Everybody really did hate Chris in the end. And Aiden. And possibly Tara. Pete and Gabriel may be next on the hate list, though. Let’s jump into “Spend.”
The episode begins with Gabriel entering Alexandria’s church, or what passes off as a church. As he flips through the Bible on the altar, he finds some strawberries nearby and a note attached. He checks around, and then begins ripping out the pages of the Holy Book.
As Daryl begins his new job as a recruiter with Aaron, Noah meets with Reg to talk about his place in the community. More to the point, Noah wants to learn how to build and make sure that the walls stay up. After all, there’s nothing keeping them from being knocked in. It also wouldn’t hurt to maybe add some new buildings. Seeing that Noah is in this for the long haul, Reg makes a note in his journal. He then has Noah do the same. After all, there’s going to be a lot to remember, so it’s best to record it all.
Aiden and Nicholas plan to lead Tara, Glenn, Noah, and Eugene to a facility to find some items necessary to help with the grid- a dozen, to be specific. Eugene intends to install the shit out of the grid. The travel van even has music. It can’t get any better than that. Oh, and Noah’s apparently been talking to some woman named Holly. Hmm.
Elsewhere, Constable Rick Grimes is on the scene as he investigates a recent tragedy that has struck the community: someone knocked over Jessie’s owl display, which has never happened before. Rick asks if Jessie either has any enemies or if someone out there just hates owls- both plausible scenarios. He offers to look into it and promises that there will be consequences. Rick refers to the Broken Window theory: if the windows are intact, society will be intact.
Back with the traveling group, they arrive at the facility and Aiden is ready to rush right in since he knows all of the exits. Glenn, however, advises that they should do a perimeter check since walkers can still pop out from anywhere. After some debate on it, Aiden takes Glenn’s suggestion and the groups fan out- even Eugene, who still would rather be anywhere else.
He tells Tara just as much when the two head inside. She tells him that, at some point, he’ll have to begin pulling his weight, but Eugene insists that he has. After all, he got them to D.C., but, of course, he did no such thing. True, he didn’t get them to the Safe Zone, but, in his defense, his very mission gave everyone the vision of a safe haven. Yes, Eugene is as big of a coward as Tara makes him out to be, and he has no problem admitting that.
Glenn and Noah continue down their route and come across a swarm of walkers on the other side of a fence. Looks like the perimeter check was a good idea after all.
As the group enters the facility, Glenn makes a noise in order to draw out some walkers. When nothing happens, everyone heads in, but stays on their guard, since the walkers could come from anywhere. They do hear the sound of walkers, but don’t see any, which Glenn figures must mean that they’re stuck behind a certain spot.
Tara and Eugene find some devices that will be needed for the grid, but the walkers soon burst forth and attack.
One walker in particular is actually wearing a uniform and a helmet. Against Glenn’s judgment, Aiden continues to shoot at the approaching walker. He manages to down it, but keeps on shooting, not noticing that it has explosives pinned to it. Eventually, the damned walker explodes. Okay, that was sort of funny and some Resident Evil 4 stuff right there.
Unfortunately, the explosion pinned Aiden to one of the walls as metal protrudes from his body. Believing Aiden to be dead, the others plan to make their escape, but Tara took a nasty hit and is now knocked out. Eugene hesitates to kill an approaching walker. Glenn tells everyone to get to the nearby office.
Carol Suzie Homemaker heads down the stairs and finds Harry Potter in the crawl space beneath the stairs-I mean, she finds Sam in the cupboard. Why? He wants more cookies. Plus, there’s no electricity in his house, but Carol doesn’t give a shit about any of Sam’s problems since she doesn’t consider them actual problems. Fair enough. Sam asks Carol to teach him how to bake cookies. That way, he wouldn’t have to bother her anymore and could do it himself. To do that, though, Sam will have to steal the chocolate from Olivia and bring her a chocolate bar.
Back at the facility, Tara’s head trauma has caused her to lose a lot of blood. However, the escape plan hits a snag when the others see that Aiden is still alive and now trapped. Eugene stays with Tara while Nicholas, Glenn, and Noah make their way to Aiden. Nicholas distracts the swarm by firing his flare gun.
So what’s Abraham’s job in Alexandria? He’s working at the construction site under Tobin, played by Jason Douglas. Things go well enough until walkers come out from the woods to play. The workers fire at the approaching roamers, but one bullet hits one of the bulldozer’s wires. This knocks over Francine, played by Dahlia Legault, and the others retreat. All except for Abraham. Sorry, but Francine falling over by accident is the second unintentionally funny moment in this episode for me.
The two manage to take out all of the walkers, with Abraham making effective use of a chain, but the rest of the workers don’t bother lending a hand. Not that they’d be effective, though.
