'Walking Dead' Recap: Maggie as Lara Croft, Lizzie as the Omen...and Tyreese as Daddy Daycare!
After a beautifully contained, poetic midseason premiere that focused on a mere three zombie slayers -- Sheriff Rick, the Kid With the Hat and Mama Samurai -- Sunday's followup ep of The Walking Dead was a full-court bloody blitz of characters and plot machinations. It was time to watch the Rest of the Gang flee the prison. When showrunner Scott Gimple said the riddles of Season 4's first half would be answered quickly, he wasn't kidding. (Lizzie was the one skinning rats???) The hour unspooled like a series of quick-hit short stories, each one packed with chills and action, if not the lovingly textured visuals of Carl eating pudding or Michonne beheading her doppelganger. Herewith, a quick recap of Episode 410, 'Inmates':
DARYL AND BETH Man, our resident hunk in the Harley's Angels winged vest drew the short straw when it came to survivor pairings, huh? Beth is about as useful to Daryl as a crossbow that shoots Twinkies. Miss Dear Diary doesn't seem cut out for the long run, but maybe that's just wishful thinking. Daryl's Norman Reedus hasn't been given all that much to do this season, but he had the point-blank best line last night: "Faith ain't done s--- for us." And therein lies the question of WHY CONTINUE, why keep going, what are you living/running for? It's bleak, but it's honest.
TYREESE, LIZZIE, MIKA....FAT, ADORABLE BABY JUDITH!!!...OH, AND CAROL, TOO Tyreese was rocking some serious Daddy Daycare action, wasn't he? Changing poo-poo Huggies in the woods, with Dickensian orphans Mika (nervous but sweet) and Lizzie (like Damien from The Omen, skinning bunnies, flashing the crazy eyes), plusssssssss Fat, Adorable Baby Judith (who might have been better off as zombie chow, as she almost got smothered by Lizzie). That segment was laughably grim and, well, just plain grim. But awesome! Tyreese is a nervous fella to begin with, but his lot in post-prison life is just plain cruel. Now once-banned Carol is back to help him (hooray?), but she was jettisoned in the first place BECAUSE she torched Tyreese's girlfriend, who wasn't quite dead. Oh, it's a mess, especially if/when Rick and Carol reunite. Good luck in Terminus, everybody! Sounds lovely!
MAGGIE, SASHA AND BOB Arguably the least interesting survivor's group, although Maggie's morphing into Lara Croft has been a nice hubba-hubba change. Sasha and Bob are sturdy if underwritten supporting characters. But Maggie (Lauren Cohan) is a full-fledged action hero now, and her search for hubby Glenn led to the most memorable kill of the night: her smashing a lady zombie's head into a bus, then apologizing for it. "I'm sorry." A little too late for that, missy!
GLENN, TARA AND, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, MR. ABRAHAM FORD It turns out that Maggie's other half didn't leave the prison on a bus; he hopped off, no matter how sick, and returned for his wife. After spending a few eps barfy and red-eyed, Glenn returned Sunday healthy and riot-geared, busting out of the torched prison and bringing Tara, a sassy leftover from the Governor's crew, with him. Their segment was a little flat -- especially to finish such a go-go-go installment -- but it ended with an ominous, too-cool note as it dropped three new characters in our laps just before the close: a trio led by U.S. Army Sergeant Abraham Ford (actor Michael Cudlitz), a popular dude from the comics. The nerds tell me he's supposed to be a good guy, but we'll see about that. With The Walking Dead, you just never know...