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It's not hard to pinpoint exactly why the "Inmates" episode worked better for me. As Bob pointed out, the characters didn't survive just to keep on surviving.

Nothing against Michonne and the Grimes, but its things like Maggie looking for Glenn, Tara hanging on to the only living person in that prison, or Mika being afraid to die because Lizzie is as strong as Tyreese (which means her odds are as bad as Sasha's) its what make these characters feel alive to me.

Of course there's also the thrilling introductions - the three characters that saved Tara from the horde that wanted to eat Glenn - and a most welcomed reunion, as Carol and Judith defy, not only the odds, but Rick statement that he wouldn't have them together even if everybody else died on that prison.

The stakes are higher because of it: Tyreese can still retaliate against Carol, Lizzie can still get rid of Judith next time her cries threaten their safety, the girls can still not make it, even with two adults to protect them.

And yet this episode is not only about the joy of living, Beth's grief and Daryl's exhaustion are part of more than just surviving too. Even if it means to mourn what's lost rather than to move on like it never existed, or to honor it still exists somehow, somewhere, like Bob and Sasha do once they choose to help Maggie find Glenn.

In a world ruled by the dead, the living don't survive to keep on surviving. They struggle with loss, they reunite with their loved ones and generate even more loved ones to miss or reunite with. Just like Mika did with Carol, Maggie did with Glenn, Glenn is doing with Tara or Tara with three new people at the end.

Because survival is not enough, is that these characters keep on living.

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Baryl (Beth n Daryl) was the most boring part of Inmates. My favorite parts were 1st Ty, Carol and the Girls then Tara n Glenn, then Maggie, Sasha and silent Bob then (The Flinstones) Abraham, Eugene and Rosita and then Beth n Daryl.
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I'd say Carol, Tyreese and the girls was interesting because they are basically the worst case scanario Rick was trying to avoid-

Tara and Glenn because they are the worst case scenario The Governor was trying to avoid (fraternizing with "the enemy").

Sasha, Bob and Maggie the worst case scenario both Glenn and Daryl were trying to avoid.

And though its still interesting, Daryl & Beth are no one's worst case scenario.
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How is it that most people completely miss or ignore fact that the title of the series is referring to the humans characters not the zombies? http://8tracks.imgix.net/i/000/224/890/We-are-the-walking-dead-Rick-Grimes-said-9029.jpg?rect=351,0,1248,1248&q=65&sharp=15&vib=10&fm=jpg&fit=crop&w=200&h=200&fit=max
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The one thing I can agree on, is that the reviews are getting increasingly whiny seeming. I used to read them as a great way to recap and contextualize the episode I just saw, but I feel like the dude spells doom and gloom for the show at every episode he doesn't like (remember the Farmhouse? We all do, it was boring, and the show survived and made a comeback, until the next lull).

Of course, as has been pointed out, fans are fervent defenders of the show, and there is plenty to critique about the episodes, but the reviews are almost seeming more patternistic than the show :P .
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Staff
I was SO excited when Carol turned up to save the girls.
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Good thing she showed up when she did too, or Judith wouldn't be breathing by the time the first zombie would bite Mika.
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I know, I was thinking the same thing. Also thinking, how the hell are they going to survive with a crying baby?!
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True, Carl and Rick wouldn't have made it out of that house with Judith. Carol has to make it to Terminus with a crying baby (Judith) and the guy Rick was afraid to bring her to (Tyreese).

And that's before you add Lizzie and Mika depending on them.
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The baby wouldn't be my primary concern, however the psycho girl Lizzie would be. I bet she's the one that killed Tyreese's GF and Carol was just covering for her. They'd be best off if they'd make zombie chow out of Lizzie and I bet that'll eventually happen but not before she murders one of the other survivors. It's all too predictable! ;-)
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Glenn and Tara! It felt oddly 'symmetrical' that Glenn saves Tara. First we see of Glenn he is saving Rick just because that's the kinda guy Glenn is. In this episode he saved Tara because he 'needed her help' even though I think he would have managed to get out of the prison all by himself. He has changed a lot but hasn't lost his sympathy for others.

Even if I'm wrong, Glenn saving Tara is a great moment as it could also go to show how much the character has developed. He would have been willing to let someone get eaten eventhough he used to be the guy who risks his own life to safe a random guy from that fate.
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I feel Glenn sees himself in Tara too, he used to be the group's 'walker-bait' before he met his "wife".

