Walking Dead 5.4 – Slabtown

I am a PHOENIX and I will rise from your ashes. (Also, yet another moment with chiaroscuro.)

I am a PHOENIX and I will rise from your ashes. (Also, yet another moment with chiaroscuro.)

Previously! If you don’t know who Soraya Montalbán is, you will soon. I have no idea if the parallels are intentional between Dawn and Soraya, but oh, was I cackling with glee. (And I needed to laugh because WOWEE, Rape Hospital is pretty much the worst thing on the show yet!) Also, this episode is titled Slabtown, because that was the name of the old Red Light District in Atlanta in the 19th century, right on the spot where now sits the actual Grady Memorial Hospital. OHO.

We’re also gonna bring up all the chiaroscuro. If you haven’t been paying attention to the paintings in every damn episode this season, I’m not doing my job. They’re filming every scene like these Renaissance paintings and I LOVE it.

But let’s get to the Bethisode.

This episode starts like the very first episode of the series: beautiful blue eyes opening, someone waking up in a hospital. Like the pilot was Day One for a new Rick Grimes, this episode is Day One for a new Beth Greene. The room is orderly, tidy, looking like any modern hospital. But a quick check out the window shows that yep, still the Apocalypse out there. Beth has a cast on her wrist and a huge cut on her cheek, stitched up, as well as an IV.

Huh.

That's some wonderfully washed and styled hair for the apocalypse. And it makes me itchy to think someone did that for her.

That’s some wonderfully washed and styled hair for the apocalypse. And it makes me itchy to think someone did that for her.

A cop and a doctor come in: Officer Dawn Lerner and Doctor Steven Edwards. They let her know she’s in Grady Memorial in Atlanta—

Fun Fact! Grady Memorial was a segregated hospital back in the day.  Most of the medical staff now comes from Emory and Morehouse, so I found it strange that there was only one black person there, and he was a pickup, not on staff.

—and she’s there because some of Dawn’s “officers” found her surrounded by “rotters.” And they helped her, they saved her. So she owes them. Um.

(Chiaroscuro Ref. 1 when Beth is clearly lit up all clean and lovely, and the shadows hang heavy on Dawn and the Doc.)

Beth (and the viewer) gets a tour of the hospital. It’s massive, but they don’t go down below (we’ll learn why in a bit). Lots of rooms have downtrodden looking people—several women—who don’t make eye contact. They go to a room where a man lies hooked up to equipment powered by generators and realize that there’s not much that can be done. The decision to pull the plug apparently falls to Dawn, who then pierces the body’s skull.

As music plays—and there is always featured music in a Beth scene/episode, have you noticed? I love that, and this song is Kiev’s Be Gone Dull Cage—we see Beth and the Doc rolling a body to an elevator shaft. It’s the easiest way to get rid of them, just toss them several floors below to the access into the basement. Walkers pick the bones clean.

Protip: Don’t Feed Strays. So you’re basically training Walkers to show up, which will bring more. Dumb dumb dumb.

Beth heads to the cafeteria to get some chow when Creepy Cop—and I’m telling you what, 2014 is the year of Shit Awful Cops both on TV and in RL—says he’s the one who saved her, drops mention of her thighs, and is Shit Awful. “You don’t remember me, do you?” he smirks. And hey, she can take that food and… pay him back somehow, or he can just write down everything she’s taking. “Everything costs something, right?”

Beth blinks and lets him know that yeah, write it down, Rape Cop.

She takes the tray to the Doc’s office passing Dawn riding a bike—presumably to power up the generators? PROTIP: HOW TO BUILD A BICYCLE POWERED GENERATOR—giving orders to a scrawny black teen. That’s Noah, and he’s going to be awesome. But for now, we go into the dark and shadowy office (Chiaroscuro Ref. 2) of Doc Stevens where a massive Caravaggio painting is. And hey, it’s the Denial of Saint Peter. More biblical imagery.

LOOK AT THIS. OMG, the lighting is amazing.

LOOK AT THIS. OMG, the lighting is amazing.

Fun fact! This is Caravaggio’s second to last painting, done after he’d been horribly injured. He used heavy shadows to hide his broad brush strokes. Also, the narrative here is a young woman telling a soldier that Peter (looking old, slightly balding, and the same could be said for Doc Steven) is a follower of Christ—there are three fingers shown, representing the “thrice denied” aspect—and Peter, terrified, is saying he’s not as he’s being accused. HEY. DOESN’T THAT SOUND SORT OF FAMILIAR.

Doc: I’m bored, ha.
Beth: You S.O.B., being bored is a luxury. HAVE YOU LOOKED OUTSIDE?
Doc: Nope. Btw, ever had guinea pig?
Beth: I’m not into you like that.
Doc: …I meant actual guinea pig? [shows fork]
Beth: Oh. Okay.

The music playing here is Junior Kimbrough’s “You Better Run.”  BETH. LISTEN. “You better run. Don’t let him get you. HE GONNA RAPE YOU.” I MEAN. The whole song is about a girl running to the singer, thinking he’ll help her get away from the rapist. THEN. AS HE IS DRIVING HER AWAY, says “you might still get raped.” So Junior is a PoS, too, but the girl in the song says “You don’t have to rape me because I love you.” I think we know everything we need to about Doc Steven, huh?

A new injured person arrives—fell out of a window down below—and Doc thinks they’re too far gone to save. Yeah, Dawn’s not interested in what he thinks, just save him. She’s also not interested in Beth being Doc’s new Tagalong. With a huff, Doc checks him over and realizes there’s a punctured lung. He can fix that, but not all the internal bleeding, okay? It’s a waste of—

Dawn hauls off and SLAPS Beth, reopening her wound. “Steve. Try to grasp the stakes here.”

IT IS TELENOVELA TIME. One of the most famous soaps of all time is a Mexican Soap called María la del Barrio, or Humble Maria. In this soap is arguably one of the greatest moments in television history, in which the fabulously over-the-top Itatí Cantoral as Soraya Montalbán loses her god damn mind over her lover falling for the “weak” and purely innocent Alicia. The following scene happens, and if this doesn’t make you happy, you might possibly be dead inside. (“You invalid devil!”)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piFFNUAhy4[/youtube]

Dawn is Soraya. Dawn has that cool exterior until pushed, and then it’s tarantulas in Beth’s bed while hers is an evil laugh. (Seriously. That was the best damn soap opera ever, and I barely speak Spanish.) Woman in power being usurped by lovely, innocent new thing? HELLO, MALEFICENT.

Where were we? Right, the Doc fixing Beth’s cheek (“You better run, girl.”) and talking about how Dawn’s always like that: batshit insane. She’s also a massive control freak and neatnik. So she’s a lot of fun! Beth changes her shirt to avoid another altercation and finds a lollipop hidden in her clothes. Someone’s getting sweet on you…

A woman struggling and yelling is brought in forcibly—her name is Joan, she tried to escape and came out of it with a bite on her arm. Either Joan can chill out and let them cut her arm off so she can live or they can just take it. Joan spits in their faces. Okay, then!

Dawn: [to Doc] Take it.
Beth: Uh… what’s going—
Joan: I’m not going back to him! (UH. YOU BETTER RUN GIRL.)
Beth: Guys? I just want to know—
Dawn: Sure, sure, whatever. TAKE IT.
Doc: Hey, did you guys see Audition? [piano wires it off]
Beth: THIS IS A LOT LIKE MY DAD LOSING HIS LEG DO NOT WANT NO NO NO

We cut to Noah doing laundry—ironing, because it’s important in the apocalypse to look your best!–and hear his story, and consequently more of the hospital’s. He and his dad were “picked up” by the cops and the echoes of what happens to black men when in the hands of cops in this country are deafening. His dad was strong, probably would have fought back. So they left him and took Noah, instead, believing he was weak. Basically the hospital wants gruel-fed slaves running the place, too tired to fight the status quo. And everything they take or use goes against their tab, so it’s like they’ll never work off their debt.

Hey, just like how Company Stores operated in the Deep South pre-Civil Rights. Yeesh.

But Noah has them all fooled into thinking he’s still weak. He’s not, though, and he’s getting out first chance. I like you, Noah.

Dawn shows up with food for Beth, insisting that she eats. Yeah, Beth knows the game, lady. Dawn, half in shadow as bright and pretty Beth sits under a light (Chiaroscuro Ref. 3) and tells Dawn she’s not staying longer than she’s being forced.

Dawn: This isn’t a sentence. (O RLY) I’m giving you stuff. When has that ever been free?
Beth: Yeah, but I didn’t ask for it.
Dawn: But you’re taking it. And we’re doing this for the Greater Good.
Beth: Okay, Grindelwald. Nice Nurmengard you have here.
Dawn: I don’t know what that means. I don’t read. But I do like to keep my officers happy, who also don’t read. And by happy I mean sated. And by sated I mean their dic—
Beth: UH… [TAKES A BITE]

[Background music here should have been: I sold my soul to the Company Store…]

Beth cleans up the blood by Joan’s bed (this is a recurring image) and listens to Joan talk around the fact that Dawn basically okays sexual slavery in the hospital. WOW I WANT BETH OUT OF HERE NOW.

