The Walking Dead Roundtable 4.10 “Inmates”

Hosted by Jeannie Chan

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This week on TWD, we continue to learn the fates of our favorite characters. This episode is a rare treat in that it does not feature our leading man at all. I suppose the storylines have no choice but to split up like this when the group is scattered, but still. Any chance to give some of the minor(ity) characters to step out of Rick’s shadows is one I will take!

 

Join Rob, Nicole, and I as we recap and discuss our favorite moments from this week.

Jeannie: This is a beautiful cold open. I’m really liking all of the small, stylistic changes this season.

Rob: The juxtaposition of the reading of Beth’s diary against the aftermath of the prison was good stuff, and helped us to understand the shock the survivors are in. It was good to be reminded that, though we expect the worst when watching, the characters can be optimistic.

Nicole: I enjoyed her mentioning the farm again too. Brought back memories. Also, she’s lucky to have Daryl with her!

Jeannie: I know Carl and Beth aren’t the same age, but this is the closest foil to Carl as any. First of all, it is rather nice that we’re paying more attention to everyone that, up until recently, have been nothing more than “other people Rick can say things to.” And the decision to start this half of the season with the focus on the kids is brilliant. Beth’s naïveté and everlasting hope contrasts pretty well to Carl’s angry, sullen, despair. Beth needs to believe that the others are alive in order to survive. She’s Hershel’s daughter after all; his everlasting hope has to live on somewhere. Carl can’t tolerate that kind of hope. He wouldn’t view this as a video game if he could.

Rob: I suppose, though I’m still not sold on Beth’s place in this world. I guess she’s there to balance out and support the other main characters, but her ever-optimistic attitude has gotten tired. I was kind of glad when, standing over what probably used to be her friends, her optimism finally broke. Though I was more interested in what effect she would have on Daryl.

Nicole: She’s holding on to hope this episode – it is driving her. But when everyone had the flu she was pretty much emotionless and ambivalent. At least that was the facade she put on.

Jeannie: Rob, cut her some slack! She just watched her father get his head hacked off! I couldn’t tell who it was we were looking at, but since I couldn’t identify them, I thought Beth broke down because everything was catching up to her. It’s hard to sustain the hope that your loved ones are alive! Can you imagine what it would be like for her to encounter a body pile like this and have to brace for the possibility of seeing Maggie or someone else she loved?

Nicole: I, contrary to popular belief, think the baby is indeed dead. The shoe makes me question that but I’m going to stick to my first hypothesis. Baby is dead until proven otherwise. And this is Beth’s first cry in a long time.

Jeannie: Lol, why the shoe?

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Rob: Okay, so we’re seeing Tyreese’s story now and–it’s Judith in his arms! I knew she wasn’t gone. I hope she’s a quiet baby…

Jeannie: THE BABY IS ALIVE! THANK GOODNESS! …. Ahh, this crying machine is gonna get Tyreese killed!

Nicole: Whup, ok, proven otherwise – Judith lives. That was fast! I love how nature-smart Lizzie is, ready to kill that adorable bunny. Oh, and fast forward and she’s ready to kill the adorable baby too. Scary…. On another note, if you were trapped in a zombie wasteland would you rather be with Daryl or Tyreese?

Jeannie: You ask the impossible question, Nicole.

Rob: Tyreese + kids = bad news bears. His parenting skills certainly leave something to be desired: Wait here, little girls, while I leave this very dangerous area to help adults who are in trouble but can probably better defend themselves than you.

Nicole: I think he’s being sweet and very patient. He’s a good dad under the circumstances!

Rob: Okay, of course Judith is crying now that Tyreese isn’t around to protect the kids. Oh damn, the crying is drawing walkers. OMG LIZZIE IS GOING TO MURDER RICK’S DAUGHTER BECAUSE SHE’S A LIABILITY. OMG, she’s still trying to suffocate the baby! She’s zoning out while her sister calls for her–let the record show that this was the moment in which she tipped over to full-blown sociopath. If this is what she’s doing now, I’m sure Lizzie is going to get into some bad trouble with the group later on. It could become an interesting ethical question, though: if a kid kills a baby for the sake of survival, what do you do with the kid? Now ask that question when it’s Judith who was killed and Rick who is involved in the decision.

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Jeannie: Duuuuude. This girl. I wonder when Carol swooped in and saved the girls. And how much she saw. And what she’ll do about it. And OMG TYREESE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT CAROL DID.

Rob: Yeah, Carol ninja’d that scene. The camera cut and all of a sudden Carol’s there! Like a ghost! For a moment I thought Tyreese was daydreaming or hallucinating or something. I feel like there was a more elegant way to bring her in than to just have her appear with no warning. Regardless, the pairing of her, the girls, and Tyreese makes for an interesting group.

Nicole: I wonder if Tyreese will ever find out.

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Rob: Er… Sacha, are you sure that’s how you’re supposed to bandage that wound?

Jeannie: YAY, THEY’RE ALIVE!!

Rob: Sacha seems to be the only one in survival mode. Bob is in some bizarre euphoric state and Maggie is set on walking to the ends of the earth for her maybe-not-dead apocalypse husband. Sacha just wanted to camp in a relatively safe spot. I’m with her on this one.

