The opening scene of ‘After’ has a striking resemblance of the opening scene in ‘Guts.’ Both episodes have a tank being surrounded by walkers, the camera overlooking down will bring some nostalgia for longtime viewers. However in this time and place there is zero sign of any optimism unlike in ‘Guts.’ The safe haven has been utterly destroyed by the Governor’s doing. Destiny was already innately chosen for him and fate—both of the Governor’s and Rick’s—were inevitably layed out for them like a deck of cards. In a way the Governor did get his way even though he died at the end—Hershel died and the rest of the group are all scattered, and Rick takes a hell of a beating that even Shane couldn’t do in season two. Bravo Gov!
Michonne does a favor for Hershel and pins her katana to his animated skull. She is alone once again so she cuts of the arms and jaws of two lucky walkers and leashes them with a rope. Season three nostalgia! Remember in season three when Rick, Carl, and Michonne raided a compound—Morgan’s compound, to be specific—and Michonne confided in Rick that she also used to talk to her dead boyfriends? Keyword is ‘used to.’ She relapses and sees her boyfriends, with one named Mike whom she has a child with. An argument occurs, a bizarre one, and the scene flashes to her boyfriends’ arms and jaws sliced off. Now I know the significance of those two walkers leashed in chains in season three—they were none other than Michonne’s boyfriends. And why did she cry when left in charge of baby Judith in season three? She reminded her of her own child whom she called ‘peanut.’ Supposedly they were all in a military camp or refugee camp but something happened.
Carl is rightly furious over his dad’s actions and the negative consequences. They take refuge in a nice house and the son is more agitated by his helicopter dad. Carl happens to see a room any kid his age would drool over—guitars, posters, a big screen HDTV, and an XBOX 360 with a stack of games. All is wonderful until he sees his reflection on the screen: he’s not the Carl he used to be. Carl brings up Shane again and Rick states he remembers him every day. I heard a walker snarling within the house, but it turned out to be Rick wheezing! Carl lures away two walkers pounding on the front door since Rick is drowned in a million Zs. Carl manages to kill three walkers but this happens not as Carl expects. He tells his sleeping dad that he would do fine if he were dead and everything that has happened happened because of farmer Rick.
Carl leaves and enters another nice house where he finds more food and, more vital, 112-ounces of chocolate pudding. He goes up stairs and scans each room. The last room a walker lurches towards Carl. Shots are fired with only one making contact, but it’s not enough for the bulky walker. Carl manages to set himself free from his leg grappled by the walker at the expense of losing his shoe. He locks the intruder in and writes “WALKER INSIDE GOT MY SHOE DIDN’T GET ME” on the door with white chalk. Carl’s reward is joyously eating the whole pudding on the roof, the locked-in walker extending his arms out of the window in the background.
Carl wins again three times.
Carl returns home and confides to his sleeping dad that he needs him. Rick’s hand twitches. He growls and Carl quickly moves away from the couch and grabs his dad’s python pistol, the barrel aiming at Rick. Carl cries and drops the weapon as he gives up as Rick is crawling towards him. “Don’t go outside. Stay safe inside, Carl.”
Rick is still human.
The next morning Rick tells Carl that he is all grown up and he only kept on clinging onto the present because of his son and Judith. He apologizes but according to Carl there is nothing to apologize over. Michonne manages to track them down by muddy footprints and the empty pudding can. She sighs and lets out smiles as she views them behind the window.
Rick and Carl are alarmed by the knock. Both draw their weapons. Rick peeps through the peephole and looks back at Carl, laughing.
“It’s for you.”
What happened at the camp Michonne and her family were at? What is the ‘answer’ Michonne knows when she said “I know the answer. I know why.”? Does she hold the knowledge of the outbreak and perhaps a cure, if any?