Archive for November, 2014

While Sasha chops apart one of the pews, Daryl and Tyreese quickly comment on her mental state. Gabriel stands saddened that his church is being dismantled and set up for protection. Rick struggles with Carl’s desire to go to save Carol in Atlanta, so Michonne offers to let them both stay and she will go instead. Rick turns down the offer and convinces Carl to stay behind, leaving Gabriel, Carl, Michonne, and Judith to finish up their fortification of their stronghold. Gabriel walks away from the banging, but it slowly starts to drive him insane. He frantically scratches at some stains he sees on the floor, almost turning his fingers bloody, but just spits in his hand and continues to try to rub out the blood. Speeding back to Atlanta in Daryl’s stolen truck, Tyreese tries to talk to Sasha, but she refuses to even begin to listen.

Back in the hospital, Beth walks into Carol’s room to check on her when she is interrupted by Dr. Edwards.

Out on the road, the group waits to see if Eugene will actually wake up from the beating Abraham delivered to him. The group debates their options while Abraham sits in silence off to the side. When Rosita attempts to give him water, he snaps at her and stands threateningly over them.

walking-deadRick provides the plan to the group as they get ready to storm the hospital. Tyreese is clearly tentative about using force and raises his objection. Rick acknowledges that attempting to negotiate would possibly work, but he feels the need to take the quiet offensive and guarantee their recovery of Carol and Beth. Daryl tries to play the middle but Rick appears to be dead set on his plan.

As Gabriel continues to clean the floor, Carl tries to give him a gun. Gabriel expresses his discomfort with the situation and all of the violence. Carl gives a short speech about safety and the need to stay on the move. Staying mobile keeps you alive. Gabriel starts to select one of the blades from the weapons, but he immediately feels sick and announces that he needs to go lay down.

Dawn talks with one of her officers about the search for Noah. Dawn demands that they need to get it done to bring him back. The officer immediately turns his attention to Carol and his desire to pull her life support to save energy. Dawn initially entertains the comment but Beth intervenes to try to advocate for Carol’s life. The officer gets angry, which forces Dawn to side with him. After her leaves, Dawn tells Beth that it is her job to save Carol and gives her a key to their truck.

On the road, Rosita, Glenn, and Tara go out for supplies while Maggie and Abraham stay with Eugene’s comatose body. While the search party discusses the merits of Eugene’s lies, Maggie grabs the ladder off of the fire engine and props it up on the truck, laying a blanket over top and giving Eugene’s body some shade. She walks over to Abraham and demands that he get over his ego and grow up.

Beth goes to visit Edwards in his room and asks about how to save Carol’s life. Edwards gets a sense that Beth might be trying to pull something, but he eventually tells her what to get (epinephrine) and wishes her luck with her mission.

Having gotten to the stream, they get their water, but Rosita rips a piece of her shirt off to create a filter to clear the water. She talks about her meeting with Abraham in Dallas and how he asked for her help and to join him in his travels. Glenn spots some ripples in the water and guesses that there are fish to catch.

In Atlanta, Noah fires off some shots while the police chase the direction of the noise. They catch him but are ambushed by Rick’s team. The one officer guesses that Rick used to be a cop, but then they are ambushed by another set of officers. Rick is able to take out one of the car’s tires before they turn the corner. The group chases after them and find the car broken down amongst a scattering of napalmed walkers. Daryl splits off to check a part of the area on his own and searches a trailer. Just after clearing it, he is ambushed by one of the officers and is pinned to the ground near two partially-melted walkers. Desperate to free himself, he is able to avoid getting bitten and rips a walker’s head off through the eyes to bludgeon the officer. Rick comes to his aid but looks ready to shoot the man in the head. Daryl uses reason to get Rick to stand down and let them take an extra prisoner. The captured officers attempt to plead for a different way, as they claim Rick’s plan as a poor choice. One of the officers takes Rick’s side of the plan but requests to take a more peaceful approach.

Glenn takes out a walker as his group continues to scavenge for more supplies. Glenn and Rosita take their makeshift net into the water and are successful at catching their fish. Tara calls over during her search of the bag she found, claiming to find something big.