Pete pays Rick a visit with some drinks, but Rick is still on duty, so no drinking for him. The two talk about their troubles, the owl statue, Rick losing his wife…yeah, Pete went there, but it doesn’t appear to be out of spite. He tells Rick that, even though his group can’t see it, the people of Alexandria have lost things and are now trying to hold onto others. All Pete wants to do is be friends with Rick.
This kind of situation can only end with brute force.
Back at the facility, Eugene carries Tara out of the office and fires at the approaching walkers. Tara’s ass gets a fair amount of screen time when Eugene carries her out. Just thought that was worth mentioning.
The others manage to pull some of the metal out of Aiden’s body, but they aren’t able to remove it all before the walkers get close. Realizing it’s a futile attempt to try and save him, Nicholas gives up the attempt. Glenn continues trying, but Aiden tells Glenn of the last supply group that died- Aiden and Nicholas abandoned them. Alas, with the walkers approaching, Glenn can do nothing to help Aiden. He, Nicholas, and Noah leave, while the walkers feast on Aiden.
Back at the construction site, Francine gives Tobin a good punch for abandoning her. He deserves much more than that, really, but Abraham uses this opportunity to take charge and gives orders to the rest of the crew. I mean, he’d have a better system that doesn’t involve leaving people to die.
Later, Tobin tells Deanna, Reg, and Maggie that Abraham should take over as leader of the construction crew. He sees great potential in him. After all, if everyone had followed Tobin’s orders, Francine would be dead. Though Deanna appears to be against the idea, she tells Tobin that she’ll talk to Abraham.
Deanna isn’t entirely pleased with this, as she’s putting yet another new person in a position of leadership in a short amount of time. The power dynamic is shifting, but as Maggie points out, these newcomers know what the hell they’re doing out there. After all, Deanna did say that she wanted a future for this community. Hell, that’s the whole reason that Daryl is out there scouting with Aaron right now. The new folks can help provide that.
Sam somehow managed to swipe chocolate. Against her own wishes, Carol agrees to teach him how to cook, but she won’t help him again. She’s also not in the mood for conversation, as Sam asks her questions like whether she was a good cook or if she liked doing it. Sam gets that he and Carol won’t be friends, but it doesn’t have to be quiet. Fair point. Carol concedes that cooking made her forget when she was angry.
When Sam gets angry, he breaks stuff. When Carol asks if Sam broke the owl statue, Sam fesses up to it, but then turns it back on her and asks why she stole the guns. She says that sometimes guns are necessary to protect yourself. Sam then tells Carol that he wants a gun but it’s not for him. When Carol asks for who, then, Sam flees.
At the facility, Nicholas got himself stuck in the revolving door while trying to escape. When Glenn and Noah also wind up in the door, Nicholas suggests shooting through the door, but only he has the ammunition. Glenn tries breaking the glass with the butt of his gun, but this almost allows the walkers to reach Nicholas.
Suddenly, Eugene arrives to the rescue with the van. The blaring music draws away some of the walkers, but not all of them. Nicholas tries to push through the doors so he can escape, but this also slowly provides an opening for the walkers to grab Glenn or Noah.
Nicholas escapes, but Noah is grabbed by the roamers. Still stuck in the revolving door, Glenn can only watch in horror and is unable to do anything as the walkers rip Noah to pieces.
Nicholas catches up to Eugene and wants to get the hell out, but Eugene won’t do so without the others. When Nicholas tries to take the van for himself, Glenn shows up and punches the shit out of him. Then he tells Eugene to help him into the back of the van. This is the third unintentionally funny moment for me, but then, I’m a sick bastard.
Carol shows up at Pete’s doorstep and asks if he’s doing okay. He is, but he won’t allow Carol to talk with Jessie. It’s not a good time.
Gabriel shows up to speak privately with Deanna. He has come bearing a message: Satan often disguises him as the Angel of Light. There is now a false light within Alexandria’s walls. Gabriel is grateful for this paradise, but it was wrong to let in Rick and the others. They’re not good people and can’t be trusted. More than that, they’ve done unspeakable things. Deanna counters that they did so to survive. That’s what makes them assets.
But Gabriel still contends that a day will come when the newcomers put their lives ahead of everyone else’s and destroy the community. So why tell this now? They don’t deserve paradise. Gabriel just hopes that he’s not too late.
Oh, and Maggie’s been listening. I sort of hope she gives Gabriel a swift ass-kicking. Hell, she already clashed with him once.
Carol reports to Rick about Jessie and Sam’s lives being in danger because of Pete. She sees this ending only one way: Rick has to kill Pete.
Taking it a bit extreme there, aren’t you Carol?
