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Recap / The Walking Dead S 05 E 04 Slabtown

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Beth finds herself trapped in a prison camp and makes plans to escape.

Beth wakes up alone in a hospital bed, with heavy allusions to Rick from the pilot, but this time, the clock on the wall is moving. They have power. Out the window we finally get a look at post-Apocalyptic, napalm blistered Atlanta. Beth tries the door, but finds it locked and starts yelling. Hearing someone behind the door she ripped the IV from her arm, holding it out as the only meager weapon she has against whatever unknown enemies are coming through the door.


And here they are, a Police in uniform, Dawn, head woman in charge and Dr. Edwards. Dawn orders Beth to drop her pathetic weapon and we finally get some answers about who took Beth. Except, it sounds like bullshit. When Beth asks what happened to Daryl, Dawn tells her she was all alone when they 'rescued' her. This unsettling exchange is finished off by Dawn letting Beth know that she 'Owes' them.

Dr. Edwards briefly introduces her to a patient before turning his respirator off. "Wait, that's it?" Beth asks, Dr. Edwards explains that they don't have the resources to care for everyone, if a patient isn't doesn't show any signs of improvement, then yeah, that's it. They don't bury their dead here; instead Beth and Dr. Edwards take the body to an elevator shaft converted into a creep-tastic body chute.


In our next scene Beth is confronted by a man in a cafeteria, as she puts together a tray of food. He claims to be the one who rescued her and makes a vaguely terrifying reference to zombies eating her thighs that doubles as a decidedly [[squick not-charming flirtation]]. Meet Gorman. If you have a bad feeling about this, that's because it's bad. He tells her "When someone does you a favor, it's a courtesy to show some appreciation. Unless you want me to write down everything you're taking." Oh right, she owes them for savenapping her.

After leaving the cafeteria Beth gets a glimpse of Noah, talking to Dawn, who mentions that someone called Joan is missing. Noah is taking over Joan's jobs (including laundry) until they find her, which Dawn seems confident they will.

Beth brings the tray in to Dr. Edwards. Yum, Guinea pig. The two of them discuss a salvaged Caravaggio painting. Dr. Edwards muses on humanity's lost connection to art. "I still sing," Beth counters.


Another injured person arrives at the hospital of savenapping. This one is called Gavin Trevitt. Dawn is frantic to save him, but Dr. Edwards doesn't believe they have the resources. Upon hearing the doctor's grim assessment of Gavin's condition, Dawn takes out her frustration on Beth's face.

Since Beth got her nice, clean scrubs all bloody, she's required to change. Dawn likes to keep things 'neat.' Inside the pocket of her new scrub-top she finds a green lollipop. A present from someone doing the laundry? Remember, Noah took over laundry because Joan was missing, but guess what… Joan is back, and she's bitten. It's hard to tell whether she's more unhappy about being bitten by a zombie or being back at the hospital, but it seems like it might be the second one since she's fighting hard to keep from being treated.

"Either we cut off your arm or you do," says Dawn.

"Screw you and your little bitch!" Joan directs the 'little bitch' comment at Gorman who calls her a "Smart-ass whore." Before Dawn orders Gorman out.

Beth tries to slip away before she's required to help with the amputation, but is ordered back by Dawn.

Noah introduces himself as the guys who gave her the lollipop. He tells her the story of how he was taken by these people too; they left his father behind because he was bigger and stronger and would have fought back. That's a very familiar, isn't it? Noah gives Beth a little bit of interesting information about a place in Richmond VA that has walls. He also tells her, "See, they think I'm scrawny. They think I'm weak. But they don't know shit about me. About what I am. About what you are."

Dawn finds Beth and wants to encourage her to eat. She takes a minute to reinforce her earlier spiel about how Beth owes them for all the nice things that they've done for her, like holding her against her will and smacking her around. Dawn also takes a minute to day-dream about that magical day when some unknown authoritative entity will rescue them from this undead nightmare. Beth doesn’t buy it.

