We learn the fate of the other  characters, discover the answers to at least three lingering questions, and meet a trio of new potential allies.

Title: “Inmates”

Cast and Crew

Directed by Tricia Brock
Written by Matthew Negrete and Channing Powell

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon
Steven Yeun as Glenn Rhee
Laura Cohan as Maggie Greene
Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier
Chad L. Coleman as Tyreese
Emily Kinney as Beth Greene
Sonequa Martin-Green as Sasha
Lawrence Gilliard Jr. as Bob Stookey
Alanna Masterson as Tara Chambler
Brighton Sharbino as Lizzie Samuels
Kyla Menedy as Mika Samuels
Michael Cudlitz as Sergeant Abraham Ford
Christian Serratos as Rosita Espinosa
Josh McDermitt as Dr. Eugene Porter

Additional cast and crew information may be found here.

 

Premise

We learn the fate of several other characters in the wake of the Battle of the Prison. One group heads for a place called “Terminus,” while others encounter some new survivors: Abraham, Eugene and Rosita.

High Point

This episode mixes up the usual groupings, allowing for some interesting dynamics. Tyreese finds himself in an atypical situation, with unusual alliances, and that should permit some exploration and deepening of his character. Can he play father to these two dysfunctional girls and an infant? Will the situation with Carol turn dangerous?

Glenn takes some desperate actions, aided by Tara, a character who could be explored further—assuming she doesn’t just die.

We’re seeing Maggie without Glenn and, while this story thus far has focused on her, we have an opportunity to see Sasha and an increasingly likeable Bob develop.

I’m told that Abraham Ford and friends play a key role in the comics, but I haven’t read that far, and the show is its own entity. Still, they play differently than the last new group we encountered.

Low Point

Last week’s slower-moving episode permitted us to see a story unfold and learn more about a few characters. This week’s fragmented– though still slow-paced—- production gave us more characters and some key revelations, but less sense of anyone (Beth gave us interesting personal context). We had bits of stories interrupted by the usual corpse-desecration porn and videogame suspense. Actually, “Inmates” plays more like a videogame than last week’s ep, which expressly used gaming as a metaphor. None of this amounts to a significant low point, and I expected an episode like this one. I actually like the premise of the various groups seeking each other. But I came out of this episode feeling like I’d watched the characters go through a checklist of necessary points. I’m hoping “Inmates” sets up for some superior storytelling in the weeks to come.

The Scores

Originality: 4/6

Effects: 6/6

Story: 4/6 The plot strands worked, so far as they went, but this week had little sense of a story, and the pacing felt slower than last week even though so much more happened. Each group set out on its own odyssey, hoping to find others. In the course of these little stories, we learn the answers to several lingering questions.

Acting: 5/6 The acting was fine across the board. It has to be difficult casting, directing, and above all being a child actors in an adult-oriented prestige show. They ask a fair bit this week of Brighton Sharbino and Kyla Menedy as the Samuels Sisters; they do passably well, and continue to develop.

Emotional Response: 5/6

Production: 5/6

Overall: 4/6

In total, “Inmates” receives 33/42

Lingering Question

It works for Michonne. Why don’t other people use zombie pets to protect themselves?

This video contains spoilers.