Spoilers for tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead are lurking below.
For so many months now, The Walking Dead has kept fans out of the loop on what turned Morgan from a psychotic mess to the calm and collected stick-swinging warrior now living in Alexandria’s walls. “Here’s Not Here” explained that backstory in full, and it clued us in on one very interesting current-day factioid: he’s keeping one of the Wolves hostage.
The Wolf’s presence should be discussed first, since this long-haired, rot-mouthed dipshit is who Morgan is reading his travel diary confession out to. He’s clearly not appreciative that he’s been given a quiet home with ample security; you’ll notice how Morgan locks that guy inside, proving he’s still not nearly as trustworthy of maniacs as his buddy-mentor Eastman was in leaving the house-cell unlocked. Technically, that Wolf could come out just as sane as Morgan has, considering Lennie James was basically a careless murderer of everything that hadn’t gone clear at the time he met Eastman, but I don’t think Morgan is in the right place in his life to become a full-time life coach. I also don’t think Morgan keeps his code going if that guy causes any more trouble. He looks already ready to snap.
And what code was that again? “Life is precious. Killing is bad. Goats are awesome. Go Vegans!” Or something along those lines. Morgan picked this wisdom up from the aikido-proficient Eastman, as played by an infinitely patient John Carroll Lynch. The guy is a walking pamphlet for his own cause, and Morgan just eats his sage advice right up. I suppose this is a good thing, as going from vicious murderer to cautious pacifist has a moral core to it. But Eastman only got to this mental state after he put the man who killed his wife and child inside of a cell and watched him starve to death. Not exactly the ideal person to be parceling out therapy.
But in the same way that beautiful plants grow from disgusting fertilizer, Eastman took all of his ugliness and turned it into something positive, and he did the same thing to Morgan. It’s not quite clear – CLEAR! – if Morgan was completely educated by the time he buried Eastman, as he’d once again broken down and screamed “Kill me!” after that walker got to Eastman. Morgan was definitely of sound mind when he said he didn’t want to get into a sparring match in the middle of the unprotected woods – that whole scene is another reason I don’t think this Eastman guy was really all that intelligent a zen master.
Regardless of how good the advice Eastman delivered really was, Morgan is now the living embodiment of his “kill nothing” philosophy, and Alexandria is currently in a predicament where killing is necessary. Will Morgan eventually have to put his Wolf project down? Will his peaceful stance cause the death of another character? Was Eastman teaching aikido some kind of a weird nod to Kevin Eastman of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fame? Will they hurry up and tell us what happened with Glenn soon? Possibly find out on next week's Walking Dead, as Rick returning to Alexandria makes it seem like all of our surviving characters will finally be in the same place again.