Michonne goes to check on Gabriel, who still seems rattled by their situation. She tries to explain that they only do what they need to survive and save their humanity. She tries to comfort him, but he quietly says thank you and shuts the door. Taking the machete in hand, he continues to pry up floorboards, unbeknown to those outside.

Beth devises a plan with one of the wards and sneaks into the medicine cabinet to get the necessary drug. The ward plays the game long enough for Beth to calmly walk away from the scene. She preps the IV drip for Carol and begins to administer the medicine. Speaking to her softly, she tries to make contact with Carol just to give her a sense of hope.

Going through the officers’ supplies, Sasha has a moment of anger slip out again, forcing Tyreese to confront her again. She admits that she should have taken care of Bob, but Tyreese comforts her with the fact that he wanted to help her. Sasha and Tyreese return to the rest of their group with the supplies and to Rick making some decisions with one of the officers about how to confront Dawn. The officer finally introduces himself as Bob Madison. Sasha goes over to talk to Bob, who explains his story about how he ended up in his situation, having been saved from becoming on of the napalmed walkers. Sasha offers to take out the walker that used to be a friend of his.

Gabriel finishes with removing the floorboards and makes an escape out of the church. Just outside of the walls, he steps on a nail, pulls it out and hobbles into the woods. She hears some noises nearby, stops, and gets attacked by a walker. He is able to fight it off and toss it to the ground, but stops short of smashing its head with a rock when he sees the cross.

Maggie takes a sip of water and walks over to Abraham to try again to offer him water. She asks if he wanted her to shoot him, but he admits that he did not want to actually die. They hear noises and Maggie realizes that it is Eugene waking up. She runs over to help him while Abraham takes a sip of water finally. Glenn and the others start to make their way back to the fire engine, while he calmly says they will be okay.

Sasha takes Bob up to look out toward the body of his former friend. As she lines up the shot, she pulls away to check with him when Bob rushes her into the window. She falls to the floor and he runs off.

Reaction: As could be assumed from the episode number, this ended up being the setup for the midseason finale. The group is divided into four different locations and potentially have a chance to finally come back together, but there are some things that will need to happen first.

Gabriel continues to be a conflicted Christian, with the evidence of the horrors of this new world all around him and the inner need to maintain his peace and faith. Felling unable to even understand and comprehend Carl’s and Michonne’s attempts at consoling him, he felt his only chance was to get back outside of the church that has since been destroyed both physically and symbolically. While he has only been helpless so far on the show, Gabriel was confronted with a need to save his own life and was at least about to accomplish that task. Paralyzed by his faith, the cross around the walker’s neck prevented him from making the full leap to accepting his fate.

e1af8d14-e4a9-28a9-f13d-510f04a6d285_TWD_507_GP_0723_0114-1416608573Tyreese and Sasha had a few moments in this episode to try and confront his issues with Bob’s death. She continued to hold it all in and ignore any of Tyreese’s attempts at rationality. It took more excitement and fighting to cause them all to release some energy and anger before Tyreese was able to break through. While not necessarily free of the anguish, it appears that she finally did find a moment of release and can start to move on. It only she did not drop her guard so completely with Officer Bob at the end…

Abraham was working through his world breaking again, but his struggle was much more internal. Sasha was avoidant but choosing to join in on the mission, while Abraham tried to completely extract himself mentally from his group. Whether he felt something for what he did to Eugene is still unclear, but he was clearly struggling with Eugene telling him that the mission was for nothing.

Rick’s group made some progress to capture a couple of the officers, but there is still much to be done to save Beth and Carol. Dawn seemed to both defy Beth’s desire to save Carol and aid her in the process. There is a lot of uncertainty with who will actually make it out of Atlanta. There is a strong chance that someone will meet their end, but it could be a shocker to actually have everyone survive in one piece as well. Cannot wait for the midseason finale, but also wish the break was not so long before it started up again.

