Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
I continue to find myself impressed with the midseason premiere of The Walking Dead this week and with good reason, the show is taking the time to do two key things, show us the horrible aftermath and consequences of people's decisions and it continues to delve into the human psyche in ways that I just don't see on television.
In fact this week's episode, "After" did an amazing job with the latter part of my observations, by showing us the demons that both Michonne and Carl carry day in and day out. For Michonne, we finally snuck a glimpse of what appeared to be the happy life she had before the end of mankind, with a son, the father of her child and possibly a brother or friend of her son's father and that little slice of the past, albeit a dream was extremely telling. The Michonne we see now is a person formed by tough decisions and haunted by them day in and day out, only finding forgiveness when she finally realizes how much she has despised being on the road on her own. I loved two key moments from Michonne and actress Danai Gurira this week. The first being her realization that she was no better than the walking corpses that ruled the land when she saw what appeared to be the zombie version of herself before having an incredible bad ass moment by waxing at least ten to fifteen walkers and barely breaking a sweat in doing it and the moment when she finds Rick and Carl. It was touching to see how far Michonne has come from the silent assassin we first met to someone who truly has found people that matter to her once again.
Speaking of Rick and Carl, we spent just as much time with them on the road and we finally had the chance to see Carl for who he really is, a kid being forced to grow up and has no clue what he is doing at the end of the world. There were so many awesome little touches for Carl this week. His eyes lighting up at the sight of a nice flat screen TV complete with video games, the joys of chocolate pudding and the incredibly touching and sad moment when he thought his father had turned and he realized...how much he loves his dad and can't bear to be without him.
It was a beautiful episode for Chandler Riggs, especially the scene where he finally lets loose on his father for all the things that have gone wrong and for what he blames him for. This was the episode where Carl indeed became a man, and equally learned just how important family and friends are when there is nothing left and that's what I loved most about this episode. After everything these people have lost, especially in the mid season finale the show continues to stress one important fact, all we have is each other and despite all the tough things that happen to us, none of it will ever matter more than the people we share our lives with. As best they can these beat down survivors are moving on with what little they have left and are making a point to make sure they don't do it alone.