In the mid-season finale, Too Far Gone, it hit the fan. The war we had all been eagerly awaiting came, and the losses were huge. The entire force the Governor brought to Rick's doorstep was wiped out, and in the process Rick's group lost the wise Hershel, and the group we have been following for three years was split up scattered in several directions. Glenn and a busload of Woodbury folk drove off into the distance. Maggie, Bob, and Ty's sister ran off together. Tyrese followed the two sisters who are clearly from The Shining. Daryl skipped off with Beth. Michonne pulled a Michonne. Lastly, after discovering Judith's empty and bloody baby carrier, Carl and Rick limped off, saying the tagline "Don't look back." Where do we go after that cliffhanger?
The newest episode was directed by Greg Nicotero and written by Robert Kirkman, so it better be a good one!
THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS FOR THE WALKING DEAD SEASON 4 EPISODE 9: "After."
This episode kicks off with the aftermath of the prison war. We follow Michonne as she surveys the damage and takes down walkers in the process. She brilliantly reintroduces us to her walker camouflage, and as she walks away from the prison she finds the head of Hershel zombified. One of those "aww, man!" moments. Did they really have to remind us that the voice of morality had been killed…again? First Dale, now Hershel. We need a lovable old guy!! Michonne does the humane thing and stabs Hershel's head to put it out of it's misery. [You know AMC you could have done a spin off, Headpool, that would send the Marvel nerds and Walking Dead nerds into full nerdgasm…]. Queue the theme song and pull back the camera on the devastated prison. It's time to start the second half!
Returning from commercial, we see Carl and Rick walking down a dirt road, with Carl in the lead acting stubborn and walking like he's on a mission. Rick looks like hell after the ass whooping he took from the Governor [pour some out for one's homies!]. They come across a building where Carl lays down the law to his father: He's gonna clear it because Sir Limps-a-lot can barely stand. Reluctantly, they both head inside and find only one walker, over whom they fight about whether Rick could handle it or not. Carl shoots the walker, and Rick scolds him for wasting the bullet. They gather food, and we cut back to Michonne and her camouflage walkers crossing the same path Rick and Carl had just walked. Back to the father/son duo, where Carl and Rick are still going at it. Carl has become stone cold, and Rick is obviously overprotective at this point, as they examine the house for supplies and any potential walkers. They bunker down for the night, and as they are prepping, Carl name drops Shane, which pisses off Rick. "Is there something else you want to say to me?" he demands. The tension between the two is clearly coming to a boiling point. Rick finally tends to his wounds, and we roll into another commercial break.
Back into the action, we see a flashback sequence with Michonne and two gentlemen, one can only assume these two men were Michonne's original camo walkers. We see a small child run out, and as she carries him out of the kitchen time fast forwards a bit; the men turn angrier and more desperate as Michonne seems unfazed. Fast forward a bit more, and the men now have their arms hacked off. Michonne begins screaming "No!" and awaken in a car, present time. This, in my opinion, was really well done. It finally gives us some back story to Michonne and makes her more of a main event player in the series. We cut back to the house where Carl awakens and decides to have breakfast and read a book. After enjoying his fancy postapocalyptic elitist breakfast, he finally checks on his dad, who will not wake up. Carl's yells to wake Rick stir up some walkers, so Carl decides he's gonna lead them away and shoot them. This preteen is entirely too trigger happy! As he lures them from the house and taunts them as live bait, he walks right into another walker. Genius. Aaaaand commercial.
As we phase back into action, we see Carl walking down that lonely road alone. He comes upon a house and heads in to investigate. I laughed out loud as he tried to break down a door and immediately bounced off. He scavenges some food from the cabinets and a big can of chocolate pudding. Deep down he's still a kid [that warms this blogger's heart]. He continues his investigation and plays the game "What's behind this door?" The little badass effectively bites off more than he can chew and goes toe-to-toe with a zombie who gives him a run for his money. After narrowly escaping, he leaves a message on the door that says he made it but lost a shoe. We then see him sitting on the roof, eating his chocolate and staring at his surroundings. Back to Michonne and her new cult, where she is still eyeballing the same woman. Then she just goes on a Fruit Ninja hack off and cuts down the entire herd before breaking down effectively and sending us into another commercial break.
Back for our final bit of zombie show for this week, Michonne is on the trail of Rick and Carl. Carl returns to his father and sleeps next to him. Carl awakens and hears Rick groaning and making walker noises and movements. Rick reaches out and grabs Carl's foot as Carl gives up and accepts his death if Rick has turned. Rick then speaks, and we see Carl break down in tears, admitting to his father that he's scared and couldn't pull the trigger if he had to. Next day we see Michonne still tracking the father/son duo. She spots a note Carl had seen earlier and breaks down again, talking aloud to the absent Mike. At this point we can assume he was her baby's father. Rick finally awakens and tells Carl he shouldn't have risked going out alone. They begin having a heart-to-heart where Rick admits things won't go back to the way they used to be. He tells Carl that he is effectively a man and that he is sorry for the way he treated him, which seems to soothe over tensions. Carl responds with a "You don't need to be." In the final moments of the show, Michonne finds Rick and Carl, and the two parties are relieved to see each other without actually appearing in the same scene.
This episode was a fantastic Michonne episode as well as a Rick/Carl one. We finally got a more personal side of Michonne rather than the cool badass that we have seen since the beginning of season 3. Rick and Carl also finally air out their tensions and get back to roots with just those two. Unfortunately, so many questions still remain for next week! What happened to the other survivors? What's next for Rick, Michonne, and Carl? And can I get some pudding? All that and more!
So see ya next week, walkers! As always, check back regularly to see what Chris "The Dace Man" Dace is looking at (and no, not just porn), as well as all of the other bloggers here at Fanboys Anonymous. Remember keyboard warriors: leave your feedback! Until then, for the few, the proud, and of course the Dacetacular, grab a beer—and in this case a 120-oz can of pudding—and check out what's going on here in the Dace-Sphere. See ya next time!