"Inmates" is the tenth episode of the fourth season of AMC's The Walking Dead. It is the forty-fifth episode of the series overall. It premiered on February 16, 2014. It was written by Matt Negrete & Channing Powell and directed by Tricia Brock.
The group encounters many obstacles in their quest to find stability and safety, but sometimes all they have to guide them is hope.
The episode begins with Beth narrating a diary entry, discussing life before the group reaches the prison. She then cuts to the present, where she and Daryl Dixon are sitting around a campfire. Beth insists that they must not be the only survivors from the prison incident. Daryl doesn't respond, so Beth yells at him. She suggests that since he is a tracker, they should track the others. She then goes off on her own into the forest. Daryl puts out the fire, and follows in slow pursuit.
Later on that day, Daryl comes across a pair of footprints. Beth hastily assumes they belong to Luke or Molly. Daryl says that even if she's right, it doesn't mean either of them is alive now. Beth, clearly frustrated with Daryl's lack of faith, insists otherwise. As the two walk away, the camera turns toward a log filled with bloody dismembered rabbit carcasses.
Daryl and Beth come across a bloodied site near train tracks, where they are attacked by Christopher's reanimated father. Beth spots Luke's shoe next to a pile of fresh human remains, and breaks down sobbing. Daryl starts to walk away, seemingly unmoved by Beth's grief. But then he stops and looks back in pity.
Lizzie and Mika are walking along in the woods, behind Tyreese. When they stop to ask a question, Tyreese turns around, holding baby Judith. As night falls, they find a clearing and decide to rest. Tyreese is feeding Judith, while Lizzie sits on a nearby log, home to two baby bunnies. She quietly unsheathes her knife, and kills both of them. Suddenly, they hear walkers in the distance. They seem to be getting closer, which forces Tyreese and the girls to flee.
The next morning, the girls find a grape vine and begin picking its fruit. While Tyreese is changing Judith's diaper, Mika is startled by a noise in the brush and runs off. Tyreese and Lizzie give chase, and find Mika several minutes later, hiding behind a tree. As the group recollects themselves, they hear screaming in the distance. Tyreese orients the girls back-to-back, telling them to keep an eye on Judith, saying he has to investigate. If walkers appear, they are to begin running in his direction.
Tyreese comes upon a walker attack by a set of railroad tracks. Two men, Christopher, and his father, are fighting off a group of walkers. Tyreese steps in the help, but is unable to prevent either of their deaths. He then hears gunfire in the nearby woods. Several walkers are closing in on Mika and Lizzie. Mika yells to get her sister's attention, but Lizzie is eerily focused and unaware. She is staring intently at Judith, as she presses her hand against Judith's nose and mouth to quiet her. As Tyreese begins to head back for the girls, the three of them, along with Carol, walk out of the bush. Before he expires, Christoper's father tells Tyreese about a sanctuary up the tracks.
Maggie, Bob, and Sasha are in the woods by a quarry. Maggie is sharpening her knife on the rock, while Sasha is bandaging Bob's arm. Sasha tells Maggie they should camp there for the night. Maggie agrees that Bob and Sasha should stay there, but states that she is going off on her own to find Glenn. Sasha insists that they stay together, but Maggie is defiant, saying that she has already made her choice. She starts walking away, as Bob and Sasha follow her.
The three of them come across the prison bus. It is revealed that the prison refugees did not survive the evacuation, having died and reanimated after being struck and killed by bullets that hit by the bus, causing a mini-outbreak inside the bus. Maggie tells the others that she has to check to see if Glenn's inside. After Bob says they do it together, Sasha reluctantly agrees, and opens the emergency exit to let walkers out one by one so they may be easily put down. Eventually, the walkers overwhelm Sasha's control of the door and they spew forth. As the walkers attack, Bob and Sasha defend themselves, with Maggie dazed. However, Maggie becomes enraged and begins to kill the walkers, even smashing a female walker's head into the bus before stabbing it. Maggie then goes onto the bus to see if Glenn is there and, after she kills a zombified teenager that was stuck under a dead woman, sits down and begins to cry out of relief.
Glenn awakens on a section of the destroyed prison walkway, nearly dangling over a mob of walkers, several of them being prison residents who were killed in the attack. It seems that he had exited the bus to search for Maggie before it left and was on the walkway when the tank shot it, knocking him unconscious. He screams "Maggie?!" and looks for her. He collects some supplies and clothes, including Bob's bottle of brandy. After that, he pushes his way through the walkers having clad himself in riot gear. After escaping the walkers, he sees a nearly-catatonic Tara, who has locked herself inside a small fenced area. Glenn stabs the walker reaching for her before going inside. He quickly grabs her weapon, checking the ammo and seeing she did not fire during the siege. He tells Tara that they should go. After Tara denies him, he questions her, asking, "You're just gonna stay here? You're just gonna die?". Tara replies that she joined the prison attack and Glenn replies that he knows and requests help from her. Glenn grabs Bob's bottle of brandy and uses it as a Molotov cocktail, which he throws at a nearby car. While the walkers are attracted to the flames, Glenn and Tara escape the prison and reach the road close to the prison bus.
