Blick Tolkien reviews The Walking Dead – Episode 044 – After

The Walking Dead - Episode 044 - After 45 min., 2014
Written by Robert Kirkman
Directed by Greg Nicotero
Language: English
My rating: ★★★★★

Michonne +Backstory = Badassery!

* * *


The following review is rated FM (Fresh Meat) for kickass walker related goodness and strong story lines featuring men with revolvers and crossbows. The views here do not reflect the thoughts of a completely sane person. They are being presented by a person that has grown up in a rather unseemly portion of town, taken recreational narcotics, and has been molested by a clown. Don’t feel compelled to read it all, hell I know I don’t. Albino, Mormon, and Republican reader discretion is advised.


Well Ding Dong the Governors dead! Grimly however we get our last look at Herschel, or rather his disembodied head as a yellow eyed walker. Michonne is tasked with putting him to his final rest as she seems to be the last truly living thing at the prison. She goes back to her old routine to navigate the shambling corpses safely by enlisting 2 jawless and armless walkers on a string as her escorts. Meanwhile Rick and Carl are walking the road alone.

Rick seems to be reeling from that good old fashioned ass whuppin he got from the Governor the day of the prison invasion. This leaves Carl more able bodied and far less tolerant of Rick’s limping, doting, fatherly advice bullshit. They eventually find a house to take shelter in and its evident Carl is kind of running the show. This becomes the case in earnest as rick beds down for the night and seems to fall into a healing coma while Carl puts on his big boy pants and gets the lay of the land.

Back on the road we get a look into Michonne’s fever dream where she starts reliving what seemed like a very nice past. Discussing art performances with her lover and best friend, her son running around her elegant house and then it all goes bad once the truth starts to seep in and the discussion turns to how the camps aren’t safe for their son and their arms go missing. She wakes screaming and you start to get the picture of just how much this loner must have lost.

The scene shifts back to Rick and son where Carl lures some walkers away from his dad after a nutritious breakfast of stale, milk free Corn Flakes. He goes looking for food and supplies and begins to convince himself he doesn’t need his father after all. He starts monologuing all his pain and listing the ways Rick has been a failure and a leader as well as a fool by thinking there was such a thing as safety behind the prisons walls and for once he has to stay still to hear it all (even if it’s in his sleep).

Michonne sees tracks in her travels but decides to go it alone rather than trust the possibility of rejoining a group or looking for the others. After a while walking among the dead she notices a black walker with dreads and starts to realize she wasn’t really living all that time she was on her own, she was little more than a walking dead person herself. After a killing frenzy where she takes out like 12 walkers single handedly, she goes back to the crossroads to follow the tracks in search of her friends. Carl while playing commando almost gets eaten and loses a shoe but gains the ability to eat a can full of pudding he scored in someone’s kitchen.

As night falls he returns to the house and in the middle of the night Rick begins to twitch after laying silent for the better part of a day. He rasps and begins to reach out for his son and we see Carl break down and give up. He surrenders to “walker Rick” rather than putting him down because he simply can’t. It turns out that wasn’t necessary at all because rick is still alive but now as Rick passes back out Carl can admit to his father that he’s scared and knows in his heart of hearts he needs him.

Michonne catches up to the first spot Rick and Carl stopped at and breaks down, the second time we ever see her get emotional other than Beth having her hold Judith and this time it was over the men she lost and the child that obviously didn’t make it either. Her final tears fall as she finds the house where Rick and Carl are hold up and they are tears of joy.

Inside Rick has let go of the thought his son is a boy and finally tells him that he is a man and he can see him as such. This leads to the first honest view they’ve had of each other since Carl lost his mother in my humble opinion. Having found each other it looks like the band or at least part of it may be getting back together and I for one am pleased.

This episode gave us all some context as to what shaped Michonne’s character and that alone is worth 4 stars but on top of that we get to see Carl come to terms with the fact he isn’t as big and bad and grown as he thought which is a lesson that in the end may save his life. Not to mention confirmation that Brian (The Governor) is well and truly dead.

It seems though that we will have to wait to see what fate befalls the rest of Team Rick until episode 10: Inmates. Until that time folks may all your films bring fright!

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About Blick Tolkien

About Blick Tolkien: The bastard half brother of Zeb Carter, he grew up in Chicago's urban jungle, forced to be the victim of racial injustice and daily bullying until the day he saw Night of the Living Dead. the immersion into violence on film gave him the tools to externalize his hate and make the world a horror show for all his enemies. A card carrying member of the Black Panther party, he hates whitey and all forms of coonery including any and all Tyler Perry films. You have been warned. About Zeb Carter: The younger brother of Blick Tolkien, he used horror films as a way to open him self up to the social and story telling aspects of cinematic fear as well as his love of the silver screen. After seeing Gremlins at the drive in he was hooked. He also writes short fiction, has 2 daughters and a pack of animals that he is currently serves as the alpha male over. You can read his fiction at
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