Monday, November 3, 2014

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 4: Slabtown + Halloween Pics

Below is my recap of this week's TWD episode. But first, I wanted to share some Halloween photos. I didn't do anything epic for Halloween--just went to my dad's and took my brothers and niece out trick-or-treating. I had to be up early to work the next day, so I wasn't interested in staying out all night or going to any late parties.

I thought it would be appropriate for this post, though. Check out the photos and you'll understand why.

Me as a walker! Think I'm ready for my walk-on role on The Walking Dead? 

My brother, Isaac, who is also my look-alike.
Yes, he went as Daryl Dixon.

My brother Abram (as himself) pretending to kill me.
That knife is real, btw, which kind of freaked me out.
Pretending to eat my niece, who is Elsa
from Frozen, btw.

My brother Josh as a demon. It doesn't
register in the picture, but he put in contacts
that made his eyes black with a red outline
around the irises. Seriously creepy! His eyes
are really light blue.
My brother Micah, as Chelsea Grin (the band).

Okay, on to this week's amazing episode! 

Episode 4: Slabtown

I was SO excited for this episode. Couldn't wait to find out about Beth!

We start out with Beth waking up in a hospital room. Looking out the window, she sees that she's high up in a building in the middle of a city. She pounds on the door and a woman dressed as a cop and a male doctor enter. They introduce themselves as Dawn and Dr. Edwards. They tell Beth she's at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. (Dah! She's back in Atlanta! We haven't seen the city since season 1!) She asks about Daryl, not naming him, but is told that they only saw her, fighting with walkers (which the hospital group call Rotters) and brought her to the hospital for safety. Then Dawn says, "We saved you. So you owe us." From the trailer, we knew we'd hate Dawn anyway because she'll end up abusing Beth at some point, but really lady? She owe's you. Yeah, I kind of hate your face. Beth also has a fractured wrist, apparently, and a black eye, which she didn't have last time we saw her. I'm thinking they must have been pretty rough with her while "rescuing" her.

Beth then starts running around with Dr. Edwards, helping him with patients and the disposal of bodies. When a patient dies, they simply dump the body down an elevator shaft. Not very dignified, but the doctor tells her they don't go outside unless they have to. The bottom level has broken windows, and walkers (rotters) get in and sometimes eat the bodies they throw down. This kind of disposal might be understandable in this situation, but it's still disturbing, and really gross when the body hits the wall of the shaft on the way down, then spatters at the bottom.

Beth then goes to the cafeteria for some food. An officer named Gorman is there. He tells her he's the one who rescued her and asks if she remembers him. Yeah, he's kind of a creeper from the get-go. He tells her one of the rotters were "eyeing her thighs" before he got there to rescue her. I can't think of a more sexual way to say that she was being attacked by a walker. He then tells her she ought to be thankful to him. If she'll tell him thank you, he won't write down everything she takes to eat. Apparently, this hospital works sort of like indentured servitude. She owes for everything she takes and/or uses, and can't leave until the debt is paid. I was glad Beth didn't cave and just say thank you. It would have been the easier route, but she just glares at him and then leave. Good job, Beth. We also learned in this scene that, after going out the window of the funeral home, Beth was attacked by a walker. That might explain the injuries she didn't have last time we saw her. Maybe.

Beth takes a tray of food to Dr. Edwards in his office. She doesn't want to eat herself because she doesn't want to owe more than she already does. (Beth has already caught onto this game that is played to keep people in the hospital. Also notice that how much is owed for each meal and medical treatment is not defined. There's no way to measure or reach for a certain value in order to be able to leave.)  Dr. Edwards shares his dinner with her, telling her he's bored. She says he's lucky to feel safe enough to be bored. He also has a painting in his room that shows the three denials of Peter in the Old Testament. They have a conversation about whether art--which is about transcendence, rather than survival--has a place in this post-apocalyptic world. Beth argues that it can have. She still sings, after all. It's nice to see that Beth hasn't lost her faith in the world. She still believes in "good people" and that it can be a good place.

