We Geek around at Have a Blast Toys & Games; let’s make this a weekly thing. People who read this blog last time around, thanks very much! Again, spoilers ahead!
I’m gonna stick with my two takes and assume you have watched the show yourself. Unless you’re my friend who just has to press the red button- in this case DO NOT READ THIS IF YOU ARE NOT UP TO DATE ON THE WALKING DEAD as of 2 November 2015.
Take the first; Master Splinter and the goat were going to die. The Walking Dead can’t hit every note perfectly. Having an inevitable conclusion takes a little air out of the drama. I guess my biggest disappointment was the way Eastmen met his end. As soon as I thought, “yeah, he’s gonna die”, I really thought that might be redeemed by a grand, dramatic ending for the guy who apparently turns Morgan into Bulletproof Monk.
It wasn’t. My perspective is someone who’s had enough past training to teach self-defense classes (but not an Aikido master). My one shot, 10 second analysis of Eastmen saving Morgan saw at least three ways that he could have avoided giving bit at all, much less, on the back of the ribs? Really? I’m nitpicking. Still, the episode had the small fault of sacrificing believability, accuracy, and surprise to tell the story.
Let’s recap, Morgan was trained by an aikido master forensic psychiatrist who happens to have a cabin in the woods with a cell in it where he had killed the man who killed his family just in time to avoid the apocalypse and find true inner peace. As for the story…
Take the second; wow, what a story! Lennie James (Morgan) acted the heck out of that, also a sometimes minor issue with The Walking Dead. John Carroll Lynch (Eastmen) really shone as well (but he died, so we’re focusing on Morgan). Lennie James makes you believe Morgan lost his mind and found redemption. Excellently (again), he subtly finds sanity and redemption without finding total inner peace. Morgan’s not crazy anymore, but he’s struggling on the “all life is precious” code. The interplay between Eastmen and Morgan (the actors) sold the rehabilitation of Morgan so strongly that you really can shrug off the implausibility of it all. Morgan and Eastmen were sympathetic, imperfect, funny, and genuine to their personal development arcs.
The showrunners also did well by switching from the grand, series changing trio of first episodes to a two man character study. After (still assuming this is true) losing a major character like Glenn, telling this story gets the audience to continue caring about the characters that are left instead of focusing on the repetitive cycle of loss from man vs Walker. I’m excited to see what role Morgan continues to play in the story. I want to know what Morgan will decide about the Wolf in the basement. I’m excited for the next show. What other kind of success can you ask from a TV show?