The Walking Dead Recap

The Walking Dead Recap: Goat Figure

OK, okay, you win, The Walking Dead. After this week’s revealing 90-minute Morganpalooza, I have no choice but to feel crappy about hating so hard on the live-and-let-liver during “JSS,” and I imagine a few of you probably feel the same. How did we get from there to “Here’s Not Here”? And how on earth did a goat figure into our change of heart? Read on…

THE CABIN IN THE WOODS | After opening in the now, with Morgan informing an unseen someone, presumably one of the Wolves who jumped him in “Conquer,” that he was going to give them what they wanted — in other words, everything he had — we flashed back to bygone days when he was still nuttier than a Snickers bar and “clearing” the woods by spearing walkers and humans alike. In that state of mind, he wasn’t even able to accept a cabin owner’s gracious offer of falafel. Instead, Morgan opened fire and wound up knocked out and locked up in a cell inside the cabin. (More on that peculiar design feature later.)

Upon awakening, Morgan found food, soap and water in his cell. But he was too far gone to appreciate any of it. When his host asked Morgan’s name, he answered, “Kill me.” “Well, that’s a stupid name,” replied the cabin owner, whose own name was Eastman (and who was played by the great John Carroll Lynch, aka Twisty the Clown). “It’s dangerous. You should change it.” Likable as the fellow was, Morgan remained the surliest houseguest ever. Nonetheless, Eastman wasn’t giving up. He gave Morgan a copy of The Art of Peace and asked him nicely not to hurt his pet goat, Tabitha (from whose milk he was trying to learn to make cheese).

THIS COULD BE THE BEGINNING OF A BEAUTIFUL FRIENDSHIP | In hopes of breaking down Morgan’s walls, Eastman disclosed that, before the zombie apocalypse, he had been a forensic psychiatrist — basically, the guy whose job it was to determine whether violent criminals would commit more violent crimes if they were released from prison. In turn, Morgan said, “I clear… anything [that] gets near me.” Well, okay, then. After deducing that Morgan was suffering from PTSD, Eastman revealed that the door to the cell wasn’t locked and never had been. Unfortunately, rather than choose from the options that Eastman gave him — stay or leave — Morgan attempted to kill his benefactor and, as a result, got his ass kicked.

Later, Eastman explained that aikido had enabled him to take down Morgan. The shrink went on to say that one day, his little girl had found him crying over the horrible things that the prisoners he evaluated had done, so she’d given him a rabbit’s foot for luck. The next day, he’d found a flyer for aikido, and it had changed his life. Now, “I don’t kill, but I’m not giving up on chocolate anytime soon,” clarified the vegetarian but not vegan. And when he went out scavenging, leaving Morgan to watch over Tabitha, it appeared that Eastman might actually be getting somewhere with his reluctant buddy. Morgan not only opened The Art of Peace — discovering a handwritten note inside that read, “We try to completely avoid killing, even the most evil person” — he saved Tabitha from walkers.

‘WHERE THERE’S LIFE, THERE’S POTENTIAL’ | After the housemates buried the walkers’ bodies in Eastman’s makeshift cemetery (complete with wooden “gravestones” with the deceaseds’ names on them), he presented Morgan with his “fixed” spear — with the sharp tip cut off — and began teaching him aikido. “You have to believe that your life is precious,” Eastman said. “All life is precious.” And little by little, Morgan emerged from the dark place in which he’d been trapped for so long. (He even snuck Tabitha a treat when Eastman wasn’t looking. As Eastman would say, progress!)

Now that the duo were on real speaking terms, Morgan asked about the cell. Eastman confessed that he’d built it for a prisoner named Crighton Dallas Wilton, a charming psychopath who, upon realizing that the shrink saw him for what he was and would therefore prevent him from ever being paroled, broke out of prison and murdered the shrink’s wife and children. Eastman intended to lock up Wilton and watch him starve to death. And did he? “I have come to believe,” he said, “that all life is precious.” As Morgan noted, nice redirect.

