The Walking Dead: 604 “Here’s Not Here” Review
Reviewed by Owen Bush.
The Walking Dead, for a long time, has been stereotyped as a series which stimulates its success of blood, gore, and all-in-all, being the first major successful ‘zombie’ themed TV series. However, this week proved exactly why, for the most part, it’s ever-growing mountain of awards and ratings news is warranted by its brutally magnificent storytelling. This week was one of those “slow boring episodes” mediocre fans like to bash about, however, for me, this was TWD back at its rich and intricate standards, filled with intent, honesty and a heavy load of character development. It truly paid off, ‘Here’s Not Here’ is The Walking Dead back where it belongs, pushing boundaries.
We’re on episode four already, and whilst things have started very swiftly with blood splattering, blood curdling scenes roaring through every episode (RIP Glenn), it seems the writers have decided to take a well-earned break from all that deathly misery, as the story of Morgan, finally, takes centre-stage. And rightfully so, for ‘Here’s Not Here’ was a reminder that TWD is, without all the theatrics and fake-blood, a character-based show. Without our characters the whole incentive of survival would be lost in an abyss of zombie-action. So thankfully, episode four returned to reintroducing the people we’re meant to be rooting for, and one of those, of course, who’s had quite possibly the toughest and most cryptic ride of all, is Morgan.
For me, this adventure-of-sorts was one that was needed in due course, whilst I necessarily would’ve not put this after the events of last episode, due to the erupting volcano of predictions for Glenn’s future, it almost seems like halting the bubbling feast of questions from being answered so soon is a good one to remind ourselves of other character’s fates. Morgan hasn’t been the favourite that many fans have been jumping-for-joy at his recent reintroduction, whilst, of course, he’s a spectacularly interesting character, he never really made me do anything that caused me to understand why Rick was so very fond of him. Luckily, that all very-quickly changed by the end of the episode.
Morgan’s personality has always been highly mysterious, from loving Father who’d protect him family at all costs, to raging psychopath, to almost a peaceful warrior – he’s certainly had his fair share of character intricacies. ‘Here’s Not Here’ put an end to all those specific question-marks, for his story was tragically conveyed, beautiful in scope and almost subtly honest to depression and stress related problems. I felt myself lingering over the fate of Morgan, his mystery was resolved with heart, rather than impression, and it almost felt like these hidden past memories had been planned since the beginning, and haunted around us throughout. Leaping boundaries in terms of storytelling, The Walking Dead, here, is its most daring in the subtlest of ways.
Quite possibly the best sub-character we’ve seen ever in the history of the show, Eastman was a character whom, even for his limited one-episode airing, packed a-hell-of-a punch. His essence was entirely different from anything we’ve seen, however, oddly, not eccentric or mad, or anything too obviously stated, but rather just a usual human, who forces himself away from the atrocities that falls within the world they live in, and has many secrets to share. These character building moments really were touching, for a show that has at-least one main-character death a season, Eastman’s actually felt just as empowering and horrific – maybe even more-so compelling that usual.
As you have probably gathered, I really did get something extraordinary away from this episode. However, whilst its length is a key in its positives, it also slightly hinders the episode. I wouldn’t consider it boring, because I’m not that vague and harsh, but the episode certainly was heavy in its need for concentration, I felt myself in that continuous stage of drifting into looking at other things, then missing something important and re-watching. This may not be a sin of the episode, rather, my own tiredness, however, I do think it’s an episode that is certainly tiresome to watch, in both positives and negatives. For its heavy intellectual debate is surely a wonder for the episode, but it leaves you hanging for some old-fashioned entertainment and this is not an episode that gives a lot of that. So for those who are not in the mood to watch a lengthy hour of brutal analogy of human emotion, maybe you should wait till you are in that mood, then I’m sure you’ll find the episode as fantastical as I did.
Verdict : 9/10
‘Here’s Not Here’ is an episode that will certainly leave your mind ticking, it’s deep, intellectual, and unashamed of its largely human-based themes. With all of the episode centered around a character we have known little about for so long, the answers certainly prove worthy, for the fourth episode of The Walking Dead Season 6, proves to us how sometimes, being bittersweet and simple can prove to be more effective than theatrics, explosions and shocks.