Monday, March 16, 2015

The Walking Dead Recap: Episode 5.14: Spend

Episode 14: Spend

These recaps are just a discussion tool and a chance for me to geek out about my favorite show and do some over-analyzing. Maybe throw out a few theories. Remember, spoilers run rampant below. Don't read if you haven't watched!

I totally loved all the developments in this episode!

As the episode starts, Gabriel (who's been noticeably absent the past two episodes) walks into what looks like a garage that has been set up like a church: pulpit, chairs, desk, bible, etc. On the table is a bowl of fresh strawberries and a welcome note from someone named Rosemary. Gabriel opens the bible, but after a moment, begins tearing out pages, eventually ripping the bible to shreds. This was pretty disturbing. Gabriel is obviously losing it on some level. How would you feel if you walked in on your priest/pastor/bishop/etc desecrating the bible? Also, let's talk about the strawberries. Apparently they can represent righteousness and spiritual merit in Christian art, but the first thing I thought of was that the last time we saw them in TWD was back at Grady Memorial Hospital, when Beth used them as bribes to get wards of the hospital to help her steal medicine. Not sure if they're being used the same way here, but my first thought was that they were a bribe on the Alexandrians' part to make Father Gabriel like them or something. Thoughts?

Everyone seems to be preparing to do something. Daryl and (I assume) Aaron head out to recruit. Daryl has already rebuilt his motorcycle (that was fast! :D) and this is all we see of him in this episode.

Noah has apparently set up an early morning meeting with Reg, Deanna's husband, who is the architect that built Alexandria's wall. Noah asks Reg to teach him architecture so he can help maintain the walls, build houses and new buildings, etc. He wants to be around protecting Alexandria for the long haul. Reg gives him a notebook, saying there will be much to remember, and agrees to teach Noah. But seriously, why aren't they doing this anyway? The world ended, and there are very few people in a community that everyone knows is vulnerable in a lot of ways, and you don't even think to pass on your knowledge. With so few people living within the walls right now, they should make sure everyone knows how to do everything, just in case they lose anyone. But it's like that hasn't even occurred to them. *slaps forehead with palm* I totally understand Rick's sentiment that these are the luckiest people on the planet!

Abraham wakes up beside Rosita, but when he washes his face and looks at himself in the mirror, he appears disturbed by something. We don't know what.

Meanwhile, Glenn, Tara, Noah, Nicholas, Aiden, and Eugene are preparing to go on a run. Normally Eugene wouldn't go, but they want to take him because he's the only one who knows the "right stuff" to get. He's not keen on going, but they insist so they don't get the wrong stuff and waste their time. Apparently Eugene needs equipment to get some kind of solar panel up and running. Everyone seems to be getting along, and they're a little too happy. While watching it, I told my family this definitely didn't bode well. Everyone's in such a good mood, things are bound to go terribly wrong. Glen says goodbye to Maggie and the van drives off, blasting music on the speakers. Yet more evidence of how little the Alexandrians understand the outside world. Granted, if they drive fast enough any walkers the music attracts will be too slow to be a threat, but still. The music is not something Team Family would ever do.

Rick, doing rounds of Alexandria, finds Jessie in her garage, cleaning up a mess. The same statue thing Rick knocked over two episodes ago, an owl Jessie is making with her boys, is in pieces on the ground. She says she doesn't know who did it, but it must have been done maliciously. Rick says he'll investigate (mostly because he's bored). She says he doesn't have to, but he gives her the Broken Window Theory: if you keep the windows in tact, you keep society in tact. I wondered if Rick really did it as an excuse to come see Jessie again. My brother wondered the opposite: if she did it to reel Rick in. After that kiss at the party, she's obviously kind of intrigued by him.

At the warehouse, Glen's group is getting ready to enter. Aiden and Nicholas don't have much of an escape plan for if things go wrong. (Really, guys? And you wonder why you've lost so many people?) Glen tells them they should know all the exits before going in. (Dur!) They all walk the perimeter.

