The Walking Dead premiere recap, "After"

The Walking Dead premiere recap, "After"

The Walking Dead has always been, at its core, an epic love story, a tale of romance and relationships and the severed heads that bind everyone together. In tonight's second half of the fourth season premiere of The Walking Dead, "After," the show focused on two of the most wounded, most stoic characters, Carl and Michonne.

Now, I'm not insinuating that Carl and Michonne are the members of the blooming romance, no. My shipping heart forever belongs to Richonne, and now that she has joined the father and son duo in a cute little house free of zombies, there is room for their love to take root.

I'll shut up about this now. But just you wait. Team Richonne 4 EVA.

Here's what happened in the episode.

Michonne: We finally, finally, finally got to see a little glimpse into what makes Michonne Michonne. My only quibble...s are that it's too little, too late. We should've seen this earlier in the season. We should've seen it last season. We should've seen it instead of those stupid waste-of-time Governor episodes that slowed the momentum of the show heading into the winter break.

Anyway, basically, from what I can gather from seeing Michonne's dream and from consulting my friend Joseph and his amazing technicolor coat, Michonne lived a fairly happy, somewhat pretentious life before the Zombpocalypse. She had a brother and a lover (gross, that word). She apparently had a young son as well, and she liked to keep her katana blades in the kitchen knife block, which, really, makes logistical sense. The family wound up in some "camp" after the plague hit and the guys wondered what they were all living for and whatnot, the dream changed and they had no arms. So, really, we didn't get a ton of answers here. Brother. Lover. Art snob. Son. You get the gist.

Michonne has had a lot of time to dwell on the past since she's been wandering around alone since the midseason finale. She's picked up a few new armless and jawless pets, who are just not as good as her old pets. She's sneaking around, under the cloak of zombie stench, just like the lone wolf she used to be. But she's not that lone wolf anymore. She has become part of a family. She has people to care about. She thought she had lost it all after losing her brother, lover, and son, but she found it once again when she discovered Rick and (barf) Andrea. For the new Michonne, wandering through the woods alone, just for survival's sake, is no longer enough. She needs people.

Carl: Carl, on the other hand, thinks he needs no one. He's a petulant teenager, who already knows everything so shut up, Dad. His father, Rick, is seriously wounded, yet Carl doesn't give the old man a break, skipping ahead and leaving his dad stumbling behind. Carl doesn't want to do anything his dad says. He doesn't want to eat. He doesn't want to save bullets. He doesn't want to not play video games or push the couch in front of the door. He's exerting his independence, damn it. All hail the rise of Carl, the Man.

And so when Rick decides to sleep in one day, Carl sneaks out for a looksee in the neighborhood. He finds a nice house with a lot of rations. Carl checks out the rest of the place and uncovers a Zombie Surprise. He fights the guy and shoots him, but misses the crucial brain area and runs out of ammo. This is what his daddy warned him would happen if he wasn't more judicious with his bullets. Eventually Carl lures the zombie into a bedroom and locks him inside, but loses his boot in the process. He writes on the bedroom door, "Walker inside. Got my shoe. Didn't get me." Carl's a poet and he didn't even know it. But now he does. Maybe Carl is poised to become the historian of what happens during the Zombpocalypse, leaving little bits of graffiti everywhere to record the events. He can be Pliny the Younger by way of Banksy.

After Carl runs out of ammo, he realizes that his dad was right about something: Bullets are for saving, not shooting. He runs home (after eating 112 oz. of pudding) and finds his dad nearly dead, but not quite. They kiss and make up. All is well. Michonne is there. They are a happy family in their nice, zombie-free house.

Other Stuff:

  • So, it did not play out as I thought. I definitely thought Rick was a goner and Carl would have to kill him. And then Carl would discover that he was out of bullets and Rick would eat Carl as a final lesson to his son that you should always listen to your father. 
  • (In all honesty, I knew that wouldn't happen, but how awesome would it have been for The Walking Dead to kill off its main character in such a pedestrian way. I would've been cheering the writers' cojones.)
  • But in even more honesty, I'm glad Rick's still around, because Richonne.
  • Looks like next week we visit with Beth and friends. We're entering dangerous territory here with everyone separated. Some story lines will be less exciting and compelling as others. I could do without seeing Carol ever again.

What did you think? Is the second half of the fourth season off to a good start? How do you think Daryl's hair is holding up?

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