Another clock ticking away the time when Beth is in her room, looking for her lollipop. In hands down the most disturbing scene in the entire series, which is saying a lot, Bad Touch Shit Cop shows up with it and proceeds to force it into her mouth, rubbing it on her tongue, then pulling it out and popping it into his.

NO NOPE GROSS THIS WAS SO DISTURBING and this is how you show sexual assault in a way that doesn't show SUPER GRAPHIC sexual assault. Implication was MORE than enough here.

NO NOPE GROSS THIS WAS SO DISTURBING and this is how you show sexual assault in a way that doesn’t show SUPER GRAPHIC sexual assault. Implication was MORE than enough here.

Doc comes in and interrupts this creepy moment.

AWFUL BAD COP MAN: “The girl shoulda been mine.”

You know what this scene needed? Doc and Officer Creepy recreating Brandi and Monica’s seminal hit, “The Boy Is Mine.” Because don’t for one second think that Doc doesn’t see Beth as his. The Doc points out that Officer Nasty better treat him right, because what happens when Nasty gets sick? YEAH. THE ONLY DOCTOR. YO SOY EL ÚNICO MÉDICO.

A quick trip to a delivery grate in the basement shows Beth that within seconds of banging on it, the driveway is flooded with Walkers. That’s why the Good Doc (ha) hasn’t left yet. That, and that he’s a weenor. Up to the roof shows a sniper patrolling on one of the hospital’s wings as well as some vegetable gardens. The Doc has essentially been there from Day 1 along with Dawn and the other hospital cops. Eventually he and Dawn struck a deal: they’d only save people who could contribute to their New World Order of For The Greater Good. Saving lives for their service.

Doc: [sweet smile] Hey. Call it a day. Go give Punctured Lung 75 mg of Clozapine and am-scray, ya knucklehead!
Beth: Sure thing! [unsuspecting]

Beth grinds up the meds, injects it with all the skill of a Hershel Greene kid, and Noah comes in to chat her up juuuust as Punctured Lung starts seizing. HOLY SHIT. Dawn and the Doc arrive, but it’s too late. Flatlined.

Noah says it’s his fault, he had an accident, and Dawn, grim-faced, nods for Officer Shitty to give him the boots, medium style, much to Beth’s horror. And the Doc, in case you forgot that he was listening to a song about saving a girl from rape only to rape her in return, says, “I’m pretending you misheard me telling you the medication’s name so you have to take the fall for killing that guy.”

Beth: YOU DIRTY ROTTEN—I GREW UP WITH HERSHEL AND HAVE BEEN A NURSE, I KNOW MY MEDS. ALSO, THE ONE YOU SAID JUST NOW WOULD ALSO HAVE KILLED HIM. See? I know things!

Dawn finds her and reveals that ha, she knew Noah was lying, and it’s pretty clear Beth is weak, is worthless, and how it’s time for her to make a bigger payment to the Company Store. It’s important that Dawn’s officers are happy and let’s face it, Beth is a burden.

Beth: OH NO YOU DI’INT.
Dawn: [points to wrist scars] YEAH. I DID. Some people just aren’t meant for this life, and that’s okay. As long as they don’t take advantage of those who are.
Beth: Hypocrite says WHAT?
Dawn: What?
Beth: [snerks]

Noah limps over to Beth later, reveals that Punctured Lung had something of value Dawn wanted, and if Beth will sneak into Dawn’s office for the spare basement key, they can make like a baby and head out. YAY.

Beth roots around in a filing cabinet while Noah keeps Dawn busy, and there she finds a card from another hospital. Hmm. AND OH, HEY, BLOOD AND JOAN’S DEAD BODY. Joan has, oh my god, cut off the scarred cap of her stump and has bled to death, the scissors by her hand. Beth stays on target and gets the key just as Officer Soon-To-Be-Living-The-Rest-of-His-Short-Ass-Life-In-Agonizing-Pain-Rapist shows up. Of course he’s awful and begins sexually assaulting her as Beth notices Joan’s hand twitching.

Officer Rapist: Lucky for me you’re not a fighter.
Beth: [smashes glass against his head] YOU FEEL THAT STING, BIG BOY? That’s PRIDE fucking with you!

Gorman falls to the floor and Joan goes to TOWN on his neck. Sweet, sweet justice. [kisses fingers]

Cut to Beth walking calmly down the hall. Gorman’s sidearm is in the back of her waistband, because she is no dummy. She tells Dawn that Joan was looking for her, Gorman’s in her office waiting. Oh, snap!

Noah turns and follows Beth. She peers down the elevator shaft, hears people yelling, but with sheets tied together, Noah lowers her down just to the edge of the trash compactor where a Dianoga isn’t waiting, it’s just a massive, disgusting pile of half-eaten bodies. Noah slips on his way down, falling right into the pile and hurting his leg, but they push through the pile and get to the gate and outside, squinting in the bright sunshine. (From out of the darkness, our hero is reborn.) She pulls iron and head caps a load of Walkers (whoo hoo!) as more show up. They then hotwire one of the cars and drive away safely.

NOAH, YOU BETTER HELP KILL SOME WALKERS OR IMMA SLAP THE CHAP OFFA YOUR LIPS.

NOAH, YOU BETTER HELP KILL SOME WALKERS OR IMMA SLAP THE CHAP OFFA YOUR LIPS.

SIGH. NO. They fight off Walkers, Noah gets ahead and out of the gates, but Beth is tackled by a cop and handcuffed. WOW. I HATE THIS HOSPITAL SO MUCH. She smiles for her friend making it, though.

(quietly hums, "Everybody haaaates Chris.")

(quietly hums, “Everybody haaaates Chris.”)

She’s brought before Dawn, who wants to know who the hell Beth thinks she is. Oh, you don’t want the real answer, Dawn.

Beth: I’m your doom, lady. I know who you really are, I know that you condone sex slavery, and I know that you’re about the dumbest person ever for thinking we’re going to be saved. NO ONE. IS COMING. It’s just us, you stupid—
Dawn: [speaks with her fists]

Yet another debt added on for Beth as Doc stitches up the other side of her face (She looks like a blonde Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas). Beth knows Punctured Lung was a doctor, and that Steven had her kill him.

Doc: [looking at painting] I didn’t have a choice. Like when Peter was caught denying Christ. Peter would have been crucified, so isn’t it great he pretended not to know his Lord and Savior so that he could keep on living? Like how all those times I pretended to be above what goes on here or not connected to it, but ultimately I was saving you for myself? Wait, did I say that last part out loud? Have some guinea pig.

Fun fact! The Apostle Peter was essentially the leader of the disciples and Jesus’s right hand man. Peter was also the “rock” (petra) that the church was founded upon. Ahem. Doc isn’t getting out of this clean, in other words. He is definitely Dawn’s right hand man here.

Later, music starts up, the lyrics “Ain’t nobody’s fault but mine,” can be heard as Beth, blonde, bloodied and bruised Beth walks out of the dark shadows (Chiaroscuro Ref. 4) intent on harm. We can see she has the scissors in her hand. “I have a bible in my home,” the music plays as she approaches the Doc. My thought was she was going to take him out, and feel safe that she’d be unharmed because she has medical training, but now I just think she was intent on getting rid of a bad apple.

But a body rolls in and she can see that it is CAROL PELETIER, OMG. I guess we’ll hang on with the whole Doc Stabbing?

TWD Carol and end

MY QUEEN WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU?

QUESTION: Do you agree that the person Daryl has is Noah!? My guess: Daryl and Carol followed the car into Atlanta, hung back to avoid being caught, got out of their car, maybe were separated, Carol was surrounded by Walkers, the sniper on the roof saw her–alerting the other officers–and they brought her in (knocking her out, perhaps? Gassing her?). Noah had just escaped, and Daryl finds him. Noah tells him what’s happening in there, Daryl realizes he needs the calvary, aka, Michonne and Rick.

It looks like we’ll have to wait for answers on that since next week seems to be Abraham focused. (MAGGIE. WILL YOU REMEMBER YOUR SISTER? This is a complaint to the writers, not the actual character.)

Oh! Another fun fact about Carvaggio, and why I think the set decorators are amazing. He had another painter at the time who he accused of plagiarism, and they battled it out for a while. Carvaggio basically thought this usurper was trying to take his place in the art world. Punctured Lung Doctor, anyone?

TELL ME ALL OF YOUR THOUGHTS.

Next episode: SELF HELP is right here!

