April 5, 2020

The Walking Dead – Spend (S05E14)

The Walking Dead.I’ll just come right out and say it: WHAT THE FECKIN’ SHITE??!!

If you can’t tell, I’m getting pretty frustrated with this show. Where the hell is the silver lining in all this chaos? Let’s dive in…

Note: I’m pissed, so you bet your ass there are spoilers throughout this review. You may want to stop here and return after watching the episode.

If you’re a minority, you better watch your ass because you aren’t gonna make it to the finale. Or at least that’s how I’m seeing things. First Bob, then Tyreese, and now Noah? NOT feeling it, not feeling it one little bit.

The 14th episode in season five (“Spend”) of AMC’s The Walking Dead was really about Noah and Glenn, with Eugene thrown in for some good measure. Yes, other characters were highlighted, but I’ll get to them later.

I was annoyed from the get-go that Glenn (a smart, cunning, and resourceful guy) would agree to go back out with Aiden and his lackey, Nicholas, in the first place. But the power grid has issues, so I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt that they thought they had good reason. Because specific equipment is needed, Noah and Aiden convince Eugene that he needs to go. Tara assures him that not only WILL he go, but he owes it to all of them to step up and go out. He needs to earn his place. Now, I think Eugene genuinely likes Tara, so for her, I knew he’d try his best.

The six of them head out to some sort of warehouse. Glenn, being Glenn, recommends they canvas the outside of the building before going in. Sure enough, the front of the warehouse is swarming with walkers. So they head in through the back.They come across a flimsy fence holding the walkers inside the building at bay. Right away you know this is going to get ugly, but just how ugly? I had no idea.

The Walking Dead.This being The Walking Dead, I should of had a clue as to what was going to go down in one of the earlier scenes. Noah asks to meet with Queen Bee’s husband, Reg. Seems Noah wants to learn about architecture and how to properly build and reinforce things. He’s in it for the long haul. Reg recognizing Noah’s heart, agrees, and gives him a notebook to write down what he sees, hears, and feels (my words). This being the crap fest (Yes, I said it!) that The Walking Dead has become, I should have seen where we were heading, but instead I watched in blissful ignorance.

Back at the warehouse, a walker gets loose. I couldn’t see exactly what this walker was – SWAT, Military, whatever! Either way, it had a grenade on it. Aiden, being the genius that he is, kept shooting (despite Glenn warning him to stop), and sure enough…

BOOM!

We start to take in the post-explosion scene. Aiden is impaled on rebar – just hanging there. OUCH! Tara is seriously injured – not quite sure how bad. Everyone else is ok, but they are separated by stacks of boxes.

The Walking Dead.It’s here we see Eugene falter. Now, I’m going to go on record and say that I could give two shits that Eugene is a self-professed coward. Being brave doesn’t mean you aren’t scared (Sasha, take note!). Being brave, in my book, is doing what needs to be done despite your fear. Eugene valiantly tries to protect a knocked-out Tara. He stands over her and aims his gun, but his hands are shaking so badly, he can’t get a clear shot. When a walker jumps on him, Glenn is able to get through the maze of cardboard, and he and Noah take care of the walkers.

Now, Nicholas says Aiden is dead, so the rest of them (along with a still unconscious Tara) go into an office to try and figure out where to go from here. A few seconds later, they hear Aiden screaming for help. And this is where we realize what a tool Nicholas is – HE is the coward here, not Eugene.

“Go, help him. She would want you too,” Eugene tells the other three (Glenn, Noah, and Nicholas).

And he’s right. Tara, with her big heart and her loyalty, would die trying to help someone, so the three men go out there, after Eugene promises he will protect Tara. And damn it, I KNEW he would too.

Glenn and Nicholas try to help Aiden, though it’s obvious he’s a goner, while Noah tries his best to hold off the walkers. When Noah tells them to hurry, Nicholas basically says see ya and gets out of there. Before Aiden meets his death (and what a gruesome death it was), he confesses to Glenn that they didn’t just lose friends in the early days – he and Nicholas left them. They ran. When Glenn realizes they can’t help him, he and Noah make a run for it.