In Memoriam: nearly Daryl but actually just some walkers

b993a3f5-6a08-e1db-d959-833e213c42e9twd506gp07080209jpg-89c11c_640wFlashing back to when Carol left Rick in the neighborhood, she barely made it away from him before she broke down and cried. While a walker tried to break into the car, she just screamed at it and drove off. Finding a law office, she cautiously walked in and tried to lure any threats out with a little noise. She set up a space for herself to begin to live her life alone. In the distance, she saw the smoke (which happened during the fall of the prison). Pulling up to the wreckage to see the building on fire, she sat there stunned by the sight.

In the present, Daryl and Carol talk about his time alone with Beth and the car that drove off with her. They try to plan for what to do about getting Beth back while following another car. Going down I-85, they arrive back in Atlanta and find themselves stopping in a dark area. The car ahead stops and a man dressed as a cop emerges. They keep their distance, but a walker almost blows their cover. They take care of the walker and realize that they need to find cover for the night when the car will not start up again.

They sneak up to the law office where she once stayed during her exile. Hearing the moans of a herd of walkers growing in the distance, they quickly head inside and start searching the building. Daryl takes the keys off of a dead walker, while Carol leads them to a private office. They block the door and continue into the next room. Daryl realizes that Carol had lived in the place in the past and welcomes a chance to get some rest while she takes first watch. Before getting some sleep, they talk about attempting to start their lives over, but she admits that she no longer feels the hope of saving people. They both lay down on the bed for a moment before hearing some noise down the hall. Slowly making their way down, they come across walkers on the other side of a frosted-glass door. Daryl stops Carol from opening the door to deal with them and they head back to the room.

The next morning, she wakes up to see smoke outside of the window. She spots Daryl carrying a body over to a fire and dropping it in, signifying that he dealt with the two walkers while she slept.

1143143Carol gathers some supplies while Daryl devises a plan to try to spot their target. The streets of Atlanta are almost completely abandoned, except for the occasional group of walkers. Daryl spots a building with a bridge to serve as a good vantage point. He lights a pad of paper on fire and throws it to attract the walkers. Taking one out at the parking garage, they make their way to the top. Going inside the building, they find a group of walkers that had once been survivors living in camping gear. At the next door, they squeeze through while avoiding to break the chain holding it blocked. Entering a nice apartment, they see the destruction of the city out of the window. After a short conversation, Daryl spots a van in the distance. Squeezing back out of the door, they meet up with Noah at the wrong time. He confiscates their weapons and slashes open one of the tents. They take care of the walkers but lose Noah in the process. Carol starts to get down on herself for failing to survive the way she felt she needed to, but Daryl challenges her to rethink her current situation. She drops her bag, revealing that she kept the childhood trauma book from the law office apartment.

Back on the street, Daryl and Carol make their way to the van, finding it halfway off of the bridge. They climb into the back and start to search for clues about their targets, but a herd of walkers are sneaking closer. They try to fight them off, but they are overpowered and retreat into the van. Searching for an exit, Daryl sees their only way out is to make the van fall. Landing right-side up, they are just a little worse for wear, but deal with the onslaught of walkers falling on the hood. Able to walk away, Carol appears to be a little more hurt and requires help as they depart for their next goal…the hospital.

Stopping for a moment, Carol’s shoulder is definitely hurt but they choose to continue on for their observational mission. Daryl finds a walker with a machete and takes it. They find a spot to perch and watch the hospital across the way, while Carol recounts on her struggles and attempt at growth since the apocalypse. Daryl remains the optimist, but they get distracted by some noise down the hall. They notice a bolted walker that was attacked by a crossbow, leading Daryl right to Noah. A walker disrupts their approach, nearly getting Carol. Daryl chases down Noah, bodyslams him into a bookcase, and traps him underneath. Taking back their weapons, Daryl is ready to leave him to die to a walker trying to fight its way through a blocked doorway. Carol pleads with him to save the kid, which Daryl does only after letting him suffer for a few moments. Carol drags the body off of the bookcase and then lifts it to let Noah free. Noah starts to worry about getting found and mentions the hospital and knowing Beth. They try to get to safety, but Noah struggles to walk and lets Carol go ahead. She gets hit by the car searching for Noah and taken away on a stretcher. Daryl and Noah make their way out of the building and find a vehicle to escape the city.

