The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 14 "Spend" Review

the-walking-dead-5x14 Rick Grimes

A routine supply run ends horrifically for Glenn’s team while Abraham is left to save a woman all by himself after the construction crew leaves them both to die. Meanwhile, Rick and Carol learn a secret about Jessie’s husband.

Continue reading for a spoiler filled reaction and recap of The Walking Dead Season 5 Episode 14

Spend

The slow start to “Spend” had me thinking this is could be one of those episodes where not a whole lot happens. By the end of the hour, not only were my reservations proven wrong but I’m super excited for how the story is building towards the season finale. 

“Spend” juggled a number of story lines, each with a clear purpose. A couple of the biggest takeaways is Rick and company’s experience is quickly putting them into positions of power and influence within the Alexandria hierarchy. With the way the story is shaping up, it’s also evident that a conflict between Rick’s group and the people of Alexandria will come to a head very soon.

This Is the Beginning

Let’s jump ahead to Noah’s gruesome death! For a character that was only introduced this season, he fit in nicely with our survivors and felt like he’s been around a lot longer than he has. Adding to the tragedy is that Beth’s sacrificial death for Noah (or whatever it was, still kind of sketchy what she was trying to do) is in vain.

‘Stuck in a revolving door’ is a nail-biting predicament where there’s no easy way out. Glenn had a plan that could save everyone in both sides of the door but Nicklaus’ panicking and inexperience led to Noah’s demise. It would be very interesting if the writers see the revolving door scenario as a microcosm for what could happen to Alexandria.  When the next big threat emerges, the inept people of Alexandria are going to be caught with their pants down, leaving Rick’s group to clean up the mess.

Leaders & Cowards

What I enjoyed from the story lines outside of Alexandria is showcasing Glenn and Abraham as strong leaders. Both of them put their lives on the line for Alexandrians, something that the cowardly Alexandrians wouldn’t do for their own people. 

Steven Yuen has grown a lot as an actor. Some of his best work in “Spend” is without any dialogue, such as his reaction to Noah getting devoured. Yuen’s stronger screen-presence helps to make Glenn believable as someone everyone in the team takes their orders from.

Abraham coming into his own as the new construction foreman is a step in the right direction for his character. Characters like Daryl, Carol and even Michonne whom we have spent more time investing in have, to a certain extent, overshadowed what an incredible survivor and potential fan favourite he could be.

One thing that has stunted Abraham’s development is that he’s never bonded with Rick yet, our lead character.  In the comics, Abraham’s quick temper butts heads with Rick on occasion; however, after he explains his back story to Rick they come to an understanding. On the show, Rick already has his right-hand confidants in Daryl and Carol so for now Abraham will remain in the outer circle of the core survivors.

It’s nice that Eugene is getting some development too. Eugene talks a lot about being a coward, as if he’s convincing himself he’s not as physically capable as everyone else. However when the time comes for fight or flight, one’s true colors are revealed. Tara and Glenn wouldn’t have made it without Eugene’s bravery and quick thinking. As Eugene gains more self confidence he could become integral to the group’s future. 

the-walking-dead-5x14 Tara and Eugene

We’re Going To Kill Him

The writers did a good job of distilling the essence of what was needed from Rick and Carol’s scenes with limited screen time. Whether Rick is in or out of uniform, as Alexandria’s constable he represents the law and order. It’s an interesting position to be in because after living out there for so long, his sense of morality is not what it once was. Alexandria has the appearance of a little civilization, yet there is no justice system in place to deal with acts of vandalism or bigger issues such as domestic abuse.

The Rick we know from previous seasons would never consider Carol’s suggestion to kill Pete as the solution. The version of Rick today is a little less predictable. Rick now has some semblance of a reason or at least in his troubled mind to take out Pete and keep Jessie for himself, something that he had to restrain himself from doing at the end of last episode. What he decides to do will be very interesting to see play out, especially if Daryl, the voice of reason, is away on recruitment duty.

Sometimes when writers have characters jump to conclusions the logic can be a little suspect but here it was very believable that Carol as a former victim of abuse would recognize the signs as to what’s happening to Sam. It’s also a nice continuation of more scenes with Carol and the kid from last episode which has swerved into a new direction. 

One of the things I’m interested in for next episode is how Deanna is going to react from her conversation with Gabriel. She’s seems levelheaded but that will likely all change when she finds out her son is dead.  Will Nicklaus tell the truth to Deanna about what happened in the warehouse or will he put the blame on Glenn?

Lastly, Gabriel is a hypocrite for ratting on Rick’s group when he conveniently leaves out the fact that he’s a terrible person himself for causing the death of his parishioners.  His twisted motivation, in part, seems to stem from guilt of his own past actions.

“Spend” is a solid episode that focuses on some characters we haven’t seen as much as others in Alexandria. It’s both a surprise and a little sad to see Noah go so soon and in such a gruesome way. Aiden’s death was also horrific. “Spend” leaves me wanting more in the best possible way, can’t wait to see how the events set up in this episode will unfold next week.

What do you think about Noah’s death? How should Rick handle the abusive, alcoholic husband? What do you like or dislike about this episode? 

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