Morgan didn’t kill the Wolf. Instead, he has him locked up in one of the houses and tells him the story of what he went through, what he’d become and how he turned his life around. Morgan had made his way, alone, by clearing everything – walkers and people. It didn’t matter. If something or someone got in his way, he shot it, stabbed it or strangled it with his bare hands.
One day, as he was clearing, he heard the sound of a goat bleating and found a cabin in the woods. A man called out, telling Morgan that there was no need to do anything stupid, but that they could talk about whatever it was that Morgan wanted. When Morgan didn’t listen, he was knocked out. He woke up in a cell inside the cabin with a plate of food in front of him. The man who had brought him in was Eastman, a former forensic psychologist who had been responsible for reporting to the State as to the mental state of prison inmates. He was the one who could suggest whether they were ready to join society or remain behind bars.
Eastman tries to Morgan out but Morgan isn’t interested in talking. he wants to die and wants Eastman to kill him. Eventually, Eastman lets Morgan out of the cage and Morgan fights with his host who overtakes him, thanks to his skills at Aikido. Eastman has to go out for supplies and asks Morgan to keep an eye on the goat, Tabitha – he still hasn’t perfected the art of cheese making – which Morgan does, taking out some walkers and a couple of tomato plants in the process. Eastman gives Morgan a book, “The Art of Peace” and tells him about one prisoner he had studies while he worked for the State. This particular prisoner was guilty of horrible crimes but was also smart and charming, fooling everyone except for Eastman who saw right through his cunning. The man was released, despite Eastman’s efforts to keep him locked up. He then went to Eastman’s house and killed his family, later telling him that he wanted out only so that he could destroy Eastman’s life.
Eastman spent his time plotting to kidnap the prisoner while he worked in the prison gardens. He wanted to bring him to the cabin, put him in the cage he’d built and watch him starve to death. He told Morgan that that was when he realized all life was precious. After some time passes, Eastman begins to teach Aikido to Morgan, telling him that it’s all about redirecting movement. During one of their sessions, after Eastman tells Morgan he’ll hold a baby again, walkers approach them from the woods. Morgan freezes, causing Eastman to have to step in and getting him bit, as well. Morgan is angry at Eastman, screaming that it wasn’t his job to do that for him. The two men fight with Eastman knocking Morgan to the ground. Morgan, again, begs Eastman to kill him. As Eastman wheels the walkers away for burial. Morgan takes out another walker that’s after a young couple. She reaches into her knapsack and hands Morgan a can of food, bartering for their lives.
When he gets back to the cabin,, Morgan finds a walker munching on Tabitha, much to Eastman’s dismay. Morgan then takes up the grave digging and lets Eastman sit down. He spots a grave marker with the name of the man who killed Eastman’s family. He had, after all, snatched the man from the prison fields and locked him in the cage. He also watched him starve to death, for forty-seven days. It brought him no peace, no sense of relief or closure for the loss of his family. He found peace when he made the decision to never kill again. He wanted to turn himself in, then found out, while he’d been holed up in the cabin, that there was no on left to turn himself in to.
Eastman explained the piece of drywall that Morgan had broken earlier. It had a drawing on it that his daughter had made. After his prisoner had died, Eastman walked home and retrieved it to hang in the cabin. He then tells Morgan that he’s ready and lets him know where his gun is. Morgan buries Eastman and sets out onto the train tracks, towards Terminus.
The Wolf is wounded, probably dying, and tells Morgan how they found Alexandria. He also says that he’s going to have to kill every single person there. He then quotes what Morgan said, “Don’t ever be sorry.”
If The Walking Dead is all about keeping one’s humanity or fashioning a new one in the face of unspeakable acts, then this episode was the best demonstration of both sides of the notion. Can you be a pacifist and a survivor or do you have to choose between the two?
And what happened to Glenn and Rick?
Wonderful recap, Empress!! I really wish that Morgan had killed the wolf after he told him that he intends to kill everyone one there. I mean, come on! Now he’s endangering everyone.
What happened to Rick and Glenn? Will the next episode show this? So anxious at this point because the season is so short. Also, is Daryl still a main character? I miss seeing him.
I say, if they are going to have a 90 minute episode, they best use it on main characters!!!
I think they’re trying to make Morgan a main character. After all, he has been around since the beginning.
As I watched what I could of this episode, I realized a crazy man had taken in Morgan to reform him, but the crazy was instilled in him. Hey, I am not judging with the “crazy”, I’m sure I would be to an extent to survive in that world! It is interesting to have characters with such extremes but you have to choose between being a pacifist or a survivor ITTHO!
I can’t believe Morgan left that little paradise….I was wanting to live in that cabin, right here and now! Thanks so much for the recap, Empress. I did not see the entire episode and it’s so wonderful how you piece together the telling of this backstory in a condensed form! Excellent work. 😀
Did anything note worthy happen on the Talking Dead that followed this episode?
Nothing Earth shattering, Tartsy.
Thank you! 🌎