Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
Hershel is gone, the prison is burning, the group is scattered to the wind and at long last, the Governor is dead. The aftermath of the midseason finale has come at last. But would this episode continue with the breakneck pace of the finale or bring us something entirely new and different? It turns the answer was the latter and with that in mind, let's get right down to discussing this week's Carl and Michonne centric episode of The Walking Dead; "After".
The Good: I have to say, this episode was the breather we all needed after the midseason finale completely and utterly beat us down like the Governor beat down Rick. It was a fine break and an impressive character study for both Carl and Michonne. In fact I was thrilled to finally learn something about Michonne and see Danai Gurira do more than scowl, even if only for a few minutes within the episode. But those few minutes of Michonne this week were powerful and stunning and some damn fine acting if you ask me. I also have to say I liked this coming of age story for Carl as well. Out on his own while his dad healed up from his wounds made for some solid television. Chandler Riggs gets props for finally making Carl more than a punk kid who just seems to go with the flow as the situation calls for in the show and make the kid exactly what his father said he was...a man. Also on a side note, this was a terrifying episode. After Hershel's death, the show has never felt this unsafe and that permeated the entire hour of the show and major props to the show for honestly making us think that Rick Grimes was dead and had turned into a walker and also...let's give it up for chocolate pudding, now the guilty pleasure of choice for the zombiepocalpyse.
The Bad: For me...I don't think it's right that Herhsel's severed head reanimated, but the Governor was given the courtesy of a bullet to the skull. I wanted that no good, lousy, Hershel murdering creep to wake up dead and have to be put down by Michonne once again...but that was not the case.
The Verdict: I loved this episode. It was scary, unsettling and a brilliant look at how to pick up the pieces in a world where there is little to pick up. I love how the characters are growing but I get the feeling this is the last moment we get to catch our breath before things get ugly and intense once again.