The Walking Dead - Season 4, Episode 10: "Inmates" TV Episode Review
Written by Steve Pattee and Daniel Benson
Directed by Tricia Brock
Written by Matthew Negrete and Channing Powell
2013, Rated TV-14
Episode premiered on February 16th, 2014
Andrew Lincoln as Rick Grimes
Steven Yeun as Glenn
Lauren Cohan as Maggie
Melissa McBride as Carol
Emily Kinney as Beth
Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob
Alanna Masterson as Tara
Brighton Sharbino as Lizzie
Kyla Kenedy as Mika
This week we learn the writers just don’t care about being smart, it’s not just Rick, Carl, and Michone who aimlessly wander around crying, and we see a new sociopath in the making just as an old one returns.
Warning! This discussion contains spoilers!
Steve: So, after being slightly disappointed in the mid-season premiere with all characters moping around and feeling sorry for themselves, I was eager to get to this week’s episode, entitled “Inmates”, because the preview had shots of some of my favorite characters on the show. Instead of joy, I got let down...again. First, this episode is nothing more than a pissing a moaning continuation from the prior week. But instead of Rick, Carl, and Michone, it’s Tyreese, Glenn, Maggie, and oh my god that goddamn baby. I’m going to do a little spoiling of my grades here. I give “Inmates” two out of five stars. One full star for Carol’s return (awesome!) and one full star for Lizzie’s attempt to smother Judith. That baby needs to go and I was hoping Lizzie would be the one to do it.
That said, I had hopes for this episode when it started with Daryl and Beth, two of my (current) favorites. I like this older brother/younger sister dynamic the duo seem to have right now. Beth is freaking out, trying to keep moving to find survivors and the way ever-patient Daryl is appeasing her is so compassionate. You can tell he’s doing these things (such as using his skills to track down their friends) without argument because he cares about her and knows what she’s going through. It’s really quite touching.
Dan: I genuinely laughed when Judith was revealed, knowing what your reaction would be. Then I hung my head because it was apparent the writers aren’t going to take the brave route by killing her off. So it sets us up for an emotional reunion with Rick and Carl somewhere down the line. And that’s almost a pun, because that somewhere down the line is going to be the Terminus, no doubt.
Dan: This episode was pretty much what I expected it to be: a catch up with the other survivors. I didn’t realise the groups would be so badly fragmented as they are, but with the obvious point of convergence being whatever is at the end of the train track.
Steve: The fragmented groups aspect of these past two episodes kills me because, to be blunt, it’s shit writing. How could these people not have had an exit plan? Families generally have exit plans in case their house catches on fire. If you smell smoke, you go to the big tree at the far end of the yard, for example. Hell, the company I work for has random fire drills where my team meets at a particular place. Yet, here we are in situation where you know there is a sociopath who wants to kill you, it’s the middle of a goddamn zombie apocalypse, you have no electricity, no cellphone, and no plan. How is this even possible? As much as I hate Rick, even I have to think he would have made this a priority. But no, the show needed these people separated, and so that’s just what we got without reason. That’s just unforgivable, lazy writing.
Yet, like I said last week, every time I get irritated when the writing is weak, there are parts where it’s as strong. Like the whole Lizzie character. I’m quickly growing fond of her. I saw a meme that said something along the lines of, “If Carol and Shane had a baby, and The Governor was the full-time nanny, Lizzie would be the result.” Yeah, I can see that. Lizzie is potentially the Carl I always wanted, the Carl from the comics..
Dan: Yeah, I’m agreed that a group of people who were so well organised in almost every other aspect of their setup wouldn’t have had a better procedure for getting out should the worst happen. Even the best laid plans may not have included contingency for a one-eyed lunatic with a tank though, so there is that. A rendezvous point does make perfect sense as a way to get everyone back together whatever the disaster though.
Honestly, there’s not a great deal to say about this episode, it was a non-event and complete filler. Something I will give some positivity to is the zombie design in the start of this half-season. The moping has got old real quick, I’m kinda unimpressed by the continual shots of walkers being CGI stabbed in the head, but damn if some of the ‘feature’ zombies don’t look completely awesome.
Steve: It’s as if you took the words out of my mouth here. As I was watching the episode, I was also thinking how tired I am of the CGI shots, but then an impressive walker would stumble into frame and the makeup effects would impress me all over again. But that only goes so far, especially if you are like me and are pretty much tired of the saturation of the zombie genre as a whole, with the exception of this show. Maybe that’s why I hold it to higher standards.
Dan: I guess we have our potential new protagonists in the shape of Cudlitz and company. Many will recognise him from Band of Brothers, but to me he’ll always be the bloke that gets rogered by a shemale in The Dark Tourist. I hope they can write his character differently to The Governor, otherwise people are going to see him as a cheap replacement.
Steve: Let us not forget that Carol is not only back, but the first person she ran into is Tyrese! Whoa, boy. I was sure that Tyrese knew it was her that BBQed his lady, but apparently I was mistaken. Either way, this particular showdown could be awesome.
Dan:There’s definitely something odd going on with the timeline of who knows what, I’m sure Tyrese knew about that too. Maybe he’s biding his time for revenge, but there was literally no reaction from him on seeing Carol emerge from the woods. More likely is he’ll just pussy out of doing anything in retaliation because, well, that’s Tyrese.
I’m glad they’ve thinned out the pack at this point, that bus full of extras was baggage that would’ve held back the story of the core group. Just hurry up and start moving the story again, goddammit.
Steve: Agreed. It's time to get this show on the road.
On a final note, I have a personal plea to AMC: whoever is doing your “next on” trailers for the show, have them stop. On last week’s teaser, you show Glen very much alive and still at the prison, albeit in a tough predicament. So when this episode rolls around and you are trying to build suspense by implying that he is on the bus full of dead walkers, guess what? THERE IS NO MYSTERY. You already spoiled it. Congratulations. If making a teaser trailer without a spoiler is too hard, reach out to the fans. I assure you, you will have no problem finding someone who can do a more competent job than who you have doing them now.
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