“After” is such a great episode. Season four, episode nine is the mid-season premier and picks up right after the Governor attacked the prison, focusing on Rick and Carl’s journey as well as Michonne’s.
I love this episode because by the time I watched it I was a fan of Carl and this episode focuses a lot on him and his development. This episode really puts emphasis on how Carl is still a kid and still acts like one, but at the same time he’s really not a kid and is capable of making tough decisions.
Probably one of the most iconic moments from this episode is Carl sitting on a roof eating pudding. I always laugh at that because he literally got attacked and almost eaten by a walker not two minutes ago, losing his shoe in the process, and now he’s just hanging out eating some pudding.
I remember watching it going, “Carl! Carl, what are you doing? What are you doing Carl?!”
Of course Chandler Riggs rips our hearts out only a short while later because after a day of exploring on his own and being the tough guy he is, Carl comes face to face with the idea that he may actually be alone.
For a terrifying moment he thinks Rick has turned and that he’s going to have to put him down which leads to Carl crying and admitting that he can’t do it.
I’ve always felt that this was such a significant moment because living in the prison the viewers saw a huge change in Carl from annoying little kid to still a kid, but able to make tough decisions now.
A good part of the episode was literally focused on Carl trying to prove that he can take care of himself, but then when he realizes he may actually need to do just that he can’t do and he doesn’t want to do it.
One of the best moments in this episode is right at the end. Rick and Carl are talking when there’s a knock on the door and when Rick looks outside he tells Carl it’s for him.
Not only is this hilarious because it’s such a normal thing to say during the apocalypse, but it was also really emotional because we see what’s going on on both sides of the door. We see Rick’s reaction to seeing who’s outside and we see Michonne as she finds the house and then sees two members of her family inside.
This whole episode was a rollercoaster of emotions and it’s absolutely perfect.
Check back tomorrow for #3 on my countdown!