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  • tsinivari

    I …liked this episode a lot more than I actually expected I would. I’ve never been big on the episodes that split from the main group to focus on just one character (this generally applied to Governor-centric episodes) but I really enjoyed this one. I’ve also eagerly awaited your recap because the other site I read…yeesh the comments was all just people going on about how awful the ep was and how much they hate Beth. I was like *flails and runs*

    I actually think, like Carol, we’ve seen Beth grow (before now) but really saw it put to work last night with how she handled and reacted to situations in the hospital. The Beth was first met was exactly what Dawn accused her of, but that’s not the Beth we’re now dealing with (and lord underestimate her at your peril! – I’m looking at you rape-cop)

    I 100% believe that Noah is who is with Daryl now…and that they are in fact going to rustle up the posse to storm that hospital and put an end to that little reign of terror they have going on. It really makes the most sense, given that Carol is now inside that hospital. If Carol was taken in any way that let Daryl see WHERE she went, then he would also have seen Noah escaping most likely (that’s the only way I can imagine their paths crossed in a believable way), so he brought Noah with him back to our main group. I desperately want this mainly because I love Noah and want to see more of him! But also because it seems the most logical choice now, since Daryl would see the value in having him since he has intimate inside knowledge about the whole situation in there.

    I hate that we have to wait another week to find out! *laughs* but I’m looking forward to seeing what Abraham’s team gets up to as well.

    The doctor’s reasoning to me seemed a little flawed, that he seemed to think they would just kick him out if they got a new doctor. I mean, yes he wouldn’t be /as/ special of a snowflake, but I’m telling you in the ZA (or any A) the more medical staff you have the BETTER. I, personally, would not cut EITHER medical professional loose from my team!) But, the doctor himself was also um… a “little” flawed (okay a lot)…so …yeah. And he was totally creeping on Beth, he was just…more… “Here little girl have some candy” about it. At first I thought HE had given her the lollipop (I’m so glad it was just Noah being nice, I actually liked the chemistry between them – not specifically romantically speaking, but just in general – that he saw she was stronger than people believed) since it came from a place of niceness and not …er… “grooming”

    All in all I really enjoyed this episode – despite the fact I had wanted to know what happened to Beth, I was despairing an entire episode devoted to her, I’m glad to see I was pleasantly surprised with how engrossing it was.

    I was also glad they didn’t need to outright show some poor woman being raped to make it very obvious that’s what is going on *shudders* (I’m looking at you GoT – even though I love you dearly)

    • Oh, we absolUTELy saw Beth grow last season! That was the whole point in STILL with Daryl–she showed her growth in that entire episode from tracking, to killing to taking care of herself when hard-pressed. She’s grown so much.

      I’m thinking that by this point there’s really only the one way in or out of Grady–the cars are all there where Beth and Noah attempted their escape. So if the cars went out to grab Carol, Daryl is going to put it all together, especially with Noah limping out of there looking terrified.

      I thought the lollipop of friendship (that’s how I read it, too) was lovely and am also glad it wasn’t from the Doc. And IDK if the Doc IS safe if another doctor comes in. It’s easier to control one person instead of another. PLUS, the new person will see that they CAN be disposed of and are thus more likely to stick to the program. YEESH.

      And I am VERY GLAD that the show proved that not only could it pass the Bechdel test, but that it could evoke an EXTREME sense of fear and disgust without showing more than a hand on bare skin and a lollipop. WOW, that was really disturbing. And I don’t have to worry about actresses crying in their dressing rooms afterward, you know?

      • tsinivari

        I really don’t understand all the Beth hate – she’s not my favourite character, but I don’t hate her, and I think this was actually one of the better sort of stand alone episodes they’ve had (I don’t count anything Rick is involved in simply because if Rick is in it I’m game lol)

        And yes it was established there’s really only one way in and out, which makes sense to me (though I would hope they have a second egress point simply for escape plan purposes, only one way in and out of a place is a good way to get trapped…but that’s just me).

        Lollipop of Friendship (heh that’s the name of my new imaginary rock band) …I really liked that scene just because it was sweet and nice for no other reason than he was trying to be sweet and nice and helpful not because Noah wanted into her pants.

        I also liked the writing that implied awful things without directly showing it. That is almost…creepier and worse in a lot of ways because our imaginations (especially as women) can be very vivid places…it’s almost more horrifying for me to imagine it vs seeing it spelled out in graphic detail.

        As for the doc – I can see your point; get rid of the current one in a way the new one can see to keep him in line; and also because the doc was getting a little too comfy in his place…so nix him and take on a new guy that’s grateful to be alive and hasn’t been there since day one. Regardless, the doctor isn’t a good guy (I actually saw someone defend him elsewhere…and the place saying it’s not that bad – tellingly, the commenter was male. Because I can’t see very many women defending a place as “not that bad” when submitting to sex to be kept “safe” and to “pay off your debt” is part and parcel of the deal. Just ugh…

        The saddest part is that…well… it’s not really a stretch to see it breaking down like that; but I also don’t think the statement that she could stop it if she wanted to is really…all that accurate concerning Dawn. I’m NOT defending her, not by any means…but if you think about it for a second: how exactly COULD she stop them? They outnumbered her. If she tried to put a stop to the sexual slavery, they’d likely pull a coup and she’d most likely find herself in the same position as the other women that are there. I’m not defending her, but I can also…see that point of view, I suppose. She’s awful and a bully, but I think part of why she’s so awful is because, sorta like the doc, she lets them do what they want to preserve HER place in this scheme as much as any “greater good” BS. When rape is on the menu, you’ve sorta lost any higher moral ground concerning the greater good, just sayin’.

        I also read an interesting theory as well (that I would LOVE to see happen) in comments elsewhere: Noah could be Morgan’s nephew. He states specifically he had come with his father looking for his uncle. How awesome would THAT tie in be?

        • I’m right there with you re: Beth. I don’t get the hate, either. She’s a fantastic character, and she and Carl have done a great job as standing in for the youth of this new world and how it affects them.

          You know, I TOTALLY read Noah implying he was Morgan’s nephew, too! I have no idea if that’s true, but that’s just where my brain went.

        • Anthony Stark of Winterfell

          Normally I don’t get into these types of discussions…. but I’d like to point out some irregularities in your logic. Laura feel free to delete this post if you think it is promoting anything other than discussion and not a personal attack.

          Let me state this first:
          I in no way support rape or rape culture in ANY way. I have a relative who was violated and would KILL the guy if I got my hands on him. I also turned in a former friend of mine (who also happened to be my girlfriend’s brother at the time) to the cops in high school for making films of women’s dressing rooms. I don’t support disrespecting women.

          With that stated It bothers me when you call out a Male commentor for defending a fictional male character as “not so bad” with a statement like “tellingly, the commenter was male.” and then in the SAME POST defend the female fictional character more heavily involved with the sexual slavery of this episode because it’s easier to understand that SHE couldn’t do anything about it? The woman with a gun in a position of at least implied power? C’mon….

          I’m sorry, but that seems like flawed logic to me. BOTH of the characters in question are horrible people for allowing it to happen. I won’t be assigning more blame on EITHER character solely on their gender, but by the actions I saw in this episode. What I DID see:

          1. The doctor has some mental issues, but I did not see him touch or threaten Beth in an inappropriate manner sexually. I did see him try to convince her that the situation inside the hospital was better than outside the hospital and that she should be careful (which is horrible and beyond redemption, but not making any moves himself) but it does appear that he was trying to protect her from Rapey cop.

          2. I saw Dawn making essentially the same attempt of convincing Beth that the hospital situation is less than optimal, but better than outside. She’s batshit crazy and has convinced herself that she can’t do anything to stop it and instead promotes it (sounds almost exactly what Doc does, with the exception that she promotes it with a gun on her hip.)

          Now I didn’t see the comment you mentioned, and it’s likely much worse than what you conveyed…. but I wanted to point out that based on the information you provided your later comment defending Dawn sounded hypocritical. I sure hope that’s not what you intended.

          • Hey, Anthony!!
            I’m absolutely going to let your comment stand, because I think you bring up a good point about the sort of hand-waving of Dawn’s behavior not being fair.

            Having said that… Hahaha. The OC did have a valid point about Dawn being outnumbered. It’s even mentioned in the episode by Joan that Dawn is barely holding on to her position, Gorman makes reference to him being in charge soon, and there are more male cops–that we saw, I only saw one other female cop when Joan was brought in–than female.

            I don’t know any women who watched the show last night who DIDN’T pick up on creepy stuff from the Doctor. Then again, we women are usually imured by that sort of “grooming” by “nice guys” so we have a keener sense of smell, if you will. And those songs were not chosen randomly. The lyrics were playing over his chatter for a reason.

            And as for Dawn, she has no redemption with me, since she’s actually procuring females for her cops with the sole intent of making them sexual slaves to “keep the guards happy,” her words.

            And now I turn the floor back to you guys with the reminder that we don’t want to shout at each other (not that we are) because everyone who comments here is a great person, and we always end up having amazing and respectful discussions. :)

            • Anthony Stark of Winterfell

              Thank you Laura for not ending the discussion immediately. I’m definitely not trying to start name calling or have problems on your site because I thoroughly enjoy it!

