TWD TBT: Why the Heck Is Creepy Clara in Episode 401?


TWD TBT: Why the Heck Is Creepy Clara in Episode 401?

What’s the point of the woman in the woods in 30 Days Without an Accident and how does it relate to Episode 602 JSS? Bicycle Girl breaks it down for you in this The Walking Dead Throwback Thursday Post…

FUN FACT: Even as a zombie, Bicycle Girl gets scared, too.


No, it’s not the thought of Michonne with her katana, Daryl with his crossbow or Rick with a red handled machete that gives me the shivers.  It’s HER:



The absolute single scariest thing that I ever saw on The Walking Dead.


Her name, if you’ve forgotten, is Clara.


She appears like this in the opener of Season Four “30 Days Without an Accident.”


While the actress who portrays her, Kerry Condon, delivered a downright chilling performance, the significance of the interaction with Clara was sort of lost on me the first time I checked out Episode 401.


Mostly likely this was because the sight of her terrified me past the point of being able to manage a rational thought. Since then, I’ve forced myself to watch Creepy Clara a couple of times, and I’ve finally wrapped my mind around what her purpose was.


So for my first ever TWD TBT post, here’s my take on:


Why the Hell was Creepy Clara in The Walking Dead Episode 401?



Let’s dig into how Clara functions in the episode.


1.Clara Is a Symbol of Rick’s Inability to Move On.

Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Clara (Kerry Condon) - The Walking Dead _ Season 4, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

If you recall, Rick was focusing on growing stuff and thangs and raising pigs when we see him for the first time in Season 4. He had given up leading the group and turned things over to the Council because he was concerned about his frame of mind following Lori’s death and about Carl.


Clara is a crazy woman who cut off her zombie husband’s head and kept it. She literally carried his memory everywhere she went because she couldn’t stand to be without him. Similarly, Rick continued to figuratively carry the loss of Lori, and it drove him to the point of madness.


2. Clara Is a Warning to Rick.


At the end of Episode 401, Rick tells Hershel what happened with Clara outside. He expresses that if he were to lose Carl, Judith and the prison, he might have ended up like Clara.


Her final words that you “don’t get to come back” are clearly haunting him.


Hershel tries hard to put a positive spin on things, telling Rick that he wasn’t “too far gone” like Clara was. He says:


Not even then.

You came back.

Your boy came back.

You get to come back.

You do.

3. Clara Ultimately Ends Up Being Right–You Don’t Get to Come Back.




Did you realize that Episode 401 wasn’t Clara’s only appearance on the show? She also comes onto the scene in Episode 408 “Too Far Gone.”


When the walkers begin to overtake the prison following the Governor’s attack, Clara is one of the ones shown:




This is extremely significant because it is meant to show that Hershel–who dies in the episode–was wrong. In the world of the walkers, it may be possible to come back for a little while:


The survivors at the prison built a society.


The Governor tried to make a life with Lilly and Meghan.


Rick put away his gun and took up farming.


But ultimately…you don’t get to come back, not in human form anyway.


A flu will come through and kill your people.


The need to survive and protect what you love will lead you to attack.


People will always try to take what is yours.


In Rick’s world, things are too far gone to ever remain normal for long.


Clara is shown when the prison falls as a reminder of that, and you can catch glimpses of her in the episodes “After” and “Inmates” as well while the group scatters and goes their own directions.


I hadn’t thought of this when I picked this TWD TBT topic but it occurs to me now that this past week with Episode 602 JSS, the entire town of Alexandria was confronted with the fact that you don’t get to go back to the civilization of the past in this “too far gone” world.



This isn’t a world for pasta makers and dinner parties.


The town of Alexandria is now largely decimated and under threat from both the walker herd and the potential return of the Wolves.


It will be hard to come back from that.


Yet…somewhere to the south, outside a prison in Georgia, Clara is probably still roaming aimlessly. And being creepy as Hell in the process.


Because she did come back.

The only way you truly can on TWD—-as the walking dead.



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Bicycle Girl

Freelance writer from Pittsburgh. May or may not be a walker whose bicycle was stolen by Officer Friendly.


  1. We did right by you

    i understand nothing, come back form what exactly? and doesnt season 8 revolve around coming back from destruction and murder? i guess well see in season 9 if that works out

  2. I’m watching Clara on Better Call Saul (Kerry C.) and cannot believe she’s Irish and now, cannot believe she’s Clara from… that episode that seems so long ago.

    Great Site.

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