AMC’s The Walking Dead is back for season 5, and the young season has been strong up to this point, building on the momentum of the final half of season 4. Last night’s episode, “Slabtown,” while not terrible, is the weakest link of the season thus far, which is too bad, because there’s some interesting stuff going on story wise (read my thoughts HERE if you’re so inclined). Hopefully this was just a momentary hiccup, and the show will return to its new form next week. To tease that, the network released a peek at the next installment, “Self Help,” as well as some behind the scenes look at “Slabtown.”
At the moment it looks like season 5 of The Walking Dead is going to pull a similar trick to what they did with the second half of season 4, and split the core group up into smaller factions and focus on one of them each episode. I’m totally on board with that, this strategy provides the opportunity to tell smaller, more in depth story, and allows for more character development.
“Slabtown” is Beth’s (Emily Kinney) story, and from the look of the preview, “Self Help” is going to follow the group that consists of Abraham (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita (Christian Serrators), Eugene (Josh McDermitt), Glenn (Steven Yeun), and Maggie (Lauren Cohan). At the end of “Four Walls and a Roof,” this group splintered off, heading to Washington DC, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they do in this episode. So far, the newer additions haven’t had much work, and this will give the writers and producers the chance to dig into these characters. At the same time, stuck in the bigger group, Maggie and Glenn have felt shortchanged this season. This episode looks to isolate these individuals and give them the space to breathe, which is a welcome development. Also, you learn why Eugene rocks that mullet like he does.
This first video delves into “Slabtown,” which, for those of you keeping track, is the first time we see Beth since she disappeared while on the road with Daryl (Norman Reedus). The episode offers a look at how other people, besides the core group, have managed to survive the zombie apocalypse, and these interviews dissect the episode and the things you encounter.
Video number two explores how the production went about staging one of the most memorable scenes in “Slabtown,” the elevator shaft escape. If you’ve watched the episode, you know what I’m talking about. If not, you may want to check it out, it involves a rotting body pile, which, depending on your point of view, is either a selling point or a reason to stay away.
In “Slabtown,” Beth wakes up in a fortified hospital, but as with everything in The Walking Dead universe, it’s not as simple as it seems on the surface. A sinister undercurrent runs beneath everything, and this scene is a perfect illustration of just what the hell is wrong with this place and some of the people there.