The Walking Dead Review: “Spend” (Season 3, Episode 14)

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Sadly though, Eugene couldn’t save everyone. Aiden’s death was all but inevitable as despite his turn as someone willing to defer to a person with more experience in dealing with walkers outside the safety of home, he was still attached to the idea that a gun could solve any problem. Before dying, Aiden confessed that the dead people he and Nicholas were trying to “avenge” were killed because of their recklessness, and they were sadly not the only casualties.

Poor Noah. He’s proved himself handy with a gun, and willing to help out, and he was going to be an architect, prepared to learn under Reg Monroe, who designed the original wall. What Noah didn’t count on has become zombie chow when Nicholas saved himself rather than follow Glen’s instructions. It would have been enough for director Jennifer Chambers Lynch to cut away after seeing the look on Glen’s face once Noah as taken, but graphically showing Noah’s face being torn apart is enough to leave you, as an audience member, traumatized watching it. Tom Savini, who designed the make-up effects on George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, would have been proud of the gore quotient.

But where as the events at the warehouse showed the lack of preparedness of the ASZ residents at their worst, things went slightly better for Abraham, who was with a group gathering materials for the wall when some zombies attack. When a stray bullet from the lack of sharp-shooting snaps the hydraulics on a backhoe and nearly kills the lookout standing atop it, Abraham goes all Rambo on the approaching walkers, and the foreman that said to abandon poor Francine recognizes that he’s in the presence of superior leadership. Abraham now has troops and a mission again, and Michael Cudlitz shows what a difference that makes in the way that Abraham carries himself in the end of the episode versus the beginning.

The Alexandria residents aren’t the only ones that need a lesson in loyalty, though. Father Gabriel has got his collar on again, but I guess the part of verse about bearing false witness was one of the pages of the Bible he didn’t rip out in the cold open of “Spend.” Gabriel comes to Deanna and compares Rick to Satan, which is kind of harsh coming from a guy whose bacon’s been saved constantly by “Satan” in the last few months. It’s weird that the con man’s found strength while the priest learns betrayal, but considering that Maggie overheard everything, Gabriel’s likely to get a strong reminder about his own cynical past as a priest that left his flock to die very soon.

Speaking of getting a strong reminder of things past, Carol once again came across Jessie’s son Sam looking for cookies. Despite her best efforts, Carol starts to talk to the boy, and gets some potentially damning insight into the Anderson home. I had actually forgotten Rick’s rather creepy first encounter with Jessie’s husband Pete, as he seemed so nice at Deanna’s party. But creepy Pete was back this week, and Carol figured out why: Pete abuses Jessie and possibly Sam. I guess Rick was right to glare at Pete and Jessie, his adulterous lust was really just his Spider-sense tingling, but how will Rick handle his first law enforcement crisis in Alexandria? Surely it can’t be as easy as Carol says (killing Pete)? It’s not like anyone will notice that the doctor’s gone, right?

So, ticking down to the final two episodes of The Walking Dead‘s fifth season it seems that there’s trouble in paradise. Either a civil war is coming inside Alexandria, with some recognizing how wholly unprepared they are to deal with the real world versus those that like the status quo, or Rick and others will be forced to do as they said in the first place, and take over Alexandria in order to save its own people from themselves.

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