The Walking Dead Review 4.10 'Inmates'
Posted by Josh Syvertsen on 02.16.2014
The survivors continue to deal with the repercussions from the prison's destruction! 411's Josh Syvertsen checks in with his full review of "Inmates!"
Welcome back to your favorite little corner of the interwebs to read and talk about the latest episode of The Walking Dead (at least it better be your favorite. I don't take rejection well.) If your like me and managed to survive the almost two feet of snow, thanks for checking in. If you didn't manage to survive, well you are probably not reading this, so I'll move on to more pressing matters like...Housekeeping!
Caveat #1:First, and most importantly for some of you I guess, I have not read the acclaimed graphic novel series on which the show is based. I have not done this for a myriad of reasons, the first being laziness. I'm a busy man people. But the second and most important, is that this column/review is about the television show The Walking Dead, not the graphic novel series. It would be unfair to the show and unfair to you, the reader, if I was constantly bitching about how the show is different than the source material (and believe me I would bitch). Think that's wrong? Hit me up on twitter some time and mention 'Under The Dome' - watch my head explode. I will make this promise to you who are ever so pissed about my lack of The Walking Dead graphic novel experience, that someday when the show has completed its run, I will check it out.
Caveat #2: Have fun. What's expressed here is one solitary, bitterly lonely mans opinion. If you believe something different, write about it! Let everyone out there know what you think, but don't be a dick. It's a television show - not life or death.
Reader Mail: Back to basics this week. As always thanks for the feedback. Let me start off with an apology, as loyal reader and I assume, all around good dude, ChErikS pointed out, Michonne returned to the original footprints she had seen after her slaughter of the walkers. I'm not perfect, so thanks for the help!...A couple of folks had some comments about the format of the episode, Rick, Carl and Michonne and no one else. Some folks loved it while a couple others hated it. Count me in as part of the first group. I always feel The Walking Dead works better when the show gets simpler. As a writer watching a television show, it feels like the characters get time to breathe. It speeds up the story telling. Rather than 15 minutes of Rick, Carl, and Michonnes story, we get 50 minutes of detailed storytelling. My favorite episode from last season was one where the secondary characters were left behind and Rick, Carl and Michonne run into Morgan. Michonne finally starts to drop her facade and it's Carl that get's her to do it. Because it's given so much time, it feels as though it means something. Much like last weeks episode. Carl's indulgent pudding excursion means more because it's presented in full, without the chatter of having to handle other characters. It will be interesting going forward how many of these types of episodes we are going to get. It's clear we are going to have a Daryl/Beth episode (see below), but will we then run through the litany of other characters? A Tyreese episode? What about Bob, not the tremendous Richard Dreyfus/Bill Murray flick, our resident friend of Bill W. What of the refugees from the group that attacked the prison? Are we getting any of those stories? The one danger that the show could run into is letting what happens in these stories get stale by leaving them for too long. One or two more episodes before we see Rick and Co. again or last week could be for naught. As always keep the feedback coming.
With that said...here's a a pretty picture:
"We don't celebrate Sundays anymore...we don't celebrate Sundays. Because my church ain't open on Sundays...we don't celebrate Sundays..."
Last Week On The Walking Dead: Carl and Rick stumbled away from the destroyed prison. Carl reenacted every cliched teenager/parent relationship movie from 1982 to 1993. He stopped just short of saying "I learned it by watching you!" Later he polishes off a 112 ounces of pudding. I'm sure that will be fine when he takes his next shit. Elsewhere, Michonne reassures us that The Governor is really dead by striding past his dead body on her way to stabbing Herschel's walker-fied head with her katana. She get's a couple of more pets and reverts to pre-prison Michonne before tripping out, having a flashback to pre-pre-prison Michonne. She slaughters her new "pets," PETA was pissed, or at least would have been had they been there. She tracks Rick and Carl down and everyone seems happier for it...or at lest will be when Carl gets the damn door open.
