Eastman Dies On 'The Walking Dead' After Shaping Morgan's New, Peaceful Philosophy
This week's episode of The Walking Dead focused on the friendships we make and how they can continue to impact us even after the relationships end. It was a change of pace from the three previous episodes of Season 6, but introducing Eastman on The Walking Dead in "Here's Not Here" effectively addressed what Morgan was doing between "Clear" and meeting back up with Rick Grimes. Eastman was a former prison psychiatrist who found himself on a small farm in the apocalypse. The episode focused on him meeting Morgan, and how he helped make Morgan into the peaceful man he is today.
He was a pretty Zen dude, and I don't mean that lightly. Eastman handed Morgan a copy of Morihei Ueshiba's The Art of Peace to read, and taught him the martial art of Aikido. As it turns out, this is the reasoning behind Morgan's current no-kill philosophy. Eastman lived up to his name by bringing Eastern religion into The Walking Dead, which has explored many religious themes in the past.
Eastman says he's only met one evil person in line of work. Clearly, he hasn't been watching this show, or meant before the apocalypse. He also diagnosed Morgan was Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which probably applies to most of the characters in this universe. However, that isn't to say that Eastman hasn't seen dark times as well. Before the outbreak, his family was killed by an escaped convict named Wilton who targeted him. Eastman locked up Wilton and watched him starve to death, only to return to Atlanta and discover that the world had ended. In that way, he has a similar story to Rick Grimes. Alas, watching Wilton die brought Eastman no peace. Thus, his "all life is precious" philosophy, which Morgan parroted to Daryl at the end of last season, began. "It's all a circle and everything gets a return," Eastman said.
Unfortunately, it seemed inevitable that Eastman had to die in this episode. Why else would he not have joined Morgan in Alexandria? However, that doesn't mean that his death wasn't sad. It even had a bit of a karmic significance. The Walker that bit Eastman was a man that Morgan had failed to kill properly at the top of the episode. His death was just another lesson.
So, will Morgan be able to maintain this philosophy and lifestyle going forward? One of the last characters on The Walking Dead that had a "traditional" moral compass and was adverse to killing human beings is Glenn, and we all saw how that (may have) turned out. Still, while it's frustrating to not have answers about last Sunday's cliffhangers, I'm glad that The Walking Dead slowed down for a bit and really delved into Morgan's journey. This season has been having fun with pacing, so it'll be interesting to see where it all ends up.