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After

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After
Season 4, Episode 9
AMC TWD After
Air Date February 9, 2014
AMC (United States)
February 10, 2014
Fox (United Kingdom)
Written By Robert Kirkman
Directed By Gregory Nicotero
U.S. Viewers 15.76 million
Episode Guide
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"Too Far Gone"
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Cast Guide
Starring
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon*
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee*
Lauren Cohan as Maggie Greene*
Chandler Riggs as Carl Grimes
Danai Gurira as Michonne
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier*
Scott Wilson as Hershel Greene
David Morrissey as The Governor
*does not appear in this episode
Also Starring
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene*
Chad Coleman as Tyreese*
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha*
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey*
Aldis Hodge as Mike
Brandon Fobbs as Terry
*does not appear in this episode
Picture Gallery

"After" is the ninth episode and the mid-season premiere of Season 4 of AMC's The Walking Dead. It aired on February 9, 2014 at 9/8c on AMC, and on February 10, 2014 at 9pm on Fox.

Plot Synopsis

The episode starts at the destroyed prison, with walkers surrounding the tank. Then, the corpse of The Governor, and Flame's devoured corpse are shown, with Michonne outside the fences. She uses her katana to kill approaching walkers and takes cover behind the gate's spikes. Then, she uses her old technique of camouflage and uses two trapped walkers as protection by tying them with ropes and cutting their jaws and arms. As she walks, she find's Hershel's zombified head and puts it down with her katana, leaving the prison shaken by the experience.

Carl and Rick walk on a country road with Carl walking ahead of Rick who struggles to keep up due to his injuries from the previous battle. At first, they stop by in a barbecue restaurant which seems to be looted already. A single walker is barricaded by some pieces of furniture. Rick wants to put it down with his ax, saving their bullets, but is too weak to make a finishing blow forcing Carl to shoot it in the head despite Rick's pleas not to. On the floor, Carl notices a note left by the walker's son, who couldn't bring himself to kill his father. They scour the building for supplies and find a small haul. Carl was able to obtain more stuff and jokingly tells his father "I win".

Michonne and her walker pets come across the same road that Rick and Carl were traveling and she notices the footprints they had left in the mud. However, she decides to continue on alone.

Rick and Carl continue walking until they take shelter in an abandoned house. After investigating, Carl loudly bangs and curses to draw walkers out, but Rick is angry at him for doing so. Carl snaps back that he isn't a kid and proceeds to clear the upper floor by himself. He lingers in the kid's room, gazing wistfully at the sports posters and gaming system before yanking out a cable from the TV to secure the front door. As they secure the door, they argue over whether a knot is enough or to push the couch against the door. Carl angrily snaps that his knot is a good one and verbally slaps Rick, mentioning that Shane taught him it. Angry, Rick tell him that he remembers Shane every day and asks if Carl has anything else he'd like to say. Carl doesn't respond and they push the couch against the door and flip it right-side-up. Rick goes into the bathroom of the house and observes the bruises and scars on his body, one of them being the stab wound he sustained from Morgan.

Michonne has a dream of her young son, boyfriend, Mike and his best friend Terry . It starts off as a normal conversation in pre-apocalypse Atlanta, but as it progresses, Michonne's current situation starts setting in. As she talks to Mike and Terry, it turns into a conversation about survival at a camp that they had inhabited prior to her finding Andrea. The world outside slowly becomes the current devastated Atlanta, and the state of the room becomes more and more decrepit. They continue talking and Michonne then sees Mike and Terry with their arms cut off and her son missing. She starts screaming in terror and then wakes up in a fit of panic in the front seat of a car.

In the house, Rick has fallen unconscious due to his injuries. Carl tries to wake him up but when Rick doesn't respond, Carl starts yelling, which alerts two walkers outside. He lures the walkers away from the front door to kill them somewhere away from the house, but is nearly surprised by a third walker coming up from behind. However, after a slight scuffle, he manages to kill all three walkers unscathed, restating his comment to Rick "I win".

Michonne continues walking with the herd of walkers through the forest. She is surprised at one of the walkers, as it resembles her likeness. She shrugs it off and continues walking along with her herd.

When Carl returns to the house after gathering supplies, he becomes angry at his father, saying he failed protecting the prison group, Lori and Judith. Carl states that he never forgot how to survive, not even when Rick wanted to "play farmer." When Rick, who is still unconscious, does not respond, Carl says he doesn't need him anymore and he wouldn't care if he died.

Carl goes on another supply trip in a nearby house. Upstairs, he opens a door with a walker behind it. After a struggle, in which he missed the walker with his gun, he is nearly bitten on his leg but manages to get loose when the walker pulls one shoe off his foot. Carl shuts the door locking the walker in the room, writing "WALKER INSIDE. GOT MY SHOE. DIDN'T GET ME". As he perches himself on the roof of the house, he proceeds to eat a can of chocolate pudding with the walker grasping out of the window.

