The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 14, “Spend”
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 9pm, AMC
This season of The Walking Dead has had its fair share of loss, especially with regards to Rick’s group. “Spend” takes that loss to a whole new level in what was the most gruesome and tragic death in the show’s history.
While the episode jumps around between several different groups, the main focus is on Glenn, Tara, Eugene and Noah as they go on a supply run with Aiden and Nicholas. Before they leave, we get a scene with Noah talking with Reg about wanting to become an architect so he can help design the walls or know how to make them stronger. Is this part of Rick’s plan to get more info about Alexandria, or is Noah looking for a way to make a life for himself outside of Rick’s group? Perhaps it’s purely because Noah saw what happened to the community he was living in and how easily it was overrun.
Before they leave, Deanna once again thanks Glenn for knocking Aiden on his ass a couple episodes back. This seems quite odd, unless she really wants to acknowledge to Glenn that he did a good thing by showing Aiden there is plenty of danger outside the walls, and things can go wrong very quickly. They take off, with Aiden blasting dubstep as the lyrics “You will all die” play. That’s not ominous at all.
While doing a perimeter check, Eugene gets called out by Tara for being a coward and not wanting to use guns or defend himself or others. Eugene has no qualms with this, telling her he knows who he is and that he’s convinced he’s the reason everyone made it to Washington D.C. in the first place. Everything is going smooth until Aiden shoots a walker that has grenades attached to it, causing an explosion. This knocks out Tara and seriously injures Aiden as he’s impaled on a piece of metal. We find out as Glenn and Nicholas try to get him free that the four people that went on supply runs before them died at the hands of Nicholas and Aiden. Nicholas bails and Glenn ultimately has to as well when the walkers close in. Aiden is torn to pieces by them. Glenn and Noah run after Nicholas, who tries to leave out the front door where a large group of walkers are. The three of them get pinned in the revolving door, Nicholas on one side and Noah and Glenn on the other. All seems hopeless when Eugene shows up in the van, blaring the music and getting the walker’s attention from one side. Realizing they all can’t escape at once, Glenn attempts to break the glass, which doesn’t work. Nicholas manages to squeeze the door open enough to escape, which causes Glenn and Noah to be exposed to the walkers inside. They grab Noah’s leg and start to pull him. As Glenn tries to keep him in, Noah tells him “Don’t let go” as the walkers pull him through before slamming him against the door and tearing him apart in the most horrific and graphic fashion. Glenn can’t help but sit there in shock, horror and sadness as he sees Noah killed. Glenn has never lost anyone on a supply run before and the sight of it just tears him up physically and emotionally. He ultimately catches up with Nicholas and knocks him out before he can take the van from Eugene.
Eugene finally grows a pair when he decides to take Tara while Glenn, Noah and Nicholas were attempting to save Aiden. He finally takes out his first two walkers too. It’s interesting to note that Eugene has this moment of glory and finally forces himself through a tough situation while Glenn is suffering one of his worst moments yet. It’s quite clear when Glenn gets to the van he wants to kill Nicholas, but at the same time he probably realizes that with Deanna’s son dead, he’ll need proof that he wasn’t murdered when they get back to Alexandria.
Speaking of Alexandria, plenty of stuff is going on there. Gabriel’s reaction at the beginning of the episode is a bit off-putting as he tears up his Bible before looking up to the heavens. It seems to be in response to the note left for him next to a bowl of strawberries, saying “Father, we are blessed to have you. – Rosemary”. Is this perhaps because Gabriel’s feeling guilty about what he did to his flock outside of Atlanta? That could be it, but as we find out later on, he seems more troubled by Rick’s group. Despite the fact that they saved him when they first met and he has plenty of blood on his hands, he goes to Deanna towards the end, telling her that Rick’s group is Satan disguised as an angel of light. Unbeknownst to him, Maggie hears all of this. This will certainly set the stage for an interesting confrontation later on, especially given Deanna’s concerns Maggie continuously suggests her people to take over positions of power in Alexandria, the most recent being Abraham leading the construction crew after he rescues a works from walkers while the rest were going to bail. As Maggie tells Deanna, “We’re better equipped to handle this”, and she’s not wrong. Most everyone in Alexandria has been used to living in such safe conditions, they wouldn’t know how to handle themselves outside the walls well. Deanna is beginning to realize there’s a double-edged sword situation of wanting Rick’s group because they are survivors, but then realizing they’re the ones able to lead and protect best because of the same reasons.
Finally, Rick and Carol have run-ins with members of Jessie’s family. Rick is approached by Peter, who tells Rick he saw everything at the party. Rick instantly suspects Peter saw him kiss Jessie, but he was referring to Rick drinking. Rick declines the beer invitation, but seems more suspicious of Peter now. While Rick is off investigating who smashed Jessie’s owl sculpture, Sam keeps bugging Carol to make him more cookies. Carol surprisingly is quite curt with Sam, telling him she won’t do it and basically tries to get rid of him. We know Carol is putting on the housewife act for people, but we’ve never seen her act like this towards kids before. Either her humanity is starting to fade, or she’s just genuinely annoyed with Sam. She eventually caves, but makes Sam steal chocolate from the supply room so she has something to hold over him in case he decides to talk about the guns she took. He eventually asks Carol if she can get him one, and when she asks why he needs one Sam responds it’s not for him. This causes Carol to go to Jessie’s house, where all the shades are drawn and Peter opens the door, visible drunk. He refuses to let Carol in or see Jessie or Sam. Having been a victim of domestic violence, Carol goes to Rick and tells her what she believes is going on. She then tells Rick his only option is to kill Peter.
Two episodes remain this season, and there seems to be a lot of issues coming to a boiling point very quickly. It will be interesting to see if Rick’s group has to take Alexandria by force, or if they can keep up the slow but steady pace of taking over various roles. Deanna seems quite disturbed by Gabriel’s announcement, but will she wait to play that card with Rick or show her hand outright? Stay tuned, and let me know what you thought about this episode in the comments below.
- The shot of the notebook Noah was filling out had his one and only entry: “This is the beginning.” Sadly, we’ll never get to see Noah fulfill any dreams he had. Does this also mean we’ll never find out who attacked the area he was living in before he got caught in Atlanta?
- I was very shocked at the level of gore that was shown in tonight’s episode, despite the TV-MA rating. It made me a bit queasy, and I love horror.
- Noah’s death makes Beth’s death pointless, which kind of pisses me off. I never expected Noah to survive forever, but for him to go out so quickly after Beth’s sacrifice for him seemed a bit cruel on the writer’s part.
- Considering Daryl doesn’t view the residents of Alexandria as a threat, is it possible he may turn his back on Rick if things go south? Would he protect the Alexandrian’s if necessary?
Despite jumping around quite a bit and not having as much focus, we are treated to another very solid episode this season. Rick’s group is slowly taking over all major functions of Alexandria. Will Aiden’s death and Gabriel’s warning push Deanna to force Rick’s group out, or will she wait to see how things play out?