Jeannie: No! They must find Glenn! WHERE. IS. GLENN. But okay, it is interesting that Sacha’s not more concerned about finding Tyreese.

Nicole: I’m with Maggie. I’m sure it’s somewhere in their marital vows – to love and to cherish until zombified do we part. She has a duty to find him. Though I don’t blame Sacha for wanting to stay safe and recuperate!

Rob: I can’t remember who went where during the prison escape. I really thought there were main characters on that bus.

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Jeannie: I knew Glenn was alive because they showed him in the previews for this episode, but damn is it good to see his face.

Nicole: I thought that too and someone pointed out it could always be a flashback in previews. I seem to always think dead until proven otherwise, but then again I’m usually wrong.

Rob: I didn’t see the previews, but I really didn’t think they’d kill him off off-screen anyway, and without a big melodramatic goodbye with Maggie. Side note: they seem to be having fun with zombies that look like main characters, this half-season (Michonne’s doppelgänger and Glenn’s on the bus).

Nicole: I am enjoying the Zombie doppelgänger fad too. That way we can indulge our fantasies without actually killing off the character.

Rob: Oh Tara, in your real/emotional cage. I cringed when she called the Governor “Brian,” like he was a person and not an evil psychopath. It could be interesting to have someone from the Governor’s group on Rick’s team now, but this made me think of how much more interesting it would have been to have a main character from Woodbury. I know we have extras from there (now probably all dead), and it would have been interesting to see their take on everything, having been on both sides of the war.

Nicole: I have to say Glenn gets my vote. He is so badass with his riot gear. And speaking of doppelgängers, I thought Tara was Maggie for a second.

Rob: Glenn charged through like 20 walkers, but felt the need to shoot stray ones? Uh, alright. And why did he take his helmet off? That thing would be a permanent fixture on my head until I found a super-secure place to sleep.

Jeannie: I just want to comment on how awesome it was to see Glenn take charge like this. I don’t really know how he NEEDS this girl’s help to find Maggie, but okay, whatever.

Nicole: I interpreted that as him doing a good deed and saving her, but convincing her that he “needed” her because you’re right he really doesn’t. Steven Yeun’s acting is great though. I think it’s gotten progressively better. Or maybe it’s because they stopped making him the goofy test dummy and gave him an actual solid role. I’m really glad he survived this season through the flu and everything else. He’s one of my faves.

Jeannie: I think it’s a big deal that so much screen time has been given to Tyreese and Glenn in this episode (and Michonne in the last one). You’re right, Nicole. It’s thrilling to see one- (or two- if I’m feeling forgiving) dimensional characters get fleshed out like this. It’s not the first time we’ve seen Glenn display these signs of masculinity and authority, or that Tyreese has been depicted as a father, or that Michonne has, like, actual feelings. But… Give us more!

Also, let’s reel it back in a little bit with Hershel’s faith and “all you have to do is believe”-ness, ok? This was a little overkill.

Rob: Yeah, the “I just have to believe” stuff was kind of weak. I know it’s about having faith where there can be none, and shining a light in the darkness and all that (which Glenn did literally when he went through the prison to escape), but the way it was presented didn’t quite work for me. This is probably also their way of keeping Hershel’s memory alive. And Glenn needs Tara because he needs a second pair of eyes and also some sort of companionship. He doesn’t know the fate of the rest of the group and doesn’t know how long it’ll take to find anyone; would you want to go one all alone?

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Rob: Those three! I remember their plot arc from the comics, so I know where this is going. Should be interesting. I wonder what changes they’ll make for the show. Still, I hope they change their outfits quickly. They look wayyyyy too comic book-y for the show.

Nicole: Yes it was really cartoony.

Jeannie: WHO ARE THEY??! (don’t answer that)

Rob: I can’t decide who I liked more in this episode: Tyreese, Maggie, or Glenn. I like that Tyreese is thrown into a situation he’s clearly not equipped to deal with, and Chad Coleman does a good job portraying how unsure Tyreese is. Lauren Cohan showed off Maggie’s determination, highlighting how strong she’s become since the farm – her determination to find her husband was portrayed believably. But Steven Yeun as Glenn was more subtle with his determination: even without much dialogue you could see what thoughts and emotions were going through him.

Jeannie: TEAM STEVEN YEUN!

Rob: I liked how each character seemed to have reacted differently to the aftermath of the prison: Daryl is depressed, Beth is (for a while) optimistic, Sacha is just looking to survive, Bob is happy, Maggie is only concerned with finding Glenn, Tara is guilt-ridden and has almost given up on life, Tyreese is trying to be a leader and a father, the girls are trying to be like Carol, and Glenn teams up with a former enemy for the sake of finding his wife and friends. And last week, Michonne became a living zombie, Carl became the father, and Rick became powerless. Hopefully it doesn’t take too long for them all to reunite.

Jeannie: Haha, oh Bob. I’m waiting for something to happen with his character. Right now, he’s pretty forgettable.

 

 

 

  • Aster Maze

    I really hope Carol showing up doesn’t take away from Tyreese taking care of the baby (although it looks like it is going to). I was really hoping that the baby would grow on Tyreese. It would be cool if that fatherhood side of Tyreese comes out and maybe lead to an interesting process when/if he meets back up with Rick. I feel like Carols gonna ruin that though. Boo! :(