November 9, 2014 The Walking Dead – Slabtown (Season 5 / Episode 4 Review)
As audiences have become accustom in each season of The Walking Dead as one story closes, another unfolds. That trend continues with the latest album titled Slabtown where Beth awakes to find herself in a hospital in the middle of Atlanta, back where the whole story began in Season 1. Besides a gash on her face, which was not there prior to being abducted, she is very much alive. She is soon accompanied by Officer Dawn Lerner and Dr. Steven Edwards, who are firm, cold, and extremely unwelcoming. They insist to her that she “owes” them for saving her life, for the “greater good,” and she must work off her debt.
Soon after her job begins, a girl by the name of Joan is brought in by stretcher and the Doctor is quickly rushed over to care for her. Determined to save her life against her will, Dawn and Dr. Stevens force Beth to hold down the frantic girl as they amputate her arm, freshly chomped on by a walker in an escape attempt. Meeting one unfriendly face after another, Beth comes across Noah, first seen as the only light at the end of this dark tunnel, mopping floors and doing laundry. He fills her in on what Beth is already feeling, trapped in a building with a crew determined to do what they deem necessary to fulfill their vision and rebuild the world. He explains they found him and his uncle, but only brought him in, as his uncle was a bigger, much stronger man who was most likely noticed as a threat. He then assures Beth of his escape, when the time comes.
To make things worse, Beth catches the eye of Officer Gorman, a man with an intimidating presence and a charm compared to barbed wire. Desperate to escape, Beth sneaks into Dawns office to search for a spare key. There, she comes across the corpse of Joan, who got her way after all. Unfortunately, Beth is discovered by Gorman, who is willing to stay silent in exchange for some unwanted exercise. Just in time, Joan awakes in her new form, and helps Beth avoid an undesirable event. Everything goes according to plan, until they reach the outside gates. Beth is swiftly recaptured, but cannot help crack a smile as she sees Noah make it through. Back in the hospital, she is likely
disappointed, but not defeated. Suddenly, another woman is rushed in on a stretcher, who is none other than Carol, last seen in pursuit of the mystery car with Daryl.
The new cast members interjected into The Walking dead saga is very bizarre, with a level of Obsessive–compulsive disorder even the late Gareth would envy. The whole vision of the “greater good” is slightly unclear, but strongly suggested as a controlled environment where people are chosen to rebuild the world in the eyes of Officer Dawn and her comrades. Unlike the laws of the Governor, Joe, and the cannibals, apparently to be one of this group does not necessarily suggest safety, just order, which is a whole new level of terror. All in all, the fans finally got to rejoice in welcoming back Beth, who has climbed many trials of her own, and has clearly come out stronger than ever. CrypticRock gives Slabtown, 4 out of 5 stars.