After that, a "new one" is brought in. A man who apparently fell from a two story window is brought in. Dr. Edwards is reluctant to work on the patient. He says the man can't be saved, but Dawn insists he try. He manages to stabilize the man, but says the patient still won't survive. He probably has internal bleeding, which Dr. Edwards can't fix, and helping him was waste of resources. In anger, Dawn hits Beth in the face, making her bleed. It's hard to say what that was about. Maybe it was more about Dr. Edwards than anything else. Because he was mouthing off to her, she hurt someone he's obviously getting close to. Or maybe it was just frustration, and she was taking it out on the person in the room she perceives to be the weakest. I also really don't like that the doctor lets Dawn call the shots on his patients. He's the medical expert, not her. Shouldn't he be making the medical determinations? But he defers to her, even though she has no medical experience. Obviously this guy needs to cowboy up a little bit.

Dr. Edwards cleans up Beth's face and gives her a new shirt because the one she's wearing has blood on it. He says Dawn likes things tidy. (Is it just me, or is this woman a little bit OCD?) Beth finds a lollipop in the pocket. 

Another patient comes in, but this one they know. Her name is Joan and apparently she tried to escape the hospital and was bitten by a walker. Creepy Officer Gorman brings her in and when Joan mouths off to them, Gorman calls her a whore and Dawn kicks him out of the room. Joan says Dawn can't control "them" and it's not obvious right away who she means. They cut off her arm to save her life, forcing Beth to help hold her down. Not sure what it was they used to amputate the arm, but it looked like piano wire to me. Really gross.

Beth then goes to see Noah. He's another guy in the hospital, in charge of the laundry. She asks him why Joan tried to run, rather than just working off her debt first and then leaving. He tells her it doesn't work that way. He's been there for a year and no one really ever leaves. We see the horror of that set in on Beth's face as she realizes nothing about the "debt" she owes is legit. Noah also tells her that he was with his dad when the hospital people found them and they told him they could only save one, so they saved him instead of his dad. He believed in that logic for a long time, but now he realizes they only save people they think they can control. People who can work, but aren't physically strong. This may explain some things about Beth's kidnapping. Even if the officers saw Daryl, they probably would have left him. They took Beth because she looked weak, but one look at Daryl would have told them he wasn't. They wouldn't want to bring someone to the hospital they couldn't control. Tells us a lot about their morals. (Or the lack thereof.) Noah wants to escape, but hasn't figured out how. He says he's much stronger than they think he is. He and Beth kind of bond over their similar circumstances.

Later, Beth is still not eating, but Dawn comes in and gives her a pep talk about what a good thing they have in the hospital and how Beth needs to eat so that she's strong enough to contribute. (Never mind that the more she eats the more she owes.) Dawn also thinks that eventually someone will come rescue them. Beth tries to tell her otherwise, but Dawn doesn't want to hear it. Beth finally eats something, and Dawn seems to think she's won--which makes us want to slap her again--but I wonder if Beth is just realizing she can't win by playing by their rules, so she might as well eat.

Later, Beth mops the floor in Joan's room, humming as she does. Joan wakes up and compliments Beth's singing. She says Dawn could control "them" if she wanted, but it's easier not to, and Dawn is a coward. This was where I realized she meant the officers, specifically Gorman. She lets them do whatever they want and you get the feeling maybe they tried to rape Joan, or did, and that's why she ran. Joan is closed-mouthed about what actually happened, but she says of Dawn, "It's easy to make a deal with the devil when you're not the one paying the price." 

Later, in her room, Beth starts looking for something. The lollipop that she hid under her mattress, maybe? Then Gorman comes in. He has the lollipop, opens it, and puts it in his mouth. If it isn't bad enough that he's eating her candy--sugar is really the only thing she has going for her right now--he then crosses the room and forces it into her mouth. Seriously. Creeper! Dr. Edwards comes in and tells Gorman to leave her alone. Gorman says she should have been his, whatever that means, and that he'll get Joan back. Dawn can't stop him. Edwards says he'll stop Gorman, but Gorman pretty much laughs at him. At least Beth seems to have an ally in Edwards, but he doesn't really seem cool enough to take on Gorman. 