the-walking-dead-season-4-daryl-carolReaction: A few flashbacks for Carol served as the backdrop for her progression to a hardened and nearly hopeless individual. The problem with her at the moment is that she fails to know what she believes about herself. Throughout the episode, she battles with Daryl’s optimism, while also keeping a book about dealing with abuse, hinting about her inability to fully move beyond her trauma with her ex-husband and the loss of Sophia and so many others. Though the book could also be her attempt at trying to help Daryl deal with his past. She acts tough in the right moments but turns somewhat listless in their moments of downtime. Daryl has given her something to hope for, but she seems to also be struggling to hang onto the idea of life after the apocalypse and after all that has happened.

Daryl has another simply badass-style episode, where he gets to kill a bunch of walkers and trick Noah into thinking that he would actually leave a person to die the way it appeared under the bookcase. The van falling off of the bridge was a nice touch to add to his devil-may-care moments. His story is now caught up to the moment a few episodes back when he appeared in the dark back at the church, now easily revealed to be Noah.

Noah’s inclusion in this episode was an interesting one, as he was actually a bit of a challenge for Daryl and Carol to deal with. Frightened after escaping from the hospital with Beth’s help, he felt like he needed to protect himself, even at the expense of these apparent calm but well-armed strangers. His bum leg was not going to let him get far, which happened to be the case when Daryl and Carol bumped into him closer to the hospital. He seems to be trying to be tougher than would be smart for him, as there was a chance that he was going to make a solo assault on the hospital to get Beth back. Daryl essentially stopped him but also gave him a chance to make a better decision to take on the hospital…Rick’s team.

There was a little less in the development department of this episode, since it was so focused on Daryl and Carol’s story, but it set up the events to lead to the mid-season finale.

In Memoriam: just some walkers

6a0515cb-7ce3-1446-3d49-53eb2710bdc6twd505gp06200079jpg-eb5f07_960wOut on the road in the bus, Abraham and his half of the group are chatting about his plans prior to the fall. Rosita and Tara joke about cutting the guys’ hair, while Maggie tries to stay optimistic about Rick’s half of the group catching up. Turning toward Eugene, he continues to try to stay confusing about his classified information while defending his hair style. Just after passing by a group of walkers, the bus falls out of control and crashes against a car, flipping onto its side. The pack of walkers begin to make their way toward the bus.

Abraham has a flashback, where he killed several men. When they finally come to, they check on everyone, but they are disoriented and are surrounded by walkers. They barge out of the back door and start to take down the walkers. Eugene slicks to the background but is given a knife by Tara and told to be brave. After a few moments, the walkers have been dispatched but Abraham worries about Eugene and any potential injuries. Abraham begins to bleed but claims the blood is from a past cut. Abraham demands that they continue onward, but there is hesitation from the rest of the group. Glenn checks on his mental state and agrees to continue to roll on. Eugene takes a moment to stare at and spit on the walker he helped kill before rejoining the group.

Back in his flashback, he is yelling for a woman named Ellen. He finds her with two children. Back to the present, they break into a building and start to set up camp for the night. Humming a song to himself, Abraham continues to set up their safety measures. The rest of the group sets a few fires in trash cans for light and warmth. Rosita works on Abraham’s hand just before he heads out for a security sweep. Glenn goes with him, as they start checking surrounding vehicles. Abraham thanks Glenn for his involvement and talks about how the remaining survivors are strong, leading to a game of either joining with the strong or defending against them. Glenn questions whether the world will change, but Abraham assures him that it will. He then heads inside to have sex with Rosita while Eugene watches from the shadows. Tara catches Eugene watching, where he feels he has to explain himself. Tara thanks him for saving her, but he admits that the bus crashed because of him. He explains that he put crushed glass into the fuel line, which must have torn through. Tara challenges him but agrees to keep it a secret for his sake. In another room, Maggie feels guilty for leaving the rest of the group. Glenn tries to console her with a little humor, but Maggie admits that she feels good just because they are actually starting to think about their future rather than their past.

