"Hitchhikers may be escaping inmates"
The tenth episode in season 4 of The Walking Dead is titled ‘Inmates’, which couldn’t be more fitting for this particular episode. The fates of many familiar characters were revealed, and a few surprise appearances took place, in what was a very informative, and plot direction setting episode of The Walking Dead.
(Please note that this post contains SPOILERS)
Beth, Daryl, and her diary
‘Inmates’ opens with Beth narrating a diary entry of hers from before the Governors attack on the prison. Beth’s entry is very positive, and reflects her state of mind after her and the group found the prison in season 3. What’s brilliant about the opening is how it contrasts this positive message to the visual chaos of the prison getting destroyed. It really helped to establish Beth’s mindset before, and then after the attack.
Beth and Daryl make their escape from the prison together, so like Rick, Carl, and Michonne, they’re a splinter group of the main prison camp cast. At first Beth is quite upbeat and hopeful that they’ll find their friends, while Daryl plays the sulking role, and seemingly gives up hope. She eventually prods him to go on a search where they find signs of humans struggling against the ever hungry walkers. Beth maintains her positive attitude until her and Daryl roll up on another massacre by some railroad tracks. After seeing many former prison members dead, or zombified, Beth finally breaks and succumbs to the awful feeling that all she had once loved is lost again. To cement this sentiment she proceeds to use her diary with its upbeat tone as a fuel for a fire.
Carol’s girls and Tyreese the babysitter
The episode transitioned from Daryl and Beth to Tyreese and Carol’s girls (Lizzie and Mika), who all broke off together during the prison skirmish. It’s also revealed that Tyreese grabbed baby Judith, so she is indeed alive, and very hungry and poopy. This group passes through the same areas as Beth and Daryl, but at an earlier time, so it became clear that ‘Inmates’ was following a non-linear method of storytelling.
Tyreese does his best with his diminutive companions to set out and find food and shelter, but Mika keeps things interesting by playing the scared little girl role. Lizzie on the other hand is as hard nosed as it gets thanks to Carol’s tutelage, and at times you’ll wonder what she’s capable of. While Tyreese is investigating some distant screams, Lizzie nearly suffocates Judith to death to keep her from alerting walkers. Just as it seems that the two girls are going to meet their maker, someone from their past shows up to save the day, and that someone is Carol.
She’s back, and shadier than ever, and now has to work hand in hand with the man who’s girlfriend she brutally murdered. It was definitely an awkward reunion considering that Tyreese still doesn’t know what Carol did, but for now they’re together and heading towards someplace called the Sanctuary.
Maggie, Bob, Sasha and the Bus
The next group to be featured in ‘Inmates’ is Maggie, Bob, and Sasha. While Sasha is tending Bob’s wounds it’s clear that Maggie can only think about the fate of Glenn. She sets off in search of the bus he was on when she last saw him, and begrudgingly Sasha follows with Bob. The three of them do find the prison bus that Glenn was on, but it’s made immediately clear that the bus has been compromised. Everyone on the bus is now a walker, so Maggie instructs that they be let out so she can confirm or deny Glenn’s fate. It’s revealed through a tense scene that Glenn did indeed make it off the bus, so slowly but surely the audience is shown that most of the main players made it out of the prison melee unharmed.
Glenn, Tara, and the Sarge
‘Inmate’s wraps with a focus on Glenn, who is revealed to still be at the prison. He got off the bus to help Maggie during the war, but never met up with her, which is why she doesn’t find him as a walker on the bus. Glenn realizes that he’s on his own, but is still full of hope that he can find his wife after seeing a picture of her in their former cell. Glenn loads up on a bunch of supplies from the prison, and straps on his riot gear to make an escape. While barreling through a pack of walkers Glenn sees a girl who has barricaded herself into a holding pen on the prison grounds. It’s revealed that this girl is Tara, the sister of the girl who fell for the Governor.
Tara is distraught over what her group did to the prison, and seemingly wants to die for her sins. Glenn denies her this fate by saving her so she can help him find Maggie. The two come across some Walkers so Glenn gets medieval on their asses before passing out due to exhaustion. While Tara is smashing in a walker skull that was trying to eat Glenn, an army truck rolls out with three never-before-seen characters. It’s later revealed that one of these fellas is Sgt. Ford, who is another well known character from the comic book.
‘Inmates’ is the episode fans of The Walking Dead TV show have wanted to see since the explosive mid-season finale. It dropped more answers than raising new questions, which is always appreciated in a show with this many plot threads and potential outcomes. It’s now clear that all of the main prison camp members did indeed survive the Governor’s attack, but most of them are in splinter groups.
One of the bigger revelations is the fact that baby Judith isn’t dead, which many fans had already guessed, but it’s nice to see that the show hasn’t had to kill off any babies yet. Carol showing up out of nowhere and finding Tyreese and her girls for that matter was also a big reveal.
The best part about their reunion is the fact that Tyreese still doesn’t know about Carol murdering his former lady love, so he enthusiastically runs up to hug her. It’s plain to see on Carol’s face that she wasn’t expecting this type of reception from Tyreese either, but she feeds into it by offering up a lie about why she never returned with Rick from their supply run. Carol definitely has an agenda, but it’s not clear at this point what her end game is. Somehow I believe her group and the others will all meet again thanks to the arrival of Sgt. Ford, and the mention of Sanctuary, but it’s not clear when and how, or if Carol didn’t already know about Ford and his camp.
Throughout the episode the main theme is loss, and how humans react to it differently. This motif is perfectly setup in the intro with Daryl and Beth, thanks to the duality of Beth’s narration and the action taking place on screen. It seems that the survivors who have usually been rocks of support like Daryl really took the prison raid to heart, and it has crushed their spirits. On the other hand, people like Glenn, who is the only main prison member on his own (Tara doesn’t count), and someone with almost nothing positive to go on, is dealing with the fallout like a mini-Hershel.
It was interesting to see how each faction approached their situations, because each one offered a unique blend of character personalities. It’s clear that those who were positive before, are now slightly less, and those who may not have been positive, are slightly more so now. It just goes to show how every human is different, and regardless of the situations people face, everyone will react differently to it.
Now that all of the main characters are accounted for it’s only logical to think that the rest of season 4 will play out in a way that shows them all reuniting under different circumstances. The introduction of Sgt. Ford will surely provide direction for the remaining episodes, and how the groups will come together, because his faction seems to be part of the next controlled society to be featured in The Walking Dead.
In true The Walking Dead fashion I’m sure nothing will play out the way we expect it to, which is why this show is so fantastic. Let the drama begin!
Head on down below to check out a few behind the scenes videos from ‘Inmates’, as well as a preview of next week’s episode – ‘Claimed’!
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Photos by Gene Page/AMC