Eugene goes with Tara, insisting that he'll be useless if the situation turns to combat with walkers. She tells him he has to pull his weight. He tells her he's pulled his weight by getting them to D.C. (and Alexandria) and they argue about it. He re-asserts that he is a coward. Glen and Noah talk while they walk separately. They've obviously bonded somewhat and are friends. They notice a huge pack of walkers out in front of the warehouse. A fence protects them from the pack, but going out the front won't be an option if things go bad.

They finally enter the warehouse, pounding on the door to draw out any walkers inside, as is standard practice, but none come. They enter stealthily, weapons drawn, and eventually they hear walker noises. Glen says the walkers must be stuck behind something. Eventually they find a chain-link fence that acts as a room divider with a gate (a common setup in warehouses like this) and there are walkers on the other side of it. Luckily, the area Glen and co are in is walker free and relatively safe from the ones on the other side of the fence.

They case the warehouse, looking for the supplies they've come for. Eventually Eugene finds the right box, labeled Micro Inverters. Of course nothing can ever be that simple. A single walker, covered in body armor shows up. Aiden shoots it in the leg, and Glen realizes there are explosives (a grenade, I think) on the walker. He shouts at Aiden to stop shooting, but it's too late, and the explosives blow.

When the group comes to, Aiden has been knocked backward and impaled on metal stakes. Nicholas pronounces him dead. Tara has also been hurt and is bleeding from the head. And, (Of course!) the cage holding the other walkers back has been blown wide open. Eugene fights with a walker, though Glen and Noah save him. They take the unconscious Tara to an office of the warehouse that has a door.

Back at Alexandria, Carol comes downstairs to investigate a strange noise. Sam, the same boy that saw her steal the guns and she creepily threatened, is hiding in the closet. He says there's no power at his house and his owl statue is broken. He wants more cookies. Carol angrily says she doesn't care for his problems and pushes him out the front door. He says maybe if she shows him how to make the cookies, he can do it himself. She says he'll have to steal the chocolate, including extra for her, and if he tells anyone or gets caught, he won't like what happens. Then she slams the door in his face.

Carol is being extra nasty to this kid, and I think it's two different things. Number one is just her own suspicion. It did occur to that this kid could be a spy. People have speculated that, despite Carol's brilliant act of sweet grandma lady, people at Alexandria may not buy it. They may know better but are just letting her continue with the ruse. I'm not sure if that's true or not, but it occurs to me that most kids would be terrified of Carol after what she said to him before, and this kid isn't. He showed up the next day hiding in her closet. What if his parents or Deanna have sent him to befriend Carol and find out what she's up to? Again, not sure if I even think that's what's happening, especially given what Sam tells her later in the episode, but it crossed my mind.

The other thing is that I don't think Carol wants to get close to another kid. The last time she cooked with children (Lizzie and Meeka in that house with Tyrese and Judith) it led to disaster. In fact, other than Carol, only Judith of that group is still alive. I think Carol wants to firmly discourage this kid from getting attached to her because she wouldn't be able to stand getting close to another kids and possibly having the worst happen again. 

But I gotta say, I can already see this happening to her again. I think we're already seeing the beginning part of this pattern with Carol again. Rick and Jessie may hook up, but I don't get the sense it will be a long term relationship. In fact, I think Jessie will die pretty quick. If not this season then early next season. And by the end of the episode, not only is Carol really caring about what happens to Sam, but she and Rick are openly talking about killing Pete. (More on that below.) So, they're very likely to end up with orphans on their hands yet again. Just sayin'. Poor Carol and the children she ends up loving!

At the warehouse, Glen and co have gotten Tara into the office, but a desperate voice makes them realize Aiden is actually still alive. (Apparently Nicholas--and the Alexandrians at large--can't even be trusted to tell if someone is dead or not.) They briefly debate whether to help Aiden. He's hurt badly enough that his survival is by no means assured, and Tara desperately needs a doctor. Eugene tells them to go save Aiden. Tara would want them to. Once they have Aiden they can focus on getting her back to Alexandria.

