Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Walking Dead S4E9 "After" 2/9/14

Well, we had to delete The Walking Dead episode off the DVR to make room for more Olympics (so we can fast-forward through the commercials and figure skating), so I'm going to have to do this one from memory.  I'm pretty confident I can do it, though, as it was pretty light on plot and super light on dialogue.  Some stuff may be out of order but I can get the major points across.

In the immediate aftermath of the last episode, the survivors have scattered and zombies lurch through the ruins of the prison yard.  There's the dead Governor, lying right over there.  Michonne creeps out of the bushes, sword drawn, searching for anyone living.  She finds Herschel's decapitated head which has zombified, moving its mouth mindlessly.  With a grimace, she stabs the head with her sword, putting an end to that travesty.  She looks critically at the milling zombies, picks two out and slices off their arms and lower jaws, then loops some rope around their necks and moves away, into the woods, alone again.

Out on a road somewhere, Rick and Carl trudge along.  Rick is looking bad, bruised, bloodied and staggering.  He calls out to Carl several times to not get too far ahead.  Carl is probably suffering from shock in addition to his pissy teenaged angst, having just had his home destroyed and losing his sister.  They find a roadhouse and go inside to raid for food.  There's a big zombie trapped in there and when Rick can't manage to dispatch it with his hatchet, Carl shoots it.  Rick harangues him for wasting a bullet; Carl's like, you weren't getting the job done.  Taking their haul, they keep on moving on down the road until they find a nice looking, empty town.  They pick out a house, clear it of walkers and barricade themselves in for the night.

Michonne sees some footprints along the road and pauses for a moment, considering, then continues through the woods with her pet zombie protection, unconcerned by the small swarm of walkers moving with her.  She sees a walker that looks slightly like her, which unnerves her a bit, jarring lose a memory of her old life: nice house/apartment, handsome and funny husband/lover, cute baby.  This may be a bit of a dream scene but WOW we're going to get some Michonne backstory, finally.

In the morning, Carl tries to wake his dad up.  But Rick has lapsed into unshakable unconsciousness and doesn't respond, even when Carl shakes him roughly and shouts in his face - things like, you failed me, you failed Judith, you failed everyone!  It's not all snotty teenager stuff - he definitely has a point.  (At Rick's complete lack of response, I allow myself a tiny bit of hope that he might be dead.)  The boy doesn't dwell on this, however, and gets ready to go forage for more food.  But first he has to deal with the two zombies scratching at the front door.  He goes outside and calls to them, teasing them, leading them away from the house.  When he finally gets them far enough away, he raises his gun to shoot them ... and is almost eaten by a stealth zombie who sneaks up behind him.  After some scuffling, he manages to put all three of them down, becoming buried under their rotting bodies in the process.  He drags himself out from under the corpses, vomits his lunch out and then continues with his day.

In another nice house, Carl finds a good supply of food and also a zombie upstairs.  He scuffles with it and it snatches his boot off his foot before he locks in a bedroom.  He finds some chalk and writes on the door: "Zombie inside.  Got my shoe, didn't get me."  Down in the kitchen, he loads up the food and then hits the jackpot with a huge can of chocolate pudding.  He climbs up on the porch roof and eats pudding, enjoying the beautiful day and ignoring the snorts and moans of the zombie in the bedroom.  When he goes back to the house, Rick is still lying unmoving on the couch.  Carl curls up on the floor next to the couch and falls asleep.  He wakes in the middle of the night, however, when Rick's hand starts twitching.  Carl scuttles to the other side of the room, pulling his gun.  Rick twitches and shakes, and moans a little.  Carl is certain that his dad is dead/zombified and the gun in his hand shakes.  Rick flails and falls off the couch, hand groping.  Carl can't do it, can't shoot his dad for all his bravado and earlier zombie kills.  He wails, crying, and Rick reaches out a hand and says his son's name.  He's not dead yet.

Michonne dreams of her old life but parts of her new life intrude: her katana sword, her husband/boyfriend becoming zombified, etc.  She wakes, shaken.  Later, out in the woods with her pet zombies and a small herd, she freaks out a little and takes them ALL out.  One at a time, sword flashing, heads and limbs and blood flying everywhere.  She kills off her pets too and then stands there, head down, surrounded by a circle of dead zombies.  I don't think she wants to be alone anymore.  She goes back to the road and this time follows the footprints, which are, of course, Rick's and Carl's.  She finds the roadhouse, notes the dead walker, keeps moving.  Sometime later, out on the street, she sees an empty pudding can.

When morning comes, Rick is lucid and slightly mobile and Carl is less of a brat.  They talk a little and Carl shares out the food he found, 'fessing up to eating all the pudding himself.  Outside, on porch, a silent Michonne looks in the window and sees the two of them there.  She smiles, bowing her head for a moment and then moves to the door.  Inside, Rick and Carl freeze when there's a knock on the door.  As Carl steps back and draws his gun, Rick takes a wary look through the peephole.  Seeing who's there, he relaxes and smiles, saying to his son, "It's for you."

Previously on The Walking Dead / next time on The Walking Dead

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