After the end of the first half of the fourth season of AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” I would have expected the series to come back with a big boom in a high-action return to the series, but as evidenced by Episode 4.09, “After,” we see that the series is content with making more episodes focusing on singular characters and divulging more about the individuals’ personas and back-stories.
With “After,” the focus is not on a single character, but more so a triple feature on Michonne and Carl. In my opinion, having an episode so focused on Carl is a risky endeavor. Carl’s character is one of the least liked characters in the series by the masses. His character comes off as whiny, and as they try to portray him as becoming more independent and growing up far too quickly in this deadly world, he becomes even less likable.
To have an episode featured on Michonne is a brilliant call because she is the most mysterious character in this world. Until this far into the series, we had no information on her back-story. As her character opens up more and more, we think of her less like a fighting machine and more like a human being. An assumption that we made about her back-story in the beginning of the fourth season, we finally get an answer to, which opens up her character even more. With such a short glimpse into her past, those brief images spoke volumes about her character, but at the same time also now leaves her less mysterious.
With “The Walking Dead” bringing another slow episode allowing us to see the characters’ inner struggles and showing them test their fortitude, “After” becomes a very compelling episode, but one that would have better been suited to have waiting another week or two.