Monday, November 3, 2014

The Walking Dead: Season 5 Episode 4 - Slabtown

Hello all and welcome back to our discussion of The Walking Dead!  We've been begging for years for it and it finally happened.  I remember thinking back in season 2, "that girl that attempted suicide has some real acting potential.  She needs her own centric episode where practically none of the main cast are in the episode!"  We got close last year with the Daryl/Beth in the woods episode, but nothing compares to this one.  It happened. We got our Beth-a-sode!   Obviously, I kid.  If we ever thought there was a weak link in the cast, it certainly has been Beth.  That said, this was a really good episode and Beth wasn't too bad herself!  I liked that they went the route of showing what happened to Beth from the moment of abduction and slowly catching us back up to where Daryl arrived back to the church with someone or someones still unknown to us.  It think it's pretty clear that we're potentially learning about some new characters to join team Rick or possibly antagonize team Rick in the future. Let's dive into the discussion.

Discussion Points
  • So we learn who Beth's captors were from season 4.  There are a group of survivors that have set up home base in a hospital in Atlanta.  Some of them have been there since the outbreak, and others have been reluctantly recruited over time.  The place is being run by Officer Dawn Lerner (you may recognize her from the 1-season show, FlashForward).  She runs a pretty strict operation and requires people to work off what they owe.  Misguided as they might be, Dawn seems to have a goal of keeping as much of the human race alive as possible until someone comes for them and saves them.  But some of the hospital residents feel imprisoned.  
  • The guy that brought Beth in turns out to be this creep, Officer Gorman.  Seems to have a friendly face on the exterior, but has an interest in taking advantage of Beth in exchange for his silence on what she's been up to (whether it be getting secret food/candy or stealing keys from Dawn's office).  Of course, once we saw the dead Amber on the ground, I think we knew how that scene would end up.  Didn't make it any less enjoyable to watch Gorman get eaten alive!  (Still confused how Amber died unless she took her own life.  I'm sure that's the case.)  
  • Beth befriended 2 individuals during this episode.  There is the Doctor Steven Edwards who shares a love for music and art and tries to hold on to the enjoyable things from their past life.  But he shows his dark side when he has Beth kill off his competition with one of the patients.  Beth gave medicine (clonopine) as instructed to a patient which ended up killing him.  Edwards cleared his name by stating to Beth that he actually asked her to administer clonazepam, not clonopine.   It turns out that this patient just happened to be another doctor which would have made Dr. Edwards expendable.  
  • The other man Beth befriended was Noah who had been looking out for Beth since she arrived.  Long story short, they worked out an escape plan to get out of that hospital.  It just happened to be down the laundry shoot where they have been sending dead bodies (disposal plan and also something to keep the walkers/"rotters" at bay).  They climbed their way down using tied up linens as a rope.  It certainly was a pretty gruesome scene seeing them fall on top of devoured bodies.  And I just had to shake my head at Beth shooting that unsilenced gun in the dark and then out in the open city of Atlanta where we last saw Rick mobbed by a hoard of walkers.  Noah was able to make it which gave Beth a glimpse of satisfaction, but Dawn and her officers saved/re-captured Beth.  Did anyone else think Daryl and Carol would be there to rescue them from the walkers?  
  • While they weren't exactly there to rescue them we did find out at least where Carol is.  She was brought in on a stretcher into the hospital.  It looks like Beth will have another ally in there soon!  How did Carol end up there and where is Daryl?  Looks like we may have to wait a few episodes to find that out.  But for now, until we know more, it would seem like maybe Noah will be the guy with Daryl.  Between Daryl and Noah, they can probably put a story together to Rick and crew of where Beth and Carol are.  And then stories collide!  I know what you're thinking, why am I not writing television shows!! (joking!!  They're doing just fine without me.)  
  • A couple things to note of the setting.  We got a bigger glimpse of Atlanta which seems to have been destroyed in this post-outbreak world.  I'm sure we're meant to think the destroyed skyline was due to military strikes on the city.  I don't think the walkers could've done that!   
  • Also, the hospital had electricity!  We did see in one scene they had a guy hooked up to life support by power generators.  I guess we're meant to assume that's how they're getting all of their power.  I definitely got a similar feeling to when the LOSTies found the hatch and had some semblance of pre-island life with electricity, food, and of course a record player!  It will be interesting to see what type of role this hospital setting will play for the rest of the season (half season).  Will it be a location that they're trying to rescue Carol/Beth or do they want to infiltrate and set up camp there?  
  • Also, surely the doctor will end up joining team Rick, right?  They have been without a doctor type since Hershel . I can't imagine they'd introduce one with a short-term plan in mind.  But we'll see! 
I think that's about all I have this week.  I know not everyone watches the preview, but it seemed pretty clear starting at the end of last week that we'll probably be once again focusing on different storylines each week.  It certainly worked in the 2nd half of season 4, so maybe they're trying that approach again.  I've been enjoying the season so far and look forward to the next 4 episodes of this first half! Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I look forward to yours in the comments.  See you next week!


Mike V. said...





