The fates of Daryl, Beth, Maggie, Sasha, Tyreese and the rest of the survivors are revealed this week plus a couple of familiar faces show up….
By Damon Martin — Editor/Lead Writer
Last week’s return of The Walking Dead left a lot to be desired by just about everybody watching the show because after a two month absence there were so many unanswered questions and in the 60-minutes we received, we barely scratched the surface on the whereabouts of our group of survivors.
Rick and Carl made it out okay although the young kid murdered a 112 ounce can of pudding and we finally saw them reunited in the fleeting seconds with Michonne, who has been tracking them since the prison fell. This week we pick up with everybody else in the latest episode titled ‘Inmates’, which was a far superior effort than last week’s return offering, which resembled more teen angst than apocalyptic zombie survival.
A Walk in the Woods
The show opens this week to find Daryl and Beth walking through the woods, fighting off walkers in a search for safe ground. The voiceover is Beth reading her old journal, which chronicles her time in the prison. A time when her father was still alive and hope sprung eternal from the simplest of tasks like growing vegetables in the yard or calling a bed your own. Beth’s heartbreaking tone when she reads that this finally felt like a home so much that she unpacked was just tragic because now she stands in the woods with nothing more than a knife and Daryl to watch her back.
Beth wants to search for the other survivors, assuming there are any, but Daryl has reached an almost catatonic state as he sits quietly by the fighter as the day’s events register in his head. Beth isn’t going to wait any longer so off they go to try and track down whoever may have escaped The Governor’s attack on the prison. Eventually they stumble upon some trampled grapes and a path that leads them to a group of walkers having a snack. They fend off the dead, killing whoever stands in their way, as they come upon a railroad track. Where it leads, we’ll find out later in the episode but this is where we start.
The next segment of the episode shows Lizzie and Mika traipsing through the same woods when we find that they are also with Tyreese, who they helped survive in the midst of the onslaught. It’s clear from this secondary scene that we are going to get each group separately as they all exit the prison before eventually (we assume anyways) find each other again. Upon setting eyes on Tyreese one major question is answered from the mid-season finale — Judith is alive and well and being cared for by the survivors.
Tyreese is keeping a close eye on Judith and the two girls, who are struggling to comprehend the world they’ve been forced to live in now. Lizzie has gone from meek to strong and maybe slightly psychotic while Mika is scared of her own shadow and unable to cope with the idea of actually killing walkers to make it out alive. Judith is being a baby, which in turn means she’s screaming her bloody head off, which alerts the walkers to something alive is nearby and they are headed for dinner. In the midst of this, Tyreese hears a scream from the distances and decides to leave the girls so he can check it out.
Lizzie and Mika are back to back to keep an eye out in all 360 degrees for walkers, but Judith is still crying and won’t stop. To quiet her down, Lizzie decides to place her hand over the baby’s mouth and nose as she struggles to breathe. It’s an impossibly hard scene to watch because one part of you should be screaming at Lizzie to let the little baby breathe and this is just inhumane, and somewhere deep down inside there’s probably a piece of your soul screaming this is no place for a baby and this is really the only sane thing to do in an insane world.
While this is happening, Tyreese battles off the walkers but hears a gun shot in the distance. It’s Mika firing her gun, and he immediately believes the worst has happened in his absence. Instead when he turns and finds the girls, they’ve also been found — by Carol.
Yep, our favorite outcast is back and really she never left. Turns out when Rick abandoned her with a car and supplies she doubled back to the prison just in time to see the battle between her friends and The Governor’s troops. It was too late for her to help so instead she tracked down Tyreese and the girls. Tyreese still doesn’t know of course that Carol is responsible for killing Karen and David nor that Rick banished her from the prison all together. In this moment, he’s just happy to find another person alive and she’s there to help with the girls and the baby.
They also spot a sign tacked up to one of the telephone poles nearby — a town called Terminus promises salvation to all those who can find their way. “Those who arrive, survive” the sign touts. Something tells me this is way too good to be true, but it appears that’s where they are headed.
