‘The Walking Dead’ Season 4 Mid-Season Premiere Review

Published 10 months ago by

Danai Gurira in The Walking Dead season 4 episode 9 The Walking Dead Season 4 Mid Season Premiere Review

[This is a review of The Walking Dead season 4, episode 9. There will be SPOILERS.]

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Television has been evolving significantly for many years now, and even though its storytelling models have changed, its methods have matured, and its content has become more sophisticated, there are still some things that remain fundamentally unchanged.

For one thing, television has traditionally been very good at beginnings; it’s also been respectable – sometimes gifted – at creating the middle part of a story; and its track record when it comes to ending things has been questionable at best. That proficiency at starting things is also something The Walking Dead has become quite skilled at handling, as the mid-season premiere, ‘After,’ once again demonstrates.

Picking up just shortly after the Governor’s moderately more successful, yet still ill-fated attempt to take the prison and kill Rick, ‘After’ attempts to deal with the fallout from that attack in terms that are appropriate to the context of the show. That is, anyone left standing doesn’t have much time to sit around and contemplate all that was lost, as mere survival one again becomes paramount.

This is in stark contrast to the beginning of season 4, which found Rick and the rest of the survivors in the prison attempting to build a self-sustaining community that was, for all intents and purposes, safe (or safe enough) from the continuous threat of the walkers. ‘30 Days Without an Accident‘ was a new beginning for the series and its characters – one that was revealed in the relative calm of its title.

Naturally, the situation in ‘After’ is far less serene; Rick and Carl are found stumbling their way through an abandoned neighborhood in search of a safe place for Rick to convalesce, while Michonne finds herself in the unenviable position of having to terminate the re-animated head of Hershel, before temporarily reverting back to her wandering ways with two semi-dismembered pets at her side.

The early circumstances of the premiere are certainly dour and familiar, but they still qualify as a new beginning for at least three main characters. The takeaway here, however, seems to once again be a demonstration of how those beginnings give the storylines a much-needed sense of renewal and newfound purpose – even if it’s technically the same purpose the show started with three-and-a-half season ago.

If it’s just going back to the well that’s fine, these are the moments that reinvigorate the audience’s interest in the characters and their situations, and in the context of this particular series. They are also the moments when the show is typically at its creative best.

Chandler Riggs and Andrew Lincoln in The Walking Dead season 4 episode 9 The Walking Dead Season 4 Mid Season Premiere Review

In the case of the mid-season premiere, that involves scaling things down in a way that makes sense given the particular storytelling parameters at play. Because long-distance communication is virtually nonexistent and because the population has been decimated, the world has become a much larger place. Food is scarce, shelter is often iffy, a trip down the road is suddenly a life-threatening experience, and the trials and tribulations of a small group of people begins to feel very big indeed. And because of that, The Walking Dead is better served whenever it recognizes that by telling smaller, more intimate stories.

This smaller story dealing with Rick, Carl – made even smaller by Rick’s near-comatose state – and Michonne help make the series feel more personal, more involved with the characters and their predicaments, and therefore it’s easier for the writers to develop plots and venture down avenues that have gone unexplored and would otherwise stay that way when the series gives itself over to a larger, more single-minded plot.

The thing is, the world of The Walking Dead is huge; it doesn’t have to limit its storytelling as much as it has in the past. And here, in ‘After,’ we get the first glimpses of how the Scott M. Gimple era of the show is beginning to understand that and utilize it to the advantage of the show as a whole.

A key example of this is how Michonne is given a distinct arc that not only calls to mind the laconic wanderer she was prior to joining up with Rick’s group, but also by fleshing out some of her backstory with a few unsettling flourishes to push it past a rudimentary flashback. The Walking Dead is one program that actually benefits from knowing who these people were before the zombie outbreak occurred – which in this case, involves Michonne’s seemingly idyllic home life becoming distorted in a terrifyingly subjective and revealing way.

Furthermore, because the characters are all in the same situation, knowing something of their prior circumstances helps to illuminate their responses in the present; it gives weight to their actions, as we see here when Michonne cuts down a group of walkers and chooses instead to follow the tracks that eventually lead her to Rick and Carl.

Danai Gurira as Michonne in The Walking Dead season 4 episode 9 The Walking Dead Season 4 Mid Season Premiere Review

The same can be said for Carl, whose journey here is essentially a brief coming-of-age/redemptive arc, after he reduces his severely injured father to persona non grata – even evoking the name of Shane – as a way of coping with the trauma of what just occurred. There’s familiarity in Carl’s clumsy (and in this case, life-threatening) attempts to be “a man,” which again sees him walking into situations he shouldn’t on the basis he no longer needs looking after.

We also see a subtle, affecting moment when he stumbles into a room and marvels at the youthful wonders of video games, posters, and books, only to use the television’s power chord as a fastener for the house’s front door. It’s an odd position Carl finds himself in where he is essentially caught wanting to be the man who can survive on his own, and still needing to grab moments of blissful adolescence, as he does while enjoying a can of pudding on the roof of the house he just escaped from.

