In Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead, we discover yet another group of humans living in post-apocalyptic Atlanta. These survivors don't eat people (guinea pigs are on the menu, though). Plus, they have plenty of resources: food, electricity, clean clothes, an iron, a record player, a Caravaggio painting. Sounds like the place to be.
It is not the place to be. Because in exchange for those supplies, they've turned Grady Memorial Hospital into an asylum where anyone who enters becomes their indentured servant. After three episodes of intense action, "Slabtown" slows down the pace and fills in the blanks of Beth's whereabouts post-Daryl-separation. Beth awakes on a gurney after being found knocked out on the side of the road. She's immediately skeptical about this hospital, which is run by a cop named Dawn, our new Governor/Gareth.
"If we hadn't saved you, you'd be one of them right now, so you owe us," Dawn tells Beth, who's then forced to play nurse. The payoff is that Dawn thinks someone will rescue them. Good luck! Like other survivors, these people have found a way to co-exist. "We're the ones holding on. That's the good we're doing here," says Dawn. Here's What Would Jezebel Do?
1) Would we try to escape the hospital?
Yes. So many remnants of the real world exist in the hospital, but it's all an illusion. Dr. Steven Edwards, the only doctor there, barely knows what to do with himself. While in his office, Beth tells him, "If you feel safe enough to be bored, you're lucky." Unfortunately, Beth is at the mercy of Dawn. She thinks Steven has a choice of whether to stay or not.
He takes Beth to the ground floor of the hospital, where walkers are at the ready. It's his constant reminder of the grim alternative. Later on the hospital roof, Doc explains again that he's there to perform a service. "As bad as it gets, it's still better than down there," he tells Beth. But Beth doesn't consider this living. I mean, what really is the best way to live in this world?
Conversely, Beth's new "friend" Noah (like the Ark) has been at Grady for a year and he's dying to leave, so they conspire. Notice a theme in these self-sufficient groups of survivors. There's always a leader who thinks he/she is doing good. There are followers and rebels. And there's a system of checks and balances that barely makes any sense.
2) Would we end our life like Joan?
No. I like to think I'd try to survive, though it's hard to blame anyone for taking their own life in these circumstances, especially after losing half an arm. Gorman is a rapist who preys on the women in the hospital, including Joan. She's done with this.
3) Would we run away like Noah and leave Beth behind with the walkers?
Yeah. Sorry. After Walker Joan eats Gorman, Beth and Noah dupe Dawn and manage to escape down a makeshift rope into the elevator shaft filled with dead bodies. Once outside, they run into walkers. While Beth shoots at them with Gorman's gun, Noah beelines for the gate. Beth doesn't make it out before the cops get to her.
This seems like a supremely dickish move, but Noah has no ties to Beth. I get it. One of them has to get out, and maybe he can return with reinforcements. Is he the one who Daryl calls out of the forest?
At the end of the episode, Carol is wheeled into the hospital, presumably hurt. Up until this episode, Beth was one of the characters I wasn't that much invested in, but no one is to be underestimated on this show, especially the women. Like Carol and Maggie, Beth isn't as innocent as she seems.
This was the least thrilling episode of the season so far, but next week we follow The Adventures of MagGlenn and Abraham.
Images via AMC/screenshot