By David Oliver and Josh Axelrod HOLY BETH-CENTRIC. Yes, we’re four episodes into “The Walking Dead’s” stellar fourth season, and we’re getting to see what happened to our other favorite farm girl. So, where did she end up?
DAWN DAVID: I figured we could break this down by new characters Beth encountered. Anyway, Beth wakes up in a hospital room (in a sort of homage to Rick in the pilot). A doctor and a cop (named Dawn) enter the room, check in on her, then Dawn says “you owe us.” Umm, OK. Everyone has a job in the hospital, with Dawn at the helm, basically waiting for someone to come rescue them, all “working off what they owe.” But Dawn isn’t exactly a fantastic leader. She kept hitting Beth for no reason, and tries to have a heart to heart with her. “Try to look at the good we’re doing,” she says. Dawn also sees Beth as not strong enough to survive, but as a potential asset to the hospital, basically so Dawn can use her for work. This guy’s opinion? Dawn is awful and she’s probably chopped liver in a few episodes’ time. JOSH: First and foremost, I want to go on record as someone who actually likes Beth and Emily Kinney’s performances in the Daryl/Beth episodes from last season. With that said, the prospect of ANOTHER Beth-centric episode didn’t really excite me. Once I realized that we were going to be dealing with an entire new cast of characters, I was really unenthused. But everyone was just different enough from people we’ve seen before to make things interesting. I think Dawn was supposed to showcase a leadership style that was very different from the Ricktatorship. Whereas Rick has tried to create a familial feel with his little community, Dawn has created a work hierarchy that values people based on what they can do for her. There’s even an element of indentured servitude here, with people who “owe” her having to work off their debts for unspecified periods of time. Basically, Dawn sucks. She probably doesn’t have long to live anyway, so whatever. DR. EDWARDS DAVID: OK, so this was sort of a classic bait and switch. First we think he’s a good guy, a friend to Beth in this hell-hole. He showed her where they take the dead, his office and treated her like a human being. It turns out he’s more human in the sense of his flaws – he had Beth kill a man and let her get in trouble because this man was also a doctor and would’ve taken his place in the hospital. Dawn most likely would have had someone kill him for “the greater good,” as she says. EEEEK. Beggers can’t be choosers for allies, but poor Beth. JOSH: I think Edwards was a good guy overall, just a very meek one. Like Father Gabriel, he clearly wasn’t fit to live in this new world. So he’s used Dawn as a crutch, never having to get his hands dirty as long as he staid useful. Once the other doctor was brought in, he saw the writing on the wall for him and knew his survival was at stake. His actions added an extra layer to a seemingly one-note character, and it’ll be interesting to see if he redeems himself by standing up to Dawn in the coming weeks.
GORMAN DAVID: Your classic creepy uncle, Gorman made Beth suck on a lollipop and sexually assaulted her before getting his comeuppance via a one-armed fresh zombie named Joan. “Hang in there, Joan,” I muttered in my head while watching. JOSH: Sadly, when a zombie apocalypse hits, the overly aggressive rapists have a decent chance of living because they’re already wired to survive by any means necessary. Thank god he got what was coming to him. That was a very badass Beth moment, when she fed him to zombie Joan. Again, Beth is secretly a great character, and I’m happy the show gives her moments like this to shine. NOAH DAVID: Oh hello, “Everybody Hates Chris.” After a rather flirtatious exchange with Beth – and an awkward exchange where he took the blame for her “mistake” with medicine – the two agreed to try and escape the hospital together. The two make it down an elevator shaft and outside, only for Noah to get free but Beth caught by a cop. Womp, womp. Idea: Is Noah Morgan’s nephew? Noah briefly mentioned his family that made me think that could be a possibility. Maybe that’s who Daryl is with in the woods? JOSH: Oh, so because h’s black he has to be related to Morgan? I’m kidding, but then again that is how this show treats its African American characters. Whenever one dies, another has to be introduced. So I wouldn’t be surprised if Noah becomes a replacement for Bob. But if he was the one in the woods with Daryl, then what happened to Beth and Carol? Beth/Carol DAVID: Beth gets back to the hospital and gets slapped again. Later, the cops bring in a new patient – and it’s CAROL! What happened? Is Daryl with her? WILL SHE MAKE IT OUT ALIVE?! What a cliffhanger. Side note: I’m digging all the religion talk this season and what it means to everyone. This episode had the doctor looking at religious paintings. If anyone will find “sanctuary” appears to be the theme of this first half of this season, and it’s very insightful. JOSH: I’m a little confused because the previews for next episode focused on Abraham and that group’s trip to D.C. This story clearly isn’t over, so are we going to have to wait two weeks to learn what’s going on with Beth, Daryl and Carol? That’s a lot of questions left unanswered, and I bet we’re going to be left with more after next week. Well played “Walking Dead,” well played.