It’s a surprisingly tender, light moment for the character that is revisited again in the episode’s closing seconds when Rick sees Michonne at the front door and tells Carl, “It’s for you.” It’s a terrifically atypical way to end things, but moreover, it proves there is room in The Walking Dead for moments of calm reflection, pleasure, humor, and even a little joy, and that the show is better for having included them.

If there’s one thing The Walking Dead consistently delivers on, it is generally strong premieres. So far, season 4 has had two premieres that both offer a sense of hope for a new beginning: one for the characters, and, as we see here, one for the structure of the series. ‘After’ is one of the stronger episodes of the season, and for now, it’s enough to make one curious about where the next seven chapters are headed.

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The Walking Dead continues next Sunday with ‘Inmates’ @9pm on AMC.

Photos: Gene Page/AMC

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TAGS: the walking dead

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  1. Just watched it! Loved the ending.

  2. Great way to kick things off in the second half. Figure that Michonne would wind up with rick and carl. I think there gonna be a few pairing up with the groups that got split up. Im just wondering when there gonna bring carol back in the picture. It’s either gonna be with Tyreese and the girls or daryl and beth. Cant wait for next season. Also hope they change the 16 shows to 24 soon cause i cant get enough.

    • I think you are right that she will end up with Tyrese. He doesn’t know the truth yet that she killed his lady. Should be interesting.

  3. So Carl can (barely) kill 3 walkers, and get the can of pudding opened, but can’t kill the one walker and get his shoe back?

    • He ran out of ammo after he panicked and fired two shots into the ceiling. The problem is he’s small (short with little reach) that it’s harder for him to kill a Walker with a melee weapon without the risk of being bitten or scratched. Until he grows larger or finds more ammunition, he’s not going to be that much use in a fight except as bait.

    • Why is it so unbelievable that he missed a shot? I think you’re just looking for things to complain about.

    • I imagine it’s so he has a reason to write the thing on the door so Michonne can go get it. I’m guessing that’s why Rick says “It’s For You.” She’s probably holding up his shoe at that moment.

    • He was out of bullets.

  4. While I do love the smaller-scale personal stories kinds of episodes like this one that just focus on a few of the characters, I’m realllyyyyy dying to find out what’s going on with the rest of the group too, and anxious that I have to wait yet another week to find out.

    • I’m sure the writers realize this and that’s how they get you to tune in every week :)

  5. I was extremely bored by this episode. Am I alone in this sentiment?

    • You are surely not alone. This was one of the worst episodes ever and that’s saying a lot because there have been a lot of terrible ones. Aside from the mid-season finale, this whole season has been a joke. In fact the only thing to happen in the last 3 seasons was the death of Andrea. The only way they can keep me as a viewer is if they kill off Carl! He is a horrible character and every time he is on screen I just get annoyed.

      • I agree about Carl. For me, he’s the new Lori, in that he’s the one character I would like to see get killed off the most, and I’m not saying anything about the actor who plays him, but rather, more about the way the character is written. Same goes with Lori…nothing against the actress who played her..I just thought the character was very poorly written.

        • n my opiion this was ectualy the best episde of this season… to say its the worst episode ever is to not know a good episode if it hit you in the face. This episode goes back to the way the show was in its prime. It capturesthe tone and feel of season 1 again. And Carl? No not the new Lori. Lori was an adult that was not well writen. Carl is a teenager and writen as a teenager. When i was a teenager i would hate my parents 1 day and love them the next. This episode explains why he is the way he is for a great part. Just look for the subleties in this show and its characters….thats were the true hart of the show lies.

          • Sorry got a bit carried away lol….

            • No,u just spoke out what most of us think ! Thanks

            • Nah I think you were right on point, my thing is if so many of these people complain sooooo much about how they hate this show, these actors then why are they still watching. Read the comics ya jerks. Once upon a time I really enjoyed The Big Bang, then they started to annoy me guess what? I stopped watching and I never look up reviews of the show and I don’t complain about a show I don’t watch or like lol.

    • I thought it was an odd choice to basically focus on Carl (a character that is not well liked). Perhaps they were trying to rehabilitate the character? Nice to get a little backstory on Michonne though.

    • ^ I didn’t get bored, but I know what you mean.

    • Nope, you were not alone. I was VERY disappointed in the episode. Hardly worth the wait. Worst of the year hands down. Carl is an annoying, disrespectful, disobedient punk kid who would ONLY be able to eat pudding if I was his dad as he would have no teeth left. Weak episode. Touching when he fell on his ass to show him he still needs his daddy…NOT.
      Seems that the WD sycophant’s liked it though. They like it no matter what. Everything is deep, and real and poignant. None of it is implausible, weak or over the top ridiculous.
      Hope they get it straightened out. One way to do that is give Rick his balls back and give Carl a little nip somewhere on the torso… not a limb.

  6. Sadly no. I hope the later episodes get better.

  7. Wow, what a disappointing premier I usually like the episodes that others find boring…the slower paced episodes that focus on character development. But this episode was just plain BORING! Based on the previews for next week, it looks like the next episode will be better.

    • That sucked.

  8. BAD premiere. Two simple questions…

    How can Michonne walk among the dead? Why would having two of them tied to her make a bit of difference as to whether or not the rest could sense her?

