The Walking Dead Review: Slabtown

The episode begins with Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) locked up in a hospital, in Atlanta. We are quickly introduced to two new survivors, a cop and a doctor, who claim that Beth owes them for saving her life. And we’re quickly introduced to….a commercial break and a new iPhone or something another.

Dr. Steven Edwards (Erik Jensen) gives Beth a tour of the hospital, as the two make a stop at a patient’s room. The patient dies and Beth begins exploring the hospital, on her own. She is quickly informed that the body is getting cold. Beth discusses burying the body, but the idea is quickly shut down. The body is shoved down a shaft instead.

And another officer meets Beth in the cafeteria. Gorman (Ricky Wayne) is his name and his accent is terrible. This is beginning to turn into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy or Zombie Band Society. So far, Beth is being a good little slave. Dr. Edwards treats her to some guinea pig. The pair discuss a painting, which is sitting next to Edwards’ desk.

Another patient, who fell from a building, is hauled into the hospital. The doctor and Officer Dawn Lerner (Christine Woods) argue over saving the victim. The doctor explains the patient is suffering from internal injuries and is going to be a waste of resources, to which Officer Lerner pimp smacks Beth. So far, this has been a lackluster episode that seems like something out of the Twilight Zone and I don’t mean that in a good way.

Back to the show, Beth is receiving a checkup and inquires about Lerner’s behavior. The doctor explains that she is only like this on her bad days and gives Beth a new shirt. Another patient is brought into the hospital. This time, the patient’s arm has been bit and they’re going to have cut off her arm. Beth transforms into a weakling and doesn’t want to help. Of course, she is forced to take part and help hold the patient down.

Afterwards, Beth has a run in with Noah (Tyler James Williams), who gives her a new shirt. Noah explains that Dawn is in charge of the hospital, nobody has left yet and that they let his dad die, but saved him. He claims he’s going to escape, when he’s ready. Beth stares at him mindlessly.

Back in the kitchen, Dawn brings Beth some food, but she refuses and says she isn’t staying long. Dawn explains that she is keeping everyone going and saved everyone’s life. She still has hope that someone will rescue all of the survivors, but Beth doesn’t believe so. Beth is officially a slave and must work off what she owes, before being able to leave. And good slave Beth eats like a good slave.

Back in Amber’s room, Beth is mopping up. You’d think they’d let her rest, after getting her arm chopped off. Amber (Keisha Castle-Hughes) explains that they’re all working with the devil. Back to commercials and a Rustin Cohle commercial.

Beth is in her room and begins searching for her lollipop, under her bed. Of course, Gorman has already taken it and begins eating it. He forces the sucker into Beth’s mouth. Suddenly, the doctor enters and stops the pedophilia fest. Dawn shows up and makes Gorman leave. After, Beth questions Edwards’ motivations for staying. He takes Beth to a chained up window and shows her all of the zombies outside, which is why he stays. How are they constantly bringing people in and out, if it is so bad?

Up on the roof, Edwards discusses the day of the event and the evacuation. He goes on to explain his survival and a boy, who suffered Napalm burns. The doctors saved the boy and eventually got to where he is today. Beth says that the doctor isn’t the problem. Of course, Edwards justifies the situation. Finally, Beth attempts a country accent and asks, if the doctor is happy with the situation. The accent is gone immediately, and Beth goes to check on another patient.

Despite being incompetent and killing the patient, Beth did a pretty good job of finding a vein and injecting the drugs. As Lerner shows up an kills the zombie, Noah takes the blame for the accident. Beth blames the doctor for the mistake, which he denies. Noah is beaten for his behavior, in the background. Meanwhile, Lerner confronts Beth. She makes a speech about their actions being for the greater good. Next, she calls out Beth for her weakness and begins doubting her abilities. She continues with the same shtick, greater good, rescue, Beth is weak.

Noah shows up with a new black eye and explains that the pain is controlled by painkillers. Beth says that she wants to escape with him. Noah tasks Beth with getting the key, from Dawn’s office. The two magically appear in the hallway, outside of Dawn’s office. Beth makes her way inside and begins snooping around. She’s certainly taking her sweet time, before discovering a dead body inside. Finally, she finds the key, as Gorman enters and catches her. Looks like the pedophile is going to make his move.

Gorman explains that the situation will be a win-win for both of them. Beth begins edging toward a pair of scissors, as the zombie turns. Beth knocks out Gorman and the zombie eats his neck. The effects are getting really bad lately, aren’t they?

With Gorman out of the way, Beth walks down the hallway. She notices blood on her shoes, before crossing Dawn and explaining that Jonah was looking for her, which sends Dawn to her office. Beth and Noah continue their escape. Noah ties some sheets around Beth and begins lowering her down the elevator shaft. After a close call, she continues her descent, before finally reaching the bottom. Noah begins his climb down, before being grabbed by a zombie and crash landing at the bottom. Now the pair are stuck with a bunch of dead zombies and Noah’s leg is seemingly hurt, but he’s able to walk.

Another zombie grabs Noah, as they make their escape. Suddenly, a bunch of zombies take head shots from out of no where. Finally, the pair make it outside and Beth effortlessly smashes a zombie’s head. She’s shooting and fighting, as she attempts to make her escape. Noah gets away, but the cops get Beth. Back to commercials. And another Rustin Cohle commercial. He’s so hot right now. And Beth on the Talking Dead. Haven’t we seen enough of her for one night?

Dawn and Beth have a confrontation in Dawn’s office. Beth explains that no one is coming to save the day. Dawn smacks Beth and everything goes black. Finally, Beth is being treated, by Edwards. Beth begins to put the pieces together and exposes Edwards for making her kill the other doctor in the hospital. Edwards justifies his actions, by claiming that he was simply protecting himself. Beth grabs the scissors and begins approaching the doctor, as another patient is led in. Was that Carol?

Review


We might as well go ahead and get this out of the way. This was most certainly the weakest episode this season. Quite honestly, the choice to allow Beth to star in her very own episode was miscalculated. Not only is the character not strong enough for such, Emily Kinney is not quite strong enough, as an actor, to pull it off and it really showed here. Several times throughout the episode, Beth spoke with the southern accent. The remainder of the time Beth maintained a cheery bubblegum princess attitude and accent. As much as people love Kinney, the producers should’ve known better.

On the other hand, the new guest stars weren’t much better. As nice as it was to see Chris Rock, or Tyler James Williams, get a new role, he was forced to carry the episode. The only problem? He wasn’t in it enough. It is starting to get hard to ignore the budget cuts, as well. Twice this season, we’ve seen zombies eating someone’s face. This would be better off kept off screen, as the effects resemble something out of a low-budget Syfy flick.

Of course, my biggest concern is the flip-flopping, by the show’s writers. Up until this point, Beth has been through quite a bit. However, at the hospital, she has completely reverted to an incompetent mess. For God’s sake, she experienced her own father getting his leg sawed off and then his head. Yet, Beth cannot bring herself to help save a stranger’s life?

In traditional Walking Dead fashion, the end of the episode was interesting. However, it is difficult to forget the remaining 50 minutes or so. This was nothing more than a filler episode and should be rated as such. Therefore, I cannot bring myself to give it more than a 6.5 out of 10, with a straight face.

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