The Walking Dead “After” Review

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The Walking Dead returns.

The Walking Dead returns, and it deals with the aftermath from the mid-season finale right away.  Walkers are surrounding the prison, and our survivors are forced to abandon it.  This episode might not be as action-packed as the previous one, but it’s definitely a strong character piece that allows us to understand the characters more.

What exactly happened to the survivors are still up in the air, and the only character we seen in the opening sequence is Michonne.  She stumbles around the prison yard aimlessly, and finds Hershel’s head reanimated.  It’s a strong moment when she stabs it, and it’s even sadder to see her going back to her old ways, and travels with pets once again.

The main focus of the episode is Carl, and it’s a risky move from the writers.  Carl has been a very one-sided character in the fan community- you either like the character, or you hate him.  So being a Carl centric episode, the result can be vary.  Truthfully, I’m not a big fan with the Carl materials, because the story is basically mirror-image from the comic series.  Kirkam himself wrote the episode, and it can be quite boring for comic fans like me.  Everything from Carl luring the walkers away, to him screaming how useless Rick is are exactly the same from the comic series.  The scenes can be quite powerful for those who never read the comic, but I’m just not feeling it.

Of course, there are additional materials added to the Carl story, and it’s actually great.  It adds more layer to Carl’s character, especially when he finds the video game in the house, but quickly remember how pointless it really is.  It’s a world where he needs to toughen up, and forgets stuff that’s useless with survival.  This scene also shows us that even though he claims he doesn’t need his father anymore, he’s just a kid after all.  He cannot overcome the walkers himself, and he definitely needs help and companions.

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Michonne receives some great story in this episode, and it has nothing to do with the comic series.  Not only we get to see some kickass walkers slashing from her, we also get a glimpse of what happened to her in the past.  It might not be clear with what exactly went down, but Michonne used to have a baby boy with her boyfriend Mike, and everything went wrong from there.  The two pets Michonne first had are clearly Mike and Terry, but it’s strange she mentioned that they were never human in the first place.  I’m scared to think what exactly went down between Michonne and those two, but I’m pretty sure it has something to do with the baby boy.

It’s a strong moment when Michonne notices a female walkers that looks similar to her while walking with the zombie herd.  This is a moment of realization that she doesn’t want to be dead anymore, and she wants to live.  It’s a great character piece, and it leads to another great moment by the time the episode ends.

My favorite moment has to be when Michonne walking up to the the house Rick and Carl are hiding in, smiles, and knocks on the door.  Ricks checks the door and can’t help it but chuckle, turns to Carl and says “It’s for you.”  A great scene, and moment of peace for all three characters.

Overall “After” is a great episode that deals with the aftermath of the prison assault.  Even though half of the episode is a direct copy from the comic series, it still provides us some great character moments.  Now the survivors are all over different places, I can only imagine more threats are on the way.

Welcome back, Walking Dead.

8.5/10

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  1. The Walking Dead “Claimed” Review « The Good Kind of Geek

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