047ce0fe-ce8d-07d6-0df2-2b779403815etwd505gp06260164jpg-eb5f08_960wIn another piece of flashback, Abraham is talking with Ellen, saying that he saved her and the children. They are all frightened of him and the fact that he is covered in blood. The next morning, Rosita checks Abraham’s wound and clears it. She suggests they stay for the day, but Abraham refuses to listen to her. Maggie and the rest walk in and say that they could stay for the day, but Rosita falls in line with Abraham’s gusto. He leads the group to a fire engine and starts to get them set up to leave. The ignition struggles to turn over but he gets it working. He only gets it moved forward a few yards before it fails, leaving a door open behind it. Walkers start to flood out of the building and overwhelm the group. Eugene grabs the fire hose and starts to power spray the walkers to the ground. They survive and Abraham heads up to the roof of the engine to clear the intake. Taking a moment to take it all in, he starts laughing while the others watch with confusion.

Another piece of the flashback appears, with Abraham waking up to Ellen and the kids having taken off while he slept. In the present, Abraham continues to work on the engine, which has stalled again outside of the town. Eugene is reading H.G. Wells when Maggie approaches him. She tries to have a conversation with him and let him know that she understands his mullet. She quotes a biblical story about Sampson and how it relates to his situation of standing out and being seen. Abraham gets the group moving forward when they come up to a large stretch of farms with zombie herds in the distance. The group wants to detour and find a way around, but he refuses to turn back and continues to fight for his goals. He grabs Eugene and starts to drag him. With everyone fighting, Eugene finally admits that he is not a scientist and leaves the group stunned in silence. He starts to speak up and admits that he is a good liar. He figured that Washington DC held the greatest chance for survival. Rosita reminds him that people died because of his lie. He starts to list the people he remembers and continues to admit his lie. Abraham looks up and takes three strong punches to Eugene’s face, sending Eugene to the ground and busting up his hand again. He begins to walk away and falls to his knees. Eugene lies on the ground unconscious. Falling back into a flashback, Abraham continues to look for Ellen and the kids. He rips off his dogtag and almost commits suicide. A frightened Eugene walks up with three walkers following him. Abraham dispatches the walkers and starts to walk away. Eugene yells to him that he has a secret mission and wants to go with him.

Reaction: The human danger of last episode has been replaced by the dangers of being back out in the wild again. The bus crash at the start of the story reopened the dangers of being within the open world. Even so, the true danger from this new world actually continues to be from within the living.

the-walking-dead-censored-111944Eugene’s lie was revealed, an element that people who read the comics knew about but were not sure when it would come out. Throughout the episode, he continued to put up a front and try to convince everyone that he was smarted than he looked and that a cure was out there. At the moment that the group turned on Abraham’s violent drive to push forward, he knew that he no longer could keep the secret and keep the group safe. He had let many people die in the past and likely had the guilt hanging over him. As a brief part of Abraham’s flashback, he was vital in helping Abraham still be alive at this point of their story. He was relatively physically helpless, but he knew that he could manipulate Abraham if he had something that made him too important to let die.

Abraham’s past was also revealed. It was violent and awful for so many reasons. He had to become brutal to save his wife and kids because the group he traveled with turned on his family and sexually assaulted them while he was out on a run. Scared by the violence, Ellen and their kids ran off while he slept and met their end at the hands of the walkers. Abraham discovered them and was more than ready to give up on life, as he thought he was the only one left alive. In the present, he was confronting these memories because of the conversation with Eugene and the others about haircuts and what he had planned to do before the fall. Eugene essentially saved him from shooting himself, but Eugene’s big reveal made him feel like it was all in vain. He is now left to try to make sense of their future and whether the trip to Washington still makes sense.

The group is at a crossroads. They had made some movement forward but the church is relatively far behind in their rearview mirror. They told the rest of Rick’s group that they would meet in Washington, but now there is no reason to continue forward. What to do next?