BACK TO THE FUTURE | Preparing for a journey to who-knows-where, Morgan led Eastman to his old campsite to pick up gear. There, Eastman challenged his friend to say the names of those that he’d loved and lost, and go through his aikido forms. Morgan didn’t want to, not there, but Eastman insisted, adding, “Here’s not here.” Alas, what was meant to be a moment of catharsis went to hell in a flash when a walker intruded — and not just any walker but the zombified version of a kid Morgan had “cleared” before discovering Eastman’s cabin. Morgan froze, Eastman intervened to save him, and what are the odds? He got bitten. Freaking out, Morgan attacked Eastman, and when his pal knocked him down, he went right back to saying, “Kill me.” He wouldn’t even accompany Eastman home, preferring to sharpen a new stick and run around the woods like a feral animal.

Luckily, Morgan’s breakdown was short-lived. After saving a young couple from walkers, he returned to the cabin… only to find Tabitha, poor Tabitha, being eaten by a walker. While helping Eastman bury his goat, Morgan noticed a grave marker for Wilton. WTF? Turned out, Eastman had indeed starved his family’s killer to death. But, he noted, “It didn’t give me any peace.” That only came from never killing again. As Eastman prepared to die, he gave Morgan his lucky rabbit’s foot and encouraged him not to just hang around the cabin. “Everything’s about people,” he said. So now we know exactly what set Morgan down the tracks to Terminus in “No Sanctuary” and why he was so dead-set against killing in “JSS.” As this episode concluded, we returned to the present to learn that Morgan had been telling his story to the Wolf who jumped him at the end of “JSS.” Too bad the yellow-toothed monster wasn’t getting on board with the program. If the Wolf’s wound didn’t do him in, he vowed, “I am going to have to kill you, Morgan” — and everyone else in Alexandria, even the kids. Still, Morgan left him tied up rather than put him down. (Tyreese and Martin, Part 2, anyone?)

So, what did you think of the episode? Did it change your feelings about Morgan? Hit the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Ralph says:

    Good episode BUT very very poorly timed. After the HUGE cliffhanger last week this was not the time for the Morgan flashback. I truly think I would have enjoyed it much more if I wasn’t more concerned with other things. I found myself “tuning out” WAY too much.

    • cej says:

      Agree, I wished the episode was placed elsewhere in the season, but I guess they wanted to time it with the Wolf story.Anxious to get back to the rest of the group at Alexandria.

      • And a lot of very bad zombie movies. TWD is a storytelling show, not a horror show. I love all eps of all seasons. They were all nessecary for the storytelling. I do’nt understand why a lot of ppl do’nt see that. I love all the character developments in this show. Loved all 8 eps second half S4. For a lot of ppl they were boring. Not to me. It is not about blood and guts. I loved the Morgen story and the timing was right because of the wolves imo.

    • Jack says:

      Rumor has it you are going to have wait quite a while until you get an answer to the cliffhanger that you speak of. I have heard not until 11/22.

  2. darlene carr says:

    It sucked waste of an hour and half I hate when they do this.

  3. Steven says:

    Does this remind anyone else of when South Park was going to reveal Cartman’s dad and after a huge cliffhanger came back with a Terrance and Phillip special.

  4. Tom says:

    Was the couple that Morgan saved anyone important? They looked familiar and I thought that they were the couple with the watch, but remember who they were.

    • Angie Gatfield says:

      The couple Rick gave the watch to when he banished Carol? The woman was killed in the same episode, and Sam was captured and was the first to have his throat slit at Terminus. So not that couple.

    • sully says:

      Yeah, I thought the same thing. I wasn’t paying close enough attention at the time but Sam is really distinctive so he’d probably be recognizable if anyone feels like checking. I don’t remember what the girl looked like. And Morgan possibly could’ve met them before the rick/watch incident but that was quite a while ago. Was it maybe the girl that rick met in season 4 episode 1? That he asked the questions to, but she tried to feed him to her dead husband at her campsite in the woods? Could it have been the girl tied to the tree by the wolves from last season? Idk… whoever they were it did kind of seem like they were familiar

    • dancmh says:

      Interesting side note: The guy in that couple plays the Penguin in Gotham. He came back to the show the second time with no lines; just to get his throat slashed because he appreciated the role.

