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The Walking Dead – S4E9 – After

Previously on The Walking Dead, ‘Too Far Gone’ 

I was a little worried that a Carl/Rick-focused episode would be too slow for a mid-season opener. Thankfully, they mixed in some Michonne and plenty of zombie-fighting action – even if a lot of it did involve Carl butt-scooting all over the place – so the episode wasn’t slow at all.

Let’s talk about the stuff with Carl and Rick. Carl is pretty pissed off and treating Rick like shit on a stick when the episode begins. He’s walking all fast, not listening, and generally being a teenager. And we know that most teenagers are pretty awful. They find a house to hunker down in for the night and even find some food at an abandoned BBQ joint. While securing the door to the house, Carl manages to throw Shane in Rick’s face and even though it’s clear Carl has an attitude (Hell, Ray Charles could see Carl has an attitude and he’s blind and dead.), Rick asks if there’s something Carl wants to say to him. Carl clearly ain’t about that life… yet.

The Walking Dead S4E9 After Rick and Carl

The next morning, Rick is passed all the way out, and Carl manages to attract some walkers to the door with his yelling. Way to go, Carl. He gets the bright idea to lead them away from the house, but isn’t watching where he’s going because he’s Carl, and ends up trying to fend off three walkers instead of two. He manages to kill them eventually, and after throwing up he declares, “I win.”

The Walking Dead S4E9 Carl and Walkers

Back at the house, he tells his unconscious father that he doesn’t need him. He was so busy playing farmer that he let down everyone and lost them or got them killed. Interesting that he breaks bad while his father is knocked out, but I get it. The next day he goes out looking for food and finds another walker who pretty comically almost kills Carl like, four times. He celebrates by eating an entire 112 oz can of chocolate pudding. That night, Rick starts making weird walker-like noises and Carl realizes he can’t put his father down as he groans and reaches for him. Good thing, that, because Rick isn’t dead. Just still really fucked up from being shot, beaten, and almost choked to death.

Now, on to Michonne. She begins the episode at the prison and her first order of business is to procure two new pets. She uses them to camouflage herself and take care of Herschel’s zombie head. I am so proud of myself for calling this a few months ago. It just seems like it’s something Michonne would not only have the presence of mind to do, but the skills to pull it off. She encounters Rick’s and Carl’s tracks in the mud, but decides to go in the opposite direction.

The Walking Dead S4E9 After Michonne with New Pets

That night, she has a dream of her old life with her lover (and son’s father), their friend, and their son. The dream quickly begins to deteriorate into their reality when the apocalypse hit. They’re arguing over whether they should leave camp and her lover, Mike, questions the point of continuing. Michonne freaks out when they turn into the armless walkers she made them. Once she awakens, she continues on, walking the woods with her new pets and surrounded by walkers who are clueless to her existence because of the pets. When she sees a walker that (so the show says) resembles her, she freaks out and kills it and the other walkers around her, including her pets. She heads back to the tracks in the mud, this time choosing to follow them and comes across the BBQ joint and the walker Carl killed inside. She talks to her dead lover saying that she misses him and that’s she’s still there and he could be, too. So could their son.

Later, she comes across Carl and Rick inside the house and cries in relief as she watches them through the window. She knocks on the door, interrupting a father-son chat in which Rick apologizes to Carl and tells him he’s a man now and Carl insisting that Rick doesn’t need to apologize. When Rick sees it’s Michonne on the other side of the door, he tells Carl, “It’s for you.”

Overall, very good episode and a nice way to kick off the latter half of the season. I had fun live-tweeting the episode with our readers and podcast listeners. If you want to join in next Sunday, follow us on Twitter and use the hashtag #PFTWD when talking about the show. We’ll pick a Tweet of the Week and announce it on our podcast each week. At the end of the season, the winning tweets will be entered into a drawing for a The Walking Dead t-shirt from our Zazzle store.

We’re recording our podcast on this episode tonight. If you have feedback you’d like us to read on-air, just leave it below, on Facebook, or on Twittter (don’t forget the hashtag!) or email it to projectfandom (at) gmail (dot) com. You’ll hear more of my thoughts on tonight’s episode (pros and cons) on the podcast.

 

About Nina Perez (1391 Articles)
Nina Perez is the founder of Project Fandom. She is also the author of a YA series of books, "The Twin Prophecies," and a collection of essays titled, "Blog It Out, B*tch." Her latest books, a contemporary romance 6-book series titled Sharing Space, are now available on Amazon.com for Kindle download. She has a degree in journalism, works in social media, lives in Portland, Oregon, and loves Idris Elba. When not watching massive amounts of British television or writing, she is sketching plans to build her very own TARDIS. She watches more television than anyone you know and she's totally fine with that.

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