              I admit… I haven’t discussed the episode with any females other than this discussion, so if there was something that I missed I sincerely apologize. Maybe I was already so creeped out by Rapey cop that I didn’t notice the apparently much more subtle actions of the Doc.

              I do think that if Beth was to stay there the Doc would have hit on her and possibly even lord his position over her if she rejected him… but all I saw was a scared mentally disturbed man trying to protect Beth (who he was obviously attracted to) from Rapey cop. He’s certainly not right in the head and obviously isn’t adverse to making questionable actions to preserve his safety so it is not a huge leap to say that he could make inappropriate actions to women.

              I just didn’t like the implication that men would always defend men even if the fictional person being evaluated was in the wrong. I tried to use the defending of Dawn to prove the point that it didn’t seem all that different.

              • I’m happy to have this sort of discussion, honestly!

                “Maybe I was already so creeped out by Rapey cop that I didn’t notice the apparently much more subtle actions of the Doc.” YES!! And this is intentional on the part of the Show. All of the lighting on Beth, the virginal, pure white light shining on her when she’s around him…that’s all intentional on the part of the show (and why this show is SO GOOD). Guys like the Doc are TOTALLY the guys who say, “Ugh, men, right? I’d never do that!” and use that line of talk to get the girl to like HIM, because he wants her. He doesn’t care what she wants, he wants what he wants. (The quintessential “Nice Guy.”)

                And in your next paragraph, you predict he’d do the same thing. That’s a subtle form of sexual harassment, but it’s still sexual harassment. Isn’t that gross? We ladies have to deal with that all the time. It’s almost easier dealing with Rapey Cop, because there is NO QUESTION what he’s after. There’s a thing called “grooming” and it’s a technique sexual predators use to disarm their prey, to normalize their behaviors. And he’s doing it to Beth, from the guinea pig bite to the “let’s slough off work early, whaddya say?” line. All of it is very carefully designed to make Beth comfortable around him, to prefer HIM to other folks there. UGH, I need to shower forever, lol.

                I’m laughing to myself, but I’m going to say that OF COURSE #NotAllMen will defend gross, awful guys! Of course! The problem is that so many do that we ladies get our backs up because the stuff that happens to Beth (and let’s face it, to Joan) in this episode has happened in some degree to all of us. No, really. I could tell you stories that would make your hair curl. It’s been a huge national discussion for a few weeks, in fact, and it’s fabulous to get this stuff out there and talk about it. I’m glad you want to join in!

              • tsinivari

                First let me say that my comment about the poster on other boards not surprisingly being male wasn’t me saying /all/ men take that stance – not at all. I was simply meaning that it would have been more shocking for me if a woman had tried to play off the situation there as being “not that bad” if that makes sense? I am actually sorry if it came across as me saying all men would be as indifferent to a situation like that.

                Also, let me clarify my stance on Dawn: I was /not/ defending, nor excusing, her actions (or inactions) in this at all…I was simply stating that with her being female, I could understand the /thought/ process that perhaps went into it (which is not the same thing as approving of said thought process). I certainly wasn’t saying she couldn’t attempt to do anything about it because frankly – she’s a horrible human being (to me) for more reasons than simply allowing the men subordinate to her to do what they are. However, yes she may be armed, but so are the men making sex slaves out of women. Certainly you can see that her position /is/ tenuous (it was even made explicitly clear by rape cop talking about when he’s in charge). It certainly does not excuse what she’s doing or somehow make the situation less awful. A man in her position would be in just as tenuous a position if he didn’t shoot the first guy who tried that to prove a point, if that makes sense? But she’s allowed this to go on to keep the peace. And I also did point out that …well… what kind of world is she actually preserving if this is how things work? Where she’s the only female that isn’t being used for the pleasure of men.

                So yeah, I wasn’t giving Dawn a pass or making excuses – so if that’s how it came across, hopefully I cleared that up. I hope she meets a suitably bloody end personally (and one as poetically exquisite as rape cop did).

                But I think Laura has the gist of it with the doctor – it is something as females we are a little more sensitive to. Not that all (or even most) men are oblivious, but we tend to pick up on those undertones.

                • Anthony Stark of Winterfell

                  Gotcha. I definitely posted to my Facebook feed for my friends to chime in on if they got the predator vibe as well or if I was alone in my oblivion… So far 2 women (and 3 guys) didn’t get a creepy predator vibe at all, and one female did (she’s a social worker and thinks that she picked up on it because of that.)

                  This is one of those conversations that are soo hard for guys to chime in on… and honestly I wouldn’t have chimed in at all except I felt that Laura would keep the convo from becoming a flame war. It certainly seems that it is virtually impossible for a man to interject opinions regarding this type of subject without being seen as a supporter in most forums.

                  That was what I was objecting to as I took it as an implication that of the 2 persons involved with supporting Rapey cop’s actions that the man was supporting it because he wanted to do the same. I apologize that it was an incorrect interpretation of what you were describing.

                  It sure is frustrating from a non predator standpoint that the Grooming methodology you ladies are describing seems so similar to being genuinely concerned about someone (at the beginning at least. I can see the difference later on.) It certainly seems that there is no safe way to interact with the opposite sex without it potentially being seen as manipulation. Those bastards are making it exponentially more difficult for the rest of us!

                  • tsinivari

                    No worries, text is a very hard thing to always be clear in since tone can be hard to read. I’m not one to just start attacking (especially not here). I’m more than happy to discuss things civilly.

                    I actually did not assume the few male commenters saying what they said were saying they would do the raping in that situation so much as the fact that they did not see an actual issue with the set up (comparatively speaking) and that irked me to no end.

                    I think the Doc situation was one of those taking the situation as the whole, not just how he started. Yes, we got the creepy vibe and that was confirmed with his antics with the medicine, etc and setting Beth up to kill that man.

                    If it helps, I don’t immediately think a man being nice to a woman is always (or even mostly) grooming. I think it was such a red flag for me here because of the power imbalance. He can pretend like he’s as much of a prisoner as she is, but just the very nature of the set up there (how men are treated vs how women are treated) but the power imbalance is there. It’s even creepier to me because Beth LOOKS quite young (because the actress does) and the actual character isn’t very old either. Not a child by any means, but you know what I mean.

                    you are correct though, it can be hard to dive into conversations like this as a man because I do see a lot of women that will jump all over any male that tries to have an opinion that isn’t 100% in line with their world view, which isn’t really the way to actually get through to anyone.

                  • What I love most about the folks who comment here is that we all get that we love the same stuff, we have (possibly) different perspectives on it, and we want to hear from each other and even share our thoughts, too. It makes me so happy when we can have difficult talks like this (boy, they crop up on Game of Thrones!) and still be respectful of each other. *HUGS ALL AROUND*

                    “It certainly seems that there is no safe way to interact with the opposite sex without it potentially being seen as manipulation.” I won’t disagree that the jerks are making it hard on everyone. Jessica Williams (of The Daily SHow) pointed this out, then said it would be most effective for guys such as yourself to police these jerks.

                    Here’s a scenario for you: I’m waiting at the bus stop, reading a book. A strange man approaches me and points out the cover, most likely in an effort to engage in conversation. I smile tightly, nod, maybe say, “Yeah, it’s good,” then glance down at my book again. I’m not thinking this guy is trying to harm me, but I’m not interested. I’ve got that book, right? BUT. If he persists even after I’ve not responded any more and looked back at my book, any further attempt by him is basically his way of saying that HIS need to chat me up is greater than MY need to be left alone. That’s when it becomes manipulative and–quite frankly–dangerous. I mean, a woman was stabbed in Detroit the other night for refusing a guy’s catcall, you know? And we can’t tell if the guy at the bus stop is just someone like you making conversation or the stabber. Because, like the Doc, that guy looked harmless.

                    It’s great for men to be a part of these discussions. The only tricksy bit would be if a guy was trying to turn it away from the problem, or telling women how they should feel. Since that’s not happening here, you are all clear, Anthony! :D

                    • tsinivari

                      Can I just say that drives me crazy – the situation like you explained with the book – and not even just from a predator standpoint? I have that happen at work all the time (with the men that come in more than anyone, though a few female coworkers do it too). If I’m working, obviously engaged and you stop to say hello and I respond politely then go back to work…

                      Yes, they aren’t strangers, but it’s the same exact thing. If you aren’t needing to engage me for some valid reason and I’m obviously not interested in said engagement…

                      But as you said, that’s one reason this site is so great because we can give our own whacky theories and know that even if we don’t agree with one another it doesn’t mean it’ll turn into some venomous flame war because “how dare you disagree with me!” I’m all for differing opinions and interpretations of how something played out… doesn’t make either one of us wrong and I actually love when someone can make me look at something from another angle, and have it completely change how I viewed that scene, or episode, etc.

                      It was one of my favourite parts of the Hannibal fandom, the fan interaction between episodes and I check this site religiously for reviews of my favourite shows for that reason. There are very few places on the ‘net where you know you can actually discuss things without it turning into a “who can tear eachother down the hardest” type rows.