On the road, Tara recounts witnessing the events of her sister's death during the aftermath of the prison assault. She says to Glenn that "she wasn't suppose to be there", and that 'he' killed an "old man" and Glenn asks if it was Hershel and Tara replies, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry." and tells him that "Brian" told her that they were bad people and she realizes that they weren't. Glenn tells her that he needs to find Maggie, and Tara asks if she made it. Glenn replies that he doesn't know and he tells her that Hershel was a great man that taught Glenn to have faith. Glenn uses it as a reason to believe that Maggie is alive. After a small group of walkers attack, Glenn collapses, leaving Tara to kill a walker by herself. She looks up to see a military truck, yelling if they "enjoyed the show". Three people climb out: Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita.
- Christopher's Father (Alive and Zombified)
- Mrs. Richards (Confirmed Fate)
- Jeanette (Confirmed Fate)
- Coughing Man (Confirmed Fate)
- Achey Woman (Alive and Zombified)
- Prison Newcomer (Alive and Zombified)
- Sick Teenager (Alive and Zombified)
- Lilly Chambler (Confirmed Fate)
- At least 12 unnamed prison survivors (Alive and Zombified)
- 2 rabbits
- First appearance of Abraham Ford.
- First appearance of Rosita Espinosa.
- First appearance of Eugene Porter.
- First (and last) appearance of Christopher.
- Last appearance of Clara. (Zombified)
- Last appearance of Alisha. (Corpse)
- The title of the episode, "Inmates", refers to the sign on the road leading to the prison, which reads, "HITCHHIKERS MAY BE ESCAPING INMATES".
- Many of the cast members showed up for the shooting of the scenes with the prison in them, claiming that "it was like saying goodbye to a character."
- With Lilly's death, Tara is the sole survivor of the Governor/Martinez's group and the Chambler family confirmed to be alive, as the group who stayed behind at the river camp were never seen again.
- Carol Peletier returns after being absent for 5 episodes; she was last seen in "Indifference".
- Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita are posed almost exactly as their Comic Series counterparts are on the cover of Issue 53 at the end of this episode.
- As of this episode, Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene) and David Morrissey (The Governor) have been removed from the opening credits.
- This is the first time in which a series regular is removed from the opening credits in the middle of a season.
- The orange backpack used by Glenn to pack supplies from the prison was the same backpack scavenged from the hitchhiker in the episode "Clear".
- With the deaths of all the prison residents on the Woodbury bus, and the confirmed (off-screen) deaths of Jeanette and Ms. McLeod, the entire population of Woodbury is confirmed dead.
- This episode has unique structure as it follows four groups of characters one at the time and the stories also happen to be out of chronological order.
- As time came to get a shot of the pile of dead prison residents, the director thought it looked like they were all taking a nap, so he changed it to make them all be in a more awkward position.
- Terminus is first clearly referenced in this episode, after a brief radio mention in "Isolation".
- When Carol meets up with Tyreese, the baby she is holding is noticeably a different baby than all the previous scenes in the episode. A couple of cuts later, what appears to be the original baby returns.
- When Tyreese and Lizzie run after Mika, Tyreese talks to her while Lizzie is standing behind Tyreese, facing Mika. In the next cut, Lizzie immediately stand besides Mika, facing Tyreese.
- When Carol comes out of the brush with the girls, her knife is in her hand and when she steps forward she puts it in the sheath. Then the scene cuts to Christopher's father then back to Carol it is back in her hand.
- After Maggie opens the door to the bus, the sick teenager starts to stand and through the door, you can see the film crew and their equipment.
- While killing the walkers at the bus, Maggie stabs a walker in the back, but it drops down and doesn't move.
- The door behind Glenn when he wakes up has two folding chairs propped up on it. When the scene changed back to the door the chairs are gone.
- When Glenn passes out after fighting the walkers Tara tries to get him to wake up while saying his name, but on-screen, Glenn never told her his name. It is likely, however, that he told her on the road sometime prior to the walker encounter.
- In the episode "Too Far Gone", Clara's reanimated body was already in the prison field, while it is near the broken gate in this episode.
- When Glenn wakes up we see the door sill behind him is at the same elevation as the concrete, but when he goes inside you see stairs he had to descend to get to the door. There is also no scene in the entire prison series of episode where an outer orange door is preceded by steps, they are all at the same level.
- When Glenn is with Tara and getting ready to move out, he puts on his helmet and you can see it is strapped on. When the shot changes, he swings the fence open and you can see his strap is loose. The camera angle changes again and the strap is back on again.
- The railroad tracks in this and many succeeding episodes are shiny on their heads, clear evidence of recent use. The carbon steel used for railroad rails develops surface rust quickly when unused.