    Why would Carl run into a door, attempting to bust it down, before trying the handle to see if it is open?

    A very forgettable episode.

    • To expand on my question about Michonne, if her proximity to walkers is supposed to mask her smell or something, then why wouldn’t she and everyone else be “invisible” in a crowd of walkers, regardless of whether or not they have any of the undead actually tied to them? Just makes no sense.

      I know, I know…it’s a television show.

    • …and I also have to add…seeing Carl run into a door, attempting to bust it down, before trying the handle to see if it was open got the biggest laugh from me the whole series.

      Very poor writing, unless the intent was to show how stupid he is.

      • having taught 7th and 8th graders for 8 years now, I can tell ya, what Carl did is normal. He got the flood light which is the obvious tool needed but thought to himself, “Screw this, I’m a man. I am strong. I’ll show you, Dad, even if you are not here…”

        Junior high mentality is:
        1. Boys who think they have man strength. They think they can fight anyone or anything.
        2. They often have the appropriate answers or tools right in front of them and they still say the wrong answer or use the wrong tool
        3. Even the best behaved kids make the dumbest choices.

        Ex. One of my best 8th grade students (academically, behaviorally, and athletically) plays on the flag football team I coach. I start correcting his behavior of playing around on the field which he never does. He then starts mad dogging me. I give him a lecture about his respect and that I’m gonna talk to his dad. “I don’t care, go ahead.” he says to me. Then later comes to me and apologizes.

        • Thank you for this! People are looking too hard at the “flaws” of the writing or the character. In actuality, the writers are trying to show us that even on the brink of human race possibly being extinct, that teens still act the way they do. They are emotional and think that they can handle themselves and that they are strong and smart. I mean, the thing this episode teaches us is that,children are still children until they start making trials and errors.
          “… you should just die. I dont need you anymore…” Something teens say to their parents when they are angry.

          • THANK GOD…..SOME PEOPLE GET IT…..THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE.

        • True!
          I really think Carl was portrayed well in this episode … and I also think he acted really good.

          And for those who loved the Governor (and liked the totally needless and senseless Governor episodes) and hate Carl: this show is about Rick and Carl … not about the Governor, not about any bad guy we have met and will cross ways in the future … even not about the other group members … though we of course see more about them and a bit it’s also about the group members … but they can die at any time … Glenn, Maggie, even Michonne and the darling of the TV audience Daryl … it’s not about them … they are very important sidekicks … but it’s about Rick and his son Carl!

      • I think the show wanted you to laugh at how stupid he was being. I took from it that the kid had in his mind that he was an Action Hero. The door showed him that he was being an idiot. It was a VERY compressed growing up process he was doing and also sort of fits with the Soldier Arc that I’ve read about. He started thinking he was bulletproof, had that beaten out of him in short order. Decided he’d have to play things smarter and think things through a little bit, found that he was STILL vulnerable and STILL was unprepared. Realized that he was a fragile creature in a dangerous world and if he wanted to survive, it would be better to find some friends. This was his first time EVER actually alone in a scary world(the mudpit zombie incident was such that he could run home to Mommy.) And he learned alot in short order. He looked comical doing it, though.

    • 3 comments is a bit much, no? xD

      The goal is to blend in. Being close enough to a walker might mask your smell enough and I wouldn’t be surprised if she took extra precautions to cover that base, but keep in mind that walkers don’t just rely on smell, but also sight and hearing. Tying them to herself is to create the illusion that she is one of them and being quiet is essential. Once she started hacking away at the walkers, her cover was blown, because of the movement and noise.

      The whole point of the episode on Carl and Rick’s side was to show that Carl isn’t ready yet. He is still immature and his ego was easily inflated when he defeated 3 walkers. This leads him to thinking that he is invisible and doing dumb things like trying to burst through a door and not be more cautious when exploring the house. He obviously doesn’t understand what his father has gone through (the remark about Shane and Rick being a farmer) and still needs his father to guide him through this world.

      I know it is easy to hate on Carl, but people forget that he is a teenager and does stupid things. Granted, not the strongest episode, but it does highlight the dynamic between father and son, as well as give us more back story for Michonne and how she is also very much damaged like everyone else.

      • I agree on your points. carl even admitted to being wrong, stated he wasn’t strong enough to finish off rick, and offered his neck and told rick to finish him when he thought rick turned, fearing he’d be the sole grimes left alive. his running into the door and not employing smarter tact was likely to further illustrate his bull headed approach.

        it seems as if mike and terry opted to ” check out ” and might have taken michonne’s child with them, hence her remark of the two never being human in her season three flashback. I also wonder if that was thee sam’s house, from episode four.

      • The problem here, however, is that Michonne’s previous pets had time to become acclimated to being unable to feed and therefore, over a span of time, become docile enough that they no longer bothered trying to feed and she was able to lead them around. What occurs in this instance makes it appear as if hacking their arms and removing their jaw somehow instantly renders them docile.

        I’m not buying it. This episode occurs just after the prison falls and they are creatures of instinct; they would at least continue to attempt to feed until constant attempts producing no results conditions them to stop trying.

        I understand that the nature of an episode calls for some amount of expediency in the process but, as shown here, anyone could just hack away and have an instant zombie barrier.

