Spotlights turn to Beth in the latest ‘Slabtown’ episode of The Walking Dead. This episode gave the viewers a new look into Beth’s growth as a character.
Beth has never received so much attention in the show. She was defined before by her family, Father Hershel and Maggie who just recently drove to Washington with Abe, her relationship with Glenn and her training with Daryl which did him more favors as a character than her.
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We saw Carol and Daryl following a car that abducted Beth in season four. That is all we heard of Beth this season but the production decided to turn that around. Since her abduction, we got to see Beth in the newest episode ‘Slabtown.” Good news is she is not a Walker. Bad news is she might be in a far worse position.
Supposedly Beth was rescued by a cop by the name of Dawn who brought her to Grady Memorial Hospital- a public hospital in Atlanta. The sight it is built on is called Slabtown hence the name of the episode. The place initially sounds hopeful as a refuge for the people that Dawn and the other cops rescue and are brought in to be treated by Dr. Steven Edwards.
The reality in turn out to be grisly and unnerving as Beth soon finds out that the rescued people have to work to keep the place running and protected from Walkers. There’s a basement filled with walkers to keep the patients “inmates” from escaping and any patient who tries to run is punished severely.
Dr. Edwards’s points out Beth self-harming behavior initially noticed by Daryl and tells Dawn about it. Dawn tries to reason with Beth saying that life has to be lived but not on the sacrifice of others not realizing that she is describing herself.
Dawn is a rather calmer version of the evil Gareth. We discover that Grady operates on pretty much the same principles as Terminus in terms of survival. A patient Joan tells Beth initially that Dawn’s male accomplices sexually abuse the women working in the hospital.
Beth also suffers the same kind of abuse from the layman Gorman. Dawn turns a blind eye to it because she thinks that it’s a small price to pay for the protection provided by her and her men. If the women have to suffer the indignity of being defiled to maintain their survival then that’s a price she’s willing to pay.
It doesn’t get any better with the doctor who seems like a nice, empathizing man but is a coward inside. He admits to Beth that he murdered another patient just because he was a doctor.
If he had treated anyone with medical knowledge, Dawn and her men wouldn’t need him anymore and they will kill him. It becomes apparent that everyone is thinking of their own survival and would go to any length to keep their survival as long as possible.
Beth is joined by Noah, a weak looking patient whose father was killed by Dawn’s men because he was strong and capable of raising a rebellion. Noah and Beth plan and manage to escape from the Walker infested basement but Beth gets cornered by Dawn’s men and Noah manages to escape.
She is brought back to Dr. Stevens and confronts him about his murder of the other doctor. He defends himself by comparing himself to Peter who lied about his alliance with Jesus to survive.
Beth sees and realizes the actuality of survival at the expense of living a moralistic and humanly life. Such as that of Rick and crew and that’s why Abe emphasized that Rick was needed to set the world back together. The characters in the new episode are somewhat under-constructed and underwritten but the new perspective on the show about what is happening around other parts of the country.
The characters of Beth, Stevens and Noah would have been much more interesting if some insight about the past of these characters. One episode might be too short to cover all the perspective we need to get into these characters.
This might be a new horizon for the producers to explore or associate Rick’s team with. This might explain what Daryl found out when they chased the car two episodes earlier or where Abe and crew are headed and would find out on their way to Washington.
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