                    • *wipes tear* I am SO happy to hear that this site is functioning as I always intended!!

                      Cindergal is a great person to point out things that I hadn’t thought of, and I love it when the two of y’all go back and forth with theories. I’m sitting here reading every comment thinking, “OOoh, she has a point. Oh, but SHE has a point!” I love it.

                    • Anthony Stark of Winterfell

                      LOL I agree with Tsinvari that interrupting someone reading a book is HORRIBLY rude regardless of the reason! I read over my lunch hour a lot and several friends of mine as well as random coworkers come up and interrupt me all the time. I glare and try to go back to what I am doing but several of them continue doing it.

                      I understand what you are trying to convey however. people being pushy like that even when getting push back is definitely a bad thing… one I have even experienced to a lesser extent. people are CRAZY!

                      Anywho.. thank you ladies for not tearing me apart. I came across this site last year during GOT and have enjoyed the recaps and comments so much! I read a few other recaps from time to time and this one is still my favorite and the most educational regarding theories and observations!

                    • Aww, that’s so great to hear, Anthony! I totally welcome all considerate debate here, so I’m happy to know you’re comfortable jumping in. That’s what makes fan-based media sites so fun, IMO. :)

            • Kiki

              I feel weird because I totally didn’t pick up on creepy vibes from the Doc until much later in the episode, and I’m a 21 year old woman, I feel like I should be able to pick up on these things. I initially just thought he knew what was up and didn’t really want her getting involved in all that. However, I was not paying attention to the lyrics of those songs/don’t know them like at all so I feel like I missed a huge hint.

              Like, I saw that the cop was creepy IMMEDIATELY, but the doctor didn’t even blip on my ‘creepy dude radar’ until the roof scene/basement scene. AND THEN HE USED BETH and I was super done and angry. Seriously that’s messed up.

              Also, I’m nonreligious so virtually every religious hint went over my head. I should take a religions class just so I can CATCH ON TO THESE THINGS.

              • tsinivari

                I won’t lie, I rely heavily on these recaps to catch some of those details myself lol

                • Eddie H

                  It’s crazy how much comes to light from reading these recaps. It’s like I’m listening to my AP English teacher all over again saying “BUT YOU TOTALLY MISSED THE POINT!” This time I did pick up on the creeps from Doc pretty early. However, this show has conditioned me to trust no one while at the same time almost giving people the “no one is spotless” type of benefit of a doubt. My doubts really weren’t completely settled until the end when Doc Creepenstein let Beth know with his Peter analogies that he would do whatever it took to look out for himself. Basically nothing is beneath him, and obviously he’s already murdered to maintain his position. This dude may be a much bigger threat than Dawn especially since he IS subtle and keeps his menace veiled. Beth realizes this and decides that he’s the one she has to drop to throw a wrench in the whole operation here. In other words he is the central threat.

                  • “This dude may be a much bigger threat than Dawn especially since he IS subtle and keeps his menace veiled.”

                    THIS TIMES ONE MILLION AND FIFTY.

              • I was saying in a comment to Anthony that the Doc is one of those really subtle Humbert Humbert types. A groomer. A “nice guy” you know? I think the point where viewers were supposed to ping “OH HE IS A BAD GUY, TOO” is after the moment on the roof when he’s all, “Aww shucks, knucklehead! Have an early night!” Beth inadvertently kills Punctured Lung, and we KNOW the Doc lied about the meds. His soft, gentle voice–the same one he’d used all episode–is now one of menace. So at least you pinged it there!

                His casual conversation over that song in his office (when he offers Beth some of his food) was what made me say, “Nope. Nuh uh.” Music choices aren’t accidental on this show, and when it’s a Beth-centric episode, the lyrics tell a lot of the story. So the “nice guy” saving the girl in the song from the rapist, then saying “I might rape you,” is hella significant.

                Western Religion is good to know about simply because so much of our art is infused with imagery and references to the Bible, etc. But I don’t have much use for it beyond that. ;) (And hey, that’s what I’m here for, to save you the looking! LOL)

  • cindergal

    I put my theory in my LJ last night, but basically I agree that Noah is the person with Daryl, but I think that Carol is faking it to get herself “rescued” and into the hospital with Beth. At least, I hope she is, because that would be cool. ;-)

    I actually liked Beth this episode! No hate, but she has always been my least favorite character so I was not expecting to enjoy a Bethisode. But I did! And I loved Noah and thought they had lovely chemistry.

    And creepy as it was, it was beautifully filmed, with all the transitions from light to dark as you point out.

    • I would love for Carol to be faking it so they could get Beth out. Carol is totally the person who could pull that off. :D

      I’ve not had strong emotions one way or the other about Beth until, hmm, maybe towards the end of S4 when she started coming into her own. I like her, and I REALLY liked her here.

      I would love for the Noah-Beth friendship to have a chance to be. I’M PULLING FOR THEM BOTH. (I’m not ‘shippy about them at all, I should say, just in case of anyone scrolling past.)

      This ep was SO creepy, so beautifully shot. I need to watch The Talking Dead now to see if any of these points were brought up!

      • tsinivari

        I would love for Carol to be a Trojan horse but it’s not ringing true to me and let me see if I can explain why. First of all, we’ve already had her do that plot this season and even she said that it shouldn’t have worked, they should have all been dead, right? At the time though, she had no choice. It was just her and Tyreese (and Judith) so there was no posse for her to go rustle up.

        However, now there is one – a quite large one (remember they have no idea at this time that Abraham & crew have departed) – that they could go call upon to help them. It seems an unnecessarily risky proposition for her to go inside in that manner when there are other options. When Daryl returns to camp, that’s the first time and he has someone (I really do think it’s Noah) in tow.

        Now I could be completely wrong, and if the group had already gotten back together and STILL decided sending one person inside as Trojan makes sense, I could see it. But with the information we have now regarding the time line, I can’t see that being the case.

        I kinda hope I’m wrong because how badass would that be? *laughs* and frankly, I can see Daryl looking disgruntled in either scenario because you KNOW he was not on board with that plan lol

        To argue against my own opinions though, if they DID see what went down, and it was Noah they run into who tells them the situation, I can see how they might see that as their best option atm given they have no way of knowing if they’ll hurt Beth for what she tried to do (though if they were going to kill her, it would have made more sense to shoot her outside and leave her than drag her back inside – but sane, rational logic isn’t this place’s strong suit yeesh)

        • cindergal

          Yes, the reason it DOES ring true to me is that if Daryl is with Noah, then Noah will have explained to them all about rape hospital They will want someone in there as quickly as possible to help Beth, and obviously they’re not going to take in a guy like Daryl.

          But we shall see! Probably not for a couple of weeks though, boo. :-/

          • tsinivari

            “Probably not for a couple of weeks though, boo”

            This, so much this. This is why I hate episodes that focus solely on one group mainly – because then we have to wait to actually see what happened (so yes, impatience is mostly it lol)

            I will give it to you though, if ANYONE was badass enough to deliberately put themselves at the “mercy” of the rape hospital and pull it off and take them down, it’s going to be Carol (and then Beth can be her little badass in training!)

            • cindergal

              In either scenario, I’m going to enjoy seeing them be badasss together. :-)

          • I’m always excited for a new episode, but sometimes these cliffhangers SUUUUUUUUUUUUCK. :D

        • I’m not thinking she’s a Trojan horse either. I totally think she got separated from Daryl and knocked out by the sniper, or gassed, something. She’s not beat up–her face was just dirty–and they mentioned “gassing” earlier in the ep. BUT WE SHALL SEE! (But I think we’re right, ha.)

          High five for like-mindedness!

          • tsinivari

            I think the main reason most want her to be a Trojan horse is because at this point, can you imagine a few mere armed guards being able to take down our Queen? lol

      • cindergal

        Forgive me if this has already been discussed, but what do you think happened to the first guy in charge (Hansen?). Why did Dawn have to “take care of him?” She obviously cared about him as there was a picture of the two of them in her office…

        • tsinivari

          Either Dawn or the Doc (I can’t remember off the top of my head) made mention to him making decisions that were dangerous for the group…and let me tell you, my mind is reeling at what would be considered “over the top” for this group to off their leader and let her take the reins.

          You know what I honestly could see it being? (And I almost hate myself for thinking this lol) I really think it could be as simple as he was not willing to stand for things becoming like they are now: allowing the men to take the women as sex slaves to “keep them happy” and Dawn being like she is (because make no mistake, she’s a bully on top of everything else) and despite her affection for him, “took care of him” so that they could continue on with their brand of “order”.

          Maybe I’m totally wrong on this…and that he just went kinda batshit crazy and was endangering them all. But the sense of entitlement the cop contingency in that prison has (herself included – riding her stationary bike while doling out commands to Noah, etc – basically letting all the serfs do the heavy lifting) really could have pretty much always existed – we PROTECT you, we have the RIGHT to do this, etc could have been something Hansen was not okay with.