        • I’m glad you alluded to the docility of those two walkers, as I also thought it was poor writing how, after their arms and jaws were hacked off, their “hunger” was so adversely affected. The impression one gets is that they are able to think and learn…i.e., “I’m hungry, but I have no means to grasp or eat my food, so it is senseless to even try.”

        • I agree! That bothered me more than anything else about the episode! They show week after week that the walkers are focused on one thing: biting and eating. They showed it in this episode, with the walkers impaling themselves. Yet you cut off their jaws, and they suddenly have the sentience to realize they can’t bite anymore? BS!

          I think this season is really bugging me because there are many instances where common sense is going out the window to tell a good “story.” AND they are looping back to tell some stories from the comic books, which are NOT going to make sense for the characters they have created in the TV series.

        • You are forgetting that the walkers she used as “pets” were not just feeding. They were just approaching the prison. Plus, time elapsed from when they show them impaled to when she is leading them right? That is time for them to “settle” into docility.

          • If time passed, it was three minutes of time. It was incredibly fast to have them go from aggressively hungry to that docile

            • Was it 3 minutes though? I erased the show from my DVR and watched the episode only once. But if I’m not mistaken, wasn’t there another transition scene after the walkers were impaled? I don’t remember what scene came after her getting themselves to impale themselves (lol…redundant)

        • So everyone is just going to forget that Andrea in season 3 (I ain’t a judas) did the exact same thing when she wanted to go visit the prison only she curb stomped them and broke their jaws guess what they were just as docile, also in season 3 Milton explained why they were docile after taking their arms and jaws.

        • Totally agree. It’s plausible that they get docile after a while without jaws and arms … but not immediately.
          And not all the others in the midst of a herd. Few or single walkers may be fooled … from a distance they don’t smell you and “think” you’re just a walker in a small group of walkers. So they don’t recognize …

          So it’s really important to walk slow and be quiet. But if you get near other walkers which aren’t docile … they will sooner or later smell you and attack!

          So this scene isn’t really well thouhgt through … since Michonne is really close to the walker looking a bit like herself.

      • Very good analogy, people should also remember Carl has been through alot, he lost shane, sofia, his mother, herschel and judith, all who were close to him in some way. He is probably trying to deal with it in the best way he knows how, which is in his case “an arrogant know- it all almost teenager”

      • Carla..yes i’m reffering him as a girly kiddo, BARELY “defeated” those three walkers, had he had no gun and only that big light poker thing, they’d have fed on his tiny brain :) not to mention he used 5 shots…LOL Kirkman needs to make him pay already and kill off the little murderer

  9. Jeez, some people are hard to please. Mid-season episode was a good one imo. The tension of Michonne, Carl & Rick was good. Got a feeling that will carry on with the rest of the survivors from the prison.

    Baffles me people hate Carl when its simply him being a teenager that tries to his part & will make mistakes as other characters have on the show, so him & Lori aren’t the only ones.

    Reason Carl didn’t finish off that lone walker in the house is because 1.He ran outta bullets.2. Walker would over power him by other means.3. Both he & Rick were low on bullets & further shooting in the house would attract walkers in the area.

    It was interesting to see more Michonne’s backstory & sorry sight to see Hershel’s head Walker like. I look forward to next weekend’s episode.

  10. I haven’t seen the episode yet but as a fan/Stan of the show I say this “ride with it or step off this zombie train”. Not every episode is gonna be great or exciting but it will have purpose. I read the comicbook so I know what to expect. The show goes off track every now and again but overall it’s a great show. I admire the direction and I think that if you can watch it for all this time and come back each Sunday, then you can take a few episodes of poor story telling and bad acting.

    And just to make things clear. Lori was poorly written, Carl isn’t. Andrea was poorly used. So is Tyreese. But Darryl was the greatest character creation this show could have made. I also think that Morgan is the next best character to rick and Hershel. The governor was great too.

    • How about f*ck you? Does that sound good? I will watch what I want, feel how I want about it and comment in the area that Screen Rant provides.

      Carl isn’t poorly written? Well, maybe to you he is not. I feel he is though.

      I guess I will stay on the Zombie train and enjoy it when I do and not enjoy when I don’t.

      • Why dont you look in the mirror and say that to yourself. Its his opinion and if you cant comment in a normal way then just get the hell out of this site. Keep your disrespectfull and hate comments to yourself…..

        • “then just get the hell out of this site”

          No.

      • While I think we could have saved the epithet, I support you here. I agree that this is a place for people to voice their opinion, If it’s negative, it is. And it can get irritating having an “AMERICA!: Love It Or Leave It!” comment all the time. If I hate an episode, I’ll say I hate it here.

        I really liked the episode, though. There were one or two pretty big plot holes, one or two overly broad ‘moral’ moments but I’m willing to skip over them for the sake of the narrative.

        • Thanks.

        • So then you support his F word comment….i really dont care for people’s opinion if they are disrespectfull of others… if people have no normal way of expresing their opinion then they should not voice them here…..the blame goes also to screenrant for not removing said comments

          • If you’ll reread my post, you’ll note I said we could do without the epithet. it was overly strong and, without inflection,(the thing missing from all our posts) it sounds angry. MovieB’s irritation at being told “Like it, or get lost.” is warranted.

