‘The Walking Dead’ Recap: Season 5, Episode 4

The mystery of Beth Greene’s disappearance has been resolved. The mystery of Carol's fate remains aloof.

This week’s episode of “The Walking Dead,” leaves viewers almost exactly where they were one week ago: more cryptic clues with regard to Carol.

Daryl Dixon emerged from the woods.

Previously, Daryl Dixon emerged from the woods. He left with Carol. It isn’t clear whether he returned with her. Tonight, Carol appears at the very end, unconscious and being wheeled on a gurney through Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

Dr. Steven Edwards

The hospital is being run by a skeleton staff, so to speak; a group of wards, local police, and one physician, Dr. Steven Edwards. Dawn Lerner, a bad-mood, tightly wound cop, runs the whole place, in a manner reminiscent of the Governor.

We’re given a glimpse of a society in microcosm, and the way its leadership has reacted to the end of the world. Dawn means well, but she’s dangerously temperamental. Worse, she’s turned a blind eye to the horrible things that some of her male officers have done (chief among them one particularly awful cop named Gorman) in order to serve the “greater good.” Convinced they’ll be rescued and help rebuild the world, Dawn has basically given women over to be used by Gorman et alia to keep the cops happy and productive.

Like Woodbury in previous episodes, people stay at Grady Hospital because despite the horrors inside the walls, the horrors outside the walls – an Atlanta that belongs completely to the dead – are worse.

Dawn’s managed to keep the hospital afloat, clinging to an innate belief that a rescue team will arrive, the world will be put back, and the nightmare will end. She rules single-handedly; she decides which patients are worth expending resources on to save, and which aren't.

On one hand Grady is run in an egalitarian way in a sense --you take something, you give something back-- and Dawn passionately believes this is all being done for the “greater good,” to keep things going until the world gets put back together (she doesn’t even know about Dr. Eugene Porter).  But scratch the surface and Grady is run oligarchically: this form of barter is really a form of servitude. It constantly favors the house, such that no ward can “earn” their way out.

Dr. Edwards stands uneasily outside this pecking order.

Dr. Edwards stands uneasily outside this pecking order. He clashes with the psychotic Gorman, but Edwards is untouchable – unless perhaps another doctor were to show up. Befitting his position, the doctor has his own little office, messy and unkempt, in stark contrast to everything else. He listens to Junior Kimbrough albums and eats guinea pig. He also has a large painting on an easel, which he says he found lying outside the “High” – Atlanta’s High Museum (the painting is The Denial of St. Peter by the Italian Baroque artist Caravaggio. How it got outside the High is a mystery, since it currently resides in the permanent collection of the Met in New York. There is a Denial of St. Peter in the High’s collection, but it’s by the French Baroque painter Nicolas Tournier.)

Things get bad. Gorman makes an odious attempt to subjugate Beth, Edwards shows a bit of a spine, Beth and the doctor bond, he tells her all about what happened in Grady when Atlanta got napalmed during "the Fall".

Beth and Noah make their escape down that elevator shaft, climbing down on a long rope of tied-together bed sheets. Noah falls and hurts his leg, but can still walk. The bottom of the shaft is a horror scene: a thick pile of chewed up bodies. They get out into the yard, drawing a swarm of the undead. Noah makes it out, Beth is blocked by walkers, but several of the cops emerge and “save” her. As they hold her down and handcuff her, she smiles at the thought that at least Noah escapes.

She gets a beating for her efforts. Later, she’s in Edwards’ office, and now she confronts the doctor. Why’d he tell her to give Trevitt clozapine, she asks, but she already knows the answer. Edwards knew Trevitt before the Turn, knew he was a doctor at Saint Ignatius. That was why Dawn wanted the man saved. But another doctor would’ve threatened Edwards’ protected status. So he had Beth “inadvertently” kill the man. He stares at the Caravaggio painting, talks about the denial of St. Peter. The saint had no choice but to deny his savior. They would have crucified him. -- WSJ

Toward the end of the episode a gurney comes in carrying Carol --  unconscious  though seemingly alive -- into a room for, presumably, treatment.

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