This Week On The Walking Dead: Slo-mo voice over from Beth, well the voice over isn't in slow motion, that would be silly. The action is in slow motion as Beth and Daryl run away from the prison through the forest. Beth gives us a little voice over to her diary about her father telling her that they can live in the prison for the rest of their lives. In retrospect it seems pretty naive, but Hershel was trying to instil some sort of hope in her. Unfortunately for her, life intervened. "Dear Diary, remember that prison forever thing....didn't really work out. Now I have to use you for toilet paper. Thanks for the memories." That's right folks two toilet jokes already, better strap in it's going to be one of those nights.
Beth want's to do something. Daryl want's to stare at the fire. Ladies think it's sexy. Beth isn't buying the silent sexy thing though and goes to leave him. He begrudging follows. Cut to the next morning. Daryl finds some foot prints. Beth wants to think someone is alive, Daryl, ever captain bring down, says they were alive 4 or 5 ours ago. Daryl says shit and brings up Hershel. Well, isn't that a dick move? Beth gathers some food for the folks Daryl is sure are dead. They come upon a couple dead walkers and stop. Beth is attacked but they manage to take care of the lone walker. They hit the railroad tracks only to discover walkers feasting on the bodies of some of the newly dead. Including who they were tracking. Daryl was right. Beth cries. Voice over tells us that she still has hope. It's too bad Daryl seems to think other wise. They are like the survival Odd Couple.
Lizzie and Mika are walking through the woods. Mika starts crying after seeing some fresh blood. Hey, Tyreese is with them and he has baby Judith. Well, that certainly bodes better for their survival. Judith starts crying, but hey, they have milk or formula, don't think too much about it. Walkers disrupt the small makeshift camp and force them to move on. They find some grapes the next morning, that's a pretty healthy breakfast. Unfortunately, Judith is still screaming. Seems a diaper change is in order. Judiths noise is very concerning to Lizzie. Tyreese has the girls watch the baby as he investigates a noise . A bird flies out of the brush and the little one Mika, runs away. Lizzie is pretty fucked in the head. Tyreese hears some screams. He wants to investigate that as well, becasue the last time he left them alone went so smoothly. He leaves the girls with Judith and a gun. Probably not the best idea. He comes upon the same railroad tracks Daryl and Beth had seen earlier - or later actually, it's a little Moffat timey wimey here. There is a group of unknown cannon fodder fighting walkers. Tyreese jumps in to help. Meanwhile, back in the woods, Judith continues to cry. Lizzie practically smothers the kid. Malicious or not? That's open to interpretation, but it certainly looked like she was enjoying it. Tyreese takes care of the walkers attacking at the train tracks, suddenly he hears a gun shot. Walkers descend on Lizzie and Mika. Carol shows up out of nowhere behind Tyreese with the girls. One of the folks still alive from the attack tells Carol and Tyreese of a place up the tracks. He says it's safe. So just to reset the score, it's Tyreese, Carol, Lizzie, Mika and Judith. Carol doesn't say anything about being kicked out of the prison - probably for the best. They find a sign for some place called "Terminus" promising sanctuary. I don't know...sounds Latin. Something like Americaland or Woodbury might seem a lot safer.
Maggie is with Bob and Sasha. They are all sad. Shirtless Bob is looking pretty ripped, but he was in prison technically, so maybe he found the workout room? Maggie wants to look for Glenn. Sasha wants to stay where they are, at least for the night. Clearly Maggie has never seen a film before becasue she goes traipsing off on her own. They follow her because they have seen a film before and know you never go traipsing off on your own. Bob gets all philosophical on Sasha as they find the bus abandoned and filled with walkers. Maggie is clearly not great at teamwork. She leaves them behind as she runs to the bus. The bus is filled with walkers (are they considered bussers?) Not the greatest class trip ever. Maggie wants to go on and look for Glenn. They open the back emergency door, letting the walkers out one by one so Maggie can kill them. Eventually they all push through and Maggie gets a little trippy before she starts kicking some ass. They take a brief moment to mourn the nameless/faceless folks we never got to meet at the prison before Maggie get's on the bus. It's covered in blood and gore, so kind of like like a normal school bus. Maggie clears the walkers. She stabs someone who could be Glenn in the head, then does the weird laughing/crying thing women usually do after having sex with me. So is Glenn dead? I guess we will find out after this catheter commercial (seriously).