          I feel like I’m bashing cops too much here – I’m specifically referring to the guys in the episode. There have been a lot of bad things about the police in the news lately and there ARE some bad apples, but I come from a family of police and they are all good guys.

        • Oh, I haven’t seen that discussed anywhere! You know, I wonder if maybe Hansen was getting “soft.” You know? Like he was going to waste resources on someone not worth saving (their terminology), and maybe that led to a disruption in leadership? OR. WHAT IF HANSEN wanted DAWN to be his “Comfort Woman” and Dawn was NOT having that??!

          • tsinivari

            *laughs* Laura we keep giving similar answers to questions ;)

            I do think it would be interesting if it turned out that Hansen had to be gotten rid of because he tried to a freaking decent human being.

            I kinda felt like saying to Dawn last night “You keep using these words ‘greater good’, I don’t think those words mean what you think they mean”

            • cindergal

              I was thinking that as well – maybe he was having none of that “she’s mine” bullshit, as you say, and was in the minority, and Dawn had to take care of him in order to take control (because what would happen to her if she didn’t?)

              • tsinivari

                It makes a brutal sort of horrifying sense – in that scenario if /she/ didn’t step up and take him out and then grab the reins while tacitly allowing it to go on, she would have very soon found herself in the same position as the other women and Hansen gone anyway.

                Not that it excuses her behaviour and what she’s allowing, on any planet.

          • cindergal

            I think the “going soft” is more likely, as I don’t think Dawn would display a photo of the two of them if he was being creepy like the other guys.

            • tsinivari

              Specifically being creepy to HER – yeah she wouldn’t have kept that photo.

              To be frank, I’m shocked that boys club type mentality that is going on with the cops that they’ve even LET her remain in charge as long as they have. Perhaps because she’s as ruthless and batshit as they are, I don’t know.

              • cindergal

                Maybe the rest of them just realize that without her organizational skills they would fall into chaos and be dead soon, and no one else wants to deal with all that stuff.

                • tsinivari

                  I actually had meant to say something on that:

                  As long as she lets the others do what they want with the females staying in the hospital, she has to do all the heavy lifting from an organization/leadership standpoint.

                  In other words – she does all that hard crap while they get to live it up like psychotic frat boys, no responsibility needed.

                  • cindergal

                    Exactly.

                • Eddie H

                  Maybe Doc Creeper told the other cops that his condition for helping them is that they let Dawn remain in charge. He probably felt he could maintain his status with Dawn in charge more easily. This would add some background to his conversation with Gorman. He obviously was part of the system and not operating in contrast to or in spite of their creep system. Remember he told Gorman “No one is yours” not “No one is mine.”

                  • tsinivari

                    I’m really not sure the Doc would have had the spine for that (not saying the theory isn’t valid, just giving my two cents). He was unwilling to risk his own hide to kill the injured doctor, instead tricking Beth into doing it. A man like that doesn’t have the balls to stand up to a group of armed cops by saying “This lady here stays in charge or I refuse to help”

                    Men like Gorman don’t have a lot of …er… foresight. Dawn may see the need for him, and on some level I’m totally sure the others do too – but they also strike me as the “Oh yeah? *bullet to the knee* What were you saying again?” type. There is a LOT of nasty things you can do to someone to …entice them to help without outright killing them.

                    With the type of person Dawn is, I have no doubt she was responsible for her own ascendance to head honcho. She either started out as a horrible person, or has done so many mental gymnastics to justify what the guards do to the women they find that she’s twisted beyond repair, in order to be able to explain to Beth why things have to be the way they are without even ONE BIT of regret regarding it.

                    Because that’s the thing about Dawn. She was all calm and calculated and talking about the Greater Good and Beth having nothing to offer, etc – there was zero remorse there, or sympathy, or admittance that it is awful and terrible but it’s survival. Nope, she basically told Beth that her only use was to be there to serve in whatever capacity that entailed and to bolster those that DID deserve to belong in the world because they were strong enough to survive without basically living off other people.

                    Which to me is almost …laughable in its irony, considering they (Dawn, the cops, the Doctor) were the biggest users of all, constantly using those they felt less deserving to still be basically alive.

            • Good point. (I’m so ready to think the worst, though… Hahahahaa!)

      • Eddie H

        If Carol is faking it in a recon mission kind of way, then this and her Terminus take down definitely earn her commando status. Now I just need to see her swipe someone’s head off with a hunting knife and she’ll totally be the new ZA-Rambo.

        • tsinivari

          yeah, her badass cred is already through the roof, but if that was an intentional capture she totally just leveled up.

        • She needs to pop up out of a river loaded down, yelling, and taking out the enemy, too. [STALLONE ROAR/MACHINE GUN RAPID FIRE]

  • Ross

    wait….why had the pile of bodies in the lift shaft not turned? we have seen decapitated heads biting away, as long as the brain stem is intact they become walkers/biters…. I am confused

    deeply disturbing episode all in all, very well made

    • tsinivari

      Because they specifically damage the brains upon death to keep them from turning. (Spike to the temple in every case we saw) That’s why they were just bodies – they specifically stated that they send them down before they get “cold” because if a body is warm enough the walkers will eat them. *shudders*

    • Hey, Ross! Welcome aboard!

      I assume the heads hadn’t turned because they made a point of stabbing dead bodies in the cranium once they pulled the plug? So those were all dead bodies, brain-stabbed, and dumped down. Doc made a comment at one point about “if they’re still warm enough, the rotters do most of the work for us.” GAHH!!

      Such a disturbing ep, right? And GORGEOUSLY shot.

  • Colleen

    I am so glad that they were growing some flowers and stuff on the roof of the hospital… so Carol can make Dawn look at them!! Oh people of Grady Hospital, pray she doesn’t pay back what she owes with a bottle rocket!

    I seriously did not expect to enjoy the Bethisode beyond the answer to “Who took her and what’s their deal?” Beth is growing and leveling up her skillz, she’s still on my “meh” radar though.

    So all the seriously creepy villains on this show must start with “G”? Gareth the Hungry Hipster, Gorman the Odious Bad Touch Cop… seriously though, hats off to a show that can make a guy like Gareth look like a saint next to Gorman, and Gareth was EATING PEOPLE. I’ve read the comments, and enjoyed the discussion about the Creepy Groomer Doc. I have nothing new to add, so I won’t, but it was wonderful to see a real discussion about that among civilized survivors.

    I love this place, I hadn’t even thought it would be Noah with Daryl, and now I’m pretty darn sure it is! If Santa’s listening, can Morgan be with them too? Or a random and severely beaten rape cop to use as a bargaining chip?

    I bet whoever Abraham was beating with a soup can is named Greg or Gary or Grayson…. I have to go now, there are green lollipops amongst the Halloween haul my kids brought in, and they must be rooted out and walked to the dumpster. GREAT RECAP AND DISCUSSION LAURA!! <3

    • Oh, did you see the comment where someone speculated that Noah was Morgan’s nephew? WOULDN’T THAT BE AWESOME?? Also, ahahha to the bad guys being named G. You’re totally right. :D

      I’m so glad you enjoy the place, Colleen! <3

  • Alison

    I’m just now reading today!

    YAY for this episode! I also:
    A. Don’t hate Beth and am happy to see her coming into her own.
    B. Did not at first catch on to the creeper factor of the Doctor. Gorman’s “she should have been mine” comment tipped me off, and then at the end I got the ick factor from the Doc.
    C. Think that Carol got herself “saved” intentionally, and Daryl has Noah with him, and the cavalry is going to show up and own it. Terminus fucked with the wrong people, so did Grady Hospital.

    I LOVE all the musical, biblical and artistic interpretations from you, Laura!!! Those subtle things would be lost on me without this recap. I also come here to absorb things I may have missed.

    Gorman dying at the hands of his victim-turned-walker was great, but I felt horrible for Joan. (She is such a good actress!)

    I noticed on another recap site that people were obsessing over WHY the GradyCops were so far out of the way to A. “save” Beth, and B. pass Carol and Daryl near the church. Did no one else notice Gorman saying “we heard a rumor about a cache of weapons/supplies/ammo/weapons?” I can’t remember his exact sentence, but it specifically told me why and how they stumbled upon Beth. It comes as no surprise to me that they would do recon and gather supplies 60 miles away.

    A few thoughts:
    -I’m annoyed that it seems like there was a lot behind the scenes we missed. How did Doc know Beth had medical experience? There felt like there was time lapses and data gaps in this episode.
    -Dawn and the other cops should have noticed how slick Beth was in the escape and how good of a shot she was. That should be a tipoff that Beth is no pansy. She may be a gentle introvert, but pussy she is not.
    -Noah said that the GradyCops could only “save one” and they opted to save Noah and leave his stronger, more willful, less subservient father behind. Anyone else think maybe the cops kept an eye on Daryl and Beth and did the same thing? I think it was Nicoterro that said Beth and Daryl were at the funeral home last season just by chance, and the person who had been holed up there went out and was “gone.” Maybe the GradyCops were out on a recon mission, searching for a rumored cache of supplies (at a prison perhaps?), stumbled upon Daryl and Beth’s trail, and led the walkers to their door to flush them out? I envision Dawn confessing all this and Daryl killing her for it.