            This is a site for opinions. It’s why we come. I like a differing opinion than mine. I guess Screen Rant is okay with that too.

            Listen, a very good site that I ALSO read allows any kind of swearing that doesn’t denigrate. They are very respectful there but say things like “That’s f**king ridiculous” all the time. It’s how people talk

  11. I forgot to add Talking Dead is always a plus to watch afterwards.

    • Talking Dead is a mindless marketing event of AMC full with senseless marketing babble and an annoying host. It tries to boost every detail of the show and praises the show and its creators totally uncritical (therefore the praise isn’t the more annoying). The show handles the audience of TWD like mindless walkers who can’t form an opinion of their own and who could need some bread crumbs to lead them to the ingeniousness of the show. It’s no wonder, since it’s a marketing event of AMC and just fakes talk show entertainment.

      Just my 2 cents!

      • OR … it could be an entertaining hour of hearing input and interviews with producers and cast members, some behind-the-scenes details of interactions and such. It’s also a lot of fun.
        Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean anyone who does is a mindless idiot.

  12. I think the Carl-centric episode could cause some discord among some viewers, but it seems like the episode was meant to illustrate how he is still just a kid. When he ran out of bullets and lost his shoe I found it ironic and funny, even if it was not intended that way.

    Interesting bit of back story about Michonne finally, and of course her going crazy and killing a pack of zombies is just meant to solidify her bad-assery. When Daryl shows up he is going to have to shoot down a plane with his crossbow to top killing that tank.

  13. This show freakin sucks. What the hell happened? Was it the death of Shane that sparked the shows downfall?

    • They kept Shane around TOO long IMO :P

  14. My thoughts.

    1) Carl fans. Carl is not the first teenager to be portrayed on television. Therefore saying he is a teen is not a logical argument to the people that hate him, like me. I don’t like the actor, his voice, dumb cartoon cowboy hat that is 5 sizes to big for him or anything he’s done since season one. The character is just bad it my opinion and from what I read a lot of other peoples too.

    2) Writing is getting lazy as people have mentioned. The docile walkers makes no sense as the were trained house pets within a minute. Huh? This reminds me of the first half of the season when the Governver was killing people all over his little camp, yet no one heard any of the screams within a 10 foot radius.

    3) Glad they are out of the prison.

    • I cannot stand Carl as a character he is pointless boring wimpy stupid and irritating

  15. Wow,great episode…that was intense with a capital “I”…from Hershel’s reanimated head,Michonne’s dream where she looses her baby and Carl talking to his dead father…The “Dead” returned like nothing else on Television.It will be interesting to see what’s happening with the others….but as far as Rick and Michonne go,there seems to be something more than friendship between them…feelings of affection are developing…Time will tell….I hope they get together…

  16. I’m really glad that the long stretched prison story arc is finally over. Can’t be mention enough!

    The first epsiode after the prison was a slow one … but that’s ok. It was a good one, in my opinion. Much better than the senseless repeating we’ve seen in the first half of the season.

    The characters has to regroup again and so we have to wait till a new group will form. Hopefully this will not last too long. But at least Rick, Carl and Michonne are together again within one episode.

    The whole episode was of course focused on Carl. It was important to show that he’s still a teenage boy thinking of himself as independent and as a man, but (realising he’s) still depending on his father … the scene where he thinks his father is a walker and then confessing (mainly to himself) that he’s scared … it’s pretty the same as in the comic book (no wonder: Kirkman the episode) … its a milestone on Carl’s journey of quickly growing up into the badass boy he will be some day.

    But I agree with some former comments: The TV show writers always overdo things in this season. We’ve already had such scenes with Rick and Carl (because of the senseless stretching in the first half) and therefore it came like: not again the father- teenage son conflicts. Again the writers created some dumb situations: Why wouldn’t Carl go backwards? Why wouldn’t he recognize the third walker? …
    But it wasn’t so annoying like similar scenes in the first season half.

    Michonne wasn’t portrayed very well in my opinion. The flashback or dream wasn’t really her.
    And most of all the walking in the small herd (it seemed much bigger to me than after she killed them all) is totally implausible. In the first season Rick and others covered with walkers innards and the walkers couldn’t smell them … till the rain came. Michonne could never walk in the midst of a herd or such a big walkers group without getting attacked.
    As I remember, she once described, her method of having 2 walker slaves works for few or single walker … that was really lame, even for Kirkman writing himself. The setting should just show the decision of Michonne – not roaming around like walkers, but finding Rick & Carl. Could have been done better (without walking in the midst of a herd).

  17. More backstory, please! Ive been thinking since season 1 that this show has a lot of similarities to Lost. A band of survivors fighting unknown elements, not quite sure what I going on. And the strength of Lost was without a doubt its multi-dimensional characters, fully fleshed out and well written. I believe that is what WD has always been missing, and what, in my opinion, has made it fall short on many occasions. Flesh out these people, give us back story, and give us insight into what drives them and influences their decisions. If they do that this show will only get better, and will have a great chance to make a longer run.