Meanwhile, Abraham has joined the construction crew. Outside the walls, they gather materials from the nearby shopping mall that Deanna mentioned to Rick when he first arrived. It was being built before the apocalypse and now the Alexandrians obviously pillage from the site to expand the wall. While there, a pack of walkers show up. A woman, Francine, who was standing watch is knocked from her perch in the fight and right into the midst of the walkers. The man in charge of the construction crew (it's Tobin, who we saw offer to teach Carol about guns) tells everyone to fall back. Abraham says what about Francine, but Tobin says she's lost. Abraham runs into the midst of the walkers by himself to save her. He gets her into the cab of a nearby backhoe and turns to fight the walkers. Long story short: he and Francine prevail, but not due to any help from her fellow Alexandrians. Go Abraham! Loving him more and more.

Back inside the walls, Pete, Jessie's husband, visits Rick and offers him a beer. An awkward conversation ensues in which Pete really wants Rick to drink and says something along the lines of "I saw you at Deanna's party." He is presumably talking about Rick's drinking, but perhaps not.  He asks quite insensitively about Rick losing his wife. He says the Alexandrians have lost things too, and now there are other things they're fighting to hold on to. There's a tension in this conversation that makes it unclear what Pete is actually talking about. Rick drinking, or Rick ogling Jessie? What things are they fighting to hold on to? Is he talking about his wife and marriage? Or perhaps something more sinister we have no idea of yet? Then he tells Rick to bring Carl and Judith in for a check up. He steps up a little too close to Rick and says "Let's be friends." It's all pretty creepy and very awkward. Also, I'm going to play the alcoholic card one more time. We've never seen Pete without a drink in his hand, and it's pretty clear that Alexandria's only doctor is pretty wasted mid morning. Very professional, dude. Pete leaves Rick staring after him and twisting his wedding ring.

Back in the warehouse, Eugene tells the unconscious Tara that he takes no responsibility for her condition. That he told her up front what he was (a coward). Then, despite that, he throws her over his shoulder and takes her out of the office, shooting walkers along the way. Can't help but think Abraham would be proud.

Glen and Nicholas make it to Aiden, who is conscious. They tell him to try and stay quiet while they take him off the stakes. Nicholas says they can't help him, to which Aiden begs his friend not to leave him. Every time they try to lift Aiden off the stakes, he screams (understandable) bringing more walkers. Nicholas says to Aiden, "You left them. We both did. That's who we are." Then he runs away. So this twice in the same episode that we've seen the people of Alexandria leave their comrades behind. How have they survived this long with no loyalty to one another? Glen won't leave Aiden, and Noah is keeping the walkers at bay, but they're coming in waves.  Aiden tells Glen it was the Alexandrians' fault the others on the supply run crew before didn't make it. Noah pulls Glen away as Aiden is swarmed by walkers, who commence chowing down on him. Yeah, seriously gross death. The dude was a tool bag, but I still felt sorry for him with this kind of pain.

After Francine and Abraham get rid of the walkers at the construction site, the rest of the crew want to call it a day after the trauma that's transpired, but Abraham won't let them. He takes charge, assigning lookouts and saying they have hours of daylight left. They have a wall to build and they aren't stopping early. This is a good job for Abraham, I think. You can already see his I-have-a-very-important-mission mentality coming out, which means he'll be relentless and unstoppable until the job is done.

Tobin goes to Deanna (Maggie and Reg are also present) and says that Abraham should be running the construction crew. He says Abraham saved Francine's life and can lead better than Tobin ever could. Deanna is obviously reluctant, but agrees to make it official. Tobin says she won't regret it. Not sure what to think about this. He seems sincere, which just means that the Alexandrians do have some inkling of how weak they are and that they need stronger people to be in charge. But if that's true, why is Deanna so worried? Wouldn't she be happy that Tobin is recommending a leader he trusts and believes in? Maybe it's just too much suspicion on my part, but I couldn't help but wonder if this whole scenario was worked out by Deanna and Tobin in advance to put Abraham in charge, the same as she did with Rick and Michonne. Of course, that would beg the question, why? To what end? Don't know, but it seemed strange to me. Tobin and Reg leave, and Deanna expresses doubts about putting more of Rick's people in charge. Maggie assures her it's the right thing to do. She says her people know what they're doing, which is why Deanna brought them into Alexandria in the first place. 