As Michonne continues to walk along with the herd of walkers, she cannot stop doing a doubletake on the walker that resembles her. She finally realizes that's what it would be like if she turned into a walker. In a fit of desperation to live, she frantically slashes the entire herd, including her twin and pet walkers. She makes her way back to the road she had not wanted to go down earlier and follows Rick and Carl's tracks.

Carl returns to the house where Rick is still unconscious. He wakes up to find his father, who begins to move and groan, making Carl believe that he is a walker. He grabs Rick's gun, but can't bring himself to shoot his father, stating that he does need him. Rick falls to the floor and reaches for Carl's leg, and, having realized that he doesn't want to be alone, Carl opens himself for the seemingly zombified Rick to bite him. However, to Carl's extreme relief, Rick manages to groan out his name. Carl cradles his fathers head in his arms and says "I'm scared".

Michonne reaches the barbecue shack that Rick and Carl had found. She finds the note that Carl had discovered and she sits up against the door frame. She says "Mike... I miss you" and starts sobbing, but then states that she missed him even when she was with him. She goes on to reminisce about the camp and losing her son. She explains how it wasn't Mike's fault, and he could be alive if things had gone differently than they had. She then states that she knows the answer to her problems, which is to allow people into her life rather than shutting them out.

The next morning, Rick tells Carl that he shouldn't have risked going out on his own, but Carl reassures him that he was careful. Rick congratulates Carl on retrieving more food and supplies. Carl then states that he had eaten some of the food. When Rick asks what it was, Carl tells him that it was 112 ounces of pudding, which they share a laugh over. Rick explains that he understands that they will never get things back to the way they were. He then explains the reason he spent the time trying to be a farmer and build a community was for Carl and Judith's sake. He goes on to tell his son that he is a man now and that he is sorry for treating him like a child, to which Carl challenges and makes it clear that Rick was right to act the way he did. 

Continuing to search for Rick and Carl, Michonne discovers the can of pudding that Carl was eating. Once she manages to get to the house, she sees them together safely and starts to cry in joy and then looks up as if thanking God. When she knocks on the door, Rick looks to the peephole and starts to laugh at the sight of their friend. Rick then turns to Carl, who asks who it is, to which he replies "It's for you".

Other Cast

Uncredited

Deaths

Receptions

Ratings

Upon its original airing, "After" garnered 15.76 million viewers, 10.9 million of them in the 18–49 demographic, and it was the No. 1 telecast for the night among adults 18–49, beating even the Sochi Winter Olympics. Viewership increased 30% from the previous episode, making "After" the second-highest rated episode of the series after the fourth season premiere, which garnered 16.1 million viewers..

Critical Response

The episode received moderate reviews from most critics, with most praising the episode's focus on the secondary characters, but others commenting negatively on the series' shift in environment and the episode's pace. Katla McGlynn of The Huffington Post summarized the episode by saying: "Phew! That was quite an episode. Although we didn't get to see what's happening with the rest of the group, we learned more about Michonne than ever and finally got to see Carl become a man. Instead of a traditional rite of passage like a bar mitzvah or a co-ed birthday party, Carl got to kill zombies and eat copious amounts of pudding! Welcome to adulthood, Carl."

Roth Cornet of IGN gave the episode an 8.5 out of 10, saying: "The Walking Dead opened the second half of Season 4 with a restrained, but effective episode that saw its characters faced with the challenge of accepting, and even embracing, the reality of the lives they're living - even the horror."

Sean Tepper of the Toronto Star gave a moderate review of the episode, starting with a mixed commentary on the show's shift from the previous episode, saying: "Instead of kicking off the second half of Season 4 with a bang, The Walking Dead took a sizeable risk with its mid-season premiere as showrunner Scott Gimple focused more on character development than on the gruesome, over-the-top zombie killing that we’ve come to appreciate in AMC’s hit series." He then commented positively on the episode's beginning scene at the prison, saying: "by kicking off the episode with various shots of the zombie-infested prison, a quick look at the Governor’s body and an emotionally charged scene that saw Michonne drive her katana through Herschel’s severed, zombified head, 'After’s' pre-credit scene served as a satisfying end to the show’s prison saga and gave the episode a tone more akin to a traditional season premiere." He also positively reviewed Carl and Michonne's roles in the episode, saying: "If there’s one thing that The Walking Dead has proved time and time again it’s that superficial supporting roles can be transformed into multifaceted, essential characters and last night’s episode was at its best when it gave Carl the opportunity to escape Rick’s shadow," and "gave us some insight into her [Michonne's] past along with a better understanding of the events that shaped her post-apocalyptic persona."

Not all reviews were positive. Patrick Kevin Day of the Los Angeles Times — though commenting positively on the character development, saying the episode "gets huge mileage out of small character moments and goes a long way to making Carl an interesting character for the first time" — commented negatively on the episode's beginning, saying: "the episode seemed too intent on attempting to jolt viewers by killing off beloved characters, such as the saintly Hershel. Many seemed to love it, but I felt the escalating body count was providing diminishing returns."

