Well, we haven’t seen Beth for a while, so I suppose it’s only fair that we get a Beth-heavy episode in repayment.
The episode opens with her waking up in a sparse room at Grady Memorial Hospital, quickly getting up to look out over Atlanta, being confronted by a police officer and a doctor, who both look very well put together for everything that everyone ELSE we’ve seen has been through. They tell her that they found Beth at the side of the road, alone, and that, had they not brought her in, she’d be a “rotter” right now… So she “owes” them.
The doctor takes her on a little tour of the patients, flatlining a guy who he says has shown no sign of improvement. He flips off the man’s equipment and stabs him in the head once he’s flatlined, and she accompanies him to their body-disposal system, which looks like just dumping them down an elevator shaft.
Beth goes to get the doctor a meal, and is asked by a man if she remembers him. She says that she was fighting a walker and then everything went black. “One was high on your thighs but I got there first.” Ugh. Enter creepy officer Gorman.
The doctor’s office is peaceful if a little cluttered, and he’s living the good life eating guinea pig and listening to music and admiring a painting he saved from the garbage. Beth comments on the record, saying that she still sings…
Because of course she does.
Later, the pseudo-police bring in a man who has fallen from a balcony while fighting off a walker, and they force the doctor to work on him, despite his warnings that this guy isn’t going to make it and it would be a tremendous waste of resources. The woman who brought the patient in doesn’t take the news well, turning to slap Beth so hard that it reopens the stitches on her cheek.
Because the mark of a hero is always taking your anger out, physically, on a smaller person who is recovering from various injuries.
Gorman and the first cop we see (Dawn) drag in a woman (Joan) they’d earlier said was missing, holding her down as they saw her arm off because he’s been bit. They force Beth to help.
Beth goes to get new scrubs and meets Noah, who tells her that he’s pretty sure that there’s no getting out of this place. He’s planning to get out of there, though, and go back to his walled home in Richmond, especially after the people in the hospital left his father to die.
Beth tells Dawn that she’s not planning on staying long, and Dawn very sweetly informs her that things aren’t bad where they are. That they’re doing good. Dawn is dedicated to keeping things going, and that they’ll be rescued someday. But until then, “If we take, we give back; it’s only fair.”
Thank you, comrade Dawn.
As Joan recovers from her hasty amputation, Beth mops and hums a little tune. Joan speaks to her very cryptically, giving Beth more reason to worry about being where she is. Like she needed more reason.
Then, back in her room, she looks for the lollipop that Noah snuck her only to find that Gorman has stolen it. He sucks on it a bit before forcing Beth to do the same, but his creepster tendencies are interrupted by the doctor.
Gorman tries to intimidate him, but the doctor tells him that, someday, Gorman will need someone to help him once he gets sick or hurt or bit. Beth asks the doctor why he stays, and instead he takes her to the ground floor of the hospital, where walkers swarm on the other side of a gate. The doctor tells her that this is his reminder of why he stays whenever he thinks about leaving.
Then, on the roof, he tells her about when it started, how the had evacuated the hospital only for ever patient to be turned pretty readily. With pretty much only him and Dawn left, they had to get to a deal, wherein they’d use resources to help survivors recover, and the survivors would then work their debt off. Beth isn’t so convinced, but the doctor seems to really think that what they’ve got there, flawed as it may be, is still better than “out there.” He tells her to give a patient his medicine and call it a day…
But, when she does, the man has a seizure and dies. Dawn questions her about it, but Noah takes the fall, claiming to have unplugged the respirator while mopping. The doctor gave her the wrong drug name, and she tells him that, but he denies it pretty impassively, even as Dawn beats Noah in punishment. She also confronts Beth about it anyways, as she knew it was a lie. She tells Beth that everything is done or the greater good there. She says that Beth would either be dead or a burden outside of the hospital, citing her wrist scar as proof that Beth’s simply not meant for this world.
Later, tending to Noah’s black eye, she tells him that she wants to escape with him. She steals an ID badge from a filing cabinet and a key from a locked desk drawer, and comes across Joan’s body, looking like she’s taken her own life, just as Gorman comes in. He tries to force her into having sex with him, but Beth’s virtue is saved by walker Joan biting a chunk of his throat out.
Hooray..? I mean, yeah, hooray, but… Blech.
On her way out, Beth tells Dawn that Gorman was looking for her in her office. Dawn thanks her, and we hear the sounds of screaming and moaning as she and Noah make a break for it dow the elevator shaft. Armed with Groan’s gun, a flashlight, and having used seven round of ammo before they rush out into the daylight. As Noah struggles to keep up with her, limping along, she is left to fend off the walkers herself… Using what looks like way more bullets than she should still have…
Because a few of the cops from within the hospital have arrived outside, firing into the group, and tackle her to the ground as Noah squeezes through the fence. There’s a moment’s hesitation on his face, but she smiles as he hobbles away.
Dawn confronts her back inside, and Beth tells her that Groman attacked her, and Joan, and that Dawn herself has let it happen. Dawn tells her that she’s trying to keep her officers happy so that they do a good job. Beth tells her that nobody’s coming… And Dawn doesn’t take it well, walloping Beth in the face. As the doctor looks her over, Beth accuses him of purposefully telling her to give the man from earlier the wrong medicine. He knew the man was a doctor, even knew him professionally, and that would have jeopardized his position in the hospital, since he’s the only doctor and he’s got t pretty good in there.
Beth… Well, apparently she gives zero fucks anymore. because she’s got something sharp in her hand and murder in her eyes as she comes up to the doctor. He’s saved by the arrival of a new persona on a gurney… A familiar face…
Ah! Ah, no, not Carol! how did anyone even take her out? What, did they bazooka her int he face? Because we all know that nothing can actually kill Carol…
Well, I guess it’s going to turn out to be Noah that Daryl dragged into the church at the end of last week’s episode…
Or maybe Morgan!
Here’s hoping for a baller reveal and, if we get another Beth episode before that, that there’s at least one full-blown musical number, complete with back-up dancing walkers.
Until then, this actually wasn’t a bad episode, and I do appreciate that, while it almost seems like the producers don’t know what to do with Beth (and haven’t for, like, two seasons), that doesn’t mean that they’re just going to kill her off because it’s easier. The last moment, when she finally grows a pair of lady-balls, made me actually respect her character a little bit more. Like, “Oh, there’s a reason she’s still on this show. Good for her.”
But, until next week, when it looks like we’ll be catching up with Ford, his lady-friend, that girl whose name I keep forgetting, Dr. Mullet, and (panic!) Glenn and Maggie. Fingers crossed that Dr. Mullet isn’t too much longer for their world!