The Wheels on the Bus
The next group we find includes Maggie, Bob and Sasha and they are on the hunt for Glenn. Well more specifically Maggie is on the hunt for Glenn and because she’s going after him no matter what, Bob and Sasha are along for the ride.
The find the bus that escaped the prison with a load of refugees but the entire thing has been overrun by walkers. Maggie fears the worst that Glenn is somewhere inside because that’s where she last left him. She has to know.
So one by one they let the walkers out of the bus until it finally overflows onto the street, and Maggie, Sasha and Bob execute the lot of them. There’s no Glenn amongst any of them, but Maggie still just has to know. She saunters onto the bus filled with blood and stink to see if Glenn is among the dead. A quick look around and killing the last remaining walkers let her know that he’s not there. She sits down and begins sobbing — at first you wonder if she’s given up hope, but then a smile creeps across her face because Maggie knows if Glenn’s not in here then there’s still a chance he’s alive.
Our final group to encounter starts as an army of one — Glenn.
He’s still very much alive and trapped on the embankment of one of the pieces of the prison shelled by the tank attack from The Governor. Glenn was on the bus, but realized he had to go back for Maggie so he left but in his weakened state from the flu he just battled off, he passes out and wakes up to a herd of walkers all thirsting for his blood below. He gathers his senses and walks back into the prison where he finds the entire place is abandoned.
Tattered sheets still hang and cell doors sit open, but no one is there and the entire group has left by now. Glenn heads back to his cell where he crashes on the mattress, tired from being sick and sick of being tired. He glances over and catches a glimpse of Maggie, who has been captured in a Polaroid picture hanging on his wall. I don’t seem to remember the group finding a Polaroid at any point, nor do I remember them talking selfies but luckily this is the wake up call Glenn needs.
He gathers food and supplies and puts on the body armor and helmet from the first time they entered the prison and found guards there wearing it. He suits up with everything he can find and then heads out into the yard. He’s swarmed immediately, but thanks to his body armor no walkers are biting through. Just as he’s about to escape, he looks and sees a girl sitting solemnly in a cage, locked behind a fence just staring down into her lap.
It’s Tara sitting a heap of her own horror after placing her trust in The Governor, only to watch him go completely mad while killing a whole lot of people. She reveals that her sister, just seconds after killing The Governor, was swarmed and eaten by walkers. She is struggling to find any reason why she should live, but Glenn gives her one — he needs her to escape the prison alive.
The two of them battle through the walkers as they get back out onto the road when Tara reveals the awful truth about what ‘Brian’ aka The Governor did to Hershel. Needless to say it takes every ounce of Glenn’s will power not to cut her down in a blaze of gunfire for having even the smallest part in losing Hershel, but again it’s not safe to be alone out here and he needs her to make it. He’s on a mission to find his wife, to find Maggie, and Tara is going to help him or die trying.
Along the road, the pair run into more walkers and they fend them off, but the real battle is still being waged inside Glenn’s body as he can’t seem to fight off the infection that weakened him to the point where he could barely stand just a few days ago. Tara desperately tries to wake him up when she hears a motor revving just behind her. A truck has stopped in the road and obviously they saw the battle ensue between Glenn, Tara and the walkers.
She screams at them, “I hope you enjoyed the show!”
Just then for the first time we set eyes on Sergeant Abraham Ford (played by Michael Cudlitz) who greets Tara with a smirk on his face hidden under his signature handlebar mustache.
“You’ve got a damn mouth on you. What else you got?”
Spoilers for those that haven’t read the comics — Abraham is a central character for much of the storyline surrounding Rick and the survivors and he quickly becomes the No. 2 in charge after meeting up with the group. Now in the comics, Abraham comes along after Tyreese is already dead (in the comic it’s Tyreese that is decapitated by The Governor in the yard) so it will be interesting to see another strong male character added onto the group to join up with Rick, Daryl and Tyreese (once they all reunite).
Next week we find out more about Abraham and his declaration that the only way to survive is with more people banding together. We also finally reconnect more of the group as we catch up with Rick, Carl and Michonne and presumably finally get everybody back into one episode.