  18. I don’t agree with jeff he sucks

    • I agree with mark

  19. I enjoyed it.
    My first thought when reading the comments has to be…
    If you do not like it then move on :) i get a feeling some people feel they are owed the best 50 mins of TV ever and keep watching until that happens and moaning every week as it fails to happen. At its roots this TV show is about survival in a zombie (well, we assume they are) infested world. It shouldnt be fun and action guts and glory. Go watch Zombieland or the remake of DOTD if that is what you need.

    The show gives the characters time to mature. You are meant to hate Carl he is an annoying kid who just happens to have been through a rough time or two. We have watched him (slowly) evolve as he has to look after others and his family. The kid has grown up and just lacks the physical height and brawn to whack a walker in the head.
    Not all the characters can be cool sword or crossbow wielding killers. You need to see real people in the show as well. I got kids, i think if they managed to survive as long as Carl i would be happy :)

    Like the show for what it is or go watch one of the 1000 other shows that would love the attention.

    • So what you’re saying is if I watch a show I have to like it all the time? One can’t point out inconsistencies in writing? Everything has to be enjoyed and if you don’t enjoy it, don’t watch? You have kids so I should like Carl? I’m meant to hate Carl so I can’t hate Carl?

      I said the same thing to buddy up there… f*ck you. You do what you want. I’ll do what I want. Don’t read bad comments or if you disagree, reply to a comment. Just don’t act like your way of doing things is the only way. Pis*ing me off!

      • wow – you must be a pleasure to hang out with. just out of curiosity – how many episodes total have you actually enjoyed?
        you give the impression that overall you do not enjoy the show or may (most) of the characters? if that is case – why do you watch? by the way you respond to people (whom you don’t even know & we’re speaking offensively to you personally) – you give the impression you’re some what angry and may be a little violent – you might want to consider getting help with those tendencies – can’t healthy getting p*ssed off over comments on a message aboard – about a tv show (you don’t really like).

        I’m fairly certain no one you’re responding to really cares what you do (since they don’t know you) – they just suggesting – if you don’t like the show so vehemently – why would you force yourself to watch it? as stated – may be try watching some other stuff – may be for the next two or three weeks – just try not watching the show – and then if you’re still curious about the show – watch it multiple episodes at one time – ie. binge watching a few hours – and you might enjoy it more (overall) as some episodes may entertain you more than others – but overall give you enjoyment from watching – which is is kind of the point of the show.

        your responses to multiple comments – give the impression – you get upset VERY easily over something fairly insignificant – that can’t be healthy and it’s certainly not polite the way you respond to others – when you tell someone to F*ck off – the rest of your message is basically hard to care about

        and try to remind yourself – it’s just a tv show – no reason to get so upset with others who enjoy it more than you do. What else do you do (by your own choice) that you hate so much ?

        suggestion: when responding to anyone online – try to respond the way you would in person – especially to strangers – ie. would you really tell a stranger – to f*ck off straight to their face ? over a tv show or anything else for that matter ???

        • “wow – you must be a pleasure to hang out with.”

          As must you with your long winded “lessons” to complete strangers.

          “and try to remind yourself – it’s just a tv show – no reason to get so upset with others who enjoy it more than you do. What else do you do (by your own choice) that you hate so much?”

          More backwards talk. Haha. So it’s okay to get upset at people who point out an issue with an episode. It’s just not okay to get upset with those people. Is that your logic here? Sorry, no.

          Why must everything with you be so broad? Just because I critique a few things does not mean I “HATE” the show. I’ll thank you to stop putting words in my mouth to support your rants. Take direct quotes or don’t bother. It takes a real pompous clown to suggest I binge watch the show. I love The Walking Dead, I’ve been a loyal fan since season 1. Since you don’t know me you continue to make stuff up to support your weak logic and argument.

          “suggestion: when responding to anyone online – try to respond the way you would in person – especially to strangers – ie. would you really tell a stranger – to f*ck off straight to their face ? over a tv show or anything else for that matter ???”

          If some random said if you don’t like it leave, yet it’s not their place, yes I would tell them to f*ck off to their face. Is that hard to believe? Everyone is allowed to post their thoughts here and they can constructively criticise the show. I’m sorry if you don’t think so but that’s the way it is.

          • my comments were directed at the impression you give – about being somewhat overly emotional about comments on a message board – not quoting you directly (honestly who cares) – your viewing habits (or anyone else’s) don’t affect anyone else’s

            but have to admit you come across as a fairly …. angry …. over suggestions … nothing more, nothing less … and if there are aspects or characters of the show you don’t like – which is fine – posting on these message boards (or any others) – doesn’t really affect the show in any meaningful way – you realize that right ?

            just a suggestion – try using the golden rule in all aspects of life – message boards or in “real life” – goes a long way
            but why in the world would you tell someone to f*ck off – online or in person – over a tv show ?? a simple “good for you” is the more common response most people would give … telling someone something so offensive – especially to a stranger really gives the impression that you have major anger issues – just so you know

            • “your viewing habits (or anyone else’s) don’t affect anyone else’s”

              Well apparently they do, hence the original post I responded to. I mean seriously? You can re-read everything I guess if you must.

