The “Slabtown” episode of The Walking Dead starts with Beth Greene opening her eyes. Beth is in a bed in a hospital room. She looks at a ticking clock, before getting up and looking out the window at the abandoned city below. Beth starts pounding on the door, yelling for someone to let her out of the room.
As she hears people approaching from outside, she pulls a needle from the IV in her arm and prepares to use it as a weapon. A male doctor and a female police officer enter the room. The doctor introduces himself as Dr. Steven Edwards, and he introduces the officer as Dawn Lerner. When Beth asks where she is at, Steven says Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.
Dawn explains that they found Beth on the side of the road surrounded by walkers. Beth asks if the man she was with is here now as well. Dawn tells Beth that she was alone. Dawn says if they hadn’t saved Beth that she would be one of them right now, so she owes them.
Steven takes Beth in to see a patient. Steven says the patient suffered cardiac arrest, and he hasn’t been improving. Steven turns off the life support. Beth is surprised and asks if that’s it. Steven says if patients don’t show any sign of improvement, then Dawn calls it. Steven stabs the dead patient in the head to keep him from turning into a walker.
Beth is wheeling the dead patient’s body down the hospital hallway with Steven. Steven stops and talks with Dawn and another officer. Beth keeps on walking and stares at someone cleaning up. Beth also spies a woman in one of the hospital rooms, but the woman shuts the door.
Beth returns back to Steven, and Dawn tells them to go on that the body’s getting cold. Beth and Steven continue to wheel the patient’s body, and Dawn unlocks a door for them to get to the elevator. Beth asks Steven how many people live there, and Steven says just enough to keep things going. Beth asks if they can bury the dead patient, but Steven says they only go out when they need to. Steven dumps the body down an open elevator shaft.
Beth is getting food at the hospital cafeteria. An officer tells Beth that she’s looking better and introduces himself as one of the ones that found her. The officer says that he’s Gorman, and he tells her that when someone does her a favor it’s courtesy to show some appreciation. Beth ignores Gorman and continues to put food on her tray. Gorman says, “Unless you want me to write down everything you’re taking. Everything costs something, right?”
Beth glares at Gorman, and she walks away with the food tray. As Beth walks down the hallway, she passes Dawn giving laundry orders to someone. Beth delivers the tray of food to Steven in his office. Steven is listening to a record and he explains it’s one of the few perks he gets for being the only doctor there. Beth says that and whatever the food is, and Steven replies that it’s guinea pig. Steven asks Beth where her food is, and Beth says the more she takes the more she owes. Steven tells Beth to sit down and gives her part of his food.
Beth looks at a painting in Steven’s office. Steven says it’s a Caravaggio and that he found it out on the streets like trash. Steven says it doesn’t have a place anymore, because art isn’t about survival. Beth says that she still sings.
Dawn and another officer are wheeling in someone else they found. Dawn says they found his ID and his name is Gavin Trevitt and he fell from a first floor apartment trying to get away from some walkers. Steven says that he’s losing blood, and he doesn’t think he can save him. Steven says this one is a loser, and they shouldn’t waste the resources. Dawn tells Steven that today she wants him to try. Steven says Trevitt has a punctured lung, and he asks Beth for a hollow needle. Steven stabs the patient in the chest and blood spurts out of his lung, but the patient seems to stabilize. Dawn asks if the patient is going to make it, but Steven says it was a waste of resources. Dawn suddenly slaps Beth in the face. Dawn says, “See, try to grasp the stakes here.”
Later that day, Beth asks Steven if Dawn is always like that, and Steven says only on her bad days, which is the only kind that she has. Steven tells Beth that Noah left her a new shirt. After Steven leaves, Beth reaches into the shirt to find a green lollipop.
