So much happened on The Walking Dead last night, I’m not entirely sure where to begin! Unlike last week’s episode, this week shifted through each of the remaining characters rather than just focus on a few at a time. Since there were so many people to catch up with, it felt a little rushed and choppy, but since The Walking Dead is really Rick’s story, it makes sense that these ancillary characters were only given about 10 minutes each to catch us up on their goings on. As always, there are spoilers ahead, so this is your warning!
Spoiler-Free Recap, “Inmates” – A-
We catch up quickly with the rest of the survivors, checking in with each in turn to see where they’ve ended up and how they’re coping in the first moments after leaving the prison. The true stand-out moments of the episode belong entirely to Glenn as he grapples with the realization that he has no idea where his wife has gone.
We start off with Beth and Daryl running from the prison, trying to fight off the walkers while still sticking together. Over all of this is Beth’s voice, speaking calmly and full of hope, reading the words from her diary when they first came upon the prison. Her optimistic and hopeful tone contrasts sharply with the danger she and Daryl are in, and it’s a little heartbreaking to hear the Beth of six months ago say with fervent belief that they could be happy, that they could build a life there. It’s that faith that she struggles to hang on to throughout the episode, despite Daryl’s obvious distress and loss of hope. She wants to hang on, but it’s difficult when everything she clung to was ripped away from her in a matter of moments.
From Beth and Daryl we shift to Tyreese, Lizzie, Mica, and LO AND BEHOLD! Baby Judith! See? I knew she was alive. Tyreese is struggling to take care of the three children on his own while injured, and it’s clear that he’s way out of his depth. Judith’s crying makes staying quiet difficult, and no doubt their fear only makes her even more afraid as well. Lizzie shows herself to be even more of a sociopath than Carl, while Mica serves as a foil to throw Lizzie’s detached manner into even sharper relief. Mica is a regular, frightened little girl, while Lizzie is already cold and detached from the world, nearly smothering Baby Judith to death in order to keep her quiet (and apparently enjoying the power it gives her, too).
Of course, Lizzie’s psycho tendencies aren’t even the most surprising thing that happens–it’s Carol’s sudden reappearance that really shocked me. Saving the two girls from a walker, Carol just waltzes back into the picture, and Tyreese obviously breathes a sigh of relief when he sees her. What’s more, she allows him to think that she’s still part of the group, conveniently leaving out the fact that Rick kicked her out. I mean, I probably wouldn’t bring it up either since I’d then have to explain that the reason I was kicked out was because I killed Tyreese’s girlfriend, so I can’t really blame Carol. Good thing the attack on the prison happened before Rick could call a family meeting!
We then turn towards Maggie, Sasha, and Bob. Maggie is dead set on trying to find Glenn, refusing to listen to Sasha’s pleading that they need to camp out and find supplies. Considering that she just lost her father and has no idea where her sister is, it’s not surprising that Maggie focuses on Glenn since he’s the only one who she has concrete details about. She knows he was on the bus, and she knows which way the bus went. Ergo, she needs to go follow the trail and find out what happened to her husband. If I hadn’t seen the previews for this week, I might have been worried about what she’d find, but I knew that Glenn was okay still, so her side of the story didn’t affect me too much.
It was Glenn’s side that really got to me. Steven Yeun is an incredible actor. End of story. I already adored him, but last night’s episode just cemented for me what an amazing talent he is. When Glenn wakes up, sees that he’s surrounded by walkers, and screams for Maggie, it made my heart break. He’s alone, full of despair, and you can see it so clearly in his eyes that he’s trying to fight back with every ounce of his being. For a moment, he allows the desperation to wash over him, but then catching a glimpse of Maggie’s photo forces him to rally and go out in search of his wife at any cost. Every step requires a huge expense of energy from him, but he keeps going because he has to find Maggie. Nothing else matters. So when he comes across Tara, huddled behind a fence, he snaps her out of her shock and makes her help him because he knows he won’t make it without help. When she asks him why he wants her help, he flatly states, “I don’t want your help. I need it.” YES!
What did you guys think of last night’s episode? Will Maggie and Glenn find each other soon? Or will Glenn and Tara be completely waylaid by these new characters, and end up stuck with this new group?
“Inmates” – A-
The Walking Dead: Season 4 Episode 10, “Inmates” aired February 16th, 2014 on AMC.