THE WALKING DEAD 5.04 ‘Slabtown’ Recap

THE WALKING DEAD Season 5 Episode 4

Episode Title: “Slabtown”

Writers: Matthew Negrete & Channing Powell

Director: Michael E. Satrazemis

Previously on “The Walking Dead”:

Episode 5.03 “Four Walls and a Roof”

I imagine that the writers’ room for this week’s “The Walking Dead” went something like this: “Remember that Beth and Daryl spotlight episode last season that no one really liked? Let’s do another Beth episode, except without Daryl!”

One of the lingering plotlines from season four was the abduction of Beth Greene (Emily Kinney). It seems that the only way to make Beth compelling is to send her away and create a mystery about what happened to her. Two episodes ago, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) spotted a car like the one that grabbed Beth and he took off with Carol (Melissa McBride) to save Beth.
But there wasn’t much in the way of story progression here until the very end.

The Waking Beth

 Walking Dead 504 The Waking Beth

After her abduction, Beth found herself in a hospital with a broken hand and a lot of questions about how she got there. She was met by Officer Dawn Lerner (Christine Woods) and Dr. Steven Edwards (Erik Jensen) who told her that they saved her life… and now she owes them.

Essentially this meant that Beth is forced to work at the hospital until she pays off her “debt” to Dawn for her treatment. Among her first duties, Beth assisted Dr. Edwards in disposing of a patient’s body by tossing it down one of the elevator shafts to the hungry zombies below. But Beth is more disturbed by the way that Dr. Edwards euthanized the man to save resources because he wasn’t showing signs of recovery.

Blue Band Society

Walking Dead 504 Blue Band Society 

It’s not all bad news for Beth. She met a new love interest named Noah (Tyler James Williams), who shared her disdain for the hospital despite having a seemingly good relationship Dawn. Noah slipped Beth a lollipop (not a euphemism) and revealed that he had essentially been kidnapped and forced to work for the hospital as well

Beth also seemed to form a bond with Dr. Edwards, although she was taken aback by Edwards’ reluctance to save one of Dawn’s newest patients for the hospital. Eventually, Edwards relented and made the attempt to keep the man alive.

The Lollipop Guild

Walking Dead 504 The Lollipop Guild 

For Beth, another big alarm bell was the escape attempt by Joan (Keisha Castle-Hughes), who had her hand and part of her arm amputated by force after she was bitten by a zombie. More disturbingly, Officer Gorman (Cullen Moss) claimed to have “saved” Beth and he sexually harassed her. He confiscated Beth’s lollipop and sucked on it before forcing it into her mouth… and that’s totally not a euphemism

In private, Joan implied that Joan allowed her officers to rape the female patients to keep their morale high. Disgusted, Beth and Noah formulated an escape plan. But Gorman cornered Beth in Dawn’s office while she was trying to steal a key. Fortunately (or very conveniently), Joan committed suicide in Dawn’s office and she turned into a zombie just in time to eat Gorman’s face while Beth ran to safety.

The Not So Great Escape

Walking Dead 504 Great Escape 

On the way down the elevator shaft, Noah badly injured his leg and it looked like he was going to be zombie chow. However, Beth used Gorman’s gun to shoot their way out and she even made a few headshots in near total darkness.

Yet Beth’s escape plan fell short once she and Noah got outside. Dawn’s officers tackled Beth, but Noah apparently got away. Dawn angrily confronted Beth about her actions (and the dead bodies in her office). Beth told Dawn that she let it happen by allowing her fellow officers to run wild. She also shattered Dawn’s fantasy about being rescued and returning to a normal life… which earned Beth a severe beating.

Doctor Death

Walking Dead 504 Doctor Death 

While being treated for her wounds, Beth challenged Dr. Edwards to tell her why he tricked her into administering the wrong drug to the man that Dawn wanted to save. Edwards confirmed Beth’s suspicion that the man was a doctor and that the only reason that he’s still alive is that Dawn and her officers don’t have access to another doctor.

Beth took it well. And by well, I mean she grabbed a sharp object and seemed to have murder on her mind as she walked down the hallway.

On a Slab

Walking Dead 504 On a Slab 

However, a familiar face kept Beth from acting. In the closing moments, Beth witnessed Carol being wheeled into the hospital. And if Carol is there, it means that Daryl can’t be far behind. We just didn’t get to see him… at all.

For the second week in a row, “The Walking Dead” is really teasing Carol’s death. It’s so blatant that it’s probably just a bit of misdirection. My guess is that Carol is faking her injuries to get into the hospital and save Beth as a part of Daryl’s plan. If the return and rescue of Beth had been confined to one episode, this would be a lot more tolerable. Instead, “Slabtown” felt like the first filler episode of the new season of “The Walking Dead.”

Feel free to share your thoughts on the episode in the comment section below!