'The Walking Dead' Premiere Recap: 'I'd Be Fine If You Died'
SPOILER ALERT: The recap for the "After" episode of "The Walking Dead" contains storyline and character spoilers.
Could this be the first happy ending — relatively speaking, of course — for an episode of “The Walking Dead”? Truly, did you ever expect you’d see an episode of “TWD” end with both Rick and Michonne laughing?
That’s “After,” the midseason premiere that catches us up on the immediate post-Governor-battle lives of Rick, Carl, and Michonne — and after a pair of major realizations by young Grimes and the katana-wielding heroine, ends in a happy reunion. But first…
Rick and Carl
It’s tough enough being a teenage boy and trying to maneuver a father/son relationship, but Carl’s doing both while seeing his family and friends being eaten by walkers (and, of course, having to do his share of killing the living and the undead).
Understandably, he’s angry, and since Rick’s the only other human at hand, he’s getting a full dose of Carl’s fury. A badly battered Rick can’t even keep up with Carl as they’re trudging along a road, looking for food, supplies, and new shelter. Carl’s annoyed that Rick keeps telling him to slow down. And when Rick starts to tell him, “Hey, we’re gonna be…,” Carl stalks off, and Rick doesn’t bother to say “OK.”
The duo stumble upon Joe and Joe Jr.’s BBQ Shack, where they argue about who will clear the place and who will be the lookout. Carl’s challenging Rick, and they enter to find what we assume is Joe Sr. — the zombie version — with a handwritten note saying “Please do what I couldn’t,” signed by Joe Jr.
Carl and Rick take Sr. out, and head out with a small bag of food. They take refuge at a random house, and argue again about clearing it. While Carl’s tying the front door closed, he tells Rick he’s using a special knot, one Shane taught him. “Remember him?” Carl taunts Rick.
Rick passes out, and the next morning, after Carl takes care of his own breakfast, Rick still won’t awaken. When a pair of walkers claws at the door, Carl goes outside and lures them away, arrogantly walking backwards until a third one joins them and he has to take on all three. He does, successfully, but has to use five bullets to do it.