Now he's taking the role of Rick where Tara is taking the role of him.
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Glenn & Tara, and lets be real "The three new characters at the end" are just fresh meat for the grinder, I bet they will all be dead when the season ends, so in not even going to bother learn there names...
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It's not like they introduced themselves either, but I already like the dynamic between Tara and the guy who called her on her big mouth as much as I like the dynamic between her and Glenn.
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"The three new characters at the end"

lol you're so mean !
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How come there's no Michonne, Rick & Carl option. Btw, how come you chose that title for the article? It's a really good article. Just wondering :-)
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"Is everybody dead?" is what Lizzie kept asking Tyreese instead of "Are we there yet?" (seems fitting for an episode about survival is more than keep on surviving). Since neither Rick, Carol nor Michonne were featured in this episode, they are not an option.
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Ah...I didn't make the connection. I was too distracted by Lizzie's thirst for killing small, cuddly innocent things. Lol Those poor bunnies. Initially I thought she was killing them so they'd have something to eat but nope! She just wanted to "experiment". I really thought she was going to smother Judith. Lizzie is scary!
I also didn't realise it was an article about just "Inmates" but it all makes sense now.
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Lizzie and the bunnies made me think of Daryl and squirrels, it was the exact same feeling I got from him on season 1.

He was probably experimenting too the first time he hunted one as a child.
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Its just that "fans" sound so generic to pin them a parallel, I assumed "people" meant the actual person we actually saw draw a parallel on the show: in this case, Mika (with Tyreese and Lizzie).

It would be hard to discuss a Merle/Daryl parallel since no poster in this thread has actually made it.
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This is an answer to your comment below.
I think you didn't understand my comment. I'm talking about fans (not people in the show) saying that they see parallels between Mika/Lizzie and the Dixon brothers' past. Just like you, when you say that Lizzie reminded you of Daryl as a child.
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I only heard Mika draw a parellel between Tyreese/Sasha and Lizzie/Mika, they could identify with Maggie/Beth too but I don't think either one of them ever met Merle.

Up until Mika spoke, I don't think Tyreese drew the parallel either.
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Hmmm...intersting thought. I've heard some other people draw parallels between Daryl/Mearle & Mika/Lizzie but I don't know. Lizzie seems to be displaying sociopathic tendencies - I don't really think Daryl would kill an animal just for gratification or experimenting. He'd kill the for food if he had to but I think it ends there. I could be wrong ofcourse.
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"Carl" instead of "Carol"

(Damn Rick and the repeated names in his extended family, I always type Lori instead of Lizzie too!)
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That's ok. Speaking of Carol, what do you think about the fan theory that Carol may have been covering for Lizzie when she admitted to killing Karen and David? Some fans are thinking that it might've been Lizzie who killed them.
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I'm still stuck in how funny it is that the closest people to Rick are named Carl and Carol (and that they have both questioned his leadership skills at one point or another).
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"Inmates" was needed as a transition episode, to set up for the next big thing. Characters are being further developed.
I really hope that everything that was done in this episode was done for a reason. I hope that they didn't do something and just leave us hanging.....i.e. "who was feeding the rats to the walkers at the prison?" Did they ever answer that...? Unless, that will come into play later, but at this point, who cares about the prison anymore? Maybe Tyreese does, but how long is the plot going to hang onto that?
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My guess is that the rats thing is still in the air because they still have a psycho in their midst that will come back to play later.
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It would just be their luck that, whoever was feeding rats to the walkers, would still be alive too.
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I realized when I read your comment that Lizzie is synonymous with psycho to me now. She immediately popped into mind.
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I think the psycho among them is LIzzie. I think that Carol could possibly be covering up for LIzzie, taking the fall for the death of Tyreese's woman.
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I think its easy to dismiss Lizzie as psycho when all the other children are dead.

