink? I like his style.
Um, why, exactly, does a forensic psychiatrist have a prison cell in his living room, though?
Morgan uses a zipper pull to loosen a board. He’s going to try to get out, obviously.
Eastman talks to Morgan about his family and PTSD. A conversation that probably applies to any of Rick’s group, really.
Eastman goes on to talk about how we are not meant to kill. That it damages us. But that people can heal.
Oh, and that cell door has been unlocked all along, so “You stay or you go. Those are the choices. I will not allow you to kill me. I will not allow that.”
Oh, MORGAN. Why’d you have to attack Eastman? I think you made the wrong choice, dude.
I am officially not really a fan of the tunnel vision effect they’re using to signify “Morgan is mad now”. It’s a little heavy handed, no?
Eastman tries to get Morgan to chill. The Morgan backs him into the wall and breaks the kid’s art on there and I have a feeling that Eastman is going to be pretty broken up about that one. Shame on you, Morgan. Stop being a dumbass.
Yep, Eastman is pissed about the kid art but doesn’t kill Morgan, even though Morgan is asking for it. He reminds Morgan that he can take the door or the couch.
Morgan tucks himself back in his cell.
Eastman tells Morgan that he used Aikido to redirect Morgan’s ass. Tells him the story of the rabbit’s foot his daughter gave him. Morgan asks him if his wife and daughter are dead. He does some verbal Aikido and redirects the conversation. He starts telling Morgan about a trip they’re going to make. He has no idea where.
Eastman is a vegetarian but he’s not giving up Goo Goo Clusters. My kind of guy. He wants to go scavenge and asks Morgan to watch Tabitha the Goat for him. Morgan starts reading The Art of Peace and sees a hand written note about how practitioners of Aikido try to avoid killing even the most evil person. He hears walkers and Tabitha bleating. Go rescue the fucking goat, Morgan!
He goes to rescue the fucking goat.
He goes all tunnel vision when he sees a wedding ring on a chain around a walker’s neck. Then Tabitha bleats and reminds him to get back to business. He kills the walker in the midst of the sunflowers. The Walking Dead also likes yellow flowers.
Just look at the flowers, Mr. Walker.
Morgan brings the goat inside and goes to burn the walkers. He finds Eastman’s walker graveyard. Eastman has dug a grave for every walker he has killed. Wow. That’s commitment. So Morgan starts digging.
Eastman shows up and thanks Morgan for saving Tabitha. He gives him props for progress, then grabs the wallets off of the walkers before Morgan buries them so that he can make markers for their graves. Again, that’s commitment.
Has anyone else noticed that Morgan has wrinkles between his eyebrows that look like a Wolves’ W? I’m thinking the makeup department had something to do with that?
Anyway, Eastman gives Morgan his spear, a new staff, and starts training Morgan in Aikido and the philosophy that all life is precious.
They move Tabitha inside into the jail cell and Morgan is totally spoiling her with peanut butter snacks. He loves Tabitha.
Morgan FINALLY asks the question we all want to know. Why do you have a cell in your cabin, Eastman?
He tells Morgan the story of Chrighton Dallas Wilton, a true psychopath who broke out of prison and killed Eastman’s family to destroy Eastman’s life. Eastman built that cell in order to bring Chrighton Dallas Wilton to the cabin and watch him starve to death.
Jesus, Eastman. That’s pretty intense.
Morgan asks “Did you?” and Eastman replies “I have come to believe that all life is precious”.
THE MASTER OF REDIRECTION!!!
And Morgan calls him on that shit.
Eastman starts talking about heading to the islands off the coast and the supplies they need. Morgan says he knows where they can find all that and takes Eastman to his Clearing of Crazy.
Eastman asks Morgan about who he lost.
Eastman sees Morgan heading down the cray rabbit hole and insists that they practice Aikido forms right there against Morgan’s wishes. As he’s adjusting Morgan’s form, he tells him “You’re going to hold a baby again.”
Morgan’s little laugh in that scene with Rick makes so much more sense now.
They hear a walker coming and Eastman gestures for Morgan to take it. Here, my notes just say “WELL SHIT SHIT SHIT” because the walker Morgan is getting ready to kill is the reanimated corpse of the kid he strangled. Shit. That’s not going to go well.
Morgan freezes. Eastman pushes him out of the way. The walker bites Eastman on the back.
Morgan, obviously, freaks out and MISdirects his anger and bad feelings toward Eastman. They fight and in the end, Eastman heads off to bury the dead walker without Morgan.
Morgan says “I said not here.” Eastman says, “That’s the thing, Morgan. Here’s not here.”
AND I LOVE HIM EVEN MORE.
Morgan almost goes feral after Eastman heads back home without him. He kills a walker that is attacking a young couple. He goes at the couple, but stops. The girl gives him a can of soup and a bullet and thanks him. He snaps out of it.
He runs back through the beautiful glade of God Rays back to the cabin, only to find that a walker is eating poor Tabitha. Poor, poor Tabitha.
He meets up with Eastman at the walker cemetery. He takes over the grave digging, then spots the grave of Crighton Dallas Wilton. Turns out he starved to death in that cell after all. It took 47 days and then Eastman was gone just like Morgan had been. He found his peace when he decided never to kill anything again.
Eastman tells Morgan about walking 30 miles through the dead to go cut his daughter’s drawing out of the wall of his old house. He says it was the best thing he ever did. Awww, Eastman. You’re not making this easy.
Eastman tells Morgan that he can stay at the cabin, but that he shouldn’t stay. He will be alone.
Eastman tells Morgan that he’s ready to die. That he has a gun. He stops and gives Morgan his rabbits foot. He tells Morgan that he hopes it’s lucky for him too.
EASTMAN, DON’T DIE!
Cut to Morgan doing his Aikido forms in the sunrise, then leaving the cabin. Walking past Tabitha and Eastman’s graves.
Pour one out for Tabitha and Eastman.
Then he finds the Terminus signs and starting to follow the tracks.
Yikes, Morgan. That might not be the best decision.
Cut back to the present and we’re back chatting with the Wolf. Turns out he got bit. He knows he’s probably going to die, but if he doesn’t, he says he’s going to have to kill Morgan. He’s going to have to kill every person there, children included. “Those are the rules. That’s my code.” He throws “Don’t ever be sorry” back at Morgan.
Morgan, step aside. I’ll take care of the crazy bastard for you.
But no. Morgan continues keeping a secret psycho Wolf in the basement. At least he had the sense to lock him in.
Carol is REALLY going to have something to say about this, Morgan.
As he walks out, he hears Rick screaming at them to open the gate. Does Rick have Glenn? Does Rick have anyone? How did Rick get out of the RV?
Remember when Morgan showed up at Gabriel’s church at laid three objects on the altar?
Also, Morgan seriously absorbed the wisdom Eastman was laying down…
And also, also, now we know who the Cheese Maker is. RIP, Cheese Maker.
Next week: Maybe something about Glenn?