    • Alison

      OH! And one more thing. With all the raping going on at Grady, wouldn’t there be a lot of pregnancies? So did they use contraceptives found at the hospital? Perform abortions? Or worse, kill babies?

      We need a “Hide yo kids, hide yo wife, ’cause they rapin’ everybody up in here!” meme.

      • tsinivari

        That hadn’t actually crossed my mind in that particular instance, but /any/ time I see people going at it (speaking of consensual coitus here) in the ZA (or any A) and they aren’t using protection, that’s my first thought: babies are NOT a good thing when you’re still running for your life! I thought it routinely with Glenn and Maggie (and I was totally on Maggie’s side about being relieved she wasn’t pregnant…given the fact that they may love Judith, but Lori DIED giving birth). They may love Judith, but from a cold, hard standpoint, she’s a liability.

        I mean obviously people NEED to keep having kids when humans are an endangered species, but most of the situations (save for perhaps the prison) that our group has found themselves in, being pregnant is not ideal.

      • OH MY GOD. *dies laughing*

        I assume they’re not Pro-Life up in there. =/

    • Oh, I was sad for Joan, too. What a terrible story arc she had, and we only saw minutes of it, you know? But that was a PERFECT way for Gorman to go out. There was a lot of fist pumping and “HELL YEAH!” shouting happening at my house. :D

      I will say that it made perfect sense to me that the Grady Cops were casting a wider and wider net for supplies/ammo. And they may have wanted to find the Veterinarian hospital for those supplies, too. It’s been two years, now, so canned goods and usable items (not to mention “slave labor”) are going to be scarce in the city center.

      As for Beth working for the Doc, I assume that they gave her a task, she was proficient at it, and they needed someone to assist him. But fair enough if that was bugging you.

      I TOTALLY think the cops did that with Beth and Daryl, yep yep. I finally watched The Talking Dead last night and Emily Kinney (Beth) said as much. So high five! I like the idea that the person who was holed up in the funeral home was a recon agent for the hospital. That would be AWESOME. I also love your Dawn confession/Daryl killing scenario. :D

      • tsinivari

        The Joan arc was very sad, but I was glad that she was able to go out on her own terms somewhat (since she didn’t want them to save her when she was bitten). She may not know it, but at least she took her tormentor out with her.

  • Wembly

    I just wanted to thank you for your reviews. I’m one of the rare few who doesn’t mind spoilers, and, well, I live in Japan. They were airing TWD with about one week’s delay for season 4, but… they seem to have given up on that (WHY WHY WHY). So I enjoy your reviews, your writing and the attention to detail, and of course your insight.

    • Oh, thank you so much, Wembly! I’m so happy to hear that! <3

  • tsinivari

    A comment I read elsewhere got me thinking a bit about the various established groups that our guys have ran into (speaking of Terminus, Woodbury, the hospital not the few stragglers they’ve picked up here and there such as Tyreese and Co.) The person specifically pointed out that they seem to only run into awful establishments and it’s been pretty much true (with varying degrees of awful).

    In some cases, the entirety of the group is pretty much awful (Terminus – after all they ALL knew they were eating people, it was specifically stated either in the show or on Talking Dead that newcommers are pretty much given the choice of being okay with cannibalism or becoming food); the majority of the group is awful (the hospital, the only people worth saving are those poor women and anyone like Noah that’s basically an indentured servant); and the group itself isn’t awful but it’s leader is (Woodbury).

    So while every group they seem to encounter has that awful thread running through them, they have also been markedly different from eachother. I like to think there /is/ a good group out there somewhere (I don’t read the comics so speaking from a show standpoint only) that they will eventually encounter, which would be nice for our group but is much less dramatic to the end game. Though, it could be argued watching our group, where they’ve had to embrace a certain amount of brutality, try to acclimate into a well run group with good defenses that doesn’t actually exploit anyone could be a whole other interesting thought experiment.

    I think I have a point in here somewhere *laughs* The reason I find the groups with varying degrees of “evilness” (for lack of a better word) in play that our group runs into so interesting is because, for me, the best ZA shows/movies/books that I’ve had the pleasure encountering are the ones that focus on human nature and how it plays out, with the zombies almost as a backdrop after the initial onset of the actual ZA. I find it fascinating to see the various explorations of how society breaks down, or perseveres or recreates itself completely without resulting in exploitative anarchy.

    Some may argue that 28 days later isn’t actually a zombie flick, but I consider it to be one, and the most horrifying part of that movie wasn’t even the “zombies” it was the people, the soldiers they encounter who very much had that same entitled view of the women they came in contact with.

    So I don’t actually think it’s a weakness of the show that any organized group Rick and Co run into is really just awful in some manner or other (Woodbury wasn’t awful, it’s leader was awful…though he did them a disservice by how …sheltered they were… in addition to all the other awful stuff). It /could/ be a weakness if each group was basically rinse, repeat as to the issues they encounter there (other than the Very Bad People issue), but that’s not how it is. Each of the three groups I’ve mentioned was distinctly awful in varying ways (and it amused me on Talking Dead that the quiz of whether Dawn was a better leader than Gareth said that she wasn’t. You know you’re leadership style is lacking if the CANNIBAL is the preferred leader choice over you!)

    That’s one reason I also shake my head when the only thing some people have to say about some episodes is that there weren’t enough zombies. Yes, it’s a show about the ZA; yes, zombies are still a threat. However, the main focus of WD has never been the zombies. Walking Dead doesn’t even refer to zombies, it refers to the survivors. You want boring, then just give episode after episode of nothing but survivors battling zombies with no human vs human conflict.

    As our intrepid heroes have pointed out, people are more dangerous than zombies in a lot of respects.

    • tsinivari

      heh and anyone that feels “TLDR” about that comment, the basic gist is “Tsinivari spends way too much time contemplating the ZA and human nature in regard to it” heh

    • Anthony Stark of Winterfell

      I like the way you think. I thoroughly enjoy reading Science Fiction and Fantasy for this exact line of thought.

      I’m not sure that there CAN be a healthy group in this type of reality yet. Even when our group was relatively safe in the Prison things started to fracture when pressured (Sickness\Carol as a primary example.)

      In brutal times where civilization is reeling, brutal mentalities are utilized to counteract it, to allow them to survive, and THEN civilization can recover and endure. We are seeing vestiges of civlization fighting to re-establish itself, but they are tainted by the brutality that was thrust upon them (Woodbury and the Hospital.) Eventually a large enough group can be put together that polices itself correctly and keeps a balance, but they will likely keep toppling as the survivors either are rescued from the monsters that established them or overthrow them.

      Our group is getting closer and closer to having the right type of constitution to establish a stable civilization however. The only reason why is because they have proven to be able to recover from their hurts or at least balance out any particular member’s mental issues from their past. That has always been a primary definition of civilization to me… the ability to change and balance out any extremes. I think that if they locate a secure enough location with a good amount of supplies they have all the tools they need now. The key is that they continue to have their balances in leadership to prevent extremes.

      • Anthony Stark of Winterfell

        Ugg that was badly written, but in my defense I’m slacking off at work and trying to type out my thoughts in between management walking behind my desk.

        Hopefully you get the gist!

      • “Our group is getting closer and closer to having the right type of constitution to establish a stable civilization however. The only reason why is because they have proven to be able to recover from their hurts or at least balance out any particular member’s mental issues from their past. That has always been a primary definition of civilization to me… the ability to change and balance out any extremes.”

        Love that.

      • tsinivari

        I think you’re right about our group – even though it perhaps wasn’t the perfect solution…when Rick saw that he was no longer really fit to lead for a while, he stepped back and let the “council” take over…even though it was perhaps a mistake for him to refuse to take any part in it I can understand why he did so.

        By and large, those that are left are pretty much team players (Carol not so much – I don’t mean that as a criticism. She would obviously do anything to save those that are now her family, even if they condemn her for it, but she’s very much a lone wolf in that regards, but I don’t think we’re to the point where someone like her isn’t necessary. I’m not sure we ever will be, but I can also understand why it is she seemed on the verge of leaving the group to set off on her own again had Daryl not intercepted her).

        The …for lack of a better term…bad apples have been weeded out of our group at this point. So they are much more functional and everyone knowing their place to a certain extent (which is one reason I think Carol is having issues because I’m not sure she actually sees herself as still /having/ a place among them. Not because they make her feel unwelcome but because of the journey she’s had to undertake from season 1 until now).

