I have watched The Walking Dead for a long time. Like, a really long time. I have seen this show from the very beginning, gone through phases that have truly shocked me, and followed it all to its latest season, Season 11, where it’s finally coming to an end and hopefully answering our many questions - before the plethora of Walking Dead spinoffs premiere.
However, there’s one episode of the series that stands out to me the most among all the others, and that’s the Season 6 episode, “Here’s Not Here.” While the episode was controversial at the time, I’ve only come to appreciate it with time because of how brilliantly done it is, and the insight that it inspires within me. For those who don’t believe me, I re-watched the episode recently and I have some thoughts to share.
Is The Process Of Making Goat Cheese Really That Hard?
This is just a random thought that appeared in my head during The Walking Dead, and truthfully, I wonder - is goat cheese really that hard to make? I was watching Eastman learn how to make it batch after batch and it just ended up being not right.
I’m not sure - makes me want to learn how to make goat cheese. I need my own Tabitha.
Lennie James' Acting Is Top Tier
Now, let’s get onto the actual reasons why this episode of The Walking Dead is so great. First off, Lennie James is outstanding as Morgan in this episode. While I do love him in the Season 3 entry, “Clear,” there’s just something about his acting here that really makes me love him even more.
Lennie James has been continuing the role of Morgan on Fear the Walking Dead for some time, so much so that he’s reprising the role again for Season 8 of the spinoff, but nothing can beat him in “Here’s Not Here.”
Morgan starts off the episode as mentally unstable, and slowly, starts to transform into the peaceful Morgan that we know of in present-day Season 6, with the help of Eastman. James does a masterclass performance of showing that transition, and the struggles Morgan consistently has to go through in order to work through his issues and become a better man.
John Carrol Lynch’s Acting Performance Is Also Top Tier
Another great addition to “Here’s Not Here” in The Walking Dead is John Carrol Lynch’s performance as Eastman, the character that Morgan ends up learning from in regards to his “all life is precious” morals and his ability with a staff.
Eastman, himself, is a great character in The Walking Dead, despite being there for only one episode, but we also need to talk about John Carrol Lynch, who portrayed Eastman. Lynch has been in plenty of shows before, including American Horror Stories (and its predecessor, American Horror Story), Big Sky, Veep, and many others, but I love his performance here.
He seriously had some of the best guest acting that this show has seen, and I truly believe that he should have received awards or something for his role because it sticks out to me even more so years later. This poor man that has lost so much and yet is still able to push forward - so enlightening.
The Art Of Peace Is Something We All Need In Our Daily Lives
I know that The Walking Dead world is never safe. There are so many evil villains and horrible people that death is just a part of everyday living. But, there’s something about Eastman’s take on life that does stick with me, and something we should seriously apply to our everyday lives.
It’s essentially asking us to cleanse our bodies of any maliciousness that we may have, and get in touch with the world around us, and if it wasn’t for the zombies everywhere, I’d say yes, hands down, we should all do that. While I’m not sure I could achieve that goal in the zombie apocalypse, I can at least try to apply that sense of life to my world now.
Eastman’s Death Still Upsets Me So Much To This Day
Look, I understand that this is The Walking Dead and heartbreaking deaths happen all the time. They usually occur in some of the best episodes, as well, but Eastman’s death still sits with me even now, because he did not deserve that death whatsoever.
He was making such good headway with Morgan, helping him learn how to properly wield the staff and become a better version of himself, but it was because Morgan had a PTSD episode and flashed back to how he was back in Season 3 that Eastman ended up getting bitten - and, inevitably, ended up dying.
I know I shouldn’t have attached myself to him. It’s just what happens in this world. And, damn, it still depresses me. He was so undoubtedly good, and that moment stands out to me amongst many others.
Morgan said in Season 3 during “Clear” that the good people and the bad people end up dying, but the weak ones survive. Eastman was a great guy, and he’s gone, all because of a moment where Morgan froze due to a walker stumbling up to him, a walker Morgan had killed when it was still human. It’s so sad.
Rest In Peace, Tabitha
Tabitha may have only been in The Walking Dead for an episode but dang, I wanted to see Morgan bring her to Alexandria or something. I wanted to see someone end up making goat cheese. And the way she went out was so brutal too, getting devoured by walkers. Not the way to go.
Also, side-note, if Daryl’s dog ends up meeting the same fate as Tabitha, I will full-on riot against AMC. It’s on sight if Dog gets killed. He’s literally what made Daryl’s story so much more interesting.
That Ending Is The Perfect Way To Show The Difference Between Morgan And Eastman
One of my absolute favorite parts of “Here’s Not Here” is when it's revealed towards the end that Morgan was telling the story of his transformation to the Wolf that he'd captured. Afterwards, the Wolf reveals that he has a serious wound and probably doesn’t have time to change - nor does he really want to, showing that Morgan’s story didn’t have that much of an impact on him.
However, as Morgan leaves the prisoner, he locks the door to the townhome that he's in, showing the difference between him and Eastman. While Morgan has adapted Eastman’s way of life in regards to keeping people alive, he’s still Morgan deep down. Eastman, despite Morgan attacking him, kept Morgan’s cage unlocked the whole time. Morgan, on the other hand, makes sure the prisoner is locked up.
It’s a small moment, but one that’s important all the same, because it shows that remnants of the old Morgan are still there, despite him trying to change his ways. It’s a brilliant way to end the episode - before diving into the action that the show provides an episode later - and one I will always love.
The Walking Dead has had some amazing episodes, but “Here’s Not Here” is probably going to remain one of my favorites for a long time, unless the ending of the series can somehow beat it. Regardless, you should definitely check out the episode if you haven’t in some time. Speaking of which, I’ll go and rewatch it right now.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!