Back at the warehouse, Glen, Noah, and Nicholas try to find a way out. They're at the front entrance (which is covered in walkers). They end up one hundred and eighty degrees apart on opposite sides of a revolving door. Nicholas is in one compartment with Noah and Glen across from him and walkers on both sides. If the door swings either way, one of the two compartments will be exposed to their deaths. Good job, guys. Good job.

Sam shows up at Carol's place again with two bars of stolen chocolate. She helps him make the cookies but warns it's the last time she will, still being nasty to him. He asks if she was always a good cook, but she says they aren't talking. She doesn't want to be friends. He keeps asking her questions, saying they don't have to be friends, but they can still talk. She says that before the apocalypse, she was good at cooking, and it helped her when she was sad, but not that she necessarily liked it. Sam responds that when he's sad, he breaks stuff. She asks what kind of stuff and whether it was him that broke the owl statue. He nods but when she asks why and why he keeps coming to her, he deflects, asking why she stole the guns. Then he asks if he can have a gun. When she asks why, he says it's not for him, but won't tell her who it's for, instead running from the kitchen. Suddenly Carol's much more interested in him. His asking questions made me again wonder if he was spying. Especially when he deflected her question with one of his own. Most kids don't have that kind of foresight when conversing with an adult. Especially one who recently threaten to tie him to a tree and leave him as walker chow. If he's not a spy, my next thought was that this kid is dang smart. (I'm still a bit suspicious of his motives, but I also kind of like him.) But then, maybe I'm over thinking it. He wants a gun, and Carol obviously suspects abuse. This is why she now is so concerned about Sam's welfare, where only minutes before she was pushing him away as hard as she could.

At the warehouse, Glen and Nicholas shout at one another through the glass. Nicholas doesn't have a gun, but Glen and Noah's are out of ammo. Suddenly Eugene shows up in the van outside the revolving door, playing music and honking the horn, leading the outside walkers away. The inside ones are, of course, still a problem. Glen tells Nicholas to hold the door steady so they can break the glass and all escape outward. That way no one dies. The glass is hard to break, though, and Nicholas panics, pushing the door out so he can escape himself. This opens Glen and Noah's side to walkers. They grab Noah's leg and drag him outward. Noah grabs Glen's arm saying, "Don't let go," but Glen can't hold on. He's forced to watch Noah be torn apart from inches away on the other side of the glass. On The Talking Dead, Tyler James Williams said he thought Noah's "don't let go" was less about him wanting Glen to physically hold on to him, and more about him telling Glen not to lose his ideals or humanity. Of course, in the adrenaline of the moment, Glen probably isn't thinking in this vein at all. He only sees that Noah pleaded, "don't let go" and then Glen did, though through no fault of his own. Poor Glen. This was seriously traumatic for him.

Noah's death might have been the most gruesome they've ever had on the show. Of course there was the normal blood spurting, etc., but he was still screaming as the walkers kind of ripped his jaw apart. I generally don't look away from the gore on this show, but I did a little at this part. It just kept going and was super-gross. 

Now, I've said before that I wasn't sure how I felt about Noah's character. This is the episode where I would probably have started to like him more. He was making plans for the long term protection of Alexandria, which I respect. He was chummy with Glen, and I tend to like people when my favorite characters do, and not like them when those characters don't. So, I probably would have started to feel really favorable toward Noah after this episode. Annnnddd...he's gone. Aw man!

Scumba--uh, I mean Nicholas runs to Eugene's van, saying that they're leaving. Eugene turns off the van and gets out, asking where the others are. They scuffle and Nicholas knocks Eugene down. He jumps in the van to leave, but then Glen shows up. He yanks Nicholas from the van and knocks him out. When Eugene asks where Noah is, Glen just cries. On the way back, Glen drives while Eugene points his gun at the unconscious Nicholas and looks worriedly at the still-unconscious Tara. The notebook Noah got from Reg lies on the seat with a single line written in it: This is the beginning. Tragic irony at its best.

