Last week's episode "After" focused on Michonne, Carl and Rick's escape from the prison and this week we meet most of everyone else who survived just hours after the attack.
I want to start right by saying that this was my favorite episode in a long, long while outside of a big season finale blowout episode. The desperation and futility each of the characters are feeling after having their homes and lives destroyed yet again were on display in a big way and the writers rocked it out. The tale of the two sisters, Lizzy and Mika was just heartbreaking and even a little creepy. The best segment happened early on when Mika was terrified to her core while holding a gun, her back to Lizzy, baby Judith in her sister's arms and begging Tyreese not to leave them alone when he went to help some other people. In another terrifying moment, after Tyreese had left them in the woods alone and baby Judith began to cry, Lizzie almost strangled her to quiet her wails from bringing the zombies down on them. She also went into a sort of a reverie during it, which doesn't bode well for her in the future.
In this episode, many nagging questions from the mid-season finale have finally been answered so here goes.
In a voice-over, Beth reads entries from her diary about how awesome the prison was and her father said all she had to do was believe, so she did. I know life is hell in zombie apocalypse, but why hasn't anyone taken a romantic interest in Beth yet? She's almost thirty years old in real life. She and Daryl are sitting next to a campfire that night after the Governor's attack and she tells him that there's got to be more survivors alive and forces him to track them down with her. The look of despair on Daryl's face was palatable and his anguish made him lash out uncharacteristically at Beth. They find some half-eaten grapes on the ground and she's excited that someone might still be alive, but then they find a few walkers chowing down on a body. After killing them, Beth sees a kid's shoe and thinks it was either Lizzy's or Mika's and she starts crying.
Lizzy and Mika are walking in the woods along with Tyreese, who's carrying baby Judith in his arms. Mika misses Carol and so do I. As they are walking, they find grapes to eat. Judy is acting like a typical baby, crying away, which will only alert the walkers to their presence so when they hear some rustling in the woods and crows fly out, Mika gets frightened and runs away. Tyreese finds her and tells her she was smart to run because that's what they are supposed to do when walkers come and then they hear someone screaming in the distance.
Tyreese hands over baby Judith to the girls, coaxes Mika into believing she can handle this and he goes to see if he can help whoever is screaming. As I wrote before, it's just a heartbreaking shot: Lizzy and Mika back to back with Judith in between and Mika with a gun in her hand, looking terrified. It's about time the producers gave these girls something to do.
Tyreese finds a couple of men fighting off zombies and dives into the fight to help. One guy gets eaten immediately while the other is fighting to stay alive.
Back in the woods, Judith is screaming again and Lizzy puts her hand around her mouth to muffle the sounds, but her screams still bring walkers upon the two girls. Lizzy seems to be in a trance as she keeps squeezing Judith's mouth closed. As the walkers close in, Mika shoots her gun.
Tyreese hears the shot and as he turns around, the other man gets bitten in the neck. Tyreese brain-slams a zombie and then suddenly, he hears his name being called. He turns around and sees Lizzy and Mika walking calmly towards him with Carol behind them holding baby Judith. Is he dreaming this up? He goes over and hugs Carol tightly. As the bitten man slowly dies, he tells them to follow the train tracks to the left of them because there's a place where they can take the girls to be safe.
As they walk along the tracks, Tyreese asks Carol how she got out of the prison. She lies and says she hadn't returned to the prison yet because she was still looking for supplies. She claims to have just gotten there at the end of the skirmish when she saw them run into the woods and followed. As they continue walking on the tracks, they find a sign posted that says:
"Sanctuary for all, Community for all, Those who arrive survive."
There's a map under it and a location marked Terminus. I don't read the comic books, but I hope it's a little better than Woodbury.
Maggie, Sasha, Bob
Sasha is patching up a bleeding Bob and Maggie tells them dejectedly that she's going to track down the bus and Glenn and come back for them. Sahas wants to stay where they are because it's a safe location for the time being, but Bob agrees to help Maggie. So they all head east on the road to find the bus. Surprisingly, in a few minutes they find the bus pulled over on the side of the road and it's full of zombies. Maggie freaks out because she realizes Glenn could be one so they decide to let them out one at a time so she can see. This is your usual zombie-killing time-filler portion of the show. All told, they killed about ten of their former prison-mates, but Glenn wasn't there.
Glenn wakes up to find that he's on a ledge, machine gun in hand and he's still in the prison surrounded below him by a slew of walkers who are all lusting for his innards. He makes his way back inside. The prison is deserted, so he goes back into his own cell and lays down. He's very dejected and looks like he's giving up when he sees a picture of Maggie. Inspired, he loads up on weapons, supplies and puts on some riot gear body armor and heads out of the prison to look for Maggie.
In a half crazy move, he pushes his way through a hoard of zombies who can't bite through his protection and he eventually forces himself past them. As he's heading out, he finds Tara Chambler alive (ex-law enforcement, ex-attacker) and holed up behind a fenced-in section near a loading dock. She's in shock and riddled with guilt for being part of the attack against them. He knows she was part of it, but needs her help to get out of there so he can look for his wife. After they clear the prison, she tries to explain how Brian/Governor lied to them about the people in the prison and how sorry she was that he killed that old man. That's how Glenn finds out Hershel is dead.
Tara: Brian, that man, told us you were bad people. I know it's not true, I can see it's not so what we did, what I did. (sobs) Ah man, I'm a piece of shit, why would you want my help?
Glenn: I don't want it. I need it. I have to find Maggie.
Tara: Who's Maggie?
Glenn tells her that Hershel was a great man and Maggie's father and always told him that you have to believe so that's what he's going to do.
After they kill a bunch of walkers, Glenn passes out from exhaustion and the last effects of the virus. Tara turns around and one last zombie jumps her, so she pummels his head into pudding with the machine gun. But as she's making mush of the skull, a military vehicle pulls up beside her.
I hope you enjoyed the show, assholes
We find three heavily armed people come up to her and a man apparently in charge says:
You got a damn mouth on you, you know that? What else you got?
Fade to black.
* As we speculated last year, the writers of TWD are cruel to their cast, but even they wouldn't off a baby.
* Carol's back, yippee, but how long will she be able to stay silent about killing Tyreese's girl?
* If I was Sasha and Maggie, I wouldn't trust Bob the drunk. I'm just saying.
* I don't read the comic book so I wonder who this new group is?
* Are they tied into Terminus?
* Could they be worse than the Governor?
* Are you happy to see that Tara has survived? I am.
* There's really not much distance between all the characters who fled the prison since they don't have cars so if any of them can settle down and get some transportation they should be able to find some of them anyway.
Grade: A with a bullet.