***Spoilers Ahead*** Read on at your own risk as this is a recap and review and will give away spoilers for episode 10 of season four of The Walking Dead. You’ve been warned.
“I don’t want your help…I need it,” says Glenn (Steven Yeun) to Tara (Alanna Masterson) after saving her from a swarm of hungry zombies. The two reluctantly team up and hit the road in episode 10 of AMC’s horror/drama series The Walking Dead, with Glenn desperate to find Maggie (Lauren Cohan) after the epic prison battle sent the remaining survivors fleeing for their lives.
In last week’s season four midseason opener, “After,” viewers witnessed a weak and sick Rick (Andrew Lincoln) pass out and his son Carl (Chandler Riggs) take charge of their survival, killing the walkers who threatened their safety. Meanwhile, Michonne (Danai Gurira) went on her own flesh-eating murder spree, seeming to use them to let out her frustration and anger over the loss of the prison and her friends to the battle with the now-deceased Governor (David Morrissey).
Now in “Inmates,” the second episode after the midseason break, the fate of the rest of the survivors from the prison is finally revealed. Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) has become a surrogate father teaming up with Mika and Lizzie and carrying baby Judith – yes, he saved Rick’s daughter from being an appetizer for a walker – and coming across another original member of the group (that’s one spoiler that won’t be revealed here) while trying to stay safe in the woods and looking for other survivors.
Meanwhile, Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Beth (Emily Kinney) have teamed up and are on the run, just escaping two different groups of zombies. A despondent Daryl is barely talking to Beth who wants him to track and find other survivors, telling him, “We aren’t the only survivors…we can’t be.”
Maggie (Lauren Cohan), who escaped with Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and alcoholic Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), is determined to find Glenn and traces the school bus, where she last saw him and believes he’s still possibly on board, to find to her horror it’s filled with walkers. Needing to know if Glenn is in there as either a zombie or one of their meals, Maggie, Sasha and Bob begin to let the walkers out the back door one by one to see if Glenn appears.
The scene then shifts to Glenn, who got off the bus to help other members of the prison group get out, passed out on a rooftop and waking up to a prison infested with walkers. Screaming for Maggie and struggling to regain his strength (remember, only days before the prison attack he had the deadly ‘super-flu’ which killed half of the prison’s community), Glenn suits up in riot gear and smashes his way through the nest of walkers to discover Tara sitting in a cage still in shock from all the killing in the fight for the prison. Knowing he can’t search for Maggie by himself in his weakened condition and not wanting to leave Tara, who he realizes didn’t take part in the fight because her pistol is still fully loaded, Glenn convinces her to join him on his search because they need each other if they are going to survive.
Suspenseful and extremely gory, The Walking Dead “Inmates” episodes improves on the midseason premiere by incorporating multiple storylines and having very powerful performances as well as answering the burning questions of what happened to all the other characters in the series after the fall of the prison.
There are two grade A stand-out performances in this episode. The first is by Lauren Cohan as Maggie with her strength and determination to find her husband Glenn and then her emotional mini-breakdown when she realizes Glenn got off the bus and is still alive out there…somewhere. It’s pitch-perfect with just the right amount of emotion and never reveals a false moment. The second is Steven Yeun’s portrayal of Glenn who goes from confusion to fear to despair and finally to fierce determination to survive and find his beloved Maggie in about a 12 minute segment. It’s perhaps the best performance Yeun has given since the series began.
The writing and directing is strong and extremely tense, casting all the viewers’ heroes out amongst woods and roads full of hungry zombies with no place to call a home and danger just on the other side of the brush.
Compelling, extremely well written and acted, The Walking Dead’s season four episode 10 continues the post-apocalyptic drama series with a higher sense of tension and dread among the group while still trying to keep a small sense of hope alive for a few of the struggling survivors.
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