We will have our full breakdown of tonight’s The Walking Dead, “Bury Me Here,” up Monday morning, but I think it is safe to say that it was the best episode of the season, maybe the best episode in a couple of seasons. It was a phenomenal, breathtaking installment that also paid off a prediction we made back in February about Benjamin.
There will be a lot to breakdown and discuss in the episode, but for the moment, can we just take a quick moment to appreciate the return of Morgan? I’m not talking about the “Morgan” that has existed on the show for the last two seasons — the quiet pacifist, the man with all the patience and none of the bloodlust. I’m talking about the Morgan we knew from The Walking Dead pilot, the Morgan we knew from the third season episode, “Clear.” I’m talking about the Morgan who wanted to kill Rick over a peanut butter protein bar.
I’m talking about this Morgan:
Am I happy that Morgan had another psychic break? Or that Benjamin had to die to precipitate it? Of course not, but from the viewer’s perspective, this Morgan is infinitely more interesting than the Morgan that has been hopelessly moping around for the last two seasons. This Morgan will kill when necessary. This Morgan may still understand that “life is precious,” but he also understands that his own life and the lives of his friends are more “precious” than that of the enemy. This Morgan would not have given a second though to killing one of the Wolves.
This Morgan might also be a little crazy.
Here’s the thing about Morgan: I don’t think he ever managed to complete the grieving process after the death of his son, Duane, who he inadvertently confused with Benjamin in this week’s episode. He still needs closure, and I believe this “no killing” charade has been a form of denial for Morgan. Morgan is the kind of guy who needs justice before he can gain acceptance, and while he could not gain any real closure from killing his son’s undead attacker — who was Morgan’s zombified wife — he could get a taste of it from killing the guy ultimately responsible for Benjamin’s death, Richard. He may get even more justice if he joins the fight against the Saviors, and The Kingdom could use a stick-guy like Morgan in the coming war, especially an unpredictable stick guy with as much pent-up anger and frustration as Morgan has.
Think of it this way: Morgan has declined to kill a whole lot of people in the last two seasons. He has a lot of catching up to do. I look forward to seeing the old Morgan back in action and more importantly, we’ll get to see Lennie James re-extend his range as an actor.