Joan wakes up to Beth's humming, Beth asks Joan what Gorman did to her. Joan says, "It doesn't matter. I guess it's easy to make a deal with the devil when you're not the one paying the price." Implying that Dawn lets Gorman and the others do what they like.

Speaking of doing what they like, Gorman steals Beth's lollipop and after having a taste gently forces it into her unwilling mouth. It's exactly as horrible as it sounds. Thankfully, this traumatizing scene is interrupted by Dr. Edwards just as Gorman was getting particularly rapey. He makes his feelings known "The girl should have been mine." He also makes it clear that he considers himself to have ownership over Joan as well, which pretty much answers the question that Beth asked in that last scene. Before leaving, Gorman also takes a moment to threaten Dr. Edwards. He might not always be irreplaceable.

Beth wants to know why Dr. Edwards bothers to stay in this awful place. Good damn question, Beth. He takes her on a brief tour down to the walker-threatened basement and up to the roof, basically explaining that he's a wuss who can't survive on his own and that certain compromises have to be made. He reveals the origins of the aid for compensation system that the hospital runs on. Beth is unimpressed.

Dr. Edwards then tells Beth to go give Mr. Levitt 75mg of Clozapine. Right as she finishes doing this, Noah walks in, just in time to watch Mr. Levitt begin seizing and die. Dawn is pissed. Noah lies and says that he accidentally unplugged the respirator, taking the blame. As he's hauled out by officers-unfriendly Beth explains to Dr. Edwards what really happened. He asks if she gave him Clonazepam.

"Clozapine. You said Clozapine."

"No, I didn't." Dr. Edwards lies, then restrains Beth as Noah receives his punishment-beating.

Dawn confronts Beth, revealing that she knows that Noah lied, and basically just hurling abuse at Beth who stands her ground. According to Dawn, Beth is not meant for this world.

It seems Beth has had enough of this sad-ass place, in the next scene she and a banged-up Noah work out the details for how to peace out of the nightmare hospital. Beth has to go get a key from Dawn's office. Take note of a glass jar filled with lollipops sitting on Dawn's desk.

On the floor of Dawn's office, Beth finds Joan, dead, her body half-hidden behind the desk, waiting to reanimate. Her bandages are unraveled and she's scratched a heart-felt message to Dawn into the floor. Beth finds the key but before she can leave, Gorman enters. He's in full sexual assault mode by this point, Beth reluctantly plays along while Joan reanimates on the floor. "Lucky for me, you're not a fighter," Gorman tells Beth, right before she smashes him over the head with the jar of lollipops.

Discombobulated, Gorman hits the floor, but still appears conscious as Joan, now a walker, goes straight for his throat. While walker-Joan is gnawing on Gorman, Beth snatches the gun from his belt and calmly walks back down the hallway to Noah, briefly seeing Dawn on the way. She tells her that Gorman and Joan were looking for her.

Beth and Noah escape through the elevator shaft. Noah injures his leg on the way down and can't run very fast as a result, but Beth uses Gorman's gun to take out walkers as they make a break for it. Beth stays back, clearing the way, as Noah makes it to the fence and beyond. Then Beth is swarmed and immediately savenapped for a second time as the officers catch up with her, tackling her to the ground and handcuffing her hands behind her back. As she watches Noah disappear out of their reach, Beth smiles.

Dawn confronts Beth in her office. Gorman and Joan are both dead for real and still lying there. It seems that Dawn's reprimands aren't having much of an effect on Beth this time. Enraged, Dawn begins to beat Beth.

Beth's face is all banged up, but Dr. Edwards says that she's healing quickly. Beth has figured out that Mr. Trevitt was a doctor, and that was why Dr. Edwards had her give him the wrong drug and kill him. He doesn't try to deny it, comparing himself to Peter denying Christ. Is Beth moved by this? Doesn't seem like it. While Dr. Edwards is still all shook up from her calling him out, she takes the opportunity to steal a weapon (medical tool) and hides it behind her back as she goes after him down the hallway.

Whatever she was planning to do, we'll probably never know because at that moment another patient who needs treatment is wheeled into view. Specifically, Carol.