Beth asks why Edwards stays rather than just leaving. He takes her to the ground floor of the hospital. It's obvious that the area of the city around the hospital is overrun by walkers and it would be hard to run away. Then he takes her to the roof, where they have food growing, and tells a bit of his history. He was working in Atlanta, trying to evacuate patients, when it got bombed (which we saw in season 1). Most of those he was trying to help died anyway. He stayed with the group, which was led by a guy named Hanson, but things got worse, food ran out, and the group didn't want to save more people because then they'd have to feed them. So, they started trading rescue for services, and the indentured servitude began. Eventually Hanson cracked and Dawn took over. This story is all well and good, but it's not very compelling. Edwards, as most people in this world are, is somewhat of a victim of circumstance. He could still leave, though, or stand up to Dawn if he wanted to. Even after getting his history, what it still comes down to is that he's kind of cowardly. He tells Beth to give the patient (not Joan but the one he insisted couldn't be saved) another dose of Clozapine before she calls it a day.

Beth does as he tells her, administering the medicine via IV. Noah comes in to say hi as she does, but then the patient goes into a seizure and dies a few minutes later. (This is the same man Edwards claimed couldn't be saved.) Dawn and Dr. Edwards show up, asking what happens. While Beth sputters in fear, Noah takes the blame, saying he accidentally unplugged the ventilator while mopping. Dawn has him taken to her office where we hear him being beaten. Beth tells Dr. Edwards what really happened and he asks if she gave the patient Clonozapan. She tells him he told her to administer Clozapine, and he says, "No, I didn't." She wants to go stop Noah from being beaten, but he won't let her. Okay, this is where I started hating Edwards. Before this I thought he was a bit of a coward, but seemed like an ally. Maybe he could go back to the group with Beth, Daryl, and Carol and then the group would have a doctor, right? But after this, no way. He totally tried to make her think she was crazy and heard him wrong! Douchebag! Luckily Beth doesn't seem to doubt what she heard from him. I think she can tell something's really off.

Later, Dawn comes to tell Beth that she knows Noah was lying, but she "had" to beat him to keep order. She then gives the "greater good" speech we all heard on the trailer, but it's worse than what we heard there. She says Beth is only worth anything while she's, essentially, in the hospital doing what Dawn tells her to do. "Out there" she isn't worth anything, except dead or as someone's burden, and she isn't strong. Beth insists that she is strong (Yeah you are! Go Beth!), but Dawn cuts her off. She also notes Beth's scars from her attempted suicide, and Beth doesn't know how to argue about those. Dawn says she has to keep her officers happy so they will continue to protect the hospital. Which is as good as admitting she lets them rape people. 

Beth goes to see Noah, who insists, despite his swollen eye, that he's fine. She tells him that she wants to come with him when he escapes. He says they can get out on the ground floor, though they'll have to be quiet to avoid walkers, but they need to get a key to the elevator bank from Dawn's office. 

Beth sneaks into the office to look for the key. She finds Joan dead on the floor. Joan seems to be holding some scissors, which suggests she killed herself, but I'm not sure that's the case. Beth seems relative unphased by the discovery. In a filing cabinet, she pulls out a wallet and a hospital card from it. We don't get an explanation of what that is right away. Then she manages to find the key she's looking for. Just as she does, Gorman enters. She does a pretty good job of covering for why she's in there, but Gorman doesn't buy it. She backs her up against the desk, saying he won't tell Dawn what she's up to if she just sits still for him. She agrees, though she's obviously really looking for a way out. Gorman says he's glad she's not a fighter, and that Joan wasn't as much of a "team player." That comment added to the one earlier about getting Joan back makes me think he probably killed Joan. When Gorman starts trying to grope Beth, she hits him over the head with a jar of lollipops (poetic justice: that's what he gets for being creepy and shoving a used lollipop into her mouth. Just saying). Joan the Walker wakes up just then and rips his throat out. Beth takes the gun from his holster and calmly leaves the room.

Everything seems good until she realizes there's blood on her shoe, and that's the kind of thing Dawn will notice if she looks right at it. When Dawns stops her to ask if everything is okay, she tells Dawn Joan is looking for her. That Joan and Gorman were headed toward her office. Dawn doesn't notice the blood, and Beth and Noah put their escape plan into action. 