              “but have to admit you come across as a fairly …. angry …. over suggestions … nothing more, nothing less … and if there are aspects or characters of the show you don’t like – which is fine – posting on these message boards (or any others) – doesn’t really affect the show in any meaningful way – you realize that right ?”

              Sure I appeared angry. I get annoyed at the “you don’t like it, don’t watch it” attitude that is illogical. The Walking Dead is one of my favourite shows. I was pointing some things that bothered and some that didn’t. I.e. Carl. That in no way means I should not watch the show anymore. I’m not sure what you can’t understand about that. Are you a troll or something guest?

              Of course my comments don’t affect the show. Was that ever on the table?

              “but why in the world would you tell someone to f*ck off – online or in person – over a tv show ??”

              Go over everything you wrote and that is why. Goodbye.

      • He is replying…..are you that thick…..damn and is using the F word making you feel like a man…sorry you are just not getting it do you….

        • “He is replying”

          Who is he? Replying to who? I don’t think you understand :(

          “are you that thick…..damn and is using the F word making you feel like a man…”

          No. Does calling someone thick make you feel smarter?

          “sorry you are just not getting it do you….”

          Ha ha what? I don’t think you understand. Your name suits you though, your post has blown my mind.

          • hi dude (or dudette)
            you give the impression that you feel you’re being attacked – which is not the case. And for whatever reason you really seem to be into “quoting” previous responses – and line by line defending yourself/ attacking anything anyone says towards you …. okay … that’s a little odd, but whatever.

            what you may be missing the point on – or may be you’re getting it and just don’t care – when you take things so personally via a message board online and go about telling people to “F*ck off” and you’re “getting p*ssed off” etc etc – you come across as very angry, potentially violent and for some inexplicable reason – very antagonistic.

            if you read virtually any other comments from other posters – no one else seems to reply to others so offensively the way you do – and yes telling people to F*ck off – over a suggestion to may be not watch the show if you don’t like it – is considered offensive by most people. and anything else you’re trying to express – which is fine – kind of gets overshadowed by your vulgar words

            more importantly – the first person you responded to by saying “how about you F*ck off” because they suggested may be not watching the show …. really?? they weren’t aiming their initial comment towards you PERSONALLY – why did you take it so personally? and anytime you get p*ssed off over comments via a message board or about a TV show or anything so insignificant – it might not hurt to just go for a walk or something …

            FYI – being respectful towards others – online &/ or in person …. ie. not telling others to F*CK off over something so meaningless as a tv show or anything else for that matter … goes a long way …just something to think about

            the Golden rule … give it a shot, you might like it.

            • “And for whatever reason you really seem to be into “quoting” previous responses – and line by line defending yourself/ attacking anything anyone says towards you …. okay … that’s a little odd, but whatever.”

              I like to separate BS into little piles not one big blob, sorry. Why are you so upset about being quoted, I mean they are YOUR words. Do you not like being shown another opinion

              “when you take things so personally via a message board online and go about telling people to “F*ck off” and you’re “getting p*ssed off” etc etc – you come across as very angry, potentially violent and for some inexplicable reason – very antagonistic.”

              Potentially violent?!? Haha so you’re a lawyer in real life, good to know.

              “if you read virtually any other comments from other posters – no one else seems to reply to others so offensively the way you do – and yes telling people to F*ck off – over a suggestion to may be not watch the show if you don’t like it – is considered offensive by most people. and anything else you’re trying to express – which is fine – kind of gets overshadowed by your vulgar words”

              So you like to tell others how to speak, what words they can use and how to express themselves to fit YOUR standards? Haha the term “f*ck off” was invented for people like you, pal. What don’t you understand? What you want is the ability to call people out and question their character but you want them to react the way you want them to. Are you new to planet Earth. Go outside and tell a stranger how to live their life. We’ll see whose theory is really true.

              “more importantly – the first person you responded to by saying “how about you F*ck off” because they suggested may be not watching the show …. really?? they weren’t aiming their initial comment towards you PERSONALLY – why did you take it so personally? and anytime you get p*ssed off over comments via a message board or about a TV show or anything so insignificant – it might not hurt to just go for a walk or something …”

              Of course he didn’t direct his comments towards me PERSONALLY, he just gutlessly directed it to my type of person, so yeah, I said something. If you say something to a group of people, some in that group will speak up. I did.

              “FYI – being respectful towards others – online &/ or in person …. ie. not telling others to F*CK off over something so meaningless as a tv show or anything else for that matter … goes a long way …just something to think about”

              I’m not sure who or what you think you are, but going around trying to enlighten people is, to me anyways, a form of disrespect. I don’t need life lessons from you, stranger. Quite simply “sosages” felt he could tell people what to do. He can’t and I reminded him of that with a simple F off. Judging by the way you behave I would say you’re in for a couple of those in your life also.

  20. Wow, it’s amazing to find out what people think “Good TV” is.

    This episode was amazing. Well-written, well-directed. It was also a purposeful jab at all those who hate Carl as a “stupid kid” – it was purposefully done that way as a theme of the episode, as others have pointed out. We live in a non-zombie world where pretty much every teenager is a 24/7 walking hazard to themselves. That’s pretty much that age gap: parents trying to do the right things to keep you alive while you insist you’re smarter and independent for doing pretty much the opposite.

