“After” is the title of the first episode of The Walking Dead following the mid-season break in December. After the Governor’s second (and much more successful) attack on the prison. After poor, sweet Hershel took a sword to the neck and lost his head. After Rick got the crap beat out of him by the Governor. After Michonne rescued Rick by killing the Governor. After the whole group scattered in twenty different directions. Here’s where we stood at the end of episode 4.8:
- Rick: Beaten, bloody, shot and probably barely hanging onto his sanity.
- The Governor: Very, very dead. I’ll miss him. I wish it had been Rick instead.
- Carl: Stuck with his father, one of his least favorite people at the moment. Carl will likely blame Rick for the (possible) death of Judith.
- Judith: They want us to think she’s dead, but I think we’ll see her pop up later this season.
- Michonne: On her own, doing bad-ass, Michonne-type stuff.
- Glenn: Recovering from his near-fatal illness and on his way to safety with a bus full of no-name characters.
- Darryl: Escaped with Beth. On their way to the nearest karaoke bar.
- Maggie: With Bob and Sasha.
- Tyreese: He took off after Lizzie and Mika. Tyreese will probably be great at playing Dad. That is, until he discovers that (I’m predicting) Lizzie is the one who actually killed Karen.
- Lilly: Almost as bad of a mother as Lori.
- Carol: I want Carol back! I’ve really grown to like her over this season, and I feel certain she’ll run into one of the smaller groups soon.
And on to the new episode! Before Michonne left the grounds of the prison, she chopped off the arms and jaws of two walkers, giving herself two sweet new pets. Michonne also had a weird, dreamy flash-back scene to her life before the apocalypse. I’m not sure how much of it was real, since she was in the midst of a dream, but it looks like she might have had a nice life pre-zombie: a boyfriend, a cute baby, and a great apartment. This sad little dream seemed to give Michonne the motivation to ditch her pets and seek out Rick and Carl after finding their footprints in the road.
Carl is seething with disdain for his father. He talks back and argues, gives him the side eye, and is generally behaving like a snotty adolescent. They break into a house that is surprisingly well-stocked. (How did the prison group manage to avoid looting this neighborhood? It looks like it was right in their backyard.) While Rick is unconscious on the couch, Carl unloads and blames Rick for the deaths of everyone: his mother, his sister, Hershel. I’m sure he would have blamed Rick for the death of Jesus if he hadn’t run out of breath. He then tells Rick that he wishes Rick was dead. (Guess what, Carl? I do, too.) Carl told his dad he’s a big boy, and he can do big boy stuff now. But when Carl tries to prove it by scavenging a house for food, he forgets one little thing – bullets! They would have come in handy when he encountered a walker in the house and nearly ended up as zombie food. He also might want to look into some new shoes, because he spent most of this episode slipping and falling while inches away from walkers. This was the wake-up call he needed, and he realizes he does need Rick, as useless as he may seem.
I don’t know if I could have taken another episode of Rick and Carl, but mercifully, the last scene showed Michonne knocking on the door of the house where Rick and Carl were holed up. Stoic Michonne breaks down in tears, and I’m just hoping that this new trio won’t lead to a romance between her and Rick. I’m still hoping for Michonne and Daryl, but I’d be content with anyone OTHER than Rick.
This was a fairly quiet episode that seemed designed primarily to bring Rick and Carl back together. The preview for next week shows that we will be checking in with the rest of the survivors. Time for some Daryl!