Walking Dead 4×10 Review: Inmates

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I admittedly didn’t care for the exposition in last week’s mid-season premiere of Walking Dead, so it wouldn’t have been extremely difficult for tonight’s episode to be an improvement – and thankfully, Inmates delivered.

The opening sequence – which focused on Beth and Daryl – started out a bit slow. But as someone who has never been a big fan of Beth as a character, it was eye-opening that the ‘soundtrack’ of their flight was her reading a diary entry that she’d written when they first arrived at the prison.

It was also interesting to see that despite some of what she’d written in her diary, Beth of all people was trying to be optimistic, while Daryl had clearly ‘gone cold’ again. I’ve enjoyed the ‘softer’ Daryl, but at the same time it was hard to miss the more realistic Daryl – and it seems that he’s fighting with himself over what he wants (or perhaps needs) to be right now.

From Beth and Daryl we moved on to Tyreese, Lizzie, Mika…and JUDITH! Not that I’m overly surprised that the baby isn’t dead – I outright assumed that wasn’t the case – but these weren’t the people I expected we’d find her with. I will say that their scenes had me on the edge of my seat, if only because traveling with a baby (who keeps crying, of course) in the middle of the zombie apocalypse seems like it would be one of the worst things ever. I’d like to give Tyreese a big pat on the back for handling it as well as he did, but when he ‘pulled a Rick’ – leaving the girls and the baby alone in the woods while he went to check out the screams that he heard – it was certainly a big facepalm moment.

Even more so when Lizzie had her psychotic moment with Judith. She wasn’t just trying to keep the baby quiet; you could see in her eyes that she knew Judith was hindering them, and in that moment there was very little remorse in her actions.

Thankfully, though, help arrived in the form of…Carol! Of course Rick never had the chance to tell Tyreese that Carol was the one who killed Karen; in fact, most people (including Tyreese) didn’t even know that Rick had kicked Carol out of the prison. Their reunion was suitably awkward, but the fact that Carol so easily lied her way through an explanation of how she survived the attack was a very solid reminder of the recent developments to her character.

At this point, it’s hard for me to decide whether Carol ending up with Tyreese of all people is surprising or predictable. But we’ll see more of them soon, as they make their way up the train tracks to what is supposedly another ‘safe place’.

Inmates kept up a good pace by moving on to a third group of survivors – Maggie, Sasha, and Bob. I still can’t get a read on Bob, and this episode didn’t help much. He was doing a lot of manic grinning and generally being a weirdo in this scene, though the fact that he was key in keeping their little trio together is certainly something to note (I guess I have to give up on the idea that he’s just a red shirt with a slightly drawn-out story line).

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 11.21.04 PMDespite the fact that it seemed impossible that they would catch up with the bus, they find it anyway…and it’s full of zombies. I’m wondering if we’ll ever find out what happened there, but this scene made for a great way for Lauren Cohan to give her acting chops a work out. Everything from her reaction to first seeing the bus, to her taking care of the zombies as they spilled out of the back, to her reaction when she killed the last of them, was amazing – and certainly a huge improvement on Beth’s over-the-top crying at the beginning of the episode.

Sadly, as frustrating as it was, it also wasn’t a surprise that Walking Dead still hadn’t let go of the prison. Thankfully, Talking Dead mentioned that this was the last thing filmed at the prison, and I definitely have my fingers crossed that this is the case. However, I can almost forgive the return to the prison in this episode, if only because it was for Glenn. And he continued to prove how awesome he is by packing supplies and donning a riot suit before attempting his escape – and then on the way out taking Tara with him as well!

Of course, that little alliance was quickly clarified as being based on need and nothing else, though it was nice to see Tara prove her worth when she saved Glenn from the walkers at the very end. Still, as a comic book fan just about everything else that happened in Inmates was overshadowed when that truck rolled up and we got that absolutely perfect shot of Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene. While I’m sure there will be differences between the show and comic versions of these characters, this was seriously one of the best new character entrances Walking Dead has ever given its viewers.

I for one hope that the show can keep up this pace, because more episodes like Inmates will quickly overshadow the weakness of After.

Author: Tara Lynne

Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.

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11 thoughts on “Walking Dead 4×10 Review: Inmates

  1. Great review! I really enjoyed reading it! 🙂 I didn’t hate After, but Inmates was most definitely a huge improvement in my eyes too. Daryl probably plays a big part in that though cause I adore Daryl.

    I never thought that baby Judith was dead either, but was also surprised to see her with Tyrese and the little girls, one of whom is most definitely scarily disturbed!

    And Carol!!! I was so happy to see her again. I’ll admit that I’ve developed doubts about whether she really killed Tyrese’s girlfriend and that other guy or if she’s just covering for someone else. Either way though, I adore Carol too and was thrilled to see her back.

    Also totally agree about the amazing acting from Lauren Cohan! She was brilliant!

    Really enjoyed reading all that you had to say. I’m going to have to start remembering to come by here for Walking Dead reviews and articles instead of just the Cas and Destiel posts! 🙂

    1. Thanks so much! Honestly, it’s often so much easier for me to write reviews of things I *don’t* like, but for some reason this one really flowed for me 🙂

      I think I wanted to believe that Carol didn’t really kill Karen, but to be honest the way she reacted when she was reunited with Tyreese really makes me think that she did :-/ I guess we’ll see, and I’ll probably be keeping my fingers crossed that she didn’t do it.

