The fourth episode of this season’s The Walking Dead aired while we were driving home from Walker Stalker Con in Atlanta. I didn’t get to watch the episode for a day or two. My goal was to post a late recap and be caught up before episode five aired. Clearly, that worked out well for me as I am also in the process of recapping episode six. But, seeing as my deadlines are self-imposed, I let down no one but myself. Let’s just jump right in and do this!
Get caught up on episode 4 by Clicking Here.
“Here’s Not Here” was an extended episode, 90 minutes, that told the story of Morgan’s transformation from desperate loner to The Lion King’s Rafiki. It seems Morgan felt the need to discuss the details of his life with the troublesome member of the Wolves that he is holding hostage in Alexandria. You know…the one he could have killed twice over but instead got half of the community killed. [I still don’t forgive you, Morgan].
Morgan has completely lost his mind by the time he crosses paths with Eastman and his goat, Tabitha. Eastman has undergone a redemptive journey of his own, living in relative isolation, his repentance played out through Aikido and the Art of Peace. I found it fascinating to examine the outcome of his self-imposed quest for redemption when compared to those of Morgan and Father Gabriel. This Eastman guy seems to have become one with life in this new world. Or has he? Go back and watch it again. Do you see a man who is well-put-together or are there some bats in his belfry? One can argue that Eastman’s personal story parallels that of his ex-patient, the convict Crighton.
Can a broken person become expert at appearing whole?
Morgan eventually follows Eastman’s lead and becomes a little more zen. But, before long, his own personal demons begin scratching at the walls of his mind. Morgan’s lapse into desperation becomes unfortunate for Eastman, sealing his fate. Just one more thing for Morgan to regret and feel guilty about as he moves forward with his ‘life’.
Honestly, I didn’t feel as though this episode warranted a full 90 minutes. However, to watch it as its own entity, a beautifully scripted play performed to perfection by two outstanding actors, it felt more like a movie-within-a-series. I truly enjoyed this episode, as I did with Morgan’s previous triumph, “Clear”.
Okay. Let’s get caught up on episode 5 by Clicking Here.
“Now” brings us back to the point in time shortly after Michonne and Heath have brought the injured Scott home. Deanna is in a state of shock; after enduring the sudden deaths of a son and spouse followed soon after by Alexandria being attacked, who wouldn’t be? Everyone is clearly shaken but trying to clean up the aftermath. Suddenly, Rick appears (how’d he get out of that RV? Don’t worry…we’ll get to that in the next episode recap) and is being tailed by a small army of walkers. Many of the town’s inhabitants have never seen more than one or two walkers at a time. Side Note: Tobin and Francine are back already. I’ve been yelling at my TV for weeks trying to figure out where they’ve been, why they were no longer on their side of the horde, why their guns were no longer heard, why their radios went unanswered. Maybe they ran home when they heard the truck horn? Maybe they ditched earlier than that, as was customary with Alexandrians? Either way, I no longer trust them and hope they die soon.]
According to Rick, there are enough walkers to surround the walls “20 deep” on all sides. People are pretty unhappy with him, many blaming him for all that has transpired. Aaron is quick to jump in and defend Rick (assuming it will be easier to understand if one of ‘their own’ explains it) and tells them that the horde broke free from the quarry before they could execute their plan; their plan, by the way, still lured more than half the walkers away, so points there.
At this point, Deanna is numb. Jessie is suddenly willing to accept things as they are “now” and take care of business (Rick’s business, if she gets her way…brown chicken brown cow). Denise is terrified and failing at caring for Scott, that is, until Tara gives her a kiss-worthy pep talk that saves both the day and the man. Carl and Ron get in a shove-happy non-fight that can only be rivaled by that between Colin Firth and Hugh Grant in Bridget Jones Edge of Reason. Rosita sheds a tear for her AWOL sweetheart and companions. And then, there’s Spencer.
Spencer seems to step up and take charge for his mother when the pantry is being overrun. But, truthfully, he was there to steal stuff for himself. He gets suitably sauced and tells off his mother, before skulking off to guard duty. After Rosita leaves, Spencer pulls a pack of crackers from his pocket and begins munching on them selfishly above the sea of walkers at the gate. (Anyone else think that was his blood seeping through the wall at the end of the episode? They showed Deanna smacking the fence of the main gate then as she walks away, you can see very wet blood running down the wall. Spencer would have been keeping watch in the post above the entranced. He would have heard his mother smacking and antagonizing the walkers below him, right? Not if he was dead he wouldn’t. She took his ‘speech’ as motivational, though he delivered it from a place of numbness himself. Spencer enjoyed his ‘last supper’ of wine and crackers. Who’s to say he didn’t just silently step off that wall? I’m probably wrong, but damn…that makes for good writing.)
Now, here’s where things are starting to blend for me. There’s only so long that you can live a lie. There’s only so much time you can spend pretending that you are okay. Sometimes you need to crack to really be able to claw your way back to okay. Rick has been pretending that he’s okay, but then we saw how he finished out season 5. Carol is pretending to be okay by hiding behind a shield of bad-assery. When Morgan told her that she doesn’t have to kill, there is certainly a conflict within her. And, we begin to see her armor cracking as she struggled to wipe the W off of her forehead.
Crighton claimed to be okay, and then he murdered Eastman’s family. Eastman claimed to be okay, and then it is revealed that he had, indeed, gotten his torturous revenge on Crighton. Morgan claims to be okay, but at some point, his poor judgement is going to come back to kick him in the ass just as it has done to those around him. Sasha claimed to be okay, until she snapped. And, come episode six, we get to see Abraham stop pretending to be okay, as well. But, I don’t want to get into all of that right now.
I am a tad upset with Aaron. Let me rephrase that…I am a tad upset for Aaron. He is carrying all of this guilt, thinking that some form of negligence on his part directly caused the downfall of Alexandria. Was it stupid to carry around those photos? Absolutely. Was an invasion inevitable? Of course! This particular invasion, however, was executed by the same 2 Wolves that Morgan didn’t kill at his campsite. Those Wolves found the pack and pictures. Those Wolves led the attack. I’m still made at you, Morgan.
Maggie. Poor Maggie. We knew from episode 1 that she was pregnant. While I am still adamant that miraculously saving Glenn from beneath 100 walkers would be jumping the shark, it does break my heart a bit to think that Maggie gets no closure. It’s Beth all over again. At least she had enough sense to turn back around and not risk her own life or Aaron’s life on some crusade.
Let’s just see how the rest of this episode of 24…er…TWD plays out!