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Monday, February 17, 2014

The Walking Dead 4x10: Inmates

So, that was an episode that happened. That statement actually isn't an indictment of this episode but rather an expression of frustration from a reviewer after watching an episode that left very little to be discussed. (Aside from giving an ending that will have comic book readers talking.)

This episode just gave us an overview of what the rest of the group is doing. Daryl is with Beth. Unfortunately, Daryl is a bit down in the dumps and isn't his usual awesome Daryl self. That is a bummer. Maggie, Sasha and Bob are searching for Glenn. Meanwhile, Glenn has made an alliance out of necessity with mopey, guilt-ridden Tara. They're all wandering with no clear direction.

Probably the most interesting part of the episode was Tyreese and the kids. I throw the around the term sociopath a lot (especially with this show) but Lizzie is murdering bunnies for the fun of it and trying to smother babies to keep them quiet. Ummmm...honest-to-goodness sociopath? You know this isn't going to end well.

Meanwhile, Carol is back. Yay? Alright, I’m not the biggest Carol fan but it will be interesting to see how her interactions with a yet-to-be-clued-in Tyreese will go, especially if members of the group who are in the know show up. I just hope no one gets the sniffles around her.

Their part of the story ends with them heading towards the safe haven ominously named Terminus. This new town is an intriguing development and a good goal for the Tyreese’s group and the larger group in general to pursue. However, there is a good chance that when the characters reach Terminus all will not be what they hoped for and we’ll have the rug pulled out from under us yet again.

Overall, this was a maintenance episode. It checked in on the rest of the non-Carl/Rick/Michonne group and let us know where every was at. (At last I think it was the rest of them, I can’t keep track of every character these days.) This episode did its job while giving us some suitably exciting zombie fighting action. So, while this won’t go on The Walking Dead’s greatest hits list nor did it have a lot of substance it was enjoyable. Just like a bag of Doritos.

Other Thoughts:
In the comments of last week’s episode’s review I tried to keep open the idea that the group had an emergency rendezvous point. This episode made it clear that they did not. That is disappointing.

Is it just me, or did Judith really grow the past half-a-day?

Carl’s crying did little for me last week and Beth’s crying this week was equally unimpressive. Perhaps they should stop having their younger actors cry? But that’s kind of tough to do story wise in the zombie apocalypse.

Seriously, Lizzie scares the hell out of me.

I am curious to know why Carol was heading back to the prison. Perhaps she wasn't planning on taking the exile lying down?

So Maggie wanted to check out the zombies in the bus. I get it. They even had a plan (that predictably failed) to kill them safely. But, before opening the door, why not kill the ones sticking their heads out of the window? It’s the little things like that where this shows really fails.

Speaking of the bus, we’ll never find out but I’m curious as to how everybody on the bus got zombified.

When Glenn left the prison in riot gear, why was he carrying an assault rifle he didn't intend to use instead of some sort of handheld zombie killing weapon?

So Tara's sister apparently died? Was that made clear in the mid-season finale and am I just forgetting it? I remember her shooting the Governor. I don't remember her getting eaten afterwards. I feel like there's a lot I'm forgetting from the end of that episode.

I’ll obviously keep my thoughts on the ending to myself. But was it just me or did the three characters almost look too comic book-y for this show?

5 comments:

  1. I do remember Tara's sister dying in the finale, but i don't remember how.

    I also wanted to know how everyone on that bus turned into a zombie. Did a zombie get on and somehow manage to bite everyone before they killed it or, you know, opened the emergency exit and walk out?
    I just don't buy it. There was no explanation for me that didn't seem like BS as far as that bus was concerned.

    We also had a discussion regaring Lizzie and her sociopathy/psychopathy. We were trying to decide if she actually was or wasn't. Because she' clearly has major sociopathic tendencies, but also, she seems to have empathy where meeka (no idea how to spell her name) is concerned.

    As far as Glenn was concerned, though, it was a strong episode for him and he did a good job with it.

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  2. As Sarah said, good episode for Glenn. His failure to exit the prison sans melee weapon aside, he did a lot of uncharacteristically smart things (for this show) before leaving the prison: gathering up all the supplies he could carry (including what looked to be baby food), putting on the riot gear, taking a moment to collect himself but not stupidly fall asleep unprotected. Good stuff.

    I'd forgotten that Glenn wasn't preset for Hershel's death, which made the moment when he found out sad all over again, and I like that he's decided to adopt Hershel's hope mantra. Someone needs to.

    Lizzie is murdering bunnies for the fun of it and trying to smother babies to keep them quiet. Ummmm...honest-to-goodness sociopath?

    Mrs. Teebore and I discussed that, at first, it just looked like Lizzie was smothering Judith to keep her quiet without really realizing what a bad thing she was doing, but then they cut back to her and she totally had this look that said "I am trying to kill you because you're an inconvenience, and I feel no remorse over that."

    I just hope no one gets the sniffles around her.