    • Jon says:

      My initial thought that it was the crazy woman who tried to kill Rick to feed to her friends zombie head. a few seasons back.

      • Nope. She wasturned to a walker and after the governor destroyd the prisson in S4, we saw her walking as a walker towards the prisson in the field.(They zoomen her in) She stuck herself in her tummy with a knife and Rick left her because she asked him not to finish her after she died (knife in her brain) she wanted to be with her walker husband Ed)

  5. Luli says:

    Not excited about this episode. I’ll watch it in the week.

  6. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    As much as I wanted to see what happened to Glenn…….I liked this ep. except the ending Morgan SHOULD’VE killed that wolf bastard!!!!

  7. Stephanie says:

    Waste of an episode – could have told that story in less than 15 minutes….took way too long.

  8. Ellinaras78 says:

    Worst time for the Morgan-centric episode.

    • Don’t agree. We had to know why he could’nt kill the wolves and even Let 5 wolves go with a picked up loaded gun. Now we understand why he is “all live is precious” Morgan since the “clear” grazy Morgan. Perfect timing. I only was a little suprised, that he did’nt try to find Rick, but left Eastmans cabine because Eastman said so. When his house did’nt burn down, Morgan was still in King County to clear and never found Eastman and later the track to Terminus, church, map with Ricks name on it. I thought in s5e16, Morgan was going after the only person he knows in this world, Rick.

  9. Savage says:

    Morgan is going to get More Alexandrians’ killed & then of course, Rick or Carol will have to put him down.

    • RUCookie says:

      I have been saying the same thing to my circle of watchers. He is a HUGE liability.

      • Daniel says:

        I think the writers are setting up Carol and Morgan as antithetical characters that are gonna battle it out (metaphorically) for the nature of Rick’s soul. It’s a long time coming for both narratives to climax. has Rick has lost his way when it comes to his moral compass as leader of the group? I think the Wolves are solidifying Morgan’s aikido philosophy while they’re confirming Carol’s measures to survive at all costs. Rick is going to have to choose and I think Morgan will make his final sacrifice (either to the Wolves or to Negan) as a message to Rick (like Hershel at the hands of the Governor).

  10. Jen says:

    I found it to be an excellent episode. And no matter how much we complain, rant and rave, we still come back every week for more. TWD knows they have us in the palm of their hands. And they will tell their story on their own terms. Just one more reason why I love em!

  11. Twin Mom says:

    The story of this new world should be just as difficult as this show portrays. If all there was to see was teeth and flesh ripping we could have taped last weeks slasher movie marathons. I appreciate the fine texture and honest storytelling of The Walking Dead.

  12. Saintsfan9 says:

    This really was not a good episode, especially after last weeks. Morgan needs to go, he is causing nothing but trouble and doesn’t fit in with the group at all. Luckily next weeks looks better so I’ll be tuning in.

  13. Scott says:

    It’s funny that just because an episode isn’t action packed, people say it sucks and it’s boring. Glad they told this story this week, even after the craziness of last week. Yes, I am dying to know what the actual fate of Glenn and even Rick is, but this was a solid episode with great character development.

    • sully says:

      I wasn’t really looking forward to this episode but I ended up liking it just fine. Not every episode can be nonstop action otherwise everyone would’ve been dead 2 seasons ago. It fit in to what the story arc has been. If people want nonstop kills and action, there’s video games for that

      • Whatevah says:

        Me too! I’m glad someone else felt this way. I like Morgan. I just need him to get a little more realistic. :)

        • sully says:

          It was a cool episode. They did a good job making you hate him the past few episodes (“ohmygod… really… sooooo you’re just gonna not kill these maniacs?”). I was really dreading 90 mins of him, but it was almost like a movie. It explained everything. One violent slip up and he can regress back into an animal, he’s holding on by a thread. Obviously he’d be more useful clearing wolves but that’s the point. Yeah, he could clear the wolves but by doing so he’d probably snap and start clearing indiscriminately. I like how they’re jumping around but staying with the same story arc. We could’ve wrapped this story arc up in a few episodes… but then what? Another group of bad guys with more action and killing, never character building, rinse and repeat? It’s telling a story. People have no patience nowadays

  14. AngelWasHere says:

    Kind of boring. I could deal with it, but I had to hear my family complain the whole time about how boring it was. Me the whole time: “Yes it is, but shut up about it!” Anyway a hour and a half was waaaaay too long. I personally would have preferred he had told this story via a conversation without a whole episode devoted to it.

