After catching up with Rick, Carl and Michonne in last week's midseason premiere, "Inmates" gave us a generous look at the rest of the prison survivors and what's motivating each of them to find each safety and each other.
First we see Beth and Daryl, who we already knew ran off together after the blowout at the prison. Hearing Beth's voice reading her first, optimistic journal entry from back when they found the prison, while simultaneously watching her fight her way away from it with Daryl in the woods is chilling. You remember how relived they were to find it, especially with Lori's baby on the way. As we see her and Daryl now laying exhausted in a field while trying to flee their former sanctuary, we hear Beth recall her father's mantra: "If you don't have hope, what's the point of living?" Ugh. R.I.P Hershel ::pours one out::
But even though things are a lot worse now, Beth still has hope. She asks Daryl to help her track the others, convinced they all got out alive. Daryl is less enthusiastic but the two of them work well together as a team, especially when it comes to the whole stabbing-walkers-in-the-head thing.
They head out, and the trail leads them to a patch of grapes where it looks like someone left in a hurry. Little do they know that it was Tyreese, Mika and Lizzie. They hear walkers in the distance and find fresh corpses being devoured on the railroad tracks. After fighting them off, they're unable determine if the bodies belong to their friends. Beth breaks down, and later we see her tearing those old pages out of her journal while we hear the end of her entry: "If this [the prison] doesn't work, I don't know how I can keep going." Poor girl.
Next we see Tyreese, Mika and Lizzie walking together in the woods with... *Drumroll*... Baby Judith! So that bloody car seat from last year's midseason finale was merely a red herring (pun maybe intended). Now, the baby was born in the prison, so this is the first time they've really had to deal with a loud, crying infant out in Walkerville. Not only does Tyreese have to deal with that, but he also has to change diapers in the forest and chase after Mika when she gets scared and runs off. Someone give this guy his own spin-off!
However, his next move -- leaving the girls alone in the woods, back to back, with a gun and a baby -- did not scream Father of the Year. He leaves them to investigate noises down by the railroad tracks and finds two men (the aforementioned half-eaten corpses) trying to fight off walkers and losing. Meanwhile, Mika's got a shaky gun pointed towards a couple of walkers and Lizzie's practically suffocating the baby so she won't cry. Now, due to Lizzie's previous less-than-sane behavior, I really thought she was going to do it. I still think she's the one behind those dead rats back at the prison, and I don't think we've seen what she's really capable of yet. Thankfully, though, the girls are saved from the walkers and Judith from Lizzie by none other than... Carol!
Hooray! Carol's back! She found her two surrogate daughters and can relieve Tyreese of babysitting duty! Oh, wait. Tyreese. He still doesn't know that Carol euthanized his flu-stricken girlfriend back at the prison...
That should get interesting. But as they are about to leave, one of the men who was attacked starts talking to them as he lays dying. Again we hear that familiar, hopeful statement. "There's a place" nearby, a safe place. He tells them to follow the tracks and they oblige, because what else are they going to do? But to their surprise, there actually is a place. Like, right down the road, apparently. Whether it's safe or not is yet to be determined, but they come across a marker and map on the side of the tracks promising "sanctuary for all" at a place called, "Terminus."
Now on to the third group of survivors: Maggie, Sasha and Bob. The three of them are taking a break in the woods so Sasha can tend to a wounded Bob, who's so nice he actually apologizes for smiling. Unlike Sasha and Maggie, he isn't looking for a loved one and is mainly happy to be alive. Maggie, on the other hand, is furious about losing Glenn. She thinks he got out on the bus of sick people and wants to go look for it. Sasha wants to find food and shelter, but Bob convinces them to stick together in search of Glenn. That's when they see this morbidly hilarious sign:
Of course, they find the bus right away (seriously, is everything adjacent to everything in this show?) and it looks abandoned, but upon closer inspection they find it filled to the brim with walkers:
Maggie demands that they let the walkers out one-by-one so she can see if Glenn's in there. After a dramatic slaughter, she enters the bus to put down the last few, ending with a dark-haired male that she stabs in the head before breaking down and sobbing. "OMG, IS IT GLENN?!" is clearly what the writers want us to think, but it's a trap. Kind of like in last week's episode when it looked like Rick was dead, then they quickly cut to a dead walker to mess with us, the next scene opens with Glenn lying bloody, on the ground, but alive.
Turns out, Glenn is still at the prison. He must have gotten off the bus before it left (did we see that? I can't remember) and got his hands on a gun. He wakes up on a high ledge, with the hungry horde below, and makes his way back into the prison to his and Maggie's cell. There he finds the riot gear (score!) and that polaroid he took of Maggie sleeping in the watch tower (aww).
Now, this part made me happy. I've always hoped Glenn would survive the longest, maybe even longer than Rick. Now he's got riot gear, a huge gun, food and supplies from the prison, and the makings of a Molotov cocktail. He looks like a super hero/ninja/Halo avatar. It's great. But just as he's about to badass his way out of the prison yard, he sees someone hiding behind a fenced-in area. It's Tara, the Smith and Wesson-loving gal who fell for "Brian's" lies about the prison survivors being evil. She's all alone now, sitting guilt-stricken with a full clip but no intentions of trying to survive. "I was a part of this," she laments. She's probably pretty upset about her girlfriend dying, her sister disappearing and her niece being killed by a walker, too.
Still, Glenn is able to get her up and out of the prison to the railroad tracks. It seems like everyone, save for Rick, Carl and Michonne, is in the same general vicinity, but who can be sure about distance with this show. Here, Tara asks Glenn why he'd want her help after what she did and accidentally drops the bombshell that The Governor killed Hershel. He's sad, but "Riot Glenn" holds it together and convinces Tara to continue with him in search of Maggie. As per usual, all seems well until a new group of walkers suddenly appear. They fight them off, but Glenn passes out. As Tara tries to wake him, we see a huge military vehicle pull up, and two tough guys and girl who looks like "Army Barbie" IRL get out. Seriously, we're talking about some hardcore patriots here:
And that's where it ends. So, where are we? The prison survivors are now split into five groups. There is a place that claims to be a sanctuary, and there is what appears to be a group of scary-looking, military folks who want what Tara and Glenn have. But based on the preview for next week's episode, and this show's love of things not being what they seem, I have a feeling these new survivors might be more helpful than whatever lies at "Terminus." Or, maybe they're even one and the same. Let's just hope that neither group has any arbitrarily appointed executive figures who keep heads in jars for a hobby.