Sunday, February 9, 2014

The Walking Dead: Season 4 Episode 9 - After

Hello fellow Walkers, and welcome back to the back half of season 4 of The Walking Dead!  And wow, what a return!  The first half pretty much blew up any sense of order that the characters had found for themselves in this post apocalyptic mess of a world and scattered them all over the Atlanta suburbs, forests and what not.  While they're obligated to do so, everyone involved with season 4 is very excited about these 8 episodes coming our way.  They have gone so far to claim that it's the best work that they've done yet.  Considering I thought very highly of the first 8 of this season, I'm pretty exited.  If the next episodes follow a similar format to this one, which I hear they will, I think it may just be the jolt of introspection that this show needs.   Let's dive into some thoughts from the episode.

This episode focused on 3 of our main characters and their journeys to find each other in the aftermath of the prison collapse.  More specifically though, there were journeys through the internal struggles of Carl, Michonne and even Rick to find the strength to fight on.    

Discussion Points 
  • We finally got some scoop on Michonne's backstory.  It came in the form of a dream, but a very realistic dream.  Now, I won't pretend to have understood everything we saw but it was clear that she had a significant other, possibly a husband and a son with this man.  (they referred to each other as "lover".  At least they had the decency to make fun of themselves as they did it)  I believe the guy's name was Michael, and I'm not sure we got the son's name.  There was also a friend of theirs that was part of their crew.  We saw these 2 men devolve into her 2 walker pets from last season.  This would probably explain why she got a little emotional when she lost them last season.  It would seem that they followed some bad advice from Michael that caused Michonne to lose all of them.  She was getting good with a sword, so maybe they thought they could "hack it" (sorry) out in zombieland.  For the record, I'm typing this immediately after I watched the episode and did not watch Talking Dead or rewatch that scene to pick up what I missed.  So, there's a chance I totally got that wrong!  But, that's why we have a comments section.
  • In present day, Michonne created some new walker pets to walk amongst the dead.  But, the noise got too loud after awhile and she beheaded many many walkers in one mutilatingly awesome scene.  
  • I think we should note that many (I'll say it: Me) theorized that Michonne probably had baby Judith.  But, this episode clearly showed that she did not get her.  I don't think it's taking a giant leap to suggest that she's still alive.  We saw an empty car seat.  That means there's more story to tell there!  
  • Michonne was tracking footprints in the mud during the whole trip and it became clear eventually that she was following Rick and Carl's trail. 
  • Meanwhile, Rick was in pretty bad shape the whole episode.  He was still trying to be a dad to Carl who was tired of listening to his leader turned farmer father.  Carl felt that he was ready to take on the world on his own and his dad was only making things more difficult.  Though, it was clear Rick has a few more pieces of advice that Carl needs to listen to.  We knew the minute Carl wasted that bullet on Joe Sr. or Joe Jr. that it was going to come back to "bite him" (sorry again) later.  
  • Carl was at his bravest when his father was very very unconscious.  He let his teenage hormones rage off the rails and spoke his mind about everything that's been pissing him off.  The whole farmer thing came up.  And of course, they're under the assumption that everyone that were with them at the prison are dead.  And Carl blames Rick for all of it.  He was their leader and he let them down.  He also said that he hoped Rick was dead.  
  • Carl went on a few supply runs in the town they were cooped up in.  He wasted many more bullets trying to down his foes.  He got cocky when he succeeded in surviving both times.  Of course, he's also down a shoe.  I think the funniest moment of the show ever was when Carl tried to ram that door down and fell flat on his rear.  They played that for laughs and it totally worked.  Eating the giant canister of pudding was pretty hysterical too.  Can't blame the kid for that one! 
  • While there were a few scares earlier in the episode, the eeriest moment came near the end when Carl really thought Rick was dead and rising as walker dad.  Carl had the gun ready and was going to shoot, but then broke down and was just going to let his zombified father eat him.  His tough exterior was finally broken down and we saw that Carl really is just a scared boy and still needs his father.  Meanwhile, Rick when he finally woke up acknowledged that Carl was a man and apologized to him.  (Yeah Rick, you didn't see the incident with the door!)  In any case, the 2 of them did some much needed growing up in this episode and have earned a mutual respect for each other. 
  • The episode couldn't have ended any more perfectly than when Michonne showed up at the door and found a new sense of hope by seeing Rick and Carl through the window.  She knocked, it freaked them out.  But Rick looking through the peep hole and breaking down in laughter and telling Carl "it's for you" was all we needed to see.  
Even with our crew all scattered about, it's comforting to know that this trio is together.  It reminds me of the episode last year "Clear" that focused on these 3 and was easily the best episode of the season. I'm looking forward to seeing more adventures with them.  Of course, I'm sure it will not come next week as we have more people to catch up with!  And that's all I have for today.  I'm glad the show is back and looking forward to the rest of the season as well as everyone's comments.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week!


Mike V. said...

Definitely not reading these now, but for future reference. Interviews on TWD mid-season premiere

Andrew Lincoln (Rick):

Robert Kirkman (writer of this episode and comic creator obviously lol):

Dana G (Michonne):

Leslie said...

Great episode as usual! We got one more glimpse of Hershel or at least his head! Then another one on Talking Dead which was pretty funny! You could really feel Michonne’s hopelessness and her exhaustion. Little creepy to see that doppelganger walker! Guess that would make you step back and decide if you wanted to keep fighting. Great scene with her taking out all those walkers, and the explanation of shooting that scene with her and Greg Nicoterro (sp?) on Talking Dead.

Chandler Riggs has turned into a pretty good actor. He did really well playing all the emotions in that episode…..from very cocky to vulnerable kid again who didn’t want to live without his dad. I have to say that I was half wondering if Michonne would be taken out right after looking in that window and seeing Rick and Carl especially since she was on TD.

Mike V. said...

Agree...enjoyed all of the insight on Talking Dead (and those interviews I linked to) as well! Can't believe I forgot to talk about Hershel's head and Michonne's doppleganger! lol

Yeah, I guess you never know if someone's gonna get whacked or not when they're guesting on Taking Dead. But, Michonne is a fan favorite in the comics and the books, so I think she's here to stay for awhile. Supposedly, Rick and Carl's story tonight was basically shot for shot from the comics. The episode was written by Kirkman, so that's pretty cool that it translated so well to the screen. Good stuff. And apparently Michonne's original pets in the comics were named Michael and Terry. So, everyone is assuming this other guy is Terry. They basically confirmed it on Talking Dead, but I guess it's not official until it's on the actual show!

Plumbarius said...

I thought it was a pretty good start to the season. You could tell by the numerous previews that they were going to break it down to the individual's story lines after the prison disaster....should make the actors schedules a little easier!

I was wondering during the break whether they would revisit Hershel's head after it was clear the Governor finished the job later between the vehicles.

It was nice to have a little levity at the end the episode- "it's for you, Carl" lol

mj said...

Nice to see some needed emotions fr chars. Carl finally vocalizes his frustration with dad and the effects on him having to kill shane and mom. Hershels head was hard to watch - like seeing him die again.

Did not catch til Talk Dead that new pets were Govs guys. Didn't remember conjecture that Michonne had Judith - I'm thinking Tyreese. Husband thinks shes dead. My heart broke a little when first Michonne purposely did not follow those tracks. Lol Leslie on thinking Michonne might die since on TD.