I mean, she's basically the Michonne of her age group when compared to Meghan (Tara's niece), the only reason her sister is still alive is because Lizzie pushed her to shot walkers than to run with the other - and now dead - children.
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great observations and I wish the reviewer had your insight. Some of the stories were better than others but I liked them all. I had to pick the 3 at the end since I am so intrigued to see how they fit into the story (slight bias by being a total Southland fan).
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-ditto-
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What I like is that the the more the characters are involved, the higher the stakes are.
  • Maggie and the bus wouldn't be nearly as interesting if Glenn wouldn't be missing,
  • Tara's plot wouldn't be either if we didn't know where she comes from and what happened to her family,
  • Carol and the girls scared me every minute because of Tyreese and Judith's father,
  • etc.
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Interesting points!To me,Walking Dead is not bleak or depressing.Let me explain,yes in tone it's bleak and depressing but it's really about the human spirit and not giving up but moving forward to a better tomorrow.In this world(Walking Dead) we've seen people take their own lives rather than go on but the true human instinct is survive at all cost(look at our history) and how we adapt to a hostile environment but hang on to hope because the survivors will overcome this and have a better tomorrow.It is possible to have a better tomorrow.Eventually one day the living will out number the dead.
Sure,it's a dead world now but with the heartbeat of human spirit.And although many loved characters will die, some of these survivors will be there in the end to pick up the pieces and rebuild the world,not because it's the right thing to do but because it's the humane thing to do,not just for those who survived but to honor those who died.
This is why Michonne rejected hopelessness for optimism in 'After'.This is why Daryl will always adapt to his environment.This is why Rick will always hang on to hope.This is why Glenn will always be there to help others.This is why Carol will always protect the children.For survival,sure,but more for the human spirit and heart.
I doubt the producers will kill everyone we care about in the end,that would be cruel and pointless.For this series to be to be an enjoyable experience,there needs to be an uplifting and happy ending.I'm betting there will be.
More+
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I guess what I like the most about Carol is that, unlike the audience, she doesn't know Rick is still alive, so she's not taking care of Judith to be in his good graces: she's taking care of Judith because she cares.

Carol cares even if Rick is dead and Carl is nowhereto be found, she cares even if this would lead to more grief, she cares because she's alive and she's not going to stop no matter what the world would throw at her.
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And that's why Carol is beloved by fans.
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That could change, I'd say the fastest way for Carol to rejoin Rick or any other survivors without complication is to arrange an "accident" for Tyrese.
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Carol must be sure Rick is dead, otherwise why would Judith be with Tyreese?

There's no reason for Carol to reunite with a man she believes must be dead, there's no reason for her to kill a man her girls just saved only to reunite with someone that must be dead.

The more the reasons to see the look on their faces once Rick sees Carol with Judith!
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Whoaaaa!No way!That would be twisted.She's not Shane and wouldn't hurt Tyreese on purpose.We still don't officially know who murdered Karen and the other guy,since it was done off camera.I really feel Carol is covering for someone who did those murders.
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I can't speak for the fans, but I can say this is why I want to see Carol reunite with Rick first.

I want to see the look on his face when he realizes what Carol did while she believed that he was dead.
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That look will be priceless!Can't wait.
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Sorry, but I'm not sure I could disagree more. For me, 'Inmates' was a return to the problems that routinely plague this show. They were made extra apparent because the previous episode was well structured, had solid and contrasting themes, actually developed characters and explored personalities.

Inmates was just a typical episode where people did dumb things for no real reason, suspension of disbelief was back to head shaking levels and continuity was out the window.

When Lizzie is the most interesting development of the episode...something's wrong. For those of us who didn't read the comics, there's no reason to get excited just yet over those three who showed at the end.

Had they kept the same format, followed two stories and actually put some thought into these characters and their actions...I'd be all for it. The only episode I'd rank higher than 'After' was 'Clear'.
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To me I'd rank "The Pilot" and most of Season 1 higher then "After" and "Clear". But I agree with you on most points. This show has a serious case of bad writing and I know that most people will accuse me of complaining or say "if you don't like it, why do you keep watching?" or whatever other reason they'll find to justify all that's wrong with the show.
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Absolutely. I almost discount all of season 1 as an entirely different show. A 6 episode run where the writing and production was tight...perfect. Then they realized they had a hit on their hands and bumped it to 13 episodes...then 16. Add in the showrunner debacles and there just isn't enough back end talent (effects team aside) to maintain quality over that length of time.

