While the fifth season of AMC’s hit zombie apocalypse show, The Walking Dead has been an amazing celebration of the gore filled zombie apocalypse, last night’s new episode entitled, ‘Slabtown’ was a huge let down in my opinion. It seems to me that the shows producers and writers simply didn’t succeed in translating what could have been a believable survivor scenario in an Atlanta Georgia hospital; instead delivering an episode that just did not work or fit into the show’s universe.
I will say however that what I liked the most was seeing Beth Greene as played by Emily Kinney, return to The Walking Dead as the show’s fans have been wondering about and missing her since her abduction towards the end of last season. While Beth was in the past a scared young girl unable to cope with the horrific zombie filled world she now lives in, ‘Slabtown’ easily cemented Beth as a strong, relentless, calculating and resourceful zombie apocalypse survivor.
Likewise, I enjoyed the good doctor’s explanation of what happened to Atlanta right before the city fell to the dead and I really enjoyed seeing the burnt out remnants of downtown Atlanta. But when we see Beth trying to escape, we saw such a small amount of zombies that it was simply unbelievable as Atlanta Georgia had a reported population in 2013 of over 447,841 residents, not including all those who would have been evacuated to the supposed safety of Atlanta in the beginning, so where were all of the zombie hordes one would expect to see crowding the streets?
The episodes problems were just too blatant for my suspension of disbelief to fully kick in for many important reasons. We also saw these apocalypse survivors having lived in the upper potions of a hospital for more than a year after the fall of civilization, yet they still have power!? “Could be nuclear.”, to quote Dawn of the Dead, but I don’t think so and unless I missed it, no explanation was offered as to where they were getting power from, and even if they had generators, how did they keep them going non stop for this long? I just didn’t believe it.
Likewise, everyone of the police are STILL wearing nicely pressed uniforms and everyone has on clean cloths, and they STILL have limited supplies of medicine. And that cafeteria looked AWESOME and is DEFINATELY the best place to eat in Atlanta. Yes, I understand that those in charge are still waiting for the end of the zombie nightmare to come so that they could all be saved, but it just didn’t feel right. Rick lost his uniform back on the farm when he realized that the old rules and his uniform no longer held the same meaning they once did.
Now with this next point I want to be careful and do not want to seem as if I insensitive to this issue as I clearly am NOT, but the episode did not realistically deal with rape in a way that was believable. I simply can’t believe that the morality surrounding this issue was handled realistically in the apocalypse where the only rules are those imposed by those in charge. The episode handled it as if it was still the time before the zombie apocalypse, when in fact those old taboos and morals we all live by properly today, are simply not going to be followed in a world where the governor and the cannibals of Terminus could be allowed to rule.
In a world where in fact the strong dictate what is and is not acceptable and take what ever the hell they want, it would have been more believable to have seen those that were ‘saved’ as sex slaves as well as servants, who we did see often beaten for not simply following the rules. I am not saying I wish Beth would have been raped, but every victim who was saved and forced to work off their debt would absolutely have been subjected to all sorts of unpleasant and forced acts of submission in a world where there are no rules except those imposed upon those who survive.
I am sorry, but I just didn’t buy this episode and I have to be honest because I really love the show and hopefully this is just one of the bad episodes in an otherwise very well done series, as every episode can’t be great! As a fan, I just want to move on and hopefully the next episode will deal with this hospital issue quickly so that the show can focus on getting all of Rick’s people back on the road towards Washington.
Written By: Tye Bourdony