This weeks episode of The Walking Dead saw a change in setting, and an introduction for a new set of characters (not forgetting that Beth is now back in the fold). This is an interesting change-up for the series, and holds some important questions for fans of this consistently enthralling show. Beth has so far been a character who is yet to have her moment in the spotlight, her most interesting juncture so far is her burgeoning relationship with Daryl, something that became one of the most intriguing elements of the second half of season four. If we cast our minds back to season two, we can remember the way Beth once was, and how far her character has come – not only has she hardened but become much more likeable, and someone who everyone is rooting for. Emily Kinney brings a naivety and youthful realism to Beth, which is refreshing in a show which often focuses on a bunch of hard-asses (maybe it’s because I envision myself in her shoes, and that’s a powerful tool to use with those watching).
Slabtown, this weeks offering, welcomes back season ones setting of Atlanta, the built-up city now left to rot, is over-grown, grey and desolate – and looks just how a post-apocalyptic piece of entertainment should. The locale of the hospital is a well-judged juxtaposition, in the sense that the vicinity looks normal, and the characters are walking around in scrubs and police uniform (new personalities such as Dawn believe they are trying to re-build the broken world they have found themselves in), but the people wearing these are miles away from law-abiding or innocent. Violence against humans is heavily featured in Slabtown and despite being a now running theme, still holds shocks (WD is wonderful for its ability to never feel repetitive). While Rick and the crew are certainly missed in episodes they don’t feature, the arrival of a new group of survivors is enough to keep us on our toes, and eager for the time the two may come to a head.
The final scenes lent to some of the most tense, and nail-biting moments we’ve seen so far in season five, and comfortably placed Beth in the hearts of those watching. The arrival of Carol at the hospital was enough to keep us wishing episode five would come sooner, and enough to have our brains a whirl at whats in store for all involved. Full of enigma, and always surprisingly real, mine, and I’m sure your, allegiance to The Walking Dead never wains. Consistently riveting, and genuinely one of the best television dramas to come out of recent years, nothing but praise can be written for this wonderfully original show.