In Memoriam: many, many walkers (super-soaked or decimated); Abraham’s victim in the grocery store; Ellen and the kids

b5c54483-1419-81ab-fcf4-979f275f708atwd504gp06100054jpg-b21b6e_960wSlowly waking up to the sound of a ticking clock, Beth finds herself in a hospital room in a ravaged city. Seemingly locked in, her screams attract a doctor and an officer. Stephen Edwards and Dawn Learner introduce themselves and let her know that they found her on the side of the road. They bandaged up her fractured wrist and claim that she owes them since they saved her. She inquires about Daryl, but they claim she was alone (other than the nearby marauders). The doctor starts to escort Beth around the hospital. He shows her a patient that is not going to make it, claiming that Dawn calls the shots. They take the body down the hallway on the stretcher, but she wanders ahead for just a moment, noticing a man mopping the floor ahead of her. Peaking into a room, a woman slams the door on her. She starts to learn more about hospital and the inhabitants, including the disposal system for dead bodies (the elevator shaft).

While getting lunch, one of the officers that grabbed her starts to talk about his business with saving her. He introduces himself as Gorman. She takes her food away down the hall and overhears an argument between other inhabitants. Returning to Edwards, she tells him that he is lucky to feel bored. They discuss the arrangements of taking and owing, which turns into a opportunity for kindness between the two. They get interrupted when another man is brought into the hospital. Edwards initially plans on letting the man go, but he is forced into trying to save him by Officer Learner. He diagnoses the problem and is able to get him stable. Stephen and Dawn start to argue, which leads to her randomly slapping Beth and causing her to start to bleed again. Edwards cleans her up, leaves a new shirt, and tells her that Dawn expects cleanliness.

Suddenly, Dawn brings another patient in who has been bitten. Dawn forces Stephen to cut off her arm and Beth to hold the woman down. Stephen uses a wire to saw off the arms in gruesome fashion. Down the hall, Noah introduces himself and lets Beth know that he dropped off the lollipop. Beth tries to understand the inner workings of the group, learning that Dawn has become a bit of a dictator and controls everything that happens in the hospital.

Later on, Dawn offers Beth some food for her involvement earlier. She starts to claim that she is providing things for Beth that she could not get on her own. Explaining her angle, she believes that she is doing the right thing. She claims that everyone must give back what they take. Beth demands that she will leave when her debt is paid, but Dawn continues to put everything into perspective. Getting back to work, Beth goes back to cleaning up the mess around the amputation. The woman, Joan, wakes up and paints a picture for Beth that the condition of the group is not as together as it seems, but she refuses to go into detail regarding her plight.

827d089d-ec8c-942d-4b70-f599a2fedb92twd504gp06120184jpg-916fcc_960wOff on her own, Beth searches for the lollipop in her room. While missing from under her mattress, Officer Gorman walks in and starts to tease her with the lollipop, licking it and then forcing her to lick it as well. Stephen interrupts and gets into an quarrel with him. Beth questions Stephen’s decision to stay, but he refuses to answer initially. He takes her downstairs to look out the 1st floor window, revealing that the place is surrounded by walkers. He explained that Dawn originally took orders from a man named Hanson. They heard the aircraft flying overhead and realized that the city had been evacuated. They went on runs and tried to save people as much as possible. They found a kid who was burned and in serious condition. Stephen got Dawn to agree to set up the trade system for goods and services. He admits that Dawn kept them safe and alive. Stephen sends Beth down to check on a patient and then call it a day.

She preps the medicine and administers it to the patient. Noah stops by just when the medicine causes a seizure. They are confronted by Stephen and Dawn, but Noah takes the fall and gets beaten. Beth tries to explain the mistake, but Stephen claims that she got it wrong. Back in her room, Dawn confronts Beth and tells her that she is not strong enough to survive but feels compelled to explain her actions for the greater good. Dawn highlights Beth’s suicide attempt scars, trying to make her feel guilty for her actions. Later, Noah and Beth hatch a plan to steal Dawn’s key and make a run for it. In Dawn’s office, she discovers Joan dead on the floor but is also able to find the key. Just after finding it, Gorman walks in and confronts her. Beth tries to tell a story, but Gorman begins to attempt to seduce her molester her. Beth notices the body start to move, slams a glass over his head, and lets Gorman fall into the now-turned Joan on the floor.

