The Walking Dead Season 5 Review “Slabtown”

The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 4 Slabtown (1)

Well, that was not what I expected!

When Beth was taken last season, I assumed (like most) that she had been kidnapped by some bad people with some nefarious or horrible purpose. Instead, The Walking Dead returned tonight with the totally unexpected “Slabtown,” as we find out that Beth is in a hospital in downtown Atlanta and she’s doing totally fine. Or is she?! Considering this is The Walking Dead, probably not…

Episodes like this are always such a big risk. You might have a great episode where everything works and the action is on point and the characters are well established, but how much are we going to care if we were just introduced to the characters themselves?

That being said, the action was pretty solid and the characters were pretty well established, but I sure did have a hard time caring about anything that was happening to Beth before we saw Carol get wheeled in at the very end. This episode reminded me a lot of the arc of episodes last season that caught us up with The Governor, as he met Tara and her family and befriended them. However, The Governor was a major villain from the previous season so giving him a redemption arc made a little bit of sense. Beth is a character that nobody cared about until that one episode last season where she was kidnapped, so I couldn’t say I was excited for an episode dedicated entirely to her. Maybe some other people out there are huge Beth fans, but I’m not one of them.

They really did do a good job introducing us to the inhabitants of Grady Memorial Hospital, though. Dr. Stevens was great, Dawn was a believable leader, and even Officer Gorman was an intimidating and suitably gross presence around Beth. However, the same problem that I had with The Governor’s storyline still applies here. I don’t care about these characters, therefore I don’t really care about what happens to them. If Dr. Stevens lets another doctor die to save his life, OK. If Dawn beats up Noah because he did something wrong, bummer. If Gorman gets his face munched on by the zombie version of another girl he assaulted, that’s awesome, but overall doesn’t do anything else for me. I liked the world that they introduced, and I’m fine with spending maybe one more episode at Grady Memorial, but after that I want to see Beth and Carol blow that popsicle stand.

Despite the increasing danger at the hospital, I still wasn’t entirely sold on this being a bad place. Sure, there’s some creepy officers that might force a lollipop in your mouth, but you get a nice bed and three hot meals! Who cares if you have to do a little nurse work around the place to pay off the guinea pigs you’re eating. That’s a heck of a lot less work then you had to do on the outside. I get that she’s probably anxious to get back to her friends and sister, but they would probably be happy for her if they knew that she’d made it somewhere safe. She just seemed so ungrateful and angry about the whole thing. “You call this livin’?” she asks Dr. Edwards. Uh…you were running for your life from walkers and almost your whole family died. You call that livin’?

Even though the episode wasn’t bad, I’m sure hoping they can wrap up this storyline quickly. What did you think? Sound off in the comments section below?

Random Thoughts:

– I wonder if these people know what kind of role they’re getting when they find out they got a part on The Walking Dead. It’d be kind of a bummer if you sign up for a job thinking that you’d be fighting zombies, but instead you have to fold sheets in a hospital somewhere.

– So wait…was that dead girl already in Dawn’s office? Because weren’t Dawn and Noah just in there? Did they not see the dead girl? That whole part was confusing to me.

– Did anybody else get those annoying notices on the top of the screen that tell you to call your TV provider and make them keep AMC? Wow, that was annoying.