56. Michonne Breaks Down
Episode 409 “After”
Original Airdate: 2/9/2014
Submitted By: Charlotte Anne
The episodes following the fall of the prison are all about how our heroes deal with the trauma of losing the group and everything they had built together. Some of them are lucky enough to escape with others, but it isn’t so for Michonne. After gradually coming back to life through Andrea, and then through her very successful integration in Rick’s group, Michonne is back to square one: traumatized, and alone.
In a surprising – and, from the viewers’ point of view, frustrating – move, she deliberately chooses not to follow the footsteps that we know could lead her back to Rick and Carl. At this point, she does not have the strength to start everything all over again. So she goes back to her old tactics: hiding among walkers, using two “pet walkers” as camouflage.
Only, Michonne now knows that this is no life for a human being. She has seen that there could be something else for her, even in the apocalypse. In a very intense and heartbreaking scene, she suddenly sees a walker who looks way too much like herself. This triggers in her a shocking realization: if she does not try to find the others before it is too late, if she allows herself to go completely numb emotionally, then she is basically nothing more than a walker who isn’t yet dead.
Interestingly, Michonne seems to understand, way before Rick makes his famous point, the meaning of this sentence: “We are the walking dead.” Yet, she suddenly rebels against it: she will not be a walking dead woman, she still wants to live, live a life worth living. In her rage, she slaughters all the walkers around her, and ends up sobbing – a very intense moment, especially as we hadn’t seen Michonne crying since Andrea’s death.