*The below article contains full spoilers for Season 6, Episode 4 of The Walking Dead*
In 'Here's Not Here', we see Morgan's origin story following the ways of some of our favourite on-screen heroes like Batman and Luke Skywalker. But, as always with The Walking Dead, a new spin was put upon it.
'Here's Not Here' surprisingly started with a few complaints when the initial 'next-time' teaser was aired and that we were going to have a Morgan-centric episode after the calamity of Glenn's (ambiguous) death in 'Thank You'. Although the episode itself turned out to go on incredibly well, even with the slight break-away from the multi-narrative that The Walking Dead does best.
The episode began with a flashback to the pre-Alexandria Morgan, a crazed killer that didn't care who and how many were killed with his huge spear-like stick, people and walkers alike. This proven in a brutal scene where two innocent survivors looking for help are murdered by Morgan with no mercy whatsoever. One with the spear through his throat and the other strangled to death by Morgan. This scene in itself showed how much Morgan changed and how much of an effect the 'cheese-man' he spoke of had upon him.
When we actually come to meet the 'cheese-man', known as Eastman in this episode. Morgan's first words to him from inside a cage in Eastman's hut are "KILL ME!!". This is one of The Walking Dead's most sorrowfully memorable moments as Morgan himself knows the monster that he's become and that he can't even live with himself anymore. This being a incredible contrast to the Jedi-like Morgan we know today. He then goes onto repeat his suicidal plea another three times, illustrating the point of how broken this world has made Morgan. Proven through his failure to end the suffering of his turned wife in the first episode of the show. Then this feeling was only furthered when we found out his son, Duane, had turned when we met him again in Season 3.
But, all is not lost. For Morgan begins to succumb to a more-positive version of Stockholm syndrome as he begins to respect Eastman after a in-cabin fight. The fight destroys Eastman's last memento of his family, a picture drawn by his daughter stuck to the wall. This is when they realise they've both lost their families and are struggling to cope with life as it is, showing Morgan is helping Eastman just as much as Eastman is helping Morgan. Eastman then teaches Morgan the art of Aikido, a Japanese martial art, before receiving the trademark bo-staff from Eastman that symbolises Morgan's change as well as an everlasting memory of the man that changed him.
Alas this doesn't last, for we see yet another death in Season 6, almost becoming a recurring theme, when Eastman is bitten by a walker. Although this walker was one of the innocent men that Morgan killed earlier. Generating shock amongst Morgan and viewers alike, knowing Morgan could've stabbed that walker in the head and Eastman would be safe. Eastman's death temporarily reverts Morgan back to his killer-insticts as he fights Eastman again. Eastman gets close to killing Morgan before Morgan screams "KILL ME", again. This callback is one of the saddest moments of the episode. Whereas at the start of the episode, Morgan is begging for his death in the midst of his insanity and Eastman won't come close to touching the caged-Morgan, we now see Eastman close to murdering Morgan once and for all.
He spares him, but the blood-stain from Eastman's bite provides a bitter image, for the last moments we see of Eastman that Morgan could have prevented that attack. Later, Morgan leaves the cabin as we see a peaceful end to this murderous, crazed era in Morgan's life end with a shot on Eastman's grave.
Although, we have one last, sinister, scene left to reel it all back into the modern day, Alexandrian Morgan we know and love.
In the final scene of the episode, we see Morgan with the Wolf that he was left alone with in the final few scenes of J.S.S, telling him his origin story, "every last bit". The whole purpose of this re-telling being that Morgan is trying to do for the Wolf, what Eastman did for him. Unfortunately, Morgan's hopes are broken when The Wolf pulls up his shirt with his tied hands to reveal a bite on his chest. Going onto threaten Morgan, and the rest of the Alexandrians as his death-wish, even going as far to compare the killings of the Alexandrian children to the murder of Eastman's children. The horrific music in the background amplifies Morgan as we see the look on his face turning into the crazed look of the Morgan we saw at the start of the episode. Morgan takes one last look at the Wolf before he simply walks out of the small house where the dying Wolf-leader lays, awaiting his transformation into a walker.
Overall, 'Here's Not Here' provided us into just one of the origin stories of many of the characters, treating us to an episode dedicated around a character with little screen time since Season 3. Although, as well as the simple, linear narrative, I felt Morgan's transition from outright insanity to pure control was similar to Michonne's origin story established earlier on in the show with Eastman as a way to differentiate it.