TWD is far from the first and certainly not the last show that's entertaining even though it's not very good. It's a fun to watch mediocre show that has moments where it's exceptional but twice as many moments where it's ridiculous.
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Yes, you see I didn't even take that into account. The fact that the quality has dropped due to longer seasons.
You're absolutely right, it is hard to give up on a show that occasionally displays greatness. Even though it's very easy to get frustrated at the one-step-forward - three-steps-back formula. I often think that it's almost an intentional thing on the creators part. They know that just mediocrity still manages to pull in killer ratings so they probably think: "Well if the audiences are happy with sub-par, why aim for higher?" The old if it ain't broke, don't fix it approach.
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I always approach to these opinions as a consumer: Does the product satisfies me as a viewer?
- If the answer is "Yes!", then I'm going to stick with it be that The Walking Dead or Game of Thrones.
- If the answer is "No", then I'm probably going keep looking, it doesn't matter if there's already a Revolution, Reign or a OUaT that try to sell it, I'll keep looking until I find what I feel I've been missing.
In this case, I already have something that satisfies me as a consumer so I'm not looking.
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Michonne was doing this as well. She was tracking Rick and Carl, and as evidenced by her "Kill Bill" style walker wipe-out, she decided she did not want to wander alone among herds of walkers. She realized she needed the connections she'd made with Carl and others at the prison. I think these little moments of hope and humanity are the saving graces for the otherwise bleak world of the zombie apocalypse.
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I'd say Michonne acts on instinct where Carol engages in the emotional process.

They must have felt the same emotional pull, but for some reason Carol embraces the connection in a way Michonne is not able to do just yet. And Rick is slowly adopting in a way Bob, Glenn and Tyreese refuse to do.
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I am Michonne-biased, admittedly. Love her character! :) But I do think the first episode back was the turning point for her, and she allowed herself to give in to her emotions. She's getting there, but it will make her more vulnerable, I fear.

As for Carol, I am interested to see how her character unfolds now that she's back.
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What I liked the most about the previous episode is that Michonne wasn't born this way, same as Lizzie and Daryl its the continuing experiences of loss what toughen her up this way.

I don't think she'll ever go back to the warm hostess that used to talk about movies with her lover or held her son amongst friends, but its good to know she has the capacity for it, and it was great to see where she comes from!
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True about Michonne and Daryl, although I have a feeling LIzzie was born with psycho tendencies. No doubt the zombie apoc would greatly affect anyone, especially a child, and encourage actions and feelings that would not surface in the normal world, but there is something much deepr in Lizzie's psychological realm that probably was present before the Z.A. We are now 99% sure that Lizzie was the one dissecting bunnies in the bowels of the prison. What normal kid would do that?
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Let's let them all die and be done with it!
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We are a long, long way from that.
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Sadly...
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I have a feeling we will see another major character death this season.
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Then again, tre's alwayas a major character death every season: just because Hershel and The Governor are big, it doesn't mean they are going to be the last.
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"there" instead od "tre"
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I liked how honest trailers put it: "Even actors on Game of Thrones have better job security than these guys"

But honestly, I do wish there would be some massive reset. I am so tired of:
1) find a spot to settle in
2) make it a home
3) watch it get destroyed
4) go to 1

Just like the farm, or the town, or the prison or whatever.
Anyone wanting to bet that whatever it is at the end of the tracks going to end up the same?

(And no, I haven't read the comics)
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Judging only by Bob's last two camps that's pretty much how it goes, always.

Its amazing how the character that has lost more camps since this started seems to be the more optimistic of the bunch. I bet Daryl would be puzzled by it.
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Bah... I hate we can't reply more than a few nodes here...

TrevPlatt,I guess they don't want to go into large cities because if the entire population was wiped out, then there would be zombies everywhere.


On the other hand, what are the odds the zombies would start climbing stairs and such? Can't a something in the 20+ floor be secured?


lr2jules, I'm thinking about a reseting in the group. I think the best part of season 2 was Shane vs Rick. It's so stupid that they are all pretty much in agreement. The whole thing with Carol was just a joke. The group needs internal fueds and politics and to face actual dirty questions: How far would you go to survive.
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How about is they were forced to re-enter a big city? I've been praying for this since they found that damned farm.
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I haven't read the comics either but have heard bits and pieces about them from my nephew and from reading interviews with Kirkman, etc.

What would be a good re-set? Do we really want them to find a permanent safe haven? Wouldn't the series be over at that point? I'm not sure. I know they will have to reach that point eventually or all die, but what would the show focus on if they found a real place to settle down? Rebuilding society? Would there still be threats?
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