Well, The Walking Dead continues to be having a very strong season by taking a step back from the carnage of the current episode that may or may not have killed off one of the characters who has been around since day one. The timing of this episode may have been questionable (few, if any, other series would dare to air an all flashback episode following a big moment like that) and understandably a few fans must have been disappointed that we had to wait another week to find out whether the character made it or not, but that didn’t stop this episode from being an effective one even if some have called it the most boring episode yet. Come on guys – were you not watching Season 2?
“Here’s Not Here” was an interesting episode, answering several big questions that we’ve come to have about Morgan’s character as it dealt with his backstory and what happened to him over the course of the season. The show likes to follow big, action packed episodes with quieter, nuanced ones, and “Here’s Not Here“ was another one just like this, posing as an entirely flashback episode, much like in the way that one of the best shows on HBO, The Leftovers, spent with Season 1 in “The Garveys At Their Best.” It allowed for the actors Lennie James and John Carroll Lynch to showcase their acting talents and provided a nice Morgan-centric story, his first one since “Clear”, which was just as good. The episode itself explored the themes of life and death and how they still affect the characters in the aftermath of the apocalypse.
The episode itself puts Morgan as one of the key characters on the series, toggling back between his story and Rick’s. If anything, he’s replaced Rick as the main protagonist of the show and it was great to watch his interactions with Eastman as he underwent a strong period of character growth.
Lynch himself played the closest thing that The Walking Dead has to a figure that fits in the mentor role of the Yoda/Gandalf/Dumbledore/Professor X mold, or at least since Hershel died. American Horror Story fans will recgonise him from his performance as Twisty the Clown in Freak Show and Eastman almost feels like a comparison to Hershel in this regard. He hasn’t really had to deal with the zombies like Rick, Morgan or The Governor did aside from the ones that occasionally wander through due to his remote location and as a result it’s fairly easy to adopt an approach that killing is wrong when you’ve been isolated from the rest of the chaos for that long. We learned more about Eastman as the story progressed and how he murdered the man responsible for the death of his family, with revenge in mind.
On the whole, “Here’s Not Here” was a very solid episode that unfortunately suffered due to coming right after one of the show’s biggest WTF moments yet. It wasn’t what many people were expecting, but it still ended up being an effective viewing experience, and continues the strong quality of The Walking Dead. Hopefully next week will give us that answer as to Glenn’s fate or not. And no, I haven’t seen the promo for the following episode so if his fate is revealed there, I’m none the wiser.
What did you think of Here’s Not Here? Did you like it as much as I did or were you put off by its decision to take a step back from the action? Let me know in the comments below and check out the next episode of The Walking Dead this Sunday at 9pm on AMC.