Tim Surette of TV.com commented positively on the series' change in environment, saying: "Now The Walking Dead can return to the enjoyable (for us, anyway) world outside those barbed-wire fences, a world where our survivors can't just garden all day and then safely tuck themselves into bed behind six-foot-thick concrete walls. Now they'll have zombies nipping at their heels as they try to make it to another sunrise, hoping they'll live long enough to have one more argument over whether or not Rick is a good leader." However, he commented negatively on the episode's pace, saying: "large stretches of "After" were, indeed, boring. I wanted to like the episode a lot more than I did, because I think it was making an effort to both deliver a message and reintroduce us to the danger of this world by showing us how it can break even the sturdiest survivors. Otherwise, it was just characters walking around and killing zombies. And even that's starting to get old."

A.V Club IGN
A- 8.5

Trivia

  • Last appearance of The Governor(Corpse)
  • Last appearance of Flame. (Corpse)
  • First (and last) appearance of Andre Anthony.
  • First (and last) appearance of Joe Sr. (Zombified)
  • The episode name refers to the aftermath of the prison assault.
  • One of the walkers that Michonne uses as a deterrent to the other walkers is the reanimated corpse of The Governor's soldier that Lizzie killed in "Too Far Gone".
  • The opening scene of the episode mirrors the ending scene of "Days Gone Bye" and also the opening of "Guts".
  • This is the last episode where Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene) and David Morrissey (The Governor) are shown in the opening credits (although Wilson's name is briefly re-inserted for the episode "A").
  • This episode had multiple scenes adapted from the ninth volume of the Comic Series, "Here We Remain".
    • At the start of the episode, Michonne kills an undead decapitated Hershel outside the prison, the same way she killed Tyreese at the very beginning of Issue 49.
    • Rick offering Carl something to eat, to which he does not accept.
    • Rick trying to kill the walker in the house, before Carl eventually does it. Afterwards he tells him to conserve his ammunition.
    • Carl luring the two walkers away from the house, shooting them all including the one coming from behind him, causing him to vomit afterwards.
    • Carl scolds an unconscious Rick about his past mistakes and blames him for the deaths of their beloved group members.
    • Rick moans as he wakes up, making Carl believe that he has turned, and he is forced to put him down, but can't bring himself to do so. Carl apologizes, and after realizing Rick is still alive, timidly says "I'm scared".
    • Michonne was the first member of the group to reunite with Rick and Carl, same as in the comic.
  • This episode was leaked a day early on Xbox Video.
  • In the original script, when Carl is tying the door shut with the TV wire, he was supposed to say "Dale taught me." However it was later decided to have Carl say "Shane taught me" to create an even bigger tension between Rick and Carl.
  • One of the actors/zombies that piled on Carl was the same actor/zombie whose fingers were seen reaching for Rick through the "Don't open, Dead Inside" door in "Days Gone Bye". Another Actor/Zombie that piled on Carl was the one that attacked Dale in "Judge, Jury, Executioner". This was mentioned by executive producer Greg Nicotero on Talking Dead.

Goofs/Errors

  • When Michonne returns to Hershel's head to put it down, it is facing to the left while looking down on it, while when the Governor completely decapitates Hershel, his head is facing to the right while looking down. However, it is possible it was kicked/tripped over by the Governor after shooting Meghan Chambler, by another human, or by a walker after the battle.
  • There are many shots throughout the episode containing lawns that have been recently mowed, most notably Carl's pudding scene on the roof.
  • In the previous episode, "Too Far Gone", Clara's reanimated body was already in the prison field, while it is near the broken gate in this episode.

Videos

Sneak Peeks

Episodes of The Walking Dead
Season 1 "Days Gone Bye" • "Guts" • "Tell It to the Frogs" • "Vatos" • "Wildfire" • "TS-19"
Season 2 "What Lies Ahead" • "Bloodletting" • "Save the Last One" • "Cherokee Rose" • "Chupacabra" • "Secrets" • "Pretty Much Dead Already" • "Nebraska" • "Triggerfinger" • "18 Miles Out" • "Judge, Jury, Executioner" • "Better Angels" • "Beside the Dying Fire"
Season 3 "Seed" • "Sick" • "Walk With Me" • "Killer Within" • "Say the Word" • "Hounded" • "When the Dead Come Knocking" • "Made to Suffer" • "The Suicide King" • "Home" • "I Ain't a Judas" • "Clear" • "Arrow on the Doorpost" • "Prey" • "This Sorrowful Life" • "Welcome to the Tombs"
Season 4 "30 Days Without An Accident" • "Infected" • "Isolation" • "Indifference" • "Internment" • "Live Bait" • "Dead Weight" • "Too Far Gone" • "After" • "Inmates" • "Claimed" • "Still" • "Alone" • "The Grove" • "Us" • "A"
Season 5 "No Sanctuary" • "Strangers" • "Four Walls and a Roof"

Start a Discussion Discussions about After

  • Rick at the end of After

    11 messages
    • Michonne could be holding the pudding and that's why he says it's for you
    • i thought the shoe is the one we see when beth (if i remember) passes a pile of dead walkers. i thought maybe the claimers accidentally opened ...

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