I mean really!? Holy sugar!
I don’t usually write a post dedicated to JUST a review on an episode, but this one was right up my alley. I burst into tears about twenty minutes in, nodding my head at Eastman saying, “Yes! Yes! This! This is what it looks like! This is how it feels! This is how it is.”
And it is.
I will be forward with you all on this one. I am breaking down the entire episode. Spoiler Alert is an understatement. I am writing this for those who have seen the episode so read on at your own risk. SPOILER ALERT! Now then…
The episode is Here’s Not Here and already, I’ve watched it twice. I will probably watch it again today because… damn!
Morgan has been a popular character from episode #1. With 71 episodes to date, Morgan has been seen in only maybe five episodes total? The on-going joke through season 4 and season 5 was “Shortest air time and already more fans that Lori and Andrea put together.” And it’s true! Everyone seems to just love Morgan! He’s the cool guy who has it together, but is still as human as the rest of us. This Sunday, we finally were given his story. No Daryl. No Rick. Just Morgan.
The first time I watched the episode, the unfocused pulses confused and intrigued me. “What is that?” I asked.
I gasped when Eastman said, “Forensic Psychiatrist.” I gasped and nearly fell out of my chair. I knew EXACTLY what his job was. I was waiting for a psychologists to show up on the show and was rather frustrated that we didn’t see one until six seasons in. The show screams PTSD.
Sasha is becoming one of my favorite characters. When she walks into the “party” and says, “That’s what you’re worried about!?”
I am currently on my 15th year of boycotting cable and satellite companies. My reasons are for another article. I don’t know what movies are in theaters. I don’t know what movies are coming (I know about Star Wars). I don’t know what is happening “out there.” I stopped watching news when I watched a bunch of kindergartners get slaughtered. I haven’t turned the news on since. This February I heard about “The Walking Dead” for the first time… ever. I bought season #1 and I did what I always do. I binge watch. I am a HUGE fan of binge watching. I started day #2 of my binge, on Amazon ordering the next three seasons. I had the rest of the series by the time I finished Season #1.
My girlfriend recently got into TWD, so every Monday, I re-binge TWD. Two Mondays ago, I watched Sasha bury Bob, then she buried Tyreese, then they buried Beth. Enter Alexandria. Unless you watch the episodes back to back to back, you forget… for them… these deaths didn’t happen a week apart. They happened in the same weekend. One week. Three deaths.
“That’s what you’re worried about? Last week I buried my mate who had to watch cannibals eat his leg, I buried my brother, and then we had to bury our friend. And you’re worried about making me a dish I won’t like!?”
That’s what Sasha didn’t say.
To someone familiar with trauma, the show screams PTSD to me. These people are NOT going to be okay walking into society. Not without some heavy therapy. As Eastman said, “Human’s aren’t designed to kill. If we were, do you think Vets would have developed PTSD? It’s because we’re not okay with killing.”
That line… It did so much to make me think.
When Eastman came in and announced out of the blue, “It’s PTSD,” I thought, “That’s a load of horse shit.” It takes two weeks of evaluation to diagnose. And it certainly isn’t announced randomly like that. On my second re-watch I could see it. Yes. I have no doubt, Morgan was in the cell for several weeks. Maybe even a month.
After announcing his diagnoses, Eastman launches into this explanation. This explanation brought me to tears and fast. Here was this man on my TV describing what it feels like to live with PTSD.
“It’s PTSD. You’ve been through trauma right?”
“You killed a lot of people. They were threatening you? Attacking you?
Not all of them.
“You save anyone? You saved people.”
Pointless acts. Everybody turns
“I saw a wedding ring. You had someone you love. Didn’t you? Children? You loved them. You loved them a lot if you’re like this. You saw it happen. That’s how this started right. It’s all happening right in front of your eyes. Over and over. Your body is here, but your mind is still there.
There’s a door and… and you want to go through it to get away from it, so you do, and it leads you right back to that moment. And you see that door again and… you know it won’t work, but hell… maybe it will work, so you step through that door and you’re right back at that horrible moment every time. You still feel it every time. so you just want to stop opening that door. So you just sit in it. But I assure you, one of those doors leads out, my friend.
Hey I don’t have any friends.
You got to know me.
Well, I’m gonna kill you.
Because I have to clear.
See that’s the thing. You don’t.
I watched the rest of the episode to learn. I watched Morgan pull out of his PTSD just as I am working to do. And the moment… The moment I saw Morgan with Tabitha. He looked at Tabitha, he looked at a cabin and saw a war and a threat. But when he moved to save Tabitha, he succeeded in grounding himself here, where you are. “The past is then. This is now.” I can not tell you how many times my therapist has said those words to me.
To put and end to the doors that circle you back to that moment. What they didn’t tell you is I suspect Morgan had two doors. Two horrible moments he had to relive. One when he saw his wife die. One when he watched his son die. And the guilt that if he had just killed his wife when he had the chance, she wouldn’t have eaten their son in front of him. Now he’s looking at guilt for “killing” his son. It’s a lot to cover and wouldn’t be reviewed in one episode, but I assure you, that is something separate that haunts Morgan.
There is also a trauma that all the characters in TWD have to deal with eventually. The trauma of watching their brothers, their race go through this apocalypse. It’s the same horror we all felt on 9/11 when we watched humans, our brothers die on 9/11. We didn’t know them, but they could have too easily been us. They were us. Our brothers.
On my second re-watch here is how I saw it.
Take my hand and descend into the bowels of darkness! Join me and follow so that you may lay upon your death bed and say that you have tasted the sweet nectar that flows from the earth! Adventure so that you can say you have lived… and receive a monthly newsletter from me.
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