“Spend” was a fantastic episode that gave just enough time to its separate storylines when it mattered. It had a good amount of both conversation and action with the well-executed revolving door sequence, something we haven’t seen done on The Walking Dead yet. That entire scene was a good example of being confined with literally no way out.
In fact, let’s stick with the supply run group since we’re already here. First off, Tyler James Williams gave a great performance in his final moments. Noah’s death was one of the more recent gruesome deaths we’ve seen. Consider, Tyreese only took a bite, while Beth and Dawn got bullets through their heads.
Here, Glenn is forced to watch as Noah dies right before him. His death was painful to watch with the walkers ripping his face apart and making an absolute meal out of him. It looked like there could be a chance of Noah, Glenn, and Nicholas all getting out alive, but no. Someone had to go.
Both Williams and Steven Yeun were great here and you could see the shock in Glenn’s face as he was powerless to help Noah. Sure, Noah wasn’t with the group very long and there wasn’t much that made him stick out as a character, but, like Bob, he was optimistic about the future and saw Alexandria being something great.
Oh, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think of the ending theme to any episode of Everybody Hates Chris as Noah was ripped apart. The internet works fast.
It was a bit telling, but the opening scene with Reg kind of foreshadowed his death. Whenever we have an optimistic character on The Walking Dead, something bad may come their way, and that’s just what happened. I feel bad for Noah, though. He spent all this time trying to escape from Grady Memorial Hospital, finally got out with Beth’s help, watched Beth and Dawn die before his eyes, finds his family killed, reaches a safe haven, and is now dead. It’s unfortunate because his backstory did help flesh him out as a character. There was plenty of room to do more with him, but as of now, we’re short another character.
Two, in fact, with Aiden’s death. He was an asshole from the start, but at least he took Glenn’s advice on doing a perimeter check. He wasn’t the most careful with shooting the explosive walker and revealing that the last group died because he and Nicholas were cowards, but this adds to a growing problem that we’re seeing with the safe zone.
With a few exceptions like Francine, many of the people in Alexandria are cowards. They’ve become conditioned to safety and security, which is what made Sasha’s outburst last week all the more surprising to them and, quite frankly, necessary to snap them out of their complacency. I must wonder how they managed to go on as long as they did without the brute force that Rick’s group brings.
So it does make sense for them to end up taking key positions because, like Maggie says, they know what they’re doing. They aren’t doing it because they have plans to take over- well, Rick and Carol might- but because they know how to survive.
This is what makes Abraham such an ideal candidate to lead the construction crew. He seemed on edge for most of the episode, but once the workers abandoned Francine to the walkers, he got to take charge because he knows how to lead.
Another comic side-note, Francine looks to be taking the role of Holly from the comic, though Holly was also mentioned by name. Just something I noticed.
Eugene’s cowardice isn’t anything new, but I’m glad that he got to do something more when he took Tara out of the facility and later rescued the others. Hell, even if Eugene admits to being a coward, even he wouldn’t dare leave his friends behind. His trigger finger may not always be the best, but he at least tried. Now Tara’s fate is left up in the air but, like Noah, she’s not all that essential, I think, so if she died, no real loss.
Carol and Sam. I like this duo a lot and enjoyed enjoy how Carol was just not taking any of Sam’s shit this week. I honestly hope these two have more scenes together. He had seemingly innocent intentions, but she wouldn’t give him the time of day. She has good reason since she doesn’t want to blow her cover, though I’m glad she eventually had a conversation. Whether she was honest or just adding more layers to her cover story is another thing.
Her suggestion to Rick seemed a bit extreme and a bit fast, though. After all, Shane didn’t kill Ed after he witnessed him beating Carol, but Carol has pieced enough together to figure out what’s going on with Pete, Sam, and Jessie.
And Rick can already sense the tension going on home just based on his conversation with Pete. Of course, we already got that sense from his introduction, but Pete is now just asking for an ass-kicking.
As is Gabriel, who is showing his cowardice again by turning on Rick and the others. Yes, they’ve done horrible things to survive and aren’t really good people, but, as Deanna said, they’re survivors. Gabriel has known all of these things, but picked a strange moment to discuss the group with Deanna. Maggie listening in won’t help him, either. I don’t get why he’d do this, though. They saved his life and gave him added protection. He owes them a little bit since he’s yet to carry his own weight. This is just setting him up for a nasty confrontation with the others.
Actually, there’s a lot of bubbling tension in Alexandria. Deanna isn’t keen with so many new folks being in charge, Rick is preparing for the possibility of confronting Pete, Gabriel has gone turncoat, and now Alexandria as a whole must now contend with two deaths that have struck their community. Now we just wait for the fireworks.