Dawn and Gorman bring in a woman named Joan who has been bitten. Dawn tells Joan, you’ve got two choices either we cut off your arm or you do. Joan yells at Gorman, and Gorman goes around like he is going to attack her, but Dawn tells Gorman to get out. Beth starts to walk out, but Dawn says they need Beth to hold Joan down. Joan yells that she’s not going back to him, and Dawn says that she doesn’t have to. Joan says that Dawn can’t control them, and Dawn responds that she will. As Beth and Dawn hold Joan down, Steven cuts Joan’s arm off above the bite mark.
Beth walks in on a man doing ironing. The man introduces himself as Noah and says he sent her the lollipop. Beth thanks him for the lollipop. Beth asks Noah if he knows what happened with Joan, that couldn’t she have just stayed and worked awhile and left. Noah says that it doesn’t work like that. Noah reveals that he’s been there for about a year. Noah shows Beth his injured leg. Noah says that he and his dad were both messed up when they found them, and they told them that they could only save one. Noah says that they really didn’t save his dad because he was bigger and stronger and could have fought back. Noah says that he’s out of there when the time is right. He tells Beth that he’s from Richmond, Virginia, where they had walls.
Beth is working, and Dawn brings her a tray of food. Beth says that she doesn’t need much, because she’s not staying any longer than they make her. Dawn says that she shouldn’t see this as a sentence, because she’s giving her food, clothing, and protection. Dawn says that if we take we give back, it’s only fair. Dawn tells Beth to keep working off what she owes and she’ll be out of there in no time. Dawn say she knows that Beth didn’t ask for this, but she didn’t either. Beth starts eating.
Beth is mopping blood off the floor of Joan’s room, and she’s humming. Joan wakes up and tells Beth that’s really nice. Beth offers to go get the doctor, but Joan says to wait. Joan tells Beth that Dawn can control them, but she doesn’t because it’s easier. Beth asks what Gorman did to her, but Joan says it doesn’t matter, that it’s easy to make a deal with the devil when you’re not the one paying the price.
Beth is washing up. Then, she starts looking for something under her bed. Gorman walks in and asks Beth if she lost something. Gorman pulls out the green lollipop and starts sucking on it. Gorman say she can have a taste, but Beth refuses. Gorman keeps insisting, and Beth reluctantly sucks on the lollipop. Steven comes in and tells Gorman to leave Beth alone. Gorman says the girl should have been his. Steven says no one is his, and he’s not getting Joan back. Gorman says he’s getting Joan back and Dawn isn’t going to stop him. Steven says he will stop him. Steven asks Gorman what happens when he gets sick, but Gorman says he thinks there’s going to be somebody, who’s not him.
Beth asks Steven why he stays there when he could leave whenever he wanted. Steven takes Beth to the ground floor. Steven rattles a bar across the windows, which attracts a bunch of walkers from the outside. Beth asks why he brought her here, and Steven says that she asked why he stayed.
Steven takes Beth to the roof. Steven says that when everything happened that Dawn reported to a guy named Hansen. They had orders to clear the hospital and move everyone to Butler Park. After the city fell, they kept mostly to themselves until the food ran out. They would go on food runs and found people who needed help. Dawn initially said that they couldn’t spare the resources, but Steven struck a deal with her. Steven would do his best to heal people hurting, and they would then compensate them for their resources. Steven says Hansen cracked and made some calls that got people killed, but Dawn took care of him and kept them alive. Steven says as bad as it gets, it’s still better than down there. Steven asks Beth to look in on Trevitt and give him 75 milligrams of Clozapine.
Beth is grinding up Clozapine to make a shot, which she injects in a Trevitt’s arm. Noah comes in and says, “Still at it, huh?” Trevitt starts convulsing and the life support machine start to go off. Trevitt is dead, and Dawn stabs him in the head. Dawn looks at Beth and demands to know what she did to him. Beth says she doesn’t know. Noah says that he tripped over the ventilator while he was mopping and must have unplugged it. Dawn tells Gorman to take Noah to her office.