  • Absentee Actor: The entire main cast except Beth (and, at the very end, Carol) are absent from the episode.
  • Ambiguous Disorder: Dawn was confirmed by Word of God to have OCD.
  • Asshole Victim: Gorman, who gets eaten by the turned Joan moments after he tries to rape Beth.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Beth's cheek wound is swelling throughout the episode. Dawn proceeded to give her another wound to the forehead at the end.
  • Bedsheet Ladder: Noah and Beth escape down an elevator shaft with a rope of towels.
  • Big Bad: Dawn.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Dr. Edwards is for the majority of the episode a decent guy and treats Beth well, but when his position as the hospital's doctor is threatened, he instructs Beth to inadvertedly kill the competition. When Noah takes the blame, Dawn has him beaten to a pulp for his supposed mistake, clearly indicating what would've been Beth's fate had she fessed up.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Beth failed to escape Grady, but Noah does. Also, Carol is captured. But since she already took several levels of badass (as do Beth), they still have a high chance of breaking free.
  • Breather Episode: After the gruesome "Fear the Hunters" arc's adaptation, we get a slower-paced episode featuring antagonists who are lower on the scale of evil than the Hunters.
  • The Bus Came Back: Beth.
    • For a location-oriented example, downtown Atlanta is seen for the first time since the flashbacks to it being napalmed during the middle of the second season.
  • Call-Back: As noted above, Beth's waking up in the hospital bears similarities to Rick in the pilot.
  • Canon Foreigner: None of the residents of the hospital have a comic book counterpart (Beth included).
  • Continuity Nod: Dawn reminds Beth of her attempted suicide during the second season.
    • Dr. Edwards mentions the napalming of Atlanta, which was seen in a flashback during the second season.
    • Dawn and Dr. Edwards mention that everyone at Grady has jobs to do. Beth visibly falters, remembering her father's last wisdom to her in the fourth season.
    • On the topic of Hershel, Joan has her arm amputated, making her the second person in the series to survive a walker bite.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Beth.
  • Driven to Suicide: Joan was willing to die rather than continue to live in the hospital.
  • Filler Villains: Dawn and the cops (and presumably, Dr. Edwards as well) are the first major antagonist group that doesn't have comic counterparts.
  • First World Problems: Beth mentions how lucky Edwards is when Gorman complains of boredom.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Gorman quietly forcing Beth to let the lollipop into her mouth. It's oh so creepy.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Gorman is Eaten Alive by a woman he had raped, but not before he's bashed on the head with the jar of lollipops, one of which he had used to harass Beth.
  • Made of Iron: Noah is able to keep running on a broken leg.
    • Beth gets smacked hard twice by Dawn, and doesn't really look too worse off. Dr Edwards comments about her healing quickly after Dawn's latest attack.
  • Mythology Gag: By the end of the episode, Beth's wounds (see above) matches Andrea's scars in the comic.
  • The Place: The title refers to a street in Atlanta where Grady is located.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Gorman repeatedly sexually harasses Beth and nearly rapes her before he's killed. Horrifically, Beth is far from the first woman to fall victim to the cops' sexual abuse.
  • The Reveal: The entire episode was promoted as this, The Reveal as to what happened to Beth. Turns out she was taken in by what amounts to a prison run by a tyrannical Knight Templar.
  • The Starscream: Dawn killed her partner when he made mistakes that cost lives, and it's implied it was largely just to take charge.
    • Gorman is implied to be this, after making a comment that there'll be a day without Dawn.
  • Stealth Pun: Dawn of the...
  • Took a Level in Badass: Beth begins to continues to shed her passive nature in a continuation in the start of her arc which started in late Season 4.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dawn genuinely wants the best for her community and to help rebuild the world once the apocalypse ends. Too bad she's extraordinarily temperamental, willing to turn a blind eye to sexual assault, and effectively runs a hospital worked by indentured slaves.
  • Wham Shot: Beth sees Carol being wheeled in as the hospital's latest patient/victim.

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