At Alexandria, Carol knocks on Jessie and Pete's door, asking if Sam is okay. Pete answers the door, acting weird. He says, "Why wouldn't [Sam] be (okay)?" He won't let her talk to Sam or Jessie, and slams the door in her face. Carol goes to see Rick, telling him she believes Pete is abusing Jessie, and perhaps Sam. He asks if Sam told her and she replies that Sam didn't have to. She says he's probably going to have to kill Pete. This worries me. I feel like it's a David and Bathsheba situation. Rick likes Jessie and may be gleefully looking for a way to get rid of her husband. I don't know if Carol knows how Rick feels about Jessie. No one in the group seems to have taken notice of that dynamic, but the way Carol says, "Pete is hitting Jessie", with Sam as more of an afterthought made me think maybe she knows how Rick feels. 

Also, I'm not convinced abuse is what is happening here. Maybe, but it's the obvious conclusion. Specifically because Carol thinks that's what's going on, I think it's not. It's something else that just comes across that way. Besides, Jessie doesn't strike me as the victim type. She's not quiet and introverted as Carol was in season 1. Her relationship with her husband is definitely rocky in some way, but she's outgoing and confident, not at all the way most abuse domestic violence victims are. Also, when Carol went to their house, Pete wouldn't let her in saying it "wasn't a good time." It almost seemed to me that Sam had run home to talk to his parents and maybe they were in there discussing something as a family. But if abuse were the problem, Sam wouldn't have run home to tell his dad what he'd told Carol. I don't know. I just think there's more to this than what Carol and now Rick think. Of course that begs the question, what is this kid so scared of that he would want a gun. What's he afraid of that's worse than Carol? And what do his parents know about it?

Finally, Father Gabriel goes to see Deanna. He says Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. He says Alexandria is a paradise and he (Gabriel) is happy to be there, but that she shouldn't have let Rick's group in. (What the freak, Gabriel!?!) He says they aren't good people and that they've done unspeakable things. Deanna says that to make it as long as they have, she's sure they had to do things to survive, but Gabriel says she's wrong. They're dangerous and can't be trusted. He says the day will come when Rick's group will destroy Alexandria. When Deanna asks why he's only now coming to her, he says he wishes he would have come earlier, but that Rick's group (who he names the apostles of Satan) don't deserve this paradise. She says she'll think on his words. This was seriously a messed up thing to do. Not only has Team Family saved Gabriels' life, kept him alive, and gotten him to Alexandria, but who was it who left his entire flock to die while he cowered indoors? Even upon learning that Team Family didn't kick him out, call him a minion of Satan or judge him too harshly. Okay, maybe they judged him a coward and weak, but they still took care of him and weren't cruel to him about it. I don't know what Gabriel's motivations for this are, whta he hopes to accomplish, but where before I just apathetic about his character, I'm now starting to truly hate him.

Meanwhile, Maggie eavesdrops from the stairs, hearing the entire exchange. (Rick's gonna be pissed!)

Then, randomly, we hear a voice from outside call for help. We don't see in this episode who it is, but I'm assuming it's Glen and Eugene returning. No way to be sure because we don't see it either way.

Okay, so.

Glen and co are on their way back (or maybe back already) and they're going to have to break the news to Deanna and Reg that their son is dead, and to the rest of the group that Noah is gone too. I'm envisioning drama on the horizon. 

Also, in the trailer for next week we see Rick and Deanna glaring at one another over three fresh graves. I really hope this doesn't mean Tara dies too. I thought maybe it was just a graveyard with other graves in it, but they look pretty fresh. Of course neither Noah or Aiden's bodies were brought back, so I suppose it could mean anything. It just worried me a little bit. 

And of course I'm worried that Rick and Carol are going to kill Pete, then find out there was no such thing as abuse. Whatever they think they know probably isn't real, unfortunately. Again, major drama to come, I think. Also, it looks like Daryl is out roaming and may find some people. (He sees what looks like a fire in the distance.) Maybe he'll run into Morgan or--dare I type it?--Beth?

Overall, I really liked this episode and all it's developments. I love it when they leave us anticipating drama! :D 

How did everyone else like this episode?

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