‘The Walking Dead’ season 4 shambled out its ninth entry with Sunday’s midseason premiere, “After,” but how did it hold up to the comic-book continuity? Rick and Carl did their best to find temporary shelter and recuperate, while Michonne briefly returned to her loner ways, so what’s next for ‘The Walking Dead’ as the fourth season continues?
As AMC’s incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comic as well as AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ to enjoy! Check all the comparisons we found, and let us know your thoughts on ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4 episode 9, “After,” in the comments below!
Michonne Cleans Up, Starts Anew
AMC: Wading through the walkers still heading into the prison grounds, Michonne takes the opportunity to fashion herself two new walker companions, before coming across the zombified head of Hershel, and finally putting the farmer to rest.
THE COMICS: The immediate aftermath of the prison unfolded under similar circumstances for Michonne, though there she plunged her sword into her former lover Tyreese’s zombified head, after he’d been decapitated by the Governor. The comic Hershel had also been killed by the Governor, though in that case Hershel welcomed a bullet to the head after seeing another of his children die. Curiously, comic Michonne didn’t think to create another pair of zombie companions to aid in her travels.
Rick and Carl On the Road Again
AMC: Carl bullishly leads the way for his trailing and injured father, displaying a considerable amount of angst as they raid for supplies, and eventually occupy an abandoned house. Carl even invokes Shane’s name as he helps secure the doors, hoping to irritate his father, later taking it on himself to forage for supplies through the neighborhood.
THE COMICS: Rick and Carl’s post-prison quest had been filed with much less bickering, as Carl held in any vitriol until after his father had fallen unconscious. Additionally, Carl posed that they might go looking for the other survivors, though Rick insisted they’d be better off waiting to be found at the house, perhaps staying for the foreseeable future.
AMC: Along the way, Rick and Carl stop at an abandoned barbecue joint to forage for supplies, during which Rick picks up an axe and attempts to bring down a walker within. Though Rick strikes the walker in the head with the axe, the blade doesn’t penetrate deeply enough, for which Carl is forced to shoot the creature, despite the noise of his weapon.
THE COMICS: This same encounter takes place almost panel for panel, though at a general store instead of a barbecue restaurant. In this case however, Rick’s axe had been his weapon of choice from the beginning, while the AMC Rick most commonly carried a machete.
Michonne Comes to Grips With Her Past
AMC: Holed up in a car, Michonne dreams of her pre-apocalypse life with her “lover” Mike and their young son, along with his unnamed friend. The vision devolves into Mike and his friend debating whether or not to leave their camp, next appearing armless, as Michonne realizes her son has gone missing. Later, Michonne speaks aloud to Mike, making a sort of peace with his and their son’s death, though her words are somewhat cryptic.
THE COMICS: Though AMC only gives us a brief glimpse into the past, the Michonne of the comics had been married once before meeting Mike, having two daughters by the first marriage, whose fates remain unknown. That said, she, Mike and his friend Terry never made it to any kind of survivor’s camp, as Mike succumbed to a walker bite and in turn infected Terry, before Michonne remade them as her armless companions. On multiple occasions after disposing of the two, Michonne was overheard to hold imaginary conversations with Mike.
Rick's Injuries Catch Up With Him
AMC: Still weary and slow from his encounter with the Governor, Rick inspects his wounds in a household mirror, shortly before falling asleep for a number of days, from which Carl couldn’t wake him. Rick eventually awakens, though no mention is made of the extent of his injuries beyond the bruises, and patched-up shot to the leg.
THE COMICS: Rick had a much more specific reason for his failing health and subsequent coma, as he had days earlier sustained a gunshot wound to the stomach. Woodbury survivor Alice had patched him up, though given the fall of the prison days later, Rick remained in a weakened state, taking medicine from the house and sustaining a fever before finally coming back around to health.
Carl Takes on the Walkers
AMC: After attempts to wake his father bring walkers to the door, Carl attempts to lead the two down the street, before the appearance of a third walker overwhelms him and forces him to fight for his life. Carl succeeds in bringing down the three, though the smell and adrenaline lead him to vomit then and there.
THE COMICS: Almost note for note, this encounter has been lifted from the books, right down to the genders of each walker. Missing from the encounter however, is AMC Carl’s smarmy “I win,” or the subsequent walker encounter and pudding of the neighborhood house.
AMC: Following his success with the walkers, Carl gloats of his accomplishment to his father, insisting that he doesn’t need him for protection anymore, and that Rick had let down all their friends by failing as a leader, and losing the prison to the Governor while they played farmer.
THE COMICS: Much of Carl’s speech has also been lifted from the books, minus the reference to Rick’s idle behavior before the Governor’s return. In the case of the books, Rick and the others had actively prepared for the Governor’s impending assault, even if the end result had been the same.
Rick Becomes The Walking Dead?
AMC: Carl wakes in the middle of the night to find his father stirring, the moans and lazy movement of which make Rick appear to be a walker. A terrified Carl prepares to shoot his father, ultimately resolving to be eaten and end their suffering, though Rick’s speech soon returns, however hazy.
THE COMICS: Almost word for word, this same encounter takes place in the books, forcing Carl to confront that he needs his father, however capable of survival on his own he might be.
AMC: Following her long, slow march with a band of walkers and her apparent zombie doppelganger, Michonne decides to break free of her escort, and return to tracking down Rick and Carl from the footprints she’d glimpsed earlier. Michonne tracks the pair all the way to the house, seeing Rick and Carl inside before politely knocking on the door.
THE COMICS: It isn’t known exactly where Michonne went in the aftermath of the prison, though she followed a trail of footprints and would reappear shortly after Rick and Carl left the house behind, saving Carl from a surprise walker attack by the roadside. There, Carl immediately leapt into Michonne’s arms, overjoyed to see her, as the three hit the road thereafter.
Also worth noting is that it was within the house that Rick first began conversing with a figure on the phone, later revealed to be Lori in his imagination, the shock of which caused Rick and Carl to leave the neighborhood in the first place. This development made its way into the AMC rendition much earlier, immediately after Lori’s death in season 3.
What did you think of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 4’s ninth episode “After”? Does Rick and Carl’s reunion with Michonne bode well for the other survivors’ fates? Did we miss anything else from the comics you might have caught?
Let us know in the comments, and be sure to check back next week for our in-depth comic-to-TV comparison of season 4’s tenth episode, "Inmates!"