The Walking Dead returned last night after what seemed like forever. This is going to be a spoiler filled recap of last night as well as the mid-season finale that we saw months ago, so if you don’t want to ruin anything turn away now.
The Walking Dead: After
We pick up right where we left off at the end of the mid-season finale, Rick and Carl have lost the rest of the survivors and are now on their own. Michonne has also been split off, but we’ll get there shortly. Rick and Carl have no clue where everyone else has gone off to, they just know they have to get out of there before their ripped apart by walkers. They head off into the woods and happen upon a deserted BBQ restaurant where they scour for any food they can find. After rummaging around in the restaurant, and killing a walker, they find themselves in a quiet neighborhood and break into one of the houses. It’s clear of walkers, but just to be sure they barricade themselves in and get ready to spend the night. Rick is pretty badly wounded from the fight at the prison and is no shape to continue to trek through the woods.
Carl and Rick are not getting along very well at this point. Carl doesn’t seem to think he needs Rick and Rick just keeps treating him like a child. They don’t speak for most of the episode and when they do it’s just yelling at each other. After resting for the night, Carl wakes up before Rick and tries to awake him to get the day started; Rick won’t move. I actually thought Rick was dead at this point, but there’s no way they can kill him off… despite what a lot of people want at this point. So after trying to no-avail to wake him up, Carl starts slamming on him pretty hard, which then attracts a couple walkers to the front door. With no other option, Carl heads out to take care of them himself.
His plan was to just lure them away so he didn’t have to use his gun, or at least I think that’s what his plan was, but as he lures them further and further away he runs into another walker from behind. I thought this was the end of Carl too, but alas, after fumbling with his gun he manages to take out 3 walkers which end up falling on top of him after they are shot. I’m glad they didn’t do the cliche thing and keep him trapped under the zombies; thankfully he was able to pull himself free and be on his way, but on his way back he decides to investigate the surrounding houses for food. And again, has a run in with a walker that almost kills him. It only gets his shoe, but it was still way too close. It’s at this point that Carl is realizing that maybe he does need Rick, but while he contemplates that he sits on the roof and eats a huge can of chocolate pudding; he’s definitely still a kid.
He returns to the house and breaks down in the living room next to his dad. Rick starts to twitch a little bit and Carl immediately thinks he died and has turned. Carl backs away and draws his gun as Rick flops off of the couch and starts to crawl towards him. Carl is in tears at this point saying that he can’t do it, he can’t kill his zombie-father. He wants it all to end and just waits to get bitten. But as he closes his eyes and waits for the inevitable, Rick says his name… he’s not dead, just extremely weak. Cut back from commercial and the two are sitting on the couch talking when they hear a knock at the door… it’s Michonne.
Michonne has been wandering around aimlessly while Rick and Carl were holed up in the house. At the beginning of the episode we see her back at the prison, putting zombie-head-Herschel out of his misery as well as collecting some new pets. She lures 2 walkers into the spikes in front of the prison gates, hacks off their arms and lower jaws and puts a leash on them, just as she had done to her husband and his friend before. And we actually get a bit of a flashback to Michonne’s home life as well. Her portion of the episode was shorter, but in that span she ends up killing at least 30 walkers like it’s nothing. At one point we see her walk past a muddy road where she sees footprints leading a certain way. It’s pretty obvious they are Rick and Carl’s since one is a boot print and the other is a smaller gym shoe, but despite seeing the prints, she walks the other way. She ends up migrating in with a herd of walkers as her pets deter them from killing her. It isn’t until she takes notice of the walker that looks kind of like her that she starts to lose it. She kills that walker which then makes the other walkers realize that she’s not one of them… so she takes out all 20+ of them without breaking a sweat.
At that point she realizes that she can’t do this alone and turns back and follows the tracks she saw in the mud. She finds the BBQ place and the dead walker and eventually makes her way into the neighborhood. As she peers into one of the houses she sees Rick and Carl sitting inside as she knocks on the door.
I thought this episode was ‘ok’, not great, but at the same time I’m not sure what I was expecting. I thought it was a little slow moving, but they had all just gotten split up after a massive battle, so there couldn’t be another huge battle right away. I just hope that we’re not spending the rest of the season walking around looking for each other. I’m glad Michonne, Rick and Carl are now together, but it seems odd to me that they wouldn’t have a meeting place in mind if something were to go south. They had the plan to take the people out of the prison on the bus out the back, there had to have been some sort of contingency plan for where to meet up. Maybe they just haven’t gotten there yet, but I really hope it’s not a bunch of walking around lost for the next 8, or so, episodes. I’m definitely glad the show is back, but I’m interested to see where they go from here. I’ve heard rumors that they may introduce the current villain in the comic books (Negan) way sooner than he does in the books, but we’ll see.
What did you think of the return of The Walking Dead?