Where in the world is Beth (Emily Kinney)? “Walking Dead” fans finally found out when episode 4 of Season 5 aired on Sunday, Nov. 2.
Episode 4, “Slabtown,” kicked off with Beth in a hospital bed with a nasty cut on her face and cast on her arm. Confused as to her whereabouts, Beth immediately began pounding on her locked door – and in walked a cop and a doctor. The cop was an officer named Dawn Lerner (Christine Woods) and the doctor was named Steven Edwards (Erik Jensen). The pair explained that she was in a hospital in Atlanta and suffering from a fractured wrist and head wound. They saved her … so she owes them.
Dawn runs the hospital, which takes in people whenever possible. The officer had been reporting to a man named Hanson when the zombie virus first spread. They had orders to clear the hospital and move the patients to the park. But before they could finish the government started bombing the city. Atlanta fell and whomever they had managed to evacuate was “just gone.” Initially everyone left behind kept to themselves … until the food ran out. Small groups started going on runs, which is when they began to find people who were hurt. Dawn initially didn’t want to waste resources but Dr. Edwards struck up a deal with her – he would use the resources to save people and they would provide a service.
In Beth’s case, an officer named Gormon found her fighting a walker outside of the funeral home while they were out on a run for guns. She blacked out, and Gormon claimed that there was no one else with her – even though Daryl (Norman Reedus) had chased after the car that took her.
Beth wasn’t grateful for being “rescued” – especially when she learned that “everything cost something.” The deal at the hospital was that “everyone has a job” and you have to work off what you take.
“I’m not staying longer than you make me,” Beth told Dawn, refusing to eat. But Dawn tried to argue that they weren’t the bad guys.
“Food, clothes and protection … When have those things ever been free?” Dawn asked. “Try to look at the good we’re doing. If we take we give back. It’s only fair.”
Beth wasn’t the only one that found Dawn’s rules unfair. Like Beth, Dawn and the other police officers rescued a young guy named Noah (Tyler James Williams). Noah had been with his dad when Dawn’s people found them. They said they could only save one of them and that turned out to be Noah. However he quickly figured out after arriving that they had saved him over his father because he was scrawny and more willing to follow their rules than fight. Noah was told that he could leave as soon as he finished working off his debt – but Noah had been there about a year and they showed no signs of letting him go.
Noah had plans of escaping, but another “rescued” worker named Joan one upped him – she’d rather die than continue working for Dawn, Gormon and the others. Joan had a severe injury on her arm and wanted to die. However Dawn forced Dr. Steven Edwards to amputate the arm and save Joan’s life … without any painkillers.
Beth was horrified, but that wasn’t the most disturbing thing to happen at the hospital. Dr. Edwards, who appeared to be a decent guy, turned out to have a dark side as well. He tricked Beth into administering the wrong drug to a patient, which resulted in him dying. While it could have been an innocent mistake, Beth figured out the patient was a doctor and that Dr. Edwards was afraid of getting replaced.
Desperate to escape, Beth hatched a plan with Noah to break out. She snuck into Beth’s office to steal a key to the basement door, but that wasn’t the only thing she found inside. On the floor was Joan’s body. The patient had killed herself in Dawn’s office with a pair of scissors. Beth didn’t stab Joan in the brain, and that worked out in her favor when Gormon discovered Beth in the office. Gormon offered his silence on Beth’s break in if Beth agreed to something in return. He proceeded to feel her up … until she knocked him to the floor with a glass jar. Gormon was then attacked by Joan, who had shifted into a walker.
Beth managed to escape the office and met up with Noah to leave the building through the empty elevator shaft – an area that the hospital used to dispose bodies. Despite a couple handsy walkers the two were able to get out of the building. But they weren’t in the clear. The hospital was surrounded by fencing and the two had to fight off the dead as well.
Noah made it through the final fence to leave the hospital but Beth wasn’t as lucky. She was tackled by police officers patrolling the area and brought back inside.
Dawn slapped Beth around a little bit after the blonde gave her a little bit of sass about Gormon’s death and the way she was running the hospital. Beth became fed up and appeared to be ready to take matters into her own hands and attack Dr. Edwards with a pair of scissors … until officers rolled an unconscious Carol (Melissa McBride) into the building.