In “Inmates”, we find out what happened to the rest of the survivors after the prison showdown. Plus, one character makes a surprise return and a potential fan favorite is introduced to the television series.
Continue reading for a spoiler filled recap and reaction to The Walking Dead Season 4 Episode 10 entitled “Inmates”.
Hitchhikers May Be Escaped Prisoners
“Inmates” functioned like what I had expected from the mid-season premiere. Catching up with each group of survivors through four separate yet somewhat interconnecting stories addressed the basic question of what happened after their escape from the prison. Some stories worked better than others but overall it’s a well paced episode with some good reveals on Carol and baby Judith.
At this point in the season, the story is mostly still a ripple effect from the Governor’s assault on the prison. While “Inmates” doesn’t have a clearly defined character arc like Michonne’s and Carl’s story in “After” and lacks an overt thematic element to link each of the stories it didn’t hurt the episode. Sasha’s line that “not everything has to mean something” and Bob’s “we survive to keep on surviving” can also be interpreted as a meta commentary about the episode as well as the series in general.
Because I’m a little crunched for time, I’ll briefly recap some interesting moments. This post is more of a conversation starter than a complete rundown of everything that happened.
My least favorite segment of the episode centered on Beth’s hopefulness in contrast with Daryl’s pessimistic outlook. The way Daryl snapped about how Hershel’s faith was of little use loosely mirrored how Lizzie spoke bluntly about Sasha. Name dropping Hershel is a way of bringing up what happened without actually addressing Beth’s inner most thoughts on loosing her father.
Having Beth in a “moving forward with life” frame of mind is a better direction than her catatonic phase back in Season 2. Further, Daryl is not exactly a “talking pillow” who you can express your most vulnerable feelings with. However, I do hope that when Beth reunites with Maggie, they will at least have a heart to heart about the death of Hershel. Aside from Rick’s hallucinations of Lori and some sporadic references here and there, deceased characters on the show are often swept underneath the rug.
In her voice over narration, Beth stated that writing down wishes can help make them come true so the image of ripping out blank pages and feeding them into the fire is very wistful.
Hush Little Baby
Like passing ships in the night, it’s intriguing to piece together the overlapping events between Beth/Daryl and Tryeese’s stories. Watching Tyreese play Daddy and making tough parental decisions might cause him to cut Carol some slack when he eventually finds out what she did to protect her surrogate daughters.
Yes, Carol is back and Judith is alive! Carol smartly didn’t mention her banishment to Tyreese. She definitely needs him on her side to help keep the girls safe. Even though the girls saved Tyreese in “Too Far Gone”, they are a danger to themselves and others. What was Lizzie thinking when she crossed the line between silencing and suffocating the baby?
Though there are some good surprises in this segment, one things that bugs me is how the random group of survivors by the train track is easily killed off by the walkers. How did these people live for so long without fighting skills?
Short Bus & Riot Gear
The one thing I’ll say about Maggie’s story is that while I didn’t believe the last zombie she killed was Glenn, going through the motions of killing all the bus riders/walkers ended on a powerfully acted moment. Lauren Cohan did a great job of breaking down in a ball of tears then gradually revealing her smile of joy and relief.
At times, Maggie and Glenn’s relationship has been inauthentic, contrived and soap opera like. It’s strange that when the two are apart like in this episode they have a stronger connection to me. One reason that their romance never felt right is because of Steven Yeun’s acting but I do give him a lot of credit for his strongest performance of the season so far in this episode.
Glenn’s story started off confusing to me because I couldn’t place if these events where happening in episode 8 during the Governor’s showdown or after. I thought Glenn rode off on the bus so to find out he returned is puzzling. What was also confusing is how he passed out at the end. He’s likely still recovering from the sickness or maybe he just wanted some mouth to mouth from Tara? ;). It’s Glenn’s sheer will to survive and desire to see Maggie again that drives him to put on the riot gear and power through a horde of walkers making it one of my highlights of the episode.
“Inmates” is a fairly solid follow-up to the mid-season premiere. While the story is primarily focussed on checking in with the survivors there is set up for events that will be explored further down the line. Whatever Terminus is, we’ve seen that sanctuary – whether it be the Prison, Woodbury or Hershel’s farm is never quite as it seems at first. Also, we meet Abraham and his pals which from what I’ve heard, many comic book reading fans have been highly anticipating his introduction.
What did you like and dislike about this episode? Are you happy with the return of Carol and baby Judith?