  15. DavidJ says:

    Wow, people really have short attention spans these days. I admit I wasn’t crazy about the new Morgan at first either, but I thought this was a beautifully made, character driven episode that did a great job explaining the change. And it made me love the Morgan character probably more than ever.

  16. Grey says:

    That goat has gotten more screen time this season than Maggie has

  17. Greg Moody says:

    A zombie could not have killed a full-grown goat like that. They lack the agility and cannot manipulate a rope. Goats are quick and strong and Tabitha would have put that zombie on his a**.

  18. luvprue1 says:

    Usually when the show devotes a entire episode to a character, that character dies . (Re:Beth) I think Morgan is going to die in the next episode.

    Do anyone think Morgan should have killed the wolves instead of setting them free?

    • Skip says:

      ” I think Morgan is going to die in the next episode.”

      If you watched Talking Dead, Lennie James (Morgan) was saying that this episode was shot out of order, and that he didn’t even see the script for this until he was filming episode 6 or 7. So I think we can be sure that Morgan will be around until alt least episode 7…

  19. Liz985 says:

    Amazing episode. Incredible writing and acting. Nice relief from the intensity of last week. Now the anticipation is even greater for Glenn and Rick’s stories. Season 6 – moving up the ranks as one of the best.

  20. danoregon says:

    I’d argue it was very well timed given who Glen is/was as a character. The show has been very “kill or be killed” for a couple of years – it was good to get a dose of the humanity lost.
    The timing is what I find curious. Did they film (most of) this last year when Morgan appeared in something like two scenes the whole year, I found that curious.

    • G says:

      According to Lennie last night on The Talking Dead he said they actually shot this episode after filming all 7 of the other episodes for this half of the season. They kept this episode secret even from the rest of the cast.

      • A lot of very bad zombie movies are out there to watch. TWD is a storytelling show, not a bad horror show. I love all eps of all seasons. They were all nessecary for the storytelling. I do’nt understand why a lot of ppl do’nt see that and are saying that eps with no or little action is boring.. I love all the character developments in this show, they are showing us in the less action eps. I Loved all 8 eps from second half S4. For a lot of ppl these eps were very boring. Not to me. It is not about blood and guts, but about ppl who are trying and fighting to stay alive and human. I loved the Morgen story and the timing was so right because of the wolves story and why he did’nt kill them and even Let 5 go with a picked up gun. Just m.o.

  21. Relaxxx says:

    I tuned in just to support Lennie James. Amazing acting all around even from Tabitha. A lot of people probably won’t like the episode or the timing of it though. I personally debated if I wanted to watch live but in the end I sucked it up and watched all 90 minutes to see Lennies work.

    My hope is that the Wolf some how redeems himself when Negan shows up. It’s only right because Morgan spared him. Either that or Morgan realizes too late that everyone isn’t worth saving. This kinda reminds me of Tyreese and Glenn all over again. Smh

  22. wrstlgirl says:

    LOL I knew everyone would b*tch about this epi. Of course they’re gonna leave us hanging from last week. I’m not sure about next week either. I thought it was awesome!!! I enjoy watching them tell us the story, their way.

  23. Lima says:

    Morgan is gonna die 100% sure … Kill or be killed, either you are the wolf or the “goat” that gets eaten. i guess Arya never met morgan to tell him “valar morgulis”

  24. the girl says:

    I loved the episode. Morgan still needs to kill dude, though. They don’t have the luxury of giving bad guys space to heal in this world and I don’t know if Morgan has the skill to determine who can be rehabilitated and who is too far gone. He wants to give what he received but not everyone is a Morgan.

