The Walking Dead: 4.10 - Inmates
Spoilers, many spoilers, ahead.
“I woke up yesterday in my own bed, in my own room.”
As the second half of The Walking Dead’s fourth season continues to hold its finger on the reset button, the opening monologue, in voiceover from Beth’s diary, is a reminder that our favourite post-apololyptic survivors are in an unsafe and unfamiliar world with none of the comforts of old. It’s easy to forget that basic struggle as we’ve watched them deal with Walkers for the last three years, and deal with the inhuman Governor for the last eighteen months.
There’s another Walker massacre to open the episode, with the crossbow and knives in action as this week it’s the Beth and Daryl show. Beth is struggling to cope with the apparent loss of her whole family and Daryl isn’t big on the emotion thing at the best of times. And this definitely isn’t the best of times. Having lost his brother and Carol in recent weeks you can understand him not wanting to get attached to anyone else. These scenes also introduce the core theme of the show and this episode - hope.
But it’s not just Beth and Daryl this week, there’s Tyrese and the girls (Mika and Lizzie), AND JUDITH! Yay for Judith surviving, but poor girl, would you call your kid Judith? There’s a great use of structure in the first half of the episode as Daryl and Beth cover the same track that Tyrese and the girls have, but chronologically out of order. We see some berries crushed underfoot and Tyrese abandon the girls to help some survivors. You know this can only lead to trouble as he leaves Judith with them and the nutty one - you know, the one who burnt Karen and her friend, oh come on Carol didn't do it... - who proceeds to start to smother Judith to stop her attracting Walkers. It’s a good job then that Carol turns up. What? CAROL! Yes that Carol. Forget the convoluted story she gives for why she’s there, we knew she’d be back but it’s still good to see her. So the dysfunctional family heads off to find the sanctuary promised on a roadside map, at a place called Terminus.
Then we’re off again, moving to Sasha and Bob trying to deal with an obsessed Maggie. She’s looking for Glenn, and again you can understand her obsession, she’s lost everything. Although you wonder why she’s not bothered about finding her sister. The scenes with Maggie cement the feeling that this is one of the gorier hours of telly in recent memory, looks at the detail of the leftovers in the bus scene. Grim.
Another change of scenery and the one episode one story structure that we were led to believe would be the rest of the season is well and truly out the window. It turns out Glenn is still at the prison, but he was on the bus I hear you cry. Apparently not. He’s partnered with Tara as they make their way out of the prison. Just as you think the episode is tailing off a little, the Glenn sequence is the weakest, some army dudes turn up full of bravado “You gotta damn mouth on you, you know that? What else you got?” An expert end to the episode, the writers definitely know how to keep you wanting more.
This is another strong episode and it really does feel like the show has rebooted itself and is starting over. Breaking the gang out of the prison was a great move and it’s just a pity this didn’t happen at the end of the third season. But let’s not end on a downer; we’re gearing up for some big stuff over the rest of the season. And just who are those guys? And what is Terminus?