      My feelings about Lauren Cohan have gone back and forth. I’ve never outright DISliked her, but there have been times when I didn’t quite care for the character/the way Lauren Cohan was playing her…however, this episode really sealed it for me in terms of loving her portrayal of Maggie.

  2. Excellent review. I’ve read a couple others and they seemed to like After more than this episode, but I agree wholeheartedly with you. After just seemed like too slow of a slow burn, whereas Inmates was packed with stuff happening.

    I too, thought that Judith was alive, but I loved how they took their time showing her by having Tyreese turn around with her cradled to his chest. Plus there was real palpable tension in weather she would live the entire episode. In fact, when the girls showed up without her, I was stunned. AND THEN WE GOT CAROL BACK!

    I also loved the way the episode jumped around and used the scenery to subtly show that the events were not happening in chronological order. I was puzzled by the rabbits in the log at first, wondering what they could have been. Then showing Lizzie was the one who killed them, set up the tension later on when you think she could actually kill Judith. It was just an excellent episode all around.

    1. Yeah, I mean, I *love* Michonne and Rick, but I just don’t feel like they did what they could (and should) have with the mid-season PREMIERE episode ::sigh::

      And yeah, the Judith reveal was definitely a good one 🙂

      I actually didn’t want to say MUCH about the jumping around and using scenery to show that the events weren’t chronological because to be honest MOST of what I figured out in regards to that was thanks to Talking Dead, haha. But it was definitely a very well-done episode; the little hints were there but nothing was over the top or so confusing that it was distracting.

      Have you read the comics? Because a friend of mine made a comparison between Lizzie and a comic book character that I find to be quite interesting, and that may also give some insight into things that may happen with Lizzie in the future…

      1. The did talk about that on The Talking Dead? Good. I DVR’ed it but haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, because work. Normally I’m not that excited to watch it, but I am today.

        I have read the comics and I assume your friend was making a comparison to the young boy that Carl- I’ll stop there, but I’m sure you get the gist. If they are heading that way, it’s going to be a pretty dark season!

        1. Weeelll they didn’t really talk about it so much as showed some things in the actual chronological order that kind of made me facepalm for not realizing what I’d been seeing in the episode in the first place, haha.

          And yeah, that’s what I’m talking about 😉

  3. I like Beth in a sense because if the zombie apocalypse happened I’d probably be a lot like her. I’d be crying uncontrollably and very reliant on those around me. So I like her in the “if she can make it this far, maybe I’d stand a chance” way. I think pairing her with Daryl for the beginning was also super interesting because, she is the weakest “adult” (is she still a teen? she’s definitely not considered a “kid” either way) of the group and Daryl is the strongest. If caught in that situation I’d be sticking to Daryl like glue, too.

    The whole episode was filled with really interesting dynamics. Characters that really didn’t have that strong of a connection and sort of thrust together and forced to rely on each other for survival. I’m looking forward to seeing them find their way back to each other. Who’ll make it? Who’ll along the way? I’m excited.

    Also, I’m not a comic reader so I have no idea who those guys at the end are. But I trust your excitement. Comic fans were right about the Governor and the prison being awesome so I’ll trust you all on this one too 🙂

    1. You know, I had to look it up and it appears that Beth was 16 when she first appeared and is now 18. I think that would have made her about 17 when they found the prison? I feel like she’s just *very* “young” (in terms of maturity/how she acts and reacts), especially when compared to Carl (who is much younger than her). Her being paired with Daryl was probably the least surprising to me of all the factions, if only because he was sort of allied with Carol when she was considered the ‘weakest’, and went out of his way to look for Sophia, who was obviously ‘weak’…but other than that, you’re right, it’s interesting to see which characters were thrust together and forced to rely on each other when they hadn’t had much of a connection before 🙂

      Did you see my reblog of this post on tumblr? I put a picture of the issue 53 cover (which features Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene) in it, along with a gif of their arrival in last night’s episode. It was a flawless reveal…but now to see if the show stays true to the comic book characters at all…which they tend to not do on a fairly regular basis (::cough:: ANDREA ::cough::)

  4. I like Beth as a character….i just like her…she isn’t like Carl, and she seems to be dependent on other physically strong characters, etc…but really how she didn’t lose hope and that made Daryl get up too

    Yes, Carol is back!! can’t wait to see how Rick reacts when he meets her and when Tyresse finds out Rick left her behind…Nice to have Tara back too

    Good that Judith is alive, but i can’t help but feel we will be getting her death in another way…a way in which we might actually see it or it happens in front of Rick and Carl etc?

    Lizzie needs someone to talk to and fast…that kid has got some issues

    1. Haha, well, to be fair I think it’s the singing that makes me not care for Beth all that much. The actress has a good voice and all, I’m not saying she’s not talented, but it annoys me how they work in her singing every chance they get 😉

      I get the feeling that it will be a while before Tyreese & Carol & co. meet back up with anyone else from the prison – or at least anyone else who knows what Carol confessed to doing (Rick and Daryl, at this point). Daryl and Beth headed the opposite direction down the train tracks than the one Tyreese and Carol took, and of course Rick and Carl and Michonne are holed up in that neighborhood (at least for now). My guess is the only other prison folk Tyreese etc. will see anytime soon is maybe Glenn, if Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene are from the ‘safe camp’ toward which Tyreese etc. are heading.

      (Wow, I feel like that paragraph is kind of a mess, sorry! lol)

      I honestly doubt they’ll kill that baby anytime soon, though at this point I’m ‘hoping’ (for lack of a better word) that if they DO, Lizzie won’t be involved, because that seems to be the way they’re heading and that is DARK.

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