Having gotten the key and getting away from the walker, she sends Dawn away toward the danger an makes her way out with Noah toward the elevator. He ties some bedsheets and towels around her and starts to lower her down the shaft. Beth drops the flashlight but makes it down to the landing. Noah throws the makeshift rope down and starts to climb down himself, but he gets grabbed by a walker and falls onto the pile of dead bodies. Beth jumps down and they start to make their way out. They get attacked and Beth is able to shot their way out. In the parking lot, they are surrounded by walkers. Slipping out of the gate, she starts to shoot them down as they run past. Dawn and her officers catch up to and restrain her, but Noah is able to get away.

Dawn starts to interrogate Beth, but Beth fires back with her own accusations of Dawn’s mishandling of their survival. Dawn smacks her hard and knocks her out. Later on, Stephen is checking in on Beth when she confronts her issue with the death of the other doctor. Stephen admits that he was vulnerable if he let the doctor live. He claims Gorman would have killed him. Beth starts to follow Stephen down the hall while another patient is coming in, finding out that it is Carol and she is unconscious.

Reaction: Beth’s story brought forth a new cast of characters. Stephen Edwards and Noah appear to be part of the good part of the world, while Dawn Learner seems to follow more of the semi-warped view that some previous leaders in the series have assumed. While I will get to the new people a little later, the focus of this episode was Beth. She has been missing since season 4, having been snatched up by a black car. While she was taken in a moment of weakness, she has a chance to prove her strength in an unfamiliar place with seemingly organized people. She is vulnerable for much of this story, as Dawn is a definite wild card and Stephen transitions from kind to shifty at the point that the patient dies from the medicine Beth administers. Noah gives her a chance to be brave and try to save them from their sense of a prison. She was almost successful but captured at the last moment. Beth is stronger than Dawn gave her credit for.

edwards-lerner-111286Dawn’s story seems to be similar to the start of the Governor. Having a sense of a plan, she took over for Hanson after his demise and set up a system of give and take, while she maintained the final say and veto power. The group seems to just follow her like ducklings because she gives them even a sense of order and calm. She truly believes that she is justified in her punishments and tough decisions. Whether it is slapping the heck out of the teenagers or forcing people into indentured servitude, Dawn is the dictator of the hospital.

Stephen is a bit of a character. While seemingly kind-hearted and medically knowledgeable, he is also quite insecure. When the other doctor is brought in and Dawn forces Stephen to try to save him, he gets nervous that he could get replaced. He tricks Beth to be responsible for the other doctor’s death and tries to hide his intentions (though everyone seems to know). In some ways, he has a slight feeling of something close to Father Gabriel, except that he is still willing to take actions into his own hands when he feels it necessary to save himself (while Gabriel has become paralyzed by his past decisions).

Noah is a kind young man who feels subject to this group’s pressures, but he actually still desires a chance to get free like Beth. He gave her a chance to be strong in his episode and will likely be vital to the reunion of Beth, Carol, and the rest of the Rick clan.

Carol appearing at the end of the episode and Noah getting away likely means that Daryl found Noah and will lead Rick and company back to Atlanta. Beth and Carol are now prisoners of the hospital and likely are not going to be freed without a certain amount of bloodshed. The story has broken back into a fractured set of experiences, but there is a sense of approximately when and how the group will reunite and head toward Washington DC. They have barely made it out of Atlanta before having to go back, which means that there are more resources they can use for their journey (mainly, cars). Abraham and his group are off having their own adventure right now, but it might lead to their losing their vehicle and needing to wait for Rick to save them. Whether Beth and Carol survive the hospital, only time will tell.

In Memoriam: Beth and Stephen’s first patient, Gorman, Joan, the other doctor