Episode 9: After
So, The Walking Dead is back. When Season 4’s mid-season finale came to an end, we were minus several big characters and the survivors led by Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) were minus their walled-prison home. Split up, homeless, struggling to survive and facing growing numbers of walkers, our key characters are once again up against it.
This return finds us focusing our attention on Rick, son Carl (Chandler Riggs) and the machete-wielding Michonne (Danai Gurira), giving viewers an emotional insight into just where these characters have been and where they are now at. Whereas Rick and Carl’s journey focuses on the changing dynamic in their relationship, Michonne’s story is as equally compelling as it is saddening, as we get an almost Lost-esque flashback sequence to her ‘real’ life; a time before the outbreak that caused the world to go to shit. As part of a stable family unit and mother of a small child, the Michonne that we see in the past is massively removed from the cold, clinical ass-kicker that we’ve become accustomed to in the show.
Whereas the previous episode, the mid-season finale, was almost a survival of the fittest, After is similarly a tale of survival, adaption and suffering, be it physical or mental. Picking up in the aftermath of the deaths of The Governor (David Morrissey) and Hershel (Scott Wilson), this outing is as depressing and downbeat as you’d expect from The Walking Dead by this point.
For the full review, head over to Starburst Magazine.