(Warning: spoilers ahead!) I don't know about you, but after a whole episode devoted to Carl's Sulky Teen Hubris, I was REALLY looking forward to seeing the other Walking Dead survivors tonight. Now that I've actually watched it, though, I'm impatient for next week, when presumably the Prison Dwellers: Where Are They Now? storytelling will be wrapped up -- and we can see what the new faces bring to the mix.
If you're all caught up on tonight's Walking Dead, let's chat about what went down in tonight's show, titled "Inmates."
We start out with Beth and Daryl racing through the woods together as Beth's voice narrates the sadly ironic pages of her journal. Dear Diary, prison + us = truluv4EVA! They build the most miserly, non-comforting fire in the world -- seriously, it's so small Daryl puts it out with one boot-stomp -- then when Beth can't convince Daryl to get up and start looking for the others, she gets pissed and takes off to do some tracking. At night. By herself.
The next day, they find a bunch of walkers chowing down on human remains. Beth cries piteously. Daryl looks briefly sympathetic, but grits his jaw and forges onward, because goddammit if he's going to, like, hug her or anything. Also earlier he told her that faith didn't do anything to help her father, so really, despite his awesome dirt-enhanced biceps, I'm not sure Daryl Dixon is my number one choice for being stranded with.
That honor just might go to Tyreese, who we see slogging through the woods with Lizzie, Mika, and … aw, baby Judith! Whew, the baby's alive. But oh shit: the baby won't stop howling. Ugh, zombie-apocalypse babies are the worst babies. Tyreese looks like every harried mom in existence, patting the baby and asking for diapers and plugging Judith's little cry-hole with a freshly made bottle (we won't even question where that came from, I guess). Meanwhile, apparently Lizzie has morphed into a full-blown sociopath, stabbing tiny baby rabbits with her knife and taking way too much pleasure from putting her hand over Judith's mouth to keep her quiet. Tyreese leaves the girls in order to investigate some nearby screaming, and as walkers approach Mika and Lizzie, Lizzie's so dreamily focused on smothering Judith to death she doesn't even notice until her terrified sister starts shooting.
(Dude, Lizzie was so totally the rat-killer. Also probably the Karen-and-David killer. Also, if you've read the comics, are you thinking what I'm thinking about what Carl's going to do to Lizzie?)
So Tyreese hears the gunfire and he's like OH SHIT I CANNOT EVEN BELIEVE THAT LEAVING CHILDREN ALONE IN WALKER-INFESTED WOODS DIDN'T END WELL and who should appear with the girls but Carol. Hey, Carol! It's oddly anticlimactic that you're back!
They all head down the train tracks to find a sign that reads "Sanctuary for all, community for all. Those who arrive survive." Sweet! Except this awesome community is named TERMINUS. Huh. That seems … foreboding. I'd have preferred "SAFETOWN" or "CHILLVILLE" or "RELAXING LAVENDER-INFUSED SPALANDIA" or something.
Elsewhere in the woods, Maggie, Sasha, and Bob go looking for Glenn. (Gotta say, Bob's in a strangely positive mood, considering their situation and the lack of booze and all.) They find the bus that left the prison, but it's jam-packed with walkers. Maggie gives a five-star performance in terms of being horrified by the possibility that Glenn's in there, but despite all the dire music and gory walker-stabbing, this whole thing is pretty much tension-free. Because we know Glenn's not dead or trapped in the bus, thanks to him being alive and wailing "MAGGIE!" in the PREVIEW CLIP FOR THIS EPISODE.
Glenn, as it turns out, is back at the prison, where he embarks on a solo search for supplies and riot gear. He does some weeping and praying over Maggie, then bolts out into a horde of walkers like a total badass. (The Helmet-Vision is particularly effective as walkers snarl and slobber over him.) He spots Tara, who's nearly comatose with guilt, and the two of them make their way free in a hail of gunfire and a well-aimed Molotov cocktail.
"I'm a piece of shit," Tara sniffs, when they pause to catch their breath. "Why would you want my help?"
"I don't want it," Glenn says manfully. "I need it." Then he keels over, because oh yeah, that pesky flu that almost killed him. At least he got to deliver that bitchin' line, though.
As Tara rushes to help Glenn, a military vehicle pulls up, and our newest characters emerge. A heavily-armed guy (Abraham) says to the snarling Tara, "You got a damn mouth on you, you know that? What else you got?”
It feels like a lot of stuff happened in tonight's episode and yet for some reason I wasn't terribly excited by any of it. I guess it started feeling like a foregone conclusion that all the major players would be okay, and so we were just getting caught up on where they are, while hammering home that ongoing theme of surviving for surviving's sake vs. surviving for a higher purpose. I don't want to say it was boring, exactly … but yeah, maybe a little boring? Still, I'm excited to see Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita finally joining the fray.
What did you think of tonight's Walking Dead? Were there any big surprises for you?
Image via AMC