Characters meet grisly ends all the time on The Walking Dead, but Sunday night’s episode was especially poignant as we bid farewell to two lovely characters we had just met: Eastman, the staff-wielding, aikido-loving, cheesemaking vegetarian (played by the wonderful character actor John Caroll Lynch,) and Tabitha the goat (played by, er, Tabitha, I think). This week’s episode was an extended flashback centered on Morgan (the great Lennie James,) and it had the quality of a great two-hander play without feeling like a piece of filmed theater. Eastman’s name is no accident. Did you notice all the turtle prints on the wall? And his Save the Terrapins t-shirt? This was a nod to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles co-creator Kevin Eastman. In the episode Eastman wields a mean staff, much as TMNT‘s Donatello does. And in real life, Lennie James is trained in aikido by martial artist Stephen Ho, who doubled for Donatello in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movies in the 1990s.
This is all fascinating, Niall, you say, but what about Glenn? Oh, right. That. After last week’s cliffhanger which left fans wondering if Glenn really is dead, actor Stephen Yeun’s name was conspicuously missing from the credits, which is probably just AMC messing with people’s heads, and it’s going to be revealed soon enough that he is of course still alive. So stop worrying, and in the meantime, let’s pause for a minute’s silence for the goat.
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It was a good episode and I liked the pacing. I believe it wasn’t just a tribute to Eastman but also to Laird. A lot of us know that Donatello was and is still Peter Laird’s favorite turtle. If I recall Kevin’s was always Raphael.