While this was going down, we see Eugene peek out of the office. A few seconds later, with Tara over his shoulder, he sets out. He has some trouble, but he does take down a walker. And then another. And he makes it out. I’m not sure why, but not for one minute did I think Eugene would leave the others there.

Nicholas is running away, with Glenn and Noah not far behind. And here we have the revolving door. Nicholas makes it through, and ends up outside, but he runs into a horde of walkers who try to nibble on him. He drops his gun, and backs into the revolving door to escape. At the same time, Glenn and Noah fight off walkers inside the building, but run short on bullets. And here’s where we just have to say it… STUPID, STUPID, STUPID! I don’t buy that Glenn would run right into this very obvious trap, but I’ll let him slide since Noah does sort of drag him into it. Yeah. You guessed it. They end up in the revolving door too. Nicholas is in one section, Glenn and Noah in another. By working together they are able to keep the walkers out, effectively trapping themselves in the door. What a tense scene!

But here comes Eugene! Blasting the horrible music Aiden liked, yelling for the walkers to come get him… and a few do – enough that Glenn devises a plan. He is going to break the glass so they can get out of the section with the fewest walkers and grab a gun that still had bullets (Yeah, the one Nicholas dropped on the ground.). Then they could all run for the van.

But Nicholas isn’t having it, he is intent on saving himself, and once he gets a foot out, it becomes a matter of who is going to die.

I have to say, I didn’t see this one coming. Nicholas gets out, and without his “help” on the other side of the door, Glenn and Noah can’t hold off the walkers. A few reach in and grab Noah’s leg. Glenn is holding tight, and for a moment Noah’s face looks terrified.

“Don’t let go!” he demands.

“No, don’t let go!” At this point, I’m yelling at the TV, as are my two boys.

The Walking Dead.Glenn can’t hold him, and we lose Noah, but not before Glenn is forced to watch his friend literally be ripped apart. I get the need to show us these things sometimes. We need to understand the stakes, but this death was hard. Noah was a wonderful character. He was seeking redemption for the death of Beth and Tyreese. And I thought he would get the chance to earn it. The Husband admitted he wasn’t really invested in Noah as a character, but there was a sweetness to him, an earnestness – and I adored him.

Meanwhile, the pile of shit that is Nicholas finds Eugene, and Eugene literally smells the cowardice rolling off the P.O.S. He stops the van and takes OUT the keys, so there is no chance Nicholas is going to leave. Nicholas tells Eugene he will stay here and die with his friends if they don’t leave, and Eugene bravely stands his ground. Nicholas throws him to the ground, but Glenn charges up and knocks Nicholas flat. Yet our kind Survivor refuses to leave the P.O.S. behind, even though he deserves no less.

While all of that was going on, back at the compound (or rather outside the compound), Abraham has to take charge when the foreman of the construction crew proves to be yet another coward. The crew is gathering materials to expand the walls, when Eugene literally seems to sense walkers in the area. Sure enough, here they come. One of the crew members is in the scoop of some bulldozer. When someone hits something with a bullet, she falls and hurts her leg. Apparently par for course is to leave her there, but Eugene isn’t having it. He runs to her, gets her in the safety of a construction machine, and the two of them fight off the walkers. Seeing his bravery, the other crew members realize THIS is someone they should follow, and they help him. But it’s what Abraham does next that shows how truly awesome the guy is. He tells everyone there are still a few hours of daylight left, so get to work. He didn’t even ask to take over as foreman. He just said how things are gonna go down!

The original foreman realizes his limitations and does go to Deanna. He tells her that Abraham should be the one to lead. Deanna recognizes a trend and mentions that another one of Rick’s group is getting a position of power.

Maggie wisely points out, “Duh! Isn’t that why you brought us here? We know our armpits from our assholes!” Okay, that isn’t what she said, but that’s what she meant!

But it’s the next scene that pissed me off almost as much as Noah’s death. Gabriel (that demented piece of crap that they saved earlier on) shows up at Deanna’s door. Now, the first scenes in the episode show him going into a church. There is a small note welcoming him, yet his response is to destroy a Bible. At the end of the episode, he comes to Deanna proclaiming that Satan is among them. He tells her that Rick and his group have done horrible things. Deanna says she knows that – they must have to survive. But that’s isn’t absolving them in the good Father’s eyes (I assume he forgot that part about him locking everyone out of the church.). He spews some more meaningless crap, and Deanna thanks him for coming and shows him out. Neither notices Maggie who heard everything.

