Morgan (Lennie James) was the man of the hour (and a half) last night, with The Walking Dead focusing on how the mysterious character went from madman to peacekeeper.
Morgan’s sanity returned thanks to some kind treatment from Eastman (played wonderfully by John Carroll Lynch), a stranger who helped him face his demons and taught him the ways of Aikido. Last night’s episode was an emotional journey of two men who lost everything, including themselves, and found their way back through peace in a world now riddled with violence.
The Walking Dead‘s executive producer Greg Nicotero shared his thoughts on Morgan’s transformation with The Hollywood Reporter, touching on his own personal reaction to finding out about Morgan’s journey, to how long we can expect Morgan to stick with his Aikido mantra and more.
His reaction to Morgan’s journey back to sanity
“The idea that Morgan is forcibly rehabilitated I thought was fascinating. It was such a great transformation for Morgan, knowing that he was completely out of his mind and was thoroughly and completely prepared to die. The fact that he was forcibly rehabilitated and succeed in doing so, I thought was amazing. It was always intended to that way: in the middle of the season premiere, you see Morgan and Rick sitting on the steps and Rick hands Morgan Judith to hold. There’s a specific line in this episode where Morgan ponders if he’ll ever hold a baby again. The moment in 601 where he’s holding Judith and looking at her and smiling — everything has come full circle for Morgan at this moment. By investing himself in his transformation and committing to help transform other people, it’s a really great character study.”
On Morgan’s thoughts about the end of Eastman’s Crighton Dallas Wilton story
“In my opinion, that reveals a bit of a flaw in Eastman’s character. Because Morgan discovers it so late in his rehabilitation rehab. He found Crighton and got revenge and tortured him until he died. That’s exactly the opposite of everything that he preaches. When Eastman ends up getting bit, he has found his own redemption in admitting to Morgan what happened. If he had never met Morgan and never redeemed himself, he’d have died a tortured soul. Eastman benefited from Morgan’s presence as much as Morgan benefited from Eastman’s presence.”
On whether or not Morgan will stick with his Aikido training
“Morgan is a pretty tenacious character in regards to what he believes in. If he’s been able to survive this long by sticking to that mantra, there will be some considerable conflict with others who will come in to direct conflict with him. And by others, I mean pretty much everybody…Morgan is committed to this doctrine he’s embraced because it saved his life…”
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