  25. Mike says:

    Anybody else get the feeling this was on purpose?
    Y’know,teasing us with the Glenn cliffhanger, then going on this flashback episode with Yeun’s name absent from the credits (almost a taunt) to keep us on tinder hooks?) serves a double purpose; extending the cliffhanger a week longer and providing necessary backstory…I feel like the complaints of ‘bad timing’ were a byproduct of a very deliberate choice by Gimple and co.

    • Relaxxx says:

      Agreed! It was definitely on purpose! They did this last year also with the cliffhangers and bottle episodes. The story gets dragged out longer. There’s only four more episodes left until the next hiatus and there’s lots still left unanswered that could of been resolved already. The Wolves have been teased since 5.09 and it looks like they won’t be completely dealt with until 6.08 maybe?! There’s other exciting characters still waiting to be introduced but it looks like tptb are taking their time.

  26. cej says:

    If you had said, “nuttier than Goo Goo Clusters” that would have been perfect! :-D

  27. Whatevah says:

    I have to say I really really liked this episode. It was a nice break from the last couple of weeks. I was more upset about the placement of this episode, but I actually needed a break. The acting was awesome.

  28. Jack says:

    Ten minutes into this episode, I knew that people were going to be needlessly whining. Sure enough, I am right. Again.

    For those complaining that we did not get a definite answer for Glenn…Rumor has it that we will not find out for a while. The date I have heard is 11/22. Prepare yourself mentally. Have no fear, you will get through this, somehow.

  29. Jason Griggs says:

    I seem to be going against most people in the comments, but I found this episode to be pretty phenomenal. One of the best in the entire series. I don’t need lots of action for an episode to be considered great. I thought the story was touching and it provided great character development!

  30. Q says:

    Does anyone not think that in a real-life similar situation Morgan would have killed Eastman on the very first night when he discovered the cell was unlocked? And none of the remaining 89 minutes would have been needed. Morgan is too smart not to have checked the door at all for all those nights he was in there.
    Actually, Eastman would’ve been dead long before Morgan showed up – that dang goat and its bleating would have attracted more than 1-2 walkers a day and definitely not in single file. Would’ve attracted humans with guns too and the way Eastman walked around most days, he’d be shot dead easy.

    It was nice that Morgan got a background story regarding his pacifist ways but maybe Eastman even would have started killing Wolves in Alexandria once he saw them hacking women and children to death. You don’t have the time to corral as many as you can and tie their hands and feet together. And you can’t assume talking to them over days and weeks will let them see the error of their ways in this new . PTSD indeed.

  31. Kay says:

    I have family visiting from out of town. We were so excited to watch an episode of walking dead together. We were disappointed. Could this be the beginning of the end to a great show? Why on earth would they make people watch an hour and a half of this. It would have been a slow hour. But an hour and half ?!!! We were debating wether or not to turn it off. That story could have been told in a shorter amount of time. Was there a change in writers or something.

    • End of a great show? Do you realy mean that? Does none of your family understands this show? Do you all need only action, blood and guts? What about good storytelling, character development and great timing for this ep? Why can’t ppl understand, why the writers wrote this ep and timed did this ep the way the did? It was perfect on both counts.

  32. Christopher Marino says:

    Twisty the Clown should get an Emmy nomination for this performance. Storytelling wise, this episode was phenomenal.

  33. Kristen says:

    I personally LOVED this episode! I wish Eastman would’ve survived, although I understand why he didn’t/couldn’t. He was a lesson for Morgan, one that he had to learn the hard way. Poor Tabitha! It was only a matter of time, but it still made me sad. I really wish Morgan would’ve killed that Wolf at the end, but again, I understand why he wouldn’t. I just think it’s going to come back to bite him in the butt.

  34. tomdel says:

    The Wolf that Morgan was telling the story to is not just the one who jumped him at the end of JSS. He’s also same the guy who wondered into Morgan’s camp in the woods in the episode Conquer. He told Morgan that he missed talking, then said he was going to take everything Morgan had. Morgan knocked out both him and his partner and put them in the car he had been sleeping in.