The Walking Dead has finally returned to AMC after what has felt like the longest break in television history. As the dreary winter month of February drudges along, last night’s episode was filled with mutilated zombies and many new unanswered questions. While The Walking Dead comics are currently a jumbled catastrophe, the television show is fulfilling fan’s desires with excellence. (If you don’t like spoilers then I urge you to stop reading now.)
The prison has recently been overtaken by hordes of zombies and The Governor has finally been thwarted by Rick and Company. My running question is - Was it really worth it? While at the prison, Rick’s group had security. They had some comforts. Quite possibly the most importantly thing was that they had each other. A sense of community amongst a corrupt zombie-filled world seems nice and cozy, but for good story it doesn’t do much at all.
I answer my question loosely when I say that it is good that The Governor is dead and Rick’s group is split up once again. The Governor’s death eliminates Rick’s enemy and returns him to the man he was before. He somewhat loses the title of Protector and retakes the title of Survivor. Episode 9 clears shows that Rick is unable to take care of himself or his son, Carl. The episode follows Rick and Carl as they escape from the devastation and the prison. The fight at the prison left Rick in a pretty bad state with a gunshot wound and a smashed up face. His injuries prevent the two from traveling very far and they are forced to take shelter in a suburban community home. Rick is unable to stay conscious and spends most of the episode pasted out.
With his father unconscious, Carl experiences a sense of freedom for what might be the first time since the whole zombie ordeal started. I love the character of Carl. He is a teenager living in a world of devastation and zombies. He doesn’t have friends and he is forced to take on forms of maturity that are uncommon to his pre-adolescent nature. As a reader of the comics, I love that Robert Kirkman has adapted the characteristics of Carl from the comics into his TV version.
Carl has no idea if Rick is going to wake up and even assumes at one point that he is dead. This forces him to fend for himself throughout the episode and he gets a taste of what life would be like if he didn’t have Rick around for a protector. My favorite parts of this episode are where Carl is found in two separate situations that show that he still is a kid. He experiences disappointment when he finds a gaming system and has no way to play it, but also experiences pure joy when he finds five gallon tub of chocolate pudding that he eats. This episode deals with some very harsh realities for Carl and in the end I believe that he realizes that he does need Rick.
While this episode deals primarily with Rick and Carl, there is also a major part devoted to Michonne and her experiences post-prison. Michonne has always came across as a loner to me. She never really seems to need anyone else and ‘After’ proves that she does. Her time at the prison with Rick’s group transformed her. Her character develops a love for people once again and I feel that she has a special connection with Carl and Rick.
Michonne’s place in this episode is vital because she battles ghost from the past and learns how to move on in a sense. There is something very dark in her heart that she has been holding on to. By forcing herself to deal with these demons, I believe that Michonne will come across as being a major strong force in drawing the group back together before the end of season four.
Episode 9 is a massive episode that gives the audience a ton of new information and gives sight to where the story is headed. My hope is that some new characters are introduced and Rick’s group is forced to live on the road for a while. The whole concept of The Walking Dead is how to survive amongst the zombies. The story at the prison and Woodbury show that protective barriers are inadequate when surviving zombies. The only true way of survival is too run!
If you are a fan of The Walking Dead then you definitely are going to want to figure out how to watch this episode. Check it out and let us know what you thought about this episode.
A look at next weeks episode called ‘Inmates’
The Walking Dead appears on AMC, Sunday 9/8 CT.
Galen is a Graphic Designer in Wake Forest, NC. He is the husband of a wonderful Oklahoma girl and dad of a future Marvel Comics fan. He enjoys comic-related anything, the Boston Red Sox and sharpening his axe for the zombie apocalypse.