The Walking Dead’s second episode after winter break gives us a lot of answers, but it also failed to give some of the characters their due. Keep reading to find out what answers we got, who deserved more story time and which character turned out to be a surprise villain.
“The Inmates” gives us a lot of answers – so much so that this episode felt like an information dump, not an actual story. That’s in stark contrast to the stellar storytelling and acting of last week’s Michonne and Carl centric episode. The episode fools us at first, starting out with a beautiful narration from Beth’s (Emily Kinney) old diary. The episode opens with her hope, a hope which has been eaten alive by death.
In the end, the opener was really just to give us her status, not tell her story. That’s what we get with everyone this episode – their status update. This episode was a series of Facebook status updates that felt like an insult to the characters.
“Daryl Dixon is spending some time in the woods. Can someone get this girl to be quiet? – with Beth Greene”
“Maggie Greene is feeling emo hanging out on a bus. – with Bob Stookey and Sasha”
Most disappointing was the lack of attention to Maggie’s character. I’ll admit that my view might be skewed here because she is one of my favorite characters, but the seminal moment in the winter finale was the death of her father. It’s that death that left the audience reeling. The audience deserves to experience the full range of her emotions from that moment. We experience how Carl, Rick and Michonne are coping – but the writers do not give Maggie and Beth their due.
There are some big reveals however, but because this episode has no focus or emotion, it makes it very difficult to care about those reveals.
Here’s what we know:
Beth and Daryl are together.
Tyreese has Judith, Lizzie and Mika.
Maggie is with Sasha and Bob.
Glenn is alive and is going to find Maggie.
Carol is alive, rescues Tyreese and the girls and is as bad ass as ever.
Other than status updates on the crew, we do get a few hints of the darkness, and possibly hope, to come.
The darkest and most pivotal scene was not the one in which we find out that Judith is alive or that Carol is back, it was a scene involving Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino).
Alone in the woods with her sister Mika and Judith, Lizzie fears that Judith’s cries will alert the zombies. Lizzie’s solution? Smother the baby to death. We see a lot of terrifying things in this show, but this scene was by far the most chilling. Lizzie was in another world while she placed her hand over baby Judith’s mouth and nose. She was calculating and determined to end the crying and if that meant ending the life of a child – then so be it.
Many people have suspected that there was something wrong with Lizzie. Some people have assumed that she is responsible for the death of Tyreese’s girlfriend, not Carol. But I think we all expected that to have been a misguided action – the confused action of a traumatized little girl.
We were all wrong. Lizzie isn’t confused. Lizzie is smart and Lizzie is evil.
It will be interesting to see how this is handled in the coming episodes, especially since the show is introducing new characters, ones that comic book readers know well, and heading to a new sanctuary, ominously named Terminus.
What do you think about Lizzie? Is she confused or is she a killer?
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.