Mike V. said...

Okay, well I guess the girl with the cut off arm's name is Joan, not Amber, according to the EW interview. IMDB has Keisha Castle-Hughes playing a character named Amber....I know she's been in a lot of stuff but I don't recognize her on sight. I just assumed that was her! lol Maybe it was.

MJ said...

Maybe it was me but this episode was kind of a dull one. I keep telling them to stop giving Beth entire episodes. LOL. Took me til today to figure out how I knew Noah (Everybody hates Chris). The only surprise really was Carol at the end. While these people were all vaguely menacing it was almost too vague - the reasons they do what they do, Joan saying Dawn can control them but doesn't ? This paying off your rescue. Didn't even make sense - they told Beth they found her on the side of the road after an attack. When she was taken I didn't remember her and Daryl being under attack - and she certainly was not at the side of the road.

What I don't get is every one assuming that now Daryl was not talking to Beth or Carol. I never thought it was them - but the show had not said it is or isn't yet. But I've read in several places 'now we know it's not Beth with Daryl'. Nor do I think we have caught up to when Daryl arrives back at the church like you do. Him and Carol left together so if she got caught or if she went in on purpose to get Beth then it can't be the same time Daryl arrives back.

Dead Amber ? Thought it was Joan. LOL And yes - she made herself a zombie bomb . Ha ! I totally didn't even think about them having electricity. Never mind - see your comment now. Gorman was a character on Aliens - and he was a jerk. LOL

Mike V. said...

Good point on the side of the road thing. They were certainly under attack walkers I think. I don't remember exactly what went down but I know they got separated and then by the time Daryl got out Beth was taken in the car with the cross. "side of the road??" no...more like a driveway. lol Of course...maybe he was trying to indicate that he was someone different than the "cross car" people and it wasn't confirmed that they were the same until Beth left the hospital and saw all of the cars. I dunno. Definitely vague though.

I did not indicate in any way shape or form that we have caught up in the timeline to where Daryl is coming out of the woods with "surprise guest(s)". I think I said something to the effect of "from what we know right now" I'm going to assume that it's him and Noah. It would make sense based on our current knowledge. But, I also would think there's a story to tell there of those 2 running into each other. I agree, Carol may have gotten caught on purpose. We just don't know enough yet.

Gorman was in the movie ALIENS??? or are you talking about something else? lol

I did like the episode wasn't my favorite TWD episode, but in terms of setup for future conflicts and characters, I enjoyed it. Much more than I thought I would a Beth-centric episode. It was just a different kind of episode for the show which made it interesting in its own right.

MJ said...

The way I read what you said 'I liked that they went the route of showing what happened to Beth from the moment of abduction and slowly catching back up to where Daryl arrived back to the church' - i did think you meant in this episode so yeah I did think you were saying we caught up. Sorry for misunderstanding your words.

Gorman was a character in Aliens - not saying same actor. LOL I have no idea why I brought that up but it popped into my head.

I didn't hate the ep - but it was an odd one. Hope we learn more of these people cause they stay in the hsp and save some cause help will eventually come is kinda lame.

Mike V. said...

Ahh...yeah that's just my summary paragraph. I was speaking in more general terms of the plot mechanism. lol In the details I wrote this:

"How did Carol end up there and where is Daryl? Looks like we may have to wait a few episodes to find that out. But for now, until we know more, it would seem like maybe Noah will be the guy with Daryl. Between Daryl and Noah, they can probably put a story together to Rick and crew of where Beth and Carol are. And then stories collide! I know what you're thinking, why am I not writing television shows!! (joking!! They're doing just fine without me.)
Key words being "until we know more". :-) need to apologize. I wrote something that was misunderstood...that's on me! lol

AHHHH gotcha on Gorman. I've actually just watched the Alien movies in the past couple years when Prometheus came out. (First time seeing them)....but don't really remember the character names outside outside of Ripley. lol

Plumbarius said...

A "Beth" episode reminds me of how much I disliked the "Kate-centric" episodes of LOST. Differnt show, same thought.....groan. Lol

Rob UK said...

Lol, just checking in, the Lost comments remind me I've got a bit stuck in season 5, need a binge watch soon!

Also, just as I loved Kate in Lost, so I have a soft spot for Beth, I seem to love the characters others love to hate, lol!

Intrigued by how these stories will collide and resolve now!

Mike V. said...

I liked Kate episodes too usually. Maybe on rewatch they have been a little more painful! Lol

I really didn't think last night's ep was that bad. But I'm usually looking at the big picture and just assumed last night's story was essential to get the parts in the right place for the future conflicts. Build stakes, pay off later.

Rob I have no idea how you just stopped mid season 5 or lost without finishing. I'd go crazy!! Lol

Mike V. said...

Of lost not or!

mj said...

I didn't hate the Kate eps either. This Beth ep wasn't as bad as the search for a drink episode. Lol

Mike V. said...

Agreed, that ep was pretty painful! lol

mj said...

OMG. how did no one on talking dead bring up Abrahams non-healing hand wound? Is he the patient zero who is the cure???