Unfortunately, Deanna isn’t quite as good at reading people as she seems to think, because it doesn’t look as if she immediately dismisses Gabe’s rantings. Ugh!

There is another storyline with Carol, The Rick, Jessie, Jessie’s drunk husband (the doctor), and Sam – but I’m keeping it short. Seems the good doctor is most likely hitting his wife and son. Carol realizes THIS is why Sam is seeking her out. He knows she stole some guns, and he wants one – for his mom. This takes Carol aback, and she attempts to visit Jessie and Sam, but DD (for Drunk Doctor) effectively keeps her out. Carol believes this means the doctor needs to meet his maker, and she goes to Rick and tells him the deal. This conversation ends with her telling The Rick that he needs to kill the doctor. Okay, way to jump the gun… BUT…!?

I’m still pissed at Noah’s death. What a bunch of bullshit! Perhaps it makes for good drama. It shows us how deadly mistakes can be, yet I think it would have been MORE effective for them to go out and NONE of Deanna’s people come back. Aiden died. Have Nicholas die as well. Since Deanna is already becoming concerned about Rick’s people being in power, how would this make her feel? Would she question her judgment more? Would her heartache and anger make her do something even MORE stupid? And, of course, we wouldn’t have lost the sweet young man that was Noah.

Instead, they lost someone that was basically little more than a pompous jerk, and we lost Noah (who I loved almost as much as Tyreese!). Noah dying is a slap in the face, as it has me questioning Beth’s death AND Tyreese’s death. Both died helping this young man, and now, for what? He died as well. And by witnessing his death, I worry that Glenn (who I also love!) is breaking. The look on his face as he watched Noah die, the pain in his eyes when Eugene asked where Noah was… and seeing Noah’s journal with only one line written in it (“This is the beginning”), I’m worried this is going to be something Glenn can’t come back from.

But I also think it’s just sloppy storytelling. YES, there are a lot of characters, and with our survivors getting to Alexandria, there are even more characters, but picking off fan favorites to whittle the group down? Sloppy and an easy out. YES, losing people would be a reality in this world. We all get that, but there comes a point where it gets hard to watch (for me anyway). I don’t want to sit down and wonder, “Ok, who do we lose tonight?”

I want to be entertained, and shocked, but not always because I’m a ball of snot and tears. (Yes, I cry when we lose some of these guys.)

And I fear that Gabe’s words will have more of an impact because Deanna will learn she lost her son. Will she wonder if Gabe is right? Will Nicholas lie and create more doubt in Deanna’s mind? And will her doubt make Rick’s comment to Carol a reality (they’ll just take Alexandria if the groups can’t make it work)? Will our group have to fight for Alexandria?

Though this episode made me angry, I did learn one thing: Our group isn’t the new bad guy. Incompetence and an inability to look beyond yourself is. Gabe said that there will come a time when Rick’s group will only think of themselves, and yet Abraham was the one to save his Alexandrite co-worker. Glenn and Noah risked their lives to try and save Deanna’s son, with Noah ultimately losing his. And our group has to step up, because no one else will. Our Survivors hopes this new community had a strong leader, but it’s becoming clear Deanna is not.

With only two more episodes left, I’m almost scared to guess what might go down (I try to avoid the previews.), but I do have one more question:

WHERE THE HELL IS MORGAN?

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Xina

Hello, fellow horror fans! I grew up watching horror, and my love for the genre is still going strong! Slasher films are sort of my secret-well, probably not so secret-obsession, but I'm up for anything-zombies, creature features, B movies, D movies-you name it, I'll give it a shot. Sometimes to the annoyance of my husband. I'm on twitter @Xina143, send me a tweet and tell me what I should watch next!"

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2 thoughts on “The Walking Dead – Spend (S05E14)

    1. There were a few other things I wanted to get off my chest, but I figure I’ll wait and see where the next few episodes lead us. Thanks for being patient!

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