        I would agree about there not being able to a be a 100% healthy group that would have long term survivability – at least by our current standards of healthy. That kind of mentality gets you killed – and not by zombies. It gets you killed by any outside forces that might try to merge into you or take from you. Rick has embraced his brutality and I’m glad because right now that’s still what they need to protect their core group. They’ve learned some very, very hard lessons and honestly that’s one reason it bugs me a bit that Rick welcomed Abraham and Co without so much as a batted eye. I mentally square that away by treating it like since they arrived WITH Glen (and Maggie to a lesser extent) that in Rick’s eyes that meant they were vetted.

        There does still have to be some compass of morality within the group in order not to lose their humanity, but it’s a very stark, different kind of morality than we have the luxury of applying to things in our current, every day lives. I think the actor who plays Tyreese made a very good point on Talking Dead about everyone basically saying he should have killed the Terminus guy who threatened Judith and calling for his blood. He said that killing someone is a very big deal and that it shouldn’t be taken lightly, and put in that light I can see why Tyreese perhaps didn’t carry through.

        In the world they live in, killing another living human is a necessity at times – but it’s when it stops being something that bothers you that you start to tip into that place like Gareth and the other Termites had reached. There’s a difference between surviving and living, and what happens when you give up so much of your humanity that you become the problem you were fighting to solve?

    • “I like to think there /is/ a good group out there somewhere.” You know, I think there definitely IS a good group of people out there, but they’ve learned their lesson and are staying well hidden. Like, we had the Vatos in S1. At first glance, they’re scry gang bangers, but the you see they’re protecting the elderly in a nursing home. We haven’t seen/heard from them since. Why? You’d think the cops would go after them, thinking they’d be easy to take out due to the emotional factor of shooting the elderly residents (you know they would totally do that, too).

      And I’m like you: it’s the best when a “monster movie” has the humans being the real monsters. I mean, there’s a reason the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre stands as the best, most frightening movie I’ve ever seen, because that stuff happened in broad daylight, and they were people. Werewolves, vampires, zombies… They just stand in as a metaphor for the evil that people do. no Walker can compare to the Governor, you know? And Gareth as the Dwight Schrute of Cannibal Island is freaking TERRIFYING.

      Woodbury was such a great group to explore these ideas you’ve brought up, because you have a charismatic leader preying on the fears and hopes of people, people who are willing to just do the work to have four walls and ice cream socials, that lie that “normalcy” in Woodbury provided. It’s also an excellent metaphor for American life, cough cough. :D

      100% agree: people are more dangerous than zombies in this world.

      • tsinivari

        I LOVED the Vatos arc – and that it turned out they were just a really good group of guys that looked out for the elderly patients they were responsible for because someone had to.

        As for why the cops (I’m assuming we mean the hospital ones here) probably haven’t gone after them (assuming they haven’t, and assuming that they are still in Atlanta and/or they even still have living elderly patients – because let’s be realistic, a good many of those probably have not survived to this point) probably didn’t go after them…it is very, very obvious that Dawn and her crew pick easy targets. It’s why they left Noah’s dad behind; it’s why they didn’t approach Daryl. The Vatos are NOT easy targets; the eldery patients were kept well out of the line of fire and deep within the building. Those aren’t easy targets, they aren’t even soft targets. They likely wanted no part of that. Did we ever even get a specific number of how many cops Dawn has under her?

        I actually felt bad for the people of Woodbury (save for the few blood thirsty ones that were privy to the Governor’s darker side, even if they didn’t know just HOW dark that side was). They didn’t realise their charismatic leader was actually batshit insane – and despite my dislike for Andrea, I could see why it was that sugar lie was so, so very tempting after the life she had been living. I think their obliviousness (it wasn’t even just pretending not to see it, the Governor kept his true nature very hidden from the average citizen) was what made Rick willing to take them into their group at the prison. Unlike the Termites, the residents of Woodbury were not directly complicit in the Governor’s evilness because they weren’t aware it existed. The Termites, however, all chose to eat people. You don’t get to come back from that. Some things you straight up do not get to come back from. Luring people in so that you can bleed them like livestock is one of those things.

        I’ve always loved the human nature aspects of a lot of the horror movies. Sometimes I like a good, straight up horror movie that doesn’t necessarily have those undertones – but specifically in my ZA movies/books/shows I prefer that. Z-Nation on SyFy is…somewhat attempting to do that, but …it reads more like a really bad extended SyFy made movie than a good show, but a lot of it is tongue in cheek because they pretty much realise there is zero chance of beating WD at its own game. I will say though, the one religion themed arc they did with the people treating the zombies as …favoured by god or some other batshit insane theory was actually quite interesting, if not executed in the best way lol That’s one reason I’m mildly disappointed that the hospital thing didn’t turn out to be a crazy fanatic type situation. I really would like to see how WD treats that kind of story arc.

        • Oh, I think the cops would have taken OUT the Vatos to get all of their supplies. Then again, maybe they have.

          “Some things you straight up do not get to come back from” YEP. Terminus is definitely one of those things.

          Honestly, the hospital is reminding me a LOT of S2 of Battlestar Galactica and Starbuck’s story arc. I think if there were more medical staff at Grady, there would definitely be some selective harvesting/impregnating going on. Yeesh.

          • tsinivari

            I guess my point was more…depending on how many strong the cops are, that they might not have been able to actually take on the Vatos. The risk vs reward ratio might not have been high enough for them to risk it.

            Cops or not, they don’t strike me as a particularly brave bunch. I mean, you leave Noah’s father to die because he looks strong enough to fight back, you aren’t exactly high on the bravery index in my opinion. They seem much more like path of least resistance type folks and I can’t see the Vatos being super trusting of people still trying to play cops in the wake of the anarchy of the ZA and no actual law and order set up from a government perspective, which is where the cops derive their authority from to begin with.

            At this point they are just survivors with guns playing dress up.

            • OMG, I want to marry your last sentence. That’s it precisely.

              • tsinivari

                And I actually get it – to a point. The still dressing in uniform thing. Rick did it when he first woke up and for a while after (it made more sense to me then but still makes sense now). When everything has broken down, holding onto the familiar is…natural, especially if you have a profession that is sort of based on a rigid view of law and order and routine. (Just look at Abraham, still dressing like he’s at an active post – which I suppose, in a way, he is – even if it’s self-imposed)

                So…I can see how in their little kingdom that those cops are still playing at being what they were before it all went down: the ones in control, enforcing law and order. Except now they are the ones creating the law.

                It also makes sense with Dawn’s almost OCD cleanliness ….in a world where you are in control of very little, where chaos is the natural state of things, you would cling to and obsess over the thing you /could/ control – whether that’s cleanliness or the people under your command. Left uncheck that would easily descend into a sickness, which it has…on every level.

                Doesn’t excuse anyone’s behaviour of course – I just find it fascinating to sort of examine, how it is people grasp to control something in a world that is uncontrollable to the extreme because all of the various human modes of imposing order on the chaos of nature have broken down pretty much completely and anyone pretending differently with the resources they currently have are deluding themselves.

                I think Abraham falls into this category as well to a point. Even if Eugene does have the Answer…they aren’t getting the world they had back; that’s almost impossible at this point (and could be argued do we WANT that world back, in its entirety, the way it was before? Certain aspects of it, sure, but all of it?)

                • Eddie H

                  I wouldn’t say the world is in chaos. It’s just a very primal state of order. The laws of nature are certainly there though. They’re just very different now.

                  • tsinivari

                    I meant chaos from a human point of view. Compared to how the world pre-ZA, it’s definitely chaotic (to humans).

                    heh I suppose it could be argued that there’s nothing natural about people reanimating and shambling around to eat the living (human, horse, whatever). Then again, that depends on the actual origin of the disease itself…man made vs something that was hiding in a jungle somewhere, or something more supernatural. I know it’s not a question that’s really been answered in the comics either from what I’ve heard, and I don’t always need to know why or how, but when the whole “Everyone is infected” aspect rears its head, it really makes me wonder and wish there was some explanation. Simply because…what could possibly happen that makes it so every single person (as far as we know) is now infected with…whatever manner of virus/prion/whatever this is.

      • How did I forget about that Vatos!?! Geez I guess that we did have a successful society in the aftermath huh? Maybe that worked only because the group’s primary purpose wasn’t for themselves… but as a service. That would fit historically as well…

        P.S. FINALLY got the Social media logon to work!

        • tsinivari

          (I’m still trying to get it to work with my twitter lol)

          I had forgotten about them too – but also, remember, they tried to mug Glen for the weapons, then kidnapped him when they were interrupted. So… lol they may have been doing it for noble reasons, but they were still doing so through violence towards strangers. So, in a way – even though it was to help the people they were caring for – they were still preying off others to survive.

          Then again, at the time, they didn’t know that bag of weapons /was/ actually Rick’s to begin with, so after a fashion they were simply competing over the same resources, after a fashion.

        • Facebook changed their code, so that’s what wonked out the FB login. Boo! It was so convenient for everyone, too!

          • tsinivari

            I still can’t get twitter to work, blast it

            • I’m not a code writer, so I can’t tweak the plugin or how Twitter and FB interact, sorry. :( The change was at their end, not here.