"The Walking Dead" mid-season 4 premiere was one of the best episodes yet for peeling the layers back on some of the characters to show where they came from and where they are going. Sunday night's episode simply titled "After" showcased Carl and Michonne separately. This is full of detailed spoilers so beware of this before reading.
As MSN suggests on Feb 10, the characters were put "through the paces" before finding each other. Before any reuniting happened, Michonne, resigned herself to being one of the walkers. She tied up two of the Governor's men, cut off their arms and took out their jaws and made them her pets. She was in a dark place for a while during this episode.
The only three seen in this episode are Rick, Carl and Michonne. Some of the other survivors will be reunited as the episodes progress, but for now, you only now for sure that Michonne, Carl and Rick made it. That is until you see the previews of next week that show others survived.
A flashback in a form of a dream let the fans see Michonne with her toddler son and her "lover." She had a feminine flare to her look and her voice was not as dark and deep as it is today. You got to see her boyfriend and his friend alive before they became pet walkers that Michonne had chained to her when she first showed up on "The Walking Dead."
Back to reality, Michonne created her two new pets out of the Governor's men and she shuffles along with a pack of walkers that numbered about 25. She looked as if she resigned herself to doing this when she sees a woman zombie that has an uncanny resemblance to her. That zombie's head came off as did the entire bunch in a show of sword swiping that was one of the best scenes ever on "The Walking Dead."
Carl is with his father and they hold up in a house. Rick is unresponsive and Carl can't wake him. This gives Carl the opportunity to say to his father the things that he's been holding in. He tells his father that he let him, baby Judith and his mother down. He carries on about how useless he is and finally said he doesn't care if he dies.
Carl takes off exploring the neighborhood leaving Rick locked up in a house still unresponsive. While out on his excursion, Carl comes close to being killed by walkers a few times. He realizes just how much he needs his father by the time a lone walker gets his shoe.
When Carl returns to the house where Rick is resting, Rick looks dead and with the moans he is making Carl is sure his father has turned into a walker. As Carl's pointing a gun at Rick to kill him, he throws the gun down and tells who he thinks is his zombie father to take him too. Rick speaks and to Carl's relief, he realizes he is not dead.
For sure this episode is a turning point for Carl, who all of the sudden sounds like his dad's best friend again. As the episode winds down, Michonne is looking in the window at Rick and Carl and she starts crying. She's found them. A knock on the door has Rick look through a peep-hole and tell Carl, "It's for you!" Michonne has found Rick and Carl.
This kid's acting is suburb. You forget he is acting when watching the character Carl take on the world. He is going to go places.
Rick is a mess physically from the beating the Governor gave him, but it looks as though its a turning point for him and Carl. This is what he needs especially after all the folks who were killed on his watch, or at least he feels that way. When Michonne shows up at the door, Rick's smile and look of relief said it all. It was almost as if he were afraid alone without anyone else who could take over and keep an eye on Carl if something happened to him. Michonne and Carl have become close and that friendship is one of the strongest bonds out of the characters from "The Walking Dead."
"The Walking Dead" writers did an excellent job at presenting levels of Michonne and Carl never seen before. One of the highlights of Carl's walk about around the neighborhood was that he found a restaurant-size can of chocolate pudding. He is seen sitting on a roof eating all of it.
If this is the course that the rest of the season is taking, it will be great. Getting to know the characters like never before sheds some light on the behaviors seen previously.