Glenn is not dead (no word on the catheter situation). He is however perched precariously above a whole gaggle of walkers back at the prison. Probably not a great place to be. At least it looks like he's over the flu for the most part, so there's that. He heads into the prison to look for Maggie or anyone for that matter. Under the bed he pulls out a blow up Maggie, I mean some riot gear. Then he lays down for a nap. He spots a picture of Maggie sleeping. If he starts masturbating to that picture, I'm done. Not that Lauren Cohen isn't hot as hell, but it's really just not the right time. Luckily for us he doesn't and just cries. New drinking game for this episode: drink whenever someone cries. He rummages up some supplies before heading out decked out in full riot gear. Where he is immediately over run by the walkers. He does manage to escape, but not without looking back in sadness. Poor Glenn.
Glenn fights his way out of the prison, he runs into Tara in a cage, who pretended she was tough earlier in the season, but hasn't even fired a shot through the whole attack deal. He throws a Molotov cocktail at what looks like a cop car, which used to be a crime, but now is cool. Empowered by Glenn apparently, Tara starts shooting walkers like there is no tomorrow. Who knew Glenn was such an inspirational presence? She tells Glenn about The Governor killing Herschel. She then tells him all about The Governors lies and says "shit." They need each other. Glenn wants to find Maggie. They take out a cabal of walkers. Some buff military like dudes climb out of a military like vehicle and trade words with Tara. Graphic novel fans mark out hard, the rest of us are forced to wait until next week for some context. End Episode.
Elsewhere: Nothing. Pretty straight forward this week.
Reaction: Remember up above where I said these episodes seem to work a little better when they are more focused. This episode was basically a big "fuck you Josh" to everything I've thought. We start off with Daryl and Beth, move on to Tyreese, Carol and Co. Then we forget them and join Maggie, Sasha and Bob. Finally we progress to Glenn and Tara. Remember what happened to Daryl and Beth? Not so much because when the show is over you are thinking about Glenn and Tara. Not that the episode was bad, but it's just not as focused as the previous week.
He was only one segment but, Daryl seems to be back to straddling that cool bad ass/annoying prick line. It's something the show needs to be careful with. They've spent a lot of time turning Daryl from cold outsider to something of a loveable malcontent, even teasing romance between him and Carol. Are fans of the show willing to follow him back? Not sure the dopey ladies posting nothing but Norman Reedus pics on Instagram are prepared to watch him yell at Beth over and over again.
The show continues to drop the ball with the whole Carol storyline. First with Rick not telling anyone, then cutting Daryls reaction. Now Carols return is just kind of ho hum. Why not show her saving the girls? Bursting through the forest, taking down a bunch of walkers and saving the day. Having her just appear, with the implication that she saved the girls just came off as anti-climactic in a series of anti-climaxes for this story line. Speaking of the girls though. It think it's becoming pretty obvious that Lizzie killed Karen and the other dude. That little girl is all sorts of fucked up. Although the whole Tyreese/Carol pairing is the right choice to make.
Glenn is looking for Maggie. Maggie is looking for Glenn. It's supposed to be sweet, but I'm already starting to get tired of their "love." Last season it felt like their being together was extremely organic. It felt right. This season though, the machinations that the show is putting them through to keep them apart are getting ridiculous. I was hoping that she had actually killed Glenn on the bus. It would have given Maggie another dimension other than "missing Glenn." It's also a shame that it seems as though Tara is going to be tho only survivor of the prison attack from The Governors team to survive. Much like the beginning of the season where they dropped the ball regarding the nameless/faceless from Woodbury, they had another opportunity her to introduce some new dynamics and they are on the precipice of dropping that ball again.
That's all I've got for this week. As always thanks for reading and "enjoy every sandwich."
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The 411: This episode shuffled though stories this week like a drunk man searching through his roll-a-dex and it hurt the overall product. The Glenn/Maggie thing has run it's course. Judith is alive, but maybe not for long with psycho Lizzie watching her. The Carol/Tyreese thing will get strung out for at least another week. I'm not sure anyone even cares anymore. And we've got more buff military dudes because the last group of military dudes are all dead and their tank is all blown up.