    Ha! I'd forgotten that Rick hadn't told Tyreese about Sasha yet, which does indeed bring an interesting dynamic to their scenes. That said, I'm even more freaked out about Lizzie now that she has her Sociopathy Mentor back...

    Their part of the story ends with them heading towards the safe haven ominously named Terminus.

    Yeah, I'm torn on this. Obviously, I haven't read the comics, so I don't know what's coming, but I feel it's either going to be another Woodbury, where they suffer under the bootheel of a seemingly benevolent but actually insane leader for awhile before scattering to the winds again, or it will be a genuine safe haven for a few episodes, before the season finale rolls around and something happens that forces them to evacuate and scatter to the winds again. So it's tough to get too excited about the prospect of a new overarching plotline.

    I am curious to know why Carol was heading back to the prison.

    I thought she said something about hearing the explosion/tank fire and seeing the fires? I was under the assumption that, seeing that, she headed back there to see what was up.

    So Tara's sister apparently died? Was that made clear in the mid-season finale and am I just forgetting it?

    No, I'm pretty sure the last thing we saw of her was when she shot the Governor in the head. In this episode, Tara said she saw her die, swarmed by zombies in the field.

    So she might not actually be dead (we haven't seen the body), but her sister seems to think she is.

    @Sarah: So Tara's sister apparently died? Was that made clear in the mid-season finale and am I just forgetting it?

    Given there were probably people still sick from the flu, maybe someone died of that at some point, triggering a chain reaction, especially since (maybe) most of the people on the bus were (presumably) weaker?

    I mean, that's still stretching it, but we've seen how quickly (stupidly) one zombie can wreak havoc amongst a group in close quarters on this show.

    Because she' clearly has major sociopathic tendencies, but also, she seems to have empathy where meeka (no idea how to spell her name) is concerned.

    True, for now at least, though push to come to shove, I'm having a hard time not seeing Lizzie toss Micha to the wolves/zombies in the right circumstances.

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  3. I have read the comics and I know where the next big set piece is there but I have no idea if Terminus is that place. It doesn't sound like it so I am genuinely curious like everybody else to see what it is. That's one thing I really like about the little differences in the show and comic. Some basic plot points get hit, others get switched around (Tyresse get beheaded by the Governor not Herschel) and others are totally original. It keeps me from getting bored with knowing exactly what beats the show will hit.

    Speaking of which it seems like Lizzie is taking the place of another character that is in the comics. If so it will be really interesting if they go the same places with her as they did with them. Either way Lizzie is really messed up and I look forward to seeing what they do with her.

    I will be curious to see what they do with Judith from here on out. I think most people had more or less gotten used to the fact that there was a good chance she had been another casualty of the prison incident and they decided to keep her around. I hope they have some good ideas for her because I can just see her being more of a hinderance to both the group and the plot as a whole if not handled correctly.

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  4. @Sarah: "As far as Glenn was concerned, though, it was a strong episode for him and he did a good job with it."

    I agree. I enjoyed Glenn this episode and I'm glad that he was willing to take Tara's help out of necessity.

    "the season finale rolls around and something happens that forces them to evacuate and scatter to the winds again."

    Yes, one does wonder if the The Walking Dead can break out of its pattern because you feel like everyone will get bored with it eventually....you'd think.

    @Phantomas: "I have read the comics and I know where the next big set piece is there but I have no idea if Terminus is that place."

    I'm probably thinking along the same lines as you are. I do like that The Walking Dead television show and comic can cover the same ground with the same tone and feel but still do so in a way to keep even those who read the comic guessing as to what may happen.

    I wonder what it would be like if Game of Thrones went with The Walking Dead approach? Would it be better? Worse? Would the book fans stand for it? Could it even work?

    Anyway, like you, I also realized who Lizzie is standing in for character-wise and am curious to see if they go that direction.

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  5. I'd argue that this was both a maintenance episode and a structurally format-breaking episode. For me it was welcome on both counts.

    The lack of an emergency rendezvous point is laughable, no question.

    Even though when she was introduced in the two-part "Return of the Governor" flashback she came across a bit too "Hey! I'm actin' here!" there's something I like about Tara and I'm on board with her joining our crew.

    Carol saying that she'd just arrived at the prison in time to see the assault was surprising but actually welcome. I suppose that since she was telling people who didn't know Rick had abandoned her there might be some polishing there, like she was actually sort-of casing the prison to find someone sympathetic rather than just planning to show up outright, but still. I'm glad to have her back, especially to handle those girls, although I'm really not looking forward to fallout when Tyrese learns about Rick dumping her and why.

    I had a vague memory that Rick had told Darryl that he'd learned Carol had burned the bodies and exiled her but hadn't yet told Tyrese because hackneyed improbable dramatic plotting — like, Rick or Darryl was about to mention it when the roof to the prison started caving in from the Governor's attack or something like that.

    I'm with Dr. Bitz that the characters who showed up at the end seemed rather "comicbooky" even in just a brief glimpse. I'm with Teebore on the concerns about how Terminus plays out.

    Glenn as Boba Fett was pretty great.

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