They use a rope to go down the elevator shaft. When a walker reaches out for Noah from the second level down, he falls. Luckily (and nastily) this is where the hospital dumps their dead bodies, so Noah's fall is broken. He does, however, hurt his leg. Beth goes face-down on the dead bodies as well (also gross) but she's unharmed. They have to shoot several walkers (with Gorman's gun) to get out of the building. In the parking lot, they're beset by dozens more. Beth keeps shooting, while Noah limps toward the fence. In the end, Beth is re-captured, while Noah escapes. I was mad he left her behind, but she smiles, as though his escape is a small victory for her. That was kind of cool. Another cool thing in this scene is that at one point, Beth uses her foot to stomp a walker's skull. It was very Daryl. We've seen a lot of evidence of her influence on Daryl, but this is the first time we've seen evidence of his influence on her since she got snatched. She's totally Mrs. Daryl Dixon in the making!


Anyway, back in the hospital, Dawn asks her who she thinks she is. Not only for trying to escape, but obviously Dawn has figured out that Beth had a role in Gorman's death. (She had his gun, after all.) This was probably my favorite scene of the entire episode. She totally stands up to Dawn, yelling at her that no one's coming to rescue them (you know, except maybe Daryl) and that she's letting bad things happen and it's all her fault. Granted, Beth gets the crap kicked out of her for it, but it was still good to see someone stand up to someone like Dawn. It would be better if Dr. Edwards or someone else would do it, but Beth comes from a very decent group of people. She hasn't had to fight her own battles very often before because she always had people to protect her. Now she's out on her own, and it's good to see her take on an evil, communist dictator, you know? Unfortunately, Dawn beats her for it.

Edwards cleans her up again, in his office, trying to be positive, but Beth doesn't respond to him. Looks like she's done with this whole situation. As Edwards starts to leave, Beth asks him how he knew the patient she killed with the Clozapine was a doctor. I'm thinking she found the guy's I.D. in the file cabinet in Dawn's office and that's how she figured it out. Edwards admits that he knew this doctor, and didn't want him to live because if there was another doctor in the hospital, Dawn might kick him out. He says that he, like Peter in the painting, had no choice. "They would have crucified him too." Yeah, hate this guy! First of all, that's the most ridiculous analogy EVER! Peter wasn't murdering people, he learned from his mistakes after and became a much better person, plus it had to do with fear in the moment. Edwards is being pretty dang premeditated about what he's doing. Ugh. 

Now we know that Edwards, too, has done murder. He purposely had Beth administer a lethal dose of drugs to his patient, then tried to make her think it was her own mistake. Bastard. In many ways, Edwards is a lot like Father Gabriel. Both of them have sacrificed others for their own self-preservation. I think Edwards is more evil because he has far less guilt than Gabriel. He even uses biblical paintings to justify his actions. At least Gabriel has the grace to be messed up about what he did. Either way, Beth needs to get out of there pronto!

Which it looks like she's planning to do. In the final scene, we see her walking down the hall holding a pair of scissors. Whether she's just carrying them for self-defense or is planning to attack someone specific with them is unclear. Suddenly another patient found in the city is wheeled in on a gurney. It's Carol, eyes closed and looking kind of the worse for wear. 



The end. 

Me at the end of every episode! (Source)
Yeah, I hate you Walking Dead writers! And, to make it worse, I'm not sure we'll see any of this story line next week. Looks like the next episode is going to focus on Abraham's group. Grrrh! (Don't get me wrong, I love Maggie and Glenn and all of their group, but really? This episode was just. Not. Long enough!

So, big questions: 

1. Is Carol really hurt or is she playing dead to gain entry to the hospital? 
2. Is Daryl close by? (The answer to that will be contingent on the answer to #1)
3. Could Noah, who got away, have run into Daryl and Carol? It occurred to me that might be the case because Carol conveniently made an appearance in the hospital very soon after Noah made it through the gates.
4. And of course, what will happen next? Who will walk out of the woods after Daryl back at the church?

What are YOUR theories?


  1. Your Halloween photos are great! You went all out as a zombie, didn't you?

    1. Yeah, I had tons of fun! Thanks Alex! :D

  2. I was wondering about the whole "playing dead to gain entry to the hospital" routine. That would make for an interesting episode.

    1. I agree! Either way could be great. Can't wait to find out which it is. Thanks so much for stopping by! :D