Some of the most disturbing moments the Slabtown episode of The Walking Dead involved a woman named Joan that was kept against her will.
Joan got introduced in one of the most disgusting ways I’ve ever seen a character make their debut. She was wheeled into a hospital room, where her arm was amputated by Dr. Steven Edwards, with help from Officer Dawn Lerner and Beth Greene. Despite fighting and arguing the entire time, the procedure was done against her will.
Wherever Joan was, she didn’t want to go back. It sounds as though terrible things had been done to her or she was given a job that was very dangerous in exchange for her food and shelter.
"So Joan is a character that Dawn has a lot of compassion for and deeply cares about this young woman. But at the same time, she is a pawn. She is a part of the system, and I think you have to make that okay in order to continue trying to be the leader of all these people. I mean, it’s terrible. It really is about sacrifice, and I think she truly believed that what Joan was doing as a member of the community was Joan’s personal sacrifice that needed to be made for humanity to continue. So I don’t think it ever came from a place of hatred or evil. It came from a place of, well, this is what you have to do."
While Dawn may have been attempting to help Joan, it sure didn’t come across that way in the episode. In fact, even after the emergency amputation to remove her infected arm, Joan ended up taking her own life after writing a rather unflattering message to the rest of the world on the floor.
Why was Joan so upset? What was happening to her to force her to make the decision to end her own life? And who were the people that Joan said that Dawn couldn’t control?
The Slabtown episode of The Walking Dead seemed to ask more questions than it answered.
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