SEASON RETURN: The Walking Dead Season 4 Recap – Episode 9: After

Season 4, Episode 9 of AMC's The Walking dead is all about Carl (Chandler Riggs)


It sure was a long hard wait for the Season 4 return of AMC’s The Walking Dead. The ending was such a cliffhanger that I have been  eagerly anticipating this episode to see how and then characters would join up again.

Of course AMC proved, yet again, that what it does best is dragging shit out for way longer than we want them to! Not that there’s anything wrong with that, the added anticipation as well as the character development along the way makes it more than worth it.

So, in Episode 9, entitled After, we get Carl’s (Chandler Riggs) story, as well as, to a lesser degree, Michonne’s (Danai Gurira) and Rick’s (Andrew Lincoln) story.

We start off with a very pissed off Michonne. It’s at this point we realise just how much this group of people have become her family – but first she has to dispatch with a zombified Hershel (Scott Wilson). Yeah, we were too busy hoping the Governor (David Morrissey) would become a zombie so we could see him get slaughtered all over again, that we forgot about dear old Hershel.

Hershel (Scott Wilson) isn't himself in Season 4, Episode 9 of AMC's The Walking Dead

We get a large chunk of Michonne’s backstory after that thanks to her adopting a couple of new zombie-repellent zombies and dreaming about her original two (which turn out to be her lover and his friend). So we suspected Michonne had lost a child thanks to the interaction between her and Judith in the first part of Season 4, and that is confirmed with this bizarre dream/flashback.

Michonne (Danai Gurira) gets a backstory in Season 4, Episode 9 of AMC's The Walking Dead

That awkward moment when you realise Michonne has teeth…

And, really, that’s all we have on Michonne for a while in this episode. Now onto Carl…

Yeah, we all love to hate this little psychopath in the making, but in this episode AMC succinctly makes us care about this child. Rick is deathly ill from the beating the Gov. inflicted on him and at one point we even wonder if Rick will die. But Carl is just pissed. Pissed at his father mostly, but also pissed at the world, we discover, after he finds a boy’s room filled with a TV, DVDs and video games. This is when we start to remember that Carl is still only a child. One that has been thrust into this horrible world, lost his father, found his father, lost his surrogate father (Shane, played by Jon Bernthal), then his mother and now his little sister.

For sure there are times during this episode when we still want to kick Carl up the arse, and other moments when we wish the zombies he is taunting to ‘prove’ himself to himself would just bite him already. But then we see him sitting on the roof eating chocolate pudding out of a can and, well, our heart just melts for him – well mine did anyway!

Carl (Chandler Riggs) mans up in Season 4, Episode 9 of AMC's The Walking Dead

So Carl kills some zombies, nearly gets bitten several times and yells at his father a lot. Rick, at this point seems to be in some sort of coma-like state and we are all preparing for that moment when Rick goes all undead on us. So, of course, AMC gives us what we want. Right when Carl is realising he is in need of a father still. But, wait a minute, just back the fuck up: Rick isn’t dead, just coming out of him weird coma thingy and Carl can finally admit that he still needs his daddy.

Carl (Chandler Riggs) still needs his dad, Rick (Andrew Lincoln), in Season 4, Episode 9 of AMC's The Walking Dead

Now we’re back to Michonne and she is tracking the shit out of Rick and Carl, only she doesn’t really know it’s them yet. But when she comes to the house where they are staying and knocks on the door, we get this rare moment of AMC’s golden humour.

So what did you think of this episode of AMC’s The Walking Dead? Which characters do you think they will concentrate on next week? How long do you think it will be before they all meet up again?

You can read my Episode 10 recap here.

(Photo Credits: AMC)

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About mrszoomby

When I'm not writing or crocheting, I'm training for the zombie apocalypse.
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13 Responses to SEASON RETURN: The Walking Dead Season 4 Recap – Episode 9: After

  1. Marc says:

    I enjoyed reading your summary Rachel and yes, I felt like kicking Carl’s backside a few times, whilst shouting ‘you ungrateful little prick!’ at the telly!
    I have to keep reminding myself that he’s still a kid of, what 13, 14?
    Rick will succumb to the icy charms of Michonne as she mops his fevered brow and I definitely see cupid flying around there with his golden dart.
    Also, I still maintain that The Guv hasn’t breathed his last breath.:)

  2. Zenith says:

    I was actually really excited by the thought of Rick and Carl both being eaten by zombies. They irritate the crap out of me and I’m tired of watching them interact.

    • Marc says:

      It’s worth pointing out that with Rick gone and maybe to a lesser extent, Carl, the show would lose most of it’s direction.
      It’s true that Carl can be a pain, but that interaction with his Dad and the way the show gives us a glimpse into his psyche as a young lad learning that killing (in his situation) is not wrong, brings up some serious social dilemmas.

      • mrszoomby says:

        Not that I want to see Rick and Carl dead, but I don’t know that the show would it’s direction. While the comics are very much Rick’s journey, with should a dynamic cast, it could just as easily follow any of them (or make it the Daryl Dixon shoe ;-p ). However, in saying that, if Rick were to due, I really think the show would flounder briefly until it found it’s stride again 🙂

      • Zenith says:

        I totally understand why they’ve dragged out this struggle between Carl and Rick, I get the allegory between the values of the old world vs the new one that they live in, and of course how to find balance in a landscape that requires such a tense combination of maintaining one’s humanity but also putting it aside when needed in order to survive.

        Doesn’t mean that I’m enjoying watching it though. Apart from the fantastic flashbacks with Michonne (I’d been saying to a friend just the other day that I wish they did that in this show so that I could see some of her backstory) last night’s episode just felt like a supposed turning point that I would have liked to see a while ago so that we can move on.

        Hopefully that’s where the story is at now, because the Rick/Carl storyline is simply tedious at this point and no longer serving much of a purpose as far as I’m concerned. Hell, if the show is still relying on that by the end of this season then they’re just showing that they’re creatively bankrupt, which happens to the best, and may need to call it a day.

      • mrszoomby says:

        I think this episode was absolutely closure on the Rick/Carl tension.

  3. Marc says:

    Back stories are not for everyone, I agree; I find they interrupt the flow, but I disagree that the series has become creatively bankrupt.
    I haven’t read the comics and probably won’t ever read them, but the essence here is watch-ability, which is not the same for everyone.
    Give it a bit more time and I think you’ll find that the gang will reunite, old friendships will be re-forged, Judith will be toddling already and The Guv will pop back up like an unwelcome mother in law.

  4. marctom1 says:

    Curious as to why Michonne didn’t take one of the bikes outside that bar/shop.
    I know I would have done.

  5. Pingback: The Walking Dead Season 4 Recap – Episode 10: Inmates | Rachel Tsoumbakos

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