The Walking Dead Returns with an Existential Look at Life After the Prison Massacre
This week AMC’s The Walking Dead returns after an awfully long and painful hiatus. When we last saw the survivors, The Governor and his men had stormed the prison in what amounted to a bloodbath. Hershel lost his head, the Governor finally got put down, and it appears that baby Judith became a tasty zombie treat. With everyone scattered in the wake of the massacre, we pick up right where we left off and discover how Rick, Carl and Michonne managed to carry on after everything they cared for seemed lost forever.
Now I long for yesterday… Thinking back on “After,” I can’t help but think of the Beatles’ classic, “Yesterday.” In the song the guys sing, “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.” Michonne has been an enigma ever since she slashed her way onto the scene in the season 2 finale, “Beside the Dying Fire.” In that pivotal scene, Michonne saved Andrea’s life after the farm fire. A strange mute woman with two Walker pets, and a mean katana, Michonne never really let others into her life. Eventually, she let in Andrea, only to be picked to the curb for the feeling of safety and “a warm bed.” Once she arrived at the prison, Michonne befriended Carl, then Rick and Daryl. She was on her way to letting the others in when she and Hershel were kidnapped by the Governor and all hell broke loose. I loved the continuity of having Michonne regress into making more Walker Pets as she left the prison. The moment Michonne decided to ignore Rick and Carl’s tracks and head out on her own, it was obvious she was in bad straits. Thanks to a bizarro dream sequence, we got a glimpse into what life was like for Michonne before and after the Zombie Apocalypse. Watching her impale Hershel’s severed zombie head with her katana was bad enough, but seeing her hold her beautiful baby and how great her life used to be was just heart-wrenching. No wonder Michonne was afraid to hold Judith. Now that we know for sure who her original pets were in life, it adds more weight to Michonne telling Rick last season how she used to talk to her dead boyfriend. Lori was just a figment of Rick’s imagination, but Michonne used to have a constant reminder of her old life trailing behind her. (More…)