Season Five, Episode Four
Question: Did we really need an entire episode dedicated to Beth? It was uncertain from last season whether she would be alive or dead, but as television rules permit, if you don’t see a character die then they’re probably still alive. What happens is that she winds up being rescued by a group of survivors who have been shacked up in a hospital. There’s Officer Dawn, the leader of the group who has a rule of “you take, you give back.” It’s not the worst rule to enforce during a post-apocalyptic world, but everyone there isn’t as nice as they seem.
There is Doctor Edwards, who is friendly with Beth at first but shows a vicious side to him when he gives Beth the wrong information so she can poison the only other doctor in the hospital. Then there’s the evil Officer Gorman, who just wants to rape Beth from the start. But Officer Dawn is the one to pay attention to during this episode. She has the whole group tightly wound and has a routine where the officers go out to save those that are hurt for Doctor Edwards to try and save. Why? They could always use more bodies in the hospital to help out and if they save you, well then you certainly owe them. Beth wants to leave, but Dawn won’t let her because she still hasn’t paid off her debt to them.
I like the whole idea of the group at the hospital, but in the show’s perspective I don’t know how well this is going to play into the season. At this point, we got rid of the Terminus story-line completely within three episodes, and that was a place I wish we could’ve explored further. How long are we going to stay with the hospital group? I’m only wondering because they’re not the most compelling to be around, and even though they seem to be functioning within certain rules, I don’t know how that place hasn’t fallen apart yet. And seriously, if Beth is going to be the one to tear them apart, then that’s another reason why I’m surprised.
The clash between Beth and Dawn is worth thinking about, which is the only good thing about this episode aside from the very ending. With Rick’s group they’re traveling from place to place, mostly walking on the road where danger lurks around every corner. So when Dr. Edwards complains that he’s bored, Beth tells him that he’s lucky to feel bored. But Beth soon realizes that the people there aren’t living, they’re waiting to die. I get what Beth’s saying, but I don’t know if one way is better than the other.
Dawn is protected by the walls of the hospital, but they’re not proactively trying to do anything to improve their situation. I don’t know if Dawn believes Beth when she screams that no one is coming to save them. You need a reason to keep living because without hope, you have nothing. Rick is somewhat being proactive by moving forward, but again he’s putting his group at a much higher risk being out in the world rather than safe behind walls (though I guess that hasn’t really fared well for Rick in the past). Meanwhile Abraham and Eugene are the most active in pursuing change for a better world by traveling to Washington D.C., since they claim they have the cure. An interesting question that the show is asking is, who would you follow?
And then at the end, Beth’s escape plan doesn’t work for her (though she does get her friend out even though he had one good leg) and she’s forced back into the hospital just in time to see a new patient they brought in to save: Carol. Boom! So I guess we’re not done with the hospital story-line, but it’ll be fun to see Carol and Beth together again.