Those of you who complained that last week’s midseason premiere was a major, non-violent snooze are in luck. ‘Inmates’ revealed the fates of literally every other major character, and even added some shock value by introducing some familiar (and unfamiliar) faces!
It was Walkers galore on the Feb. 16 installment of The Walking Dead, as fans learned what happened to a newly Debbie-Downer Daryl (Norman Reedus), babysitter-for-hire Tyreese (Chad Coleman), and even the permanently screwed Glenn (Steven Yeun). Don’t read on if you don’t want to know who lived (and died) on Walking Dead.
‘The Walking Dead’ — Judith Is Alive & Carol Is Back
Let’s briefly start this recap on a negative note, because I’m like that — Andrew Lincoln didn’t appear once in this episode, and if suffered because of it. Last week we (briefly) had to consider the possibility of a world without Rick, and I truly hope we never have to actually see what that world looks like. I know the man gets a bad rap — mostly because he talks to Ghost-Lori and says the word “Cahhhh-ruuuhl” like he’s a British man attempting a southern accent — but Lincoln’s sweaty, mesmerizing, PTSD-ridden performance grounds the show in some weird sort of reality which allows the other characters to have a little bit more fun with their less intense material. No one can convey suffering on this show quite like Lincoln (though Danai Gurira and Chandler Riggs — also absent — come close), so I had a bit of a tough time garnering an emotional connection to this week’s plot.
But hey, let’s move on, because something truly wonderful happened tonight — Carol (the great Melissa McBride) made her first appearance in months when she found Tyreese’s group, which also included Mika “Walker-sympathizer” Samuels, Lizzie “bats–t bananagrams insane” Samuels, and — wait for it — BABY JUDITH! BABY JUDITH IS ALIVE! I’m guessing that the crazy amounts of blood on her carseat came from Tyreese’s arm (an injury methinks he is downplaying), but either way, she’s alive until crazy Lizzie decides to strangle her to death.
Of course, Carol could be in trouble too — Tyreese still has no idea that she murdered his ex-girlfriend, and she lied through her teeth when asked about her very convenient reappearance. This being a television show Carol’s deeds cannot go unpunished forever — especially since Lizzie probably knows about them — so I’d expect some major drama down that road in the future.
All of the weirdness in this group, coupled with the fact that Judith won’t stop crying, helped me come to my ultimate conclusion that of all of the four survivor groups (five if you count Michonne, Rick, and Carl), Tyreese, Carol, and their merry band of murderous children are the most f–ked at the moment; and also win the award for survivor group I’d least want to hang out with. Seriously, something is not right with those kids, and it’s only a matter of time before Lizzie violently murders someone. But where do all of the other survivors land on the “seriously f–ked spectrum?” Let’s move on and find out!
‘The Walking Dead’ — Abraham, meet Glenn & Tara. Glenn & Tara; Abraham.
At first glance I thought that Glenn — who did not leave the prison on the ill-fated bus (more on that in a second) — had it the worst, but a last-minute rescue from the comics’ staple Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz, who was phenomenal on Southland) shot Glenn and Tara (Alanna Masterson) straight to the top of the Walking Dead winners’ list this week. Congrats, you crazy kids!
Of course, if there’s one thing we’ve learned on this show it’s to never trust a newbie, especially a newbie with a big gun. But riding around in a tank with Abraham and his tough-looking friends is a lot better than the still-weakened Glenn relying only on the depressed, self-hating Tara — whose Governor-lovin’ sister likely died in the attack — to get him through. (How many people cried when Tara mentioned the death of “that old man” and Glenn replied, “Hershel? Was his name Hershel?” No? Only me?)
We don’t know where Abraham is taking them, but methinks it may be where Tyreese, Carol and co. are also headed — to that “Terminus” utopia where those who arrive, survive. (Spoiler alert: This will not be the case.)
Maggie (Lauren Cohan), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), and Bob (Larry Gilliard Jr./D’Angelo Barksdale) ran into the woods just like Tyreese and his gang (seriously, why did no one else but Michonne, Rick, and Carl hit up the significantly safer suburbia?!), but they’re slightly less f–ked than the other group because they’re all able-bodied, experienced fighters. Nothing really happened with these three outside of the seriously despondent Maggie finding the remains of “Glenn’s” bus and braining the crap out of all of the unfortunate former “prisoners” inside of it, but we know what their mission is — to find out what happened to Glenn. (Interestingly, Maggie didn’t really seem to care about her little sister. Also interestingly, Sasha and Bob were totally flirting, right?)
Which leads me to the top of the “worst” list. Normally I would never put my boo Daryl and his beautiful, beautiful arms at the top of this list, but boy is he a buzzkill after losing all of his friends. I honestly feel bad for Beth (Emily Kinney) for having to hang out with him.
The show opened with a beautiful sequence of Beth narrating a journal entry she had written back in the early prison days — words full of hope and promise — as death and destruction rained down upon them in (of course) the woods.
“I’ve been starting to get afraid that it’s easier just to be afraid,” past-Beth reads, as she and Daryl run from the Walkers in present day. “But this morning, Daddy said something. ‘If you don’t have hope, what’s the point of living?’ You should write down wishes so that they come true. We can live here. We can live here for the rest of our lives.”
Of course it’s tragic hearing echoes from the past about Beth’s now-demolished hope for a happy life, but she actually seemed to be in better post-attack shape than Daryl, who has already given up on the thought of anyone else from the Grimes Gang making it out alive. Beth wanted to go out and “track” for other survivors, but Daryl quickly dashed her youthful hopes and dreams when he said, “Faith hasn’t done s–t for us. Sure as hell didn’t do nothin’ for your father.”
Seriously?! Low blow, Daryl. Just like the rest of the survivors, Beth and Daryl eventually found a bunch of prison randoms and were forced to brain them, and this made the 18-year-old Beth break down in tears. Daryl saw her tears, and decided to walk away all Dixon-like without a hug or a single word of encouragement in response. So basically, Daryl and Beth are wandering around in a forest of misery, with no goals or hope for survival in sight. Let’s hope they run into one or two of the other guys soon, because I am not into this sad, broody Daryl. (Just give him a baby to hold and all will be forgiven.)
What did you think of the episode, fellow Dead-heads? Do you agree with my order of f–ked-up-ness? Did you miss Michonne and the Grimes gents as much as I did? What do you think will come next for our band of survivors? Leave your thoughts in the comments, because I most certainly have nothing better to do than to argue theories.
— Shaunna Murphy