Walking Dead 4.10 “Inmates” Review

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Wake me up when the episode starts.

The Walking Dead season 4 episode 10 was a patchwork of events that caught us up with the rest of the prison group.  I have to give this show credit: it is ambitious.  It has a lot of cast members.  This episode had a lot to tell us and had to do it in a certain amount of time.  They couldn’t just dwell on things and start wandering off into Maggie/Glenn angst-land for too long.  No, the story had to move forward, what little there is of it anyway.  I mean, it’s an apocalypse, they’re trying to survive and there’s some tension amongst the group.  That’s about all the story there is, but at least they do it well!

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Anti-zombie riot gear is awesome.

Spoilers: The episode was anchored by Glenn and I’m glad they chose to give him the reigns to bring it home at the end.  Overall, I’m sure the casual viewer might have been lost in this episode, given some of the dangling plot threads still hanging out there.  But Glenn delivered his motivation perfectly to Tara and I think she represents us the audience, who tagged along and asked questions just like we might do.

Some of the acting was weak in spots.  Most of the regulars delivered the goods, but I wasn’t convinced by Beth, Daryl and the newcomers at the end.  Daryl seemed to be phoning it in and Beth wasn’t believable.  And don’t get me started on the hammy newcomers.  My first impressions of Abraham is that he is a disaster waiting to happen.  They gave him nothing in this episode and he is just all of sudden out there with some silly dialogue.

Lizzie was substituted in to give us tension and drama and Carol returned to the program to remind us that there are dangling plot threads for her to angst over.  It looks as if the new mental-case is Lizzie, who I was frowning at the entire time as she was smothering Judith.  “Stop that!  Hey! Cut it out, you stupid kid!  Get your hand off Judith’s mouth, idiot!” I said.

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Hey Carol, take these kids! Please?

But this is a kid we’re talking about.  I’m not sure how the group is going to react when they find out Lizzie is a psycho.  It’s not like they can leave her behind like they did with Carol.  Which brings me to the next of the 69 characters in this show.  Carol seemed genuinely afraid of Tyreese as he approached her initially and I’m not sure how she could stand there knowing what she did.  She’s certainly going to get it when her murders come out.  You can tell she’s dreading that moment.  They are certainly dragging it out, so there has to be a confrontation between Tyreese and Carol or we’re going to be disappointed.

daryl-dixonMaybe I’m wrong, but it feels as if Daryl was trotted out in this episode for fan-service.  He had the least to do out of any of the cast.  He kicks some zombies and argues with Beth.  The end.   Though at one point, he said something stupid and then shut his mouth, looked at Beth, and I could see that he regretted what he said.  That’s good acting right there. You could tell what he was feeling just by looking at his face.  That’s something, right there.  I’m not sure why they grouped Beth and Daryl together, but it could be to show Daryl as a protector, instead of as the cold-blooded shoot-em-up role he’s been taking for most of the show.

All in all, I would have to say that this episode was hit and miss, which is what you’re going to get with a large cast with a lot to do.  When you just have Rick, Carl and Michonne you can be focused and intense, but when you’ve got so much to do, it’s going to be harder to deliver true quality.  I think I liked most of the setup in this episode, but we’ll have to wait for the payoff.  The only payoff right now is the Daryl fan-service, Carol’s return, and the arrival of Abraham’s group.  Hopefully, there is more payoff than setup in the next episode.

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