Air Date: Sunday, March 15, 2015 at 9/8c on AMC
“You keep the windows intact, you keep society intact.” – Rick Grimes
“Spend” is a character-centric episode. It focuses on the growth and ultimate demise of one’s standards, livelihood, and life. Everyone in the group faces a challenge. Do they assimilate into the community of Alexandria or do they hold onto their lives from the “outside,” battling insecurities about their safety? Well, the question of how secure one can be during the zombie apocalypse is answered and then some. Truth be told, “Spend” should be titled “Spent” because the writers have squandered too much time killing off characters we love, while letting the assholes we loath live to see another day. I often forget this world the characters live in is not destined to be full of sunshine and roses. There are trials, tribulations, and despair. Alexandria isn’t the end all-be all solution to heal the world. The zombies are still out there; if anyone dies of natural causes, they will turn. Even if the Alexandrians don’t know that yet, they will find out soon enough. And chaos will ensue. Now that would make for an interesting episode.
Real talk: I’m upset with how things are progressing in this season of The Walking Dead. I expected more after the hiatus and am not following the writers’ vision. Yes, the deaths have been shocking, bringing about opportunities for water cooler conversation; however, I’m still disappointed with the way some events have transpired. We’ve been introduced to new characters throughout the fifth season who have grown on me. I’m mainly talking about Noah (Tyler James Williams). He reminds me so much of my younger brother like you wouldn’t believe. From his voice, facial structure, and tall lanky build, I can’t help but see my brother in him. It makes me feel closer to, and protective of the young man. But I digress. Noah is a character who needs a father figure. He had one in Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman), yet look how well that turned out. I was really looking forward to watching their relationship blossom over the remaining episodes, especially since Noah is alone now. And, this show needed (and needs) another Tyreese. There are so many things he brought to the table, never to be discovered. So yeah, I’m a bit pissed. There’s been so much death lately, and it isn’t fair. Are the deaths pushing along the story line to something outside of the realm of possibility? No, but I’m not a writer on the show (dang it!). I feel let down because Alexandria isn’t panning out to be anything like Terminus, and it’s quite boring.
Things to make you go hmm…
The Alexandrians aren’t evil, they’re cowards, or should I say “following the system.” Screw that system because I find it hard to believe anyone could be more cowardly than Eugene (Josh McDermitt). That’s saying something because this mofo is afraid of his own shadow. If Eugene can step up and grow a pair, so can the inhabitants of Alexandria. I am able to visualize how the town will eventually meet its demise. With Gabriel (Seth Gilliam) issuing a warning and Deanna (Tovah Feldshuh) questioning her actions, the group will be thrown into the shadow of outcasts once again. Or as Rick (Andrew Lincoln) so casually mentioned before, they’ll “take the town.” Tensions are about to get high and I don’t know if any of the survivors will be able to take it.
Carol (Melissa McBride) is showing her dark side. She’s really making me question her motives. It could be Carol is trying not to like anyone there. She knows if she gets attached, she’ll want to stay, or worse, become one of the family.
Gabriel is wavering. His faith has been thoroughly tested and he’s not sure he can get it back. I think he wants to try in Alexandria; he wants to be the man he once was. Knowing what he knows about the world, and about himself in the world as it is, he can’t in good conscience be Father Gabriel again. He’s lived with people who saved his life and ended others. He has that and more weighing on him and he just can’t deal.
With Daryl (Norman Reedus) gone, the group is at a disadvantage. You know he would have left with the scavenging crew and things wouldn’t have gone nearly as bad as they do. But hindsight and all that, I didn’t expect to see anyone die in “Spend.” The gruesome nature with which the writers are offing people has reached an all time gory high. And quite frankly, I’m a bit disturbed by it. Why are the more recent deaths for the sweetest characters so garish? I don’t want to dig up old matters but I can’t help but think the nicer a character is on the show, the worse their demise.
What is up with the asshat Pete (Corey Brill) sizing up Rick? You notice how he towers over our fearsome leader while engaging in a testosterone laced conversation? What Pete doesn’t say is pretty subtle, but he wants Rick to know he better watch his back, and stay away from Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge).
Memorable and funny lines
Noah: “I wanna make sure those walls stay up.”
He’s such a good kid and you know this comes from a good place. He’s worried Alexandria will end up like his home did. Can’t predict the future though, now can we?
Maggie (Lauren Cohan) to Glenn (Steven Yeun): “You got this, you always do.”
By far the funniest combination of swear words I’ve ever heard.
Nicholas (Michael Traynor) to Aiden (Daniel Bonjour): “You … left her. We both did. That’s who we are. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.”
Aiden to Glenn: “It was … it was us. The others before, they didn’t panic; we did. It was us.”
Two different statements from two similar Alexandrians explain exactly who they are. So what will this mean for Rick and the group?
Deanna: “I put another one of your people in a position of power, you vouch for them; it’s becoming a pattern.”
Maggie: “We know what we’re doing. It’s why you wanted us here. It’s why Aaron and Daryl are out there looking for more people. You wanted a future. You need us for that.”
Noah to Glenn: “Don’t let go.”
There couldn’t have been a dry eye in the room at this point. I’m still in shock.
I like “Spend” but I don’t like “Spend.” I haven’t had such a hard time deciphering an episode as much as I do with this one. The acting is top notch as usual. I believe Yeun really shed tears for what he witnesses during his scene with Williams. I believed McDermitt as a surprisingly courageous Eugene. I’m just not following this new program back in Alexandria. Let me know what you think about “Spend” by dropping me a line in the comments section below or tweet me @ellemoe.
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*Spoilers in the Photo Gallery*
Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC © 2010-2015 American Movie Classics Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2015, Elle. All rights reserved.
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