Here’s Not Huh?!? The Meaning of the Title of TWD EP 604
Bicycle Girl takes a look at the meanings behind the phrase, “Here’s Not Here”
Ohhhh, Episode 604! In addition to introducing us to the goat that stole our hearts (except for mine because it fell out a long time ago), you gave us some insight into how Morgan went from the crazy who needed to clear to the crazy who won’t kill anyone no matter how despicable and evil they are.
But much like the fire that burned at the beginning of the episode lit only portions of Morgan’s room, the meaning of a lot of TWD604 remained mysteriously covered in shadow.
Take the title for instance. It’s written on the wall of Morgan’s room, on one of the rocks around his walker burning bonfire and Eastman even said it. But what does here’s not here mean exactly?
While I’m only slightly fluent in crazy here are my thoughts on the matter.
The Dual Meanings of Here’s Not Here in The Walking Dead EP604
Let’s take a look at how the phrase functions at different times in the show:
Here’s Not Here Represents Morgan Being Caught in the Past
Throughout the episode we see Morgan in various symbolic prisons.
When the flashback starts, we see him from the other side of metal bars as if he were in a cage as he rants at himself, reliving the moments when he lost Duane due to his inability to use the gun and the knife that he had to kill his turned wife.
As the room fills with flames, we see “here’s not here” printed on the wall before Morgan is moving along, constructing another prison, this time out of wooden spikes that he surrounds himself with. Later, he is inside of Eastman’s cage, unable to leave even though he knows the door is unlocked.
It makes little difference if Morgan is in his upstairs hideout in Rick’s hometown, living in the open beside smoldering bodies of walkers or in a house with falafel and a goat roommate–he is never there.
Here is not here for Morgan.
No matter where he is physically, Morgan is mentally trapped in the past, in that room that Eastman described with the door that only leads back in. He can go wherever he wants but ultimately here is the past, the place where he imprisons himself mentally.
Eastman Said Here’s Not Here to Try and Break Morgan Out of His Prison
When Eastman quoted Morgan’s phrase, it was after Morgan scolded him for doing the forms in the circle. Eastman was pointing out to Morgan that the place where they were practicing was the same as any other place because Morgan takes himself with him wherever he goes.
He would have failed to act at the sight of that walker the way he failed to act with his wife anywhere. I believe, though, that here is not here refers to more than just Morgan’s mental state–
Here’s Not Here Also Represents an Incomplete, Naive View of the World
Both Eastman and Morgan believe that all life is precious, that not killing ultimately protects themselves, but the world of The Walking Dead has proven this just isn’t so.
Here are a few examples:
- Rick didn’t kill Andrew himself at the prison, which ultimately led to the former prisoner letting walkers in and the death of T Dog and indirectly Lori.
- Tyreese didn’t kill Martin, and the Termite led Gareth and the others to the church, where they ate Bob’s leg and launched what they thought was a sneak attack.
- Glenn didn’t kill Nicholas in the woods and now may have died due to that decision
- Morgan didn’t kill the Wolves when they first met, and they ended up coming to Alexandria and killing dozens of people.
- Morgan didn’t kill the five Wolves, endangering the life of Rick who they later attacked.
The idea that all life is precious is undoubtedly noble, but it’s naive. Eastman was able to hold onto that belief because he was isolated from the sort of things that Rick and the other survivors have seen.
Sparing the wrong people can ultimately cause more death. The Wolf Morgan is keeping prisoner so much as told him so–that he would stop at nothing to kill everyone he could if he got free.
“Here” is not the sort of place where you can afford to be merciful, to be good…to not clear when it’s necessary.
Here is not what Eastman thought. Here is not what Morgan thinks. Here is not here…
and if Morgan doesn’t realize that soon, he could be a bigger threat to Alexandria than the Wolves, the Termites, the Walkers and the Governor combined.