Beth tells Steven that’s not what happened that he just started seizing. Steven asks if Beth gave her a certain drug, but Beth says no that she gave him Clozapine. Steven says that he didn’t say Clozapine. Beth hears Noah being beaten, but Steven stops Beth from going to help.
Dawn goes and tells Beth that she knows that Noah was lying. Beth asks Dawn why she punished Noah if she knew he didn’t do it, and Dawn says that she didn’t want to that she had to. Dawn says a good man’s mistakes almost killed them, and she’s not going to let that happen again. Dawn tells Beth that every sacrifice has to be for the greater good. Dawn says that Beth isn’t strong, but Beth says that she is. Dawn says after they get rescued, they are going to help put the world back together. Dawn pulls up Beth’s arm and says she saw the slash marks on her wrist the night she came in. Dawn tells Beth that some people just aren’t meant for this life, which is ok, as long as they don’t take advantage of the ones that are.
Beth is talking to Noah. Noah is all beat up, and Noah says that it’s not as bad as it looks. Noah says that Dawn needed Trevett for something and that’s why she’s upset. Beth says that she’s going to make a run for it with Noah. Noah says Dawn keeps a spare key to the elevator hallway somewhere in her office, and he says he’ll keep Dawn distracted if she’ll go find it.
While Noah is helping Dawn clean up, Beth searches Dawn’s office. Beth finds an ID card, which she stares at for awhile. But then she notices a puddle of blood on the floor. It’s Joan, who has opened her wound and bled to death. Beth pries open a drawer and finds Dawn’s key.
Then, Gorman suddenly opens the door. Beth says that Dawn was asking for her key, but Gorman says that he was just with Dawn. Gorman says that maybe Dawn doesn’t have to know that maybe there’s another solution. He starts sniffing Beth, and Beth notices Joan’s body starting to turn. Beth agrees to work something out with Gorman, and Gorman starts to put his hand up Beth’s shirt.
Beth hits Gorman over the head with a jar of lollipops from Dawn’s desk. Gorman falls to the ground, and Joan comes back as a walker and bites him. Beth is walking down the hallway and she runs into Dawn and Noah. Beth tells Dawn that Joan is looking for her, that she saw her and Gorman headed toward her office.
As Dawn heads to her office, Noah goes with Beth down the hallway to the elevator shaft. As they hear screams in the background, Noah ties a rope made of towels around Beth and lowers her down the elevator shaft. After Beth reaches a ledge near the bottom, Noah then starts to climbs down the shaft himself. As he’s going down, a walker arm reaches out and grabs at him. Noah slips and falls on the bodies at the bottom of the shaft. Beth jumps the rest of the way down to help Noah.
As they make their way out of the tunnel, walkers come after them, but Beth has a gun that she likely took from Gorman. Beth shoots some walkers that are in their way. After they are outside, Noah is hobbling, but there are walkers all around them. Beth continues to fire and shoot the walkers, but there are too many. Noah runs past the walkers and gets outside the gate. Some officers from inside show up and start shooting the walkers. Noah gets away, but the officers take Beth.
Dawn asks Beth who she thinks she is. Beth says that Gorman attacked her just like he attacked Joan. Beth tells Dawn that no one is coming and that they are all going to die.
Dawn hits Beth and knocks her out. When Beth wakes up, Steven looks at Beth and tells her that she’s doing better. Beth asks Steven how he knew Trevitt was a doctor (which Beth likely figured out from the ID she found in Dawn's office). Beth says that’s why Steven had him give Trevitt the wrong meds. Steven says that he knew Trevitt from before and knew he was an oncologist. Steven says if they had another doctor, then Dawn would have kicked him out, maybe even killed him. Steven gives the example that Peter denied being one of Christ’s disciples, because they would have crucified him to.
Beth walks down the hall with sharp scissors in her hand, heading toward Steven. Then, she sees several officers wheeling someone in. Beth looks down and is shocked to see a battered and bruised Carol on the gurney.