While not being the most fantastic episode of the season, at least the series is progressing to the point where the characters aren’t sure if they will live another day. As expected, there was no screen time with Rick, Carl, and Michonne but instead we got a look at the rest of the group. The show is no longer about trying to survive by forming large groups and having an appointed leader. This is every man for himself, practically. The characters that we’ve become accustomed to understand that they need to keep moving in order to survive. No stopping grounds will last forever; not in their world.
Time plays a huge role in “Inmates.” First we have Beth and Daryl who have escaped together. I enjoyed having a voiceover of Beth’s diary as her and Daryl were on the run. She talks about how she loves the new prison and that she finally has her own bed again. This is proof that they shouldn’t get too attached to their new residence because other survivors will kill for that kind of comfort. Of course, Daryl plays the cool, low-key guy who doesn’t answer to anyone, while Beth can’t defend herself, making Daryl (once again) into a hero. This particular interaction between these characters was probably the weakest segment.
It wasn’t until we are caught up with Tyreese, Mika, Lizzie and fortunately, Baby Judith, that it began to get easier to appreciate the Beth and Daryl story. This was the moment where it was apparent that this was a time travel type of episode. It’s been done to hell by countless shows and movies, however this episode did it just right. Little clues like rabbits being torn inside-out to rabbits alive and kickin’ but I digress. The main thing is that I feel extremely bad for Tyreese. I wasn’t a particular fan of this guy at first but now I give him credit for being able to handle nagging sisters and a crying infant, all while fending off walkers. When the group comes across a father and son fending off some walkers, I find it kind of cheap to have these characters die within 10 seconds of meeting them. Yeah, don’t get me wrong, I love the violence and the visual effects, but don’t create a lame excuse to show the visual department’s talents. Save those for the story because they will have a much bigger impact. Seeing a man we just met getting bit is gruesome but instantly forgettable. Remember when Meryl turned into a walker? Which one had more of an impact? Oh and Carol has returned. It’s pretty convenient that she’s back when the girls were just recently wishing she were there. I’m just happy that Tyreese has an extra pair of hands now but her previous antics still make me not trust her.
It’s also no surprise that Glenn and Maggie got separated after the prison fiasco, but it’s also relieving that they each have faith that the other is alive. It’s easy to like them. They are a great couple and it’s one of the better love stories this show has had. Let’s hope that they both find each other before they lose their minds or end up hurting themselves. Maggie showed some determination to make absolutely sure Glenn wasn’t on the bus. Glenn suits up in a bomb squad uniform and plows through walkers. That’s true love. I just hope Tara doesn’t become another Andrea who has a “fallen-for-the-Governor-and-now-I-don’t-trust-anyone” point of view. But what’s got me excited for next week’s episode was the way they introduced three new characters whom we have never seen before at the end. Fans of the comic know the main dude as Abraham. The series’ show runner, Robert Kirkman, has stated that there was a particular story from the comics that he enjoyed and stuck very closely to that plot line, and this Abraham character plays a role. Previews for next week’s “Claimed” seems to indicate that he was serious about that.