Season 6, Episode 4

Here’s Not Here

A new face and setting are introduced. With all that's gone on in the apocalypse, can people be trusted?

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Full Recap

In Alexandria’s makeshift prison cell, Morgan visits the Wolf that he took prisoner and recalls the man once saying he wanted to take everything that Morgan had. “Well, here it is,” Morgan says, launching into his story. “Every last bit.”

In a flashback, Morgan rants to himself in the apartment where Rick, Michonne and Carl found him. His lantern topples and starts a fire.

Now homeless, Morgan hunts walkers in the woods and burns their bodies at his campground. He sharpens long sticks and builds a stockade around the camp.

One day, while hunting, two men chase him through the woods. He kills them, stabbing one through the neck and throttling the other.

Morgan recreates his King County bunker at the campground, using walker blood to scrawl messages on the surrounding rocks and trees. “Clear,” reads one; “Here’s Not Here,” another.

While hunting, Morgan follows the sound of a bleating goat and discovers a secluded log cabin. A man orders him to put his gun down. Morgan ignores the warning and stalks after the man, who ambushes Morgan and knocks him unconscious with a staff.

Morgan wakes up in a cell inside the cabin. “Kill me,” he begs. The man introduces himself as Eastman and hands Morgan a book, “The Art of Peace.” Morgan watches Eastman run outside to kill a walker with his staff and then drag its body into the woods.

Eastman brings Tabitha, the goat, inside the house for the night and asks Morgan not to hurt her.

As days pass, Morgan remains in his cell, ranting and mumbling to himself. He watches Eastman practice martial arts with his staff outside.

Eastman finally speaks to Morgan and explains that he used to be a forensic psychiatrist. He asks what Morgan did before the fall, and what he does now. “I clear,” Morgan replies. “Walkers, people, anything that gets anywhere near me, I kill them.”

“That’s the biggest load of horseshit I ever heard,” Eastman deadpans. He explains his philosophy that humans aren’t built to kill, saying he only met one evil person among the many criminals he interviewed for his job. He then tells Morgan that the cell door has been open all along and invites Morgan to leave whenever he wants. “Or stay,” Eastman offers. “Crash on the couch. And we’ll try to find you another way.”

Morgan opens the door and charges at Eastman. As they struggle, they knock into a piece of drywall with a child’s artwork that’s hanging from the wall, breaking it in two. Furious, Eastman picks up the broken artwork and leaves. Morgan returns to the cell.

That night, Eastman explains that he used Aikido to defeat Morgan. He shows Morgan a rabbit’s foot and says he received a flyer for the martial art the day after his daughter gave him the rabbit’s foot. He credits Aikido with improving his life.

The next morning, Eastman asks Morgan to watch Tabitha while he goes out to scavenge. In his cell, Morgan opens “The Art of Peace.” On the first page is a handwritten note, stating that a goal of Aikido is to “completely avoid killing, even the most evil person.” Then Morgan hears walkers about to attack Tabitha outside and runs to her rescue.

Morgan drags the dead walkers into the woods and discovers a cemetery with wooden grave markers. As he digs a grave for the walkers, Eastman joins him. Eastman retrieves the dead walkers’ driver’s licenses and etches their former names onto new grave markers.

Back at the house, Eastman gives Morgan his own staff and, over time, teaches Morgan Aikido. “It’s about redirecting, evading, and actually caring about the welfare of your opponent,” Eastman says. Morgan also continues his studies of “The Art of Peace.”

Over dinner, Morgan asks why Eastman has a cell in his cabin. Eastman tells him he once interviewed a convicted killer named Crighton Dallas Wilton, whom he recognized as a true psychopath. Eastman recommended against his parole. Wilton escaped, killed Eastman’s family and then turned himself into the police. Eastman says he built the cell with the intention of kidnapping Wilton and starving him to death. “Did you?” Morgan asks. “I have come to believe that all life is precious,” Eastman replies.

Eastman suggests they go on a scavenging mission. Morgan takes Eastman to his campground to retrieve the supplies he took from the men he murdered. Sensing Morgan’s trauma, Eastman orders Morgan to practice his Aikido forms. “Not here,” Morgan begs, but Eastman insists.

A walker approaches the campground. Morgan readies his staff but freezes when he realizes the walker is the man he choked to death. Eastman pushes the paralyzed Morgan out of the way and kills the walker, but is bitten in the process. “That wasn’t for you to do!” Morgan screams, attacking Eastman. Eastman fends off Morgan's attack.

“I said not here,” Morgan cries.

“Well, that’s the thing, Morgan,” Eastman replies before leaving. “Here’s not here.”

Morgan remains at the campground and reverts to his old ways, whittling spears and hunting walkers in the woods. He kills a walker and discovers that he’s saved a young couple. Morgan moves to attack them next, but the woman slowly offers a can of food and a bullet, thanking him, and then backs away with her companion.

Morgan allows the couple to leave, then he runs back to Eastman’s cabin, where he finds a walker eating Tabitha. He somberly kills the goat and wheels the bodies to the graveyard, where Eastman is digging. Morgan spots a grave marker for Crighton Dallas Wilton. Eastman admits that he abducted Wilton from prison and starved him to death. “What I did to him, it didn’t give me any peace,” he says.

Back in the house, Eastman tells Morgan there’s enough power, food and security to last Morgan the rest of his life, but advises Morgan against being alone. “Everything is about people, everything in this life that’s worth a damn,” he says. Before dying, Eastman gives Morgan his rabbit’s foot.

Morgan leaves the cabin with his staff and backpack. He walks through the graveyard, where Eastman is now buried. He reaches the railroad tracks and finds a signpost for Terminus.

Back in the present, Morgan concludes his tale, suggesting the Wolf can be saved, just like he was. The Wolf shows Morgan a deep cut in his torso and predicts that he will die. “But if I don’t, I am going to have to kill you, Morgan,” he says. “I’m going to have to kill every person here.” Morgan leaves, locking the door on his way out.

Then out on the street, Morgan hears Rick screaming to open the gates.