    Flashback sequence was fantastic. Instantly gave Michonne so much more depth and dimension. And a happy ending for once? Yes please. And focusing on how a preteen kid deals with horrific trauma and general life in the zompocalypse was interesting enough to ME. Don’t really see that all too often. Seen plenty of “Badass zombie killer” flicks already, so…

    Oh well, #hatersgonnahate I guess. AMC should just make a reality show for ‘Walking Dead’ survival courses so all these armchair survivalists could put some walk behind all this talk.

    • @ Kofi Outlaw

      Bravo! Thank you. I actually like this series than most zombie films so if naysayers got any problems with the show, they should stick with zombie flicks that might suit their taste.

      Every show will have slow episodes beside the fact it’s a hour tv show. But This Mid-Season episode was not one of them.

  21. I agree with Sosages and the rest. I have waited for this episode, and I think they did a great job, for reasons many have already pointed out. I love the WD, but I know not everyone does.. what makes me annoyed is that there are those that is /never/ (or nearly never) pleased with the show.. then why do they watch it, why do they keep putting so many comments about what they don`t like everywhere? Ah, rhetorical question, I don`t want an answer on that really.. I just wish that they would realize that they are not forced at all to watch if they do not like it.

    I hope the rest of this season will be good, fleshing out and showing us what is happening with the rest of the group. And perhaps, they will get banded together again real quick.

    Rick and Daryl are my big favorites (now that hershel is dead) so I hope to see more of both in situations that makes Rick take charge, and Daryl back as his right-hand man, even though that might not happen immidiately because of carol.

  22. I enjoyed the episode. Was it slow? Yes, but the fact that they are out of the prison is a good thing. I liked that they focused on some backstory for Michonne(even if it was a dream) and I liked the ending. Does it still have it’s issues? Yes, but a huge improvement from the writing standpoint since the first half of this season. Also they had a after show podcast or something and loved the statement made, “this isn’t a Romero type of zombie show and never will be. It’s not meant to be a zombie first show”
    LOL

  23. Loved the episode! :D

    My only problem was actually the flashback. I don’t know, I just thought it was a bit much and kind of fell flat, I felt like it could have been handled better. But I loved the scene later in the episode with Michone talking to her dead boyfriend again, that was great! And I thought Chandler Riggs did a fantastic job in this episode. One thing I really loved about this one was how much it followed the comics.

    • Mostly agreed!

      I also considered the Michonne flashback flat and somehow unfitting, but liked her talking to her dead boyfriend / husband … overall Michonne could have been handled better.

      Carl was handled really good. I also don’t really like the actor, but this time he did a great job. I get used to him. The annoying repeating of the teenage fight with Rick is just because we’ve seen it over and over again in the first season half of endless stretching the plot.
      I also loved that it’s following the comic book again … not because I don’t like TV adaptations (I do, if they’re done well), but because they in season 3 and 4 it did always go wrong, when they got to far away from the comic source.

  24. just kill off Carla FFS

  25. Loved it. The Rick zombie scene was one of the best scenes of this season, very well done.
    And I don’t care what you say about Chandler riggs, he is a pretty good actor for his age.

  26. Why would Carl run into a door, attempting to bust it down, before trying the handle to see if it is open?

    Because he was trying to be like his dad, he may say a bunch of cruel things to rick but he obviously still loves him and idolizes him… Rick kicked the door open to get in the 1st house… So carl (thinking hes a adult that can take care of himself), tried to enter the house in the same manner as his father… Carl has always tired to mirror his dad, notice his attachment to ricks hat???

    • “Watch this.” as a kid I knew pulled his jacket over hid head and literally jumped through a window, hollywood style, back in the 70s. Funny as hell until we noticed the blood coming from his pants – he’d ended up sitting on a piece of the window. Actually it was even funny then in the emergency room.

      Dumbest thing ever? Yup. Did we think so at the time? Nope. Teenagers can be idiots.

  27. Carl actually has the potential to be one of the best characters of the series, if written well that is, because the arc of a child who is raised in this type of world would make for amazing story. He grows up knowing only loss, studies the rights and wrongs of his father’s attempts to lead a group of people, and is a bit of a crack shot with his pistol… Carl could be a pretty bad ass adult.

  28. Until yesterday I had only watched the 1st episode of this season but I was snowed in so I watched the marathon on AMC and last nights episode so I’m all caught up.
    Starting with episode 5 and through the mid-season premire I think these have been the best episodes of the series so far. I feel like we are seeing what should have happened last season and the show finally feels like it’s going somewhere.
    Although I doubt this will happen I think it would be cool to keep a good portion of the cast separated and adapt sort of a Game of Thrones format by having a handful of different storylines playing out at once. TWD is at it’s best when 90% of the cast isn’t together. Between the time at Hershel’s farm and the prison we’ve had enough time and episodes spent that way and for the show to remain compelling and fresh I hope we don’t cover that ground again.

  29. The Michonne dream/backstory was interesting because I don’t think they delved into that in the comics. We know from her reaction to Judith that she must have been a mom, but they mention some “camp”.

    Hmmm.