The Walking Dead – Season 5, Episode 4: “Slabtown”

I typically watch new The Walking Dead episodes 3-4 times before finally sitting down to write. I just spent the last 20 minutes staring at the “play” button on my TiVo menu, unable to will myself to press it. I’ve watched it twice, and that’s really about all I can handle. Why didn’t I care about the return of Beth? Mainly because I forgot she was even gone in the first place. 
I’ve said this multiple times before, but “Slabtown” only solidifies my point: The Walking Dead has run its course. There are really only so many things that can happen in terms of zombie apocalypse plot scenarios, and this series is the champion of the “wash, rinse, repeat” format. Specifically, the too-good-to-be-true motif. Woodbury seemed great, but a little investigation revealed that it was not. Terminus was to be a place of salvation; in reality, it was hell. The hospital doesn’t seem all that bad, so it was no shock that it was crammed full of hidden dangers. That being said, it didn’t seem like all that bad of a place to me, at least compared to Woodbury and Terminus. So Beth is indebted to these people and has to mop some floors and kill a threatening doctor – big deal. In exchange for food, shelter, and protection, this seems like a small price to pay. She doesn’t have to eat anyone. She doesn’t have to fight off zombies in a pit. That cop was pretty skeevy, but at least he shared his lollipops! There were no lollipops in the prison!

I kept waiting for Beth to break into song as she was lowered down the elevator shaft; I’m sure the acoustics were fantastic down there. Maybe that’s part of the problem – I just cannot take that girl seriously. Talking Dead spent the entire episode praising the courage and inner strength of Beth. Perhaps, but she’s just so unlikable that I can’t even see those characteristics in her. I wanted to know who was with Daryl; this was just another waste of an episode.

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