Worming Through The Walking Dead: 'Slabtown'

Walking Dead Slabtown Beth

The Walking Dead was off to a terrific start to its fifth season. Then it hit Slabtown.

Beth has been The Walking Dead’s anti-Poochy in her absence. No one has been asking where she is. Daryl barely cares, and he had some sorta of weird older brother thing going on with her. Beth’s own sister barely cares! Boy was I ever excited when I saw we had a whole episode dedicated to the adventures of Beth.

Beth wakes up in a hospital, the camera initially focusing on her eyes opening. It was an alright shot, but it sure isn’t the single eye fluttering open from Lost. But hey, it’s a real hospital with things that work and people who looks like pre-zombie professionals! Gee whiz!

As things go on TWD, these people aren’t actually so great. At least in this case they come off as jerks living in safety from the get go. They’re standoffish. They’re adamant about everyone paying for what they take. Aaaaaand, one of the main police cops is giving off some pretty rapey vibes.

There’s some gross stuff with lollipops, a doctor doing what he has to in order to cement his position as a necessary commodity in Grope’s Anatomy. This all leads to Beth conducting the worst escape attempt in history with the grown up kid from Everybody Hates Chris (Tyler James Williams). So much of this seems very poorly thought through:

 

  1. Steal keys from well meaning but very flawed lady cop
  2. Bed sheet rope down the elevator shaft where they toss dead bodies.
  3. ??????
  4. Escape!

 

I get that Beth was desperate to escape the weirdo cop and grown up Chris Rock didn’t want anymore black eyes, but come on people! The undead are literally walking the Earth outside, you need to have a damn plan! Eventually, Beth ends up back in the hospital with grown up Chris Rock limping off to freedom. I was really confused by Beth’s smile as she was being handcuffed by officer not-rapist. Shouldn’t she be pissed that her partner in shitty escape plans left her in his slow dust? I guess Beth is just that much of an optimist.

Hope springs eternal
Hope springs eternal

How the hell do the Keystone Kops get out into the world to find people to bring back to the hospital without a clear area to get into their cars? I tend to avoid asking questions about logic when it comes to TWD, but I’m genuinely bewildered this week. Nothing about the hospital’s operations made much sense.

It all wraps up nicely, with Beth back in the hospital about to murder Dr. Beardy McArtsy when a new patient is wheeled in. It must be someone significant since there’s only a minute left in the episode. CAROOOLLLLL!

I feel like I’m being harsh on Slabtown. Everyone involved does fine work setting up another weird community in the undead south. The story felt very disconnected from everything we’ve seen this season. It was a jarring change of pace.

The concluding episode of Beth’s tale could change my mind. Is Carol really hurt? Is she undercover? Something bad happened, judging by Daryl’s look when Michonne found him.

 

NEXT WEEK ON THE WALKING DEAD

It doesn’t look like we’re getting that big conclusion next week, because the previews showed Abraham giving a speech. He’ll probably trim his mustache and talk about the importance of Eugene getting to Washington. Great.

I was very fearful when the group was split up last week. The show had a ton of momentum coming into this week. Now we seem to be going back to the pattern of episodes focusing on specific parts of the group. Maybe it’s necessary to make Abraham, Rosita, and Eugene into actual characters. Maybe I’m delusional.

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