We’re getting a pretty clear picture of how The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 9 is going to look — and this particular photo tells at least half the story.
Episode 9, reportedly titled “After,” will closely follow what Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) do after the prison battle. Another photo AMC released from this episode shows Michonne (Danai Gurira) with her walker pets, and she’s the third person we’re expecting to see a lot of, including in a flashback.
The February 9 episode was written by comic book writer Robert Kirkman and it’s meant to closely follow the books, which should give Chandler Riggs’s Carl a chance to shine. He was out in front in the “Don’t Look Back” poster teasing the second half of the season, and here he is again, in front of his sleeping/passed out father.
You remember the beating Rick took in the midseason finale? Carl had to help him hobble away from the prison, and we’re going to see Carl “step up” in Episode 9. The recent behind-the-scenes sneak peek showed Carl standing over his dad saying, “I saved you.” Andrew Lincoln said we’ll see a more scared Rick, and that will lead him to be a “more aggressive, protective father figure.” But he’s not really in a position to take charge at this point, so Carl will show more independence, at least in Episode 9.
In the books, they eventually end up taking shelter in a home and Rick takes lots of antibiotics. We’re expecting that to lead to Carl shouting “Wake up! Wake up!” as seen in an earlier promo. This pic seems to go hand-in-hand with the end of that promo.
As Rick sleeps, Carl is in focus, looking intense and probably focusing on the rotten hand he’s been dealt. Carl wanted to just shoot The Governor (David Morrissey) before a war even started; that probably would’ve made the war just start faster but maybe it also would’ve ended faster, too. We’ll never know. The Grimes boys have no idea what happened to baby Judith, but they both broke down when they saw her bloody, empty car seat, assuming the worst. Will they be reunited with her? If so, it probably won’t be anytime soon.
AMC previously released another Carl photo from this episode, showing him leading two walkers away from the house. Here are more details from the comics, explaining what might be going on with that, and what’s next after this episode.
The Walking Dead Season 4 returns with Episode 9 on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.