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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About Eddie@Jaccendo

Movies, TV shows, comics, and video game news & review.

Posted on March 16, 2015, in Television, The Walking Dead and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. Nicholas is going to lie out of his ass and pin the blame on Glenn. Everything we’ve seen about those in Alexandria points to them as a community of people without any form of courage or valor.

    And yeah, man. Noah’s death simply makes Beth’s death even worse, and that will probably be even more fuel for Rick and co.’s anger. It was sort of predictable he was going to go even at the start of the episode, but damn, great practical effects, great acting by Yuen and just… damn. Nicholas has to die. I don’t care if its by Rick’s hand or heck, even its by Carol’s hand, but he has to go.

    And like I commented in your review of last week’s episode, the writer’s are escalating Carol’s character and now I’m really worried about the fate of her character. She’s at about 9 right now, and if she doesn’t come back down to 6, she’s going to peak and possibly die. Noah’s death – as a new character – was impactful, as he was a character that had a semblance of a future but the viewer’s – in general – didn’t really have him in their hearts as he was new. The show will take away another character that would leave an actual impact on the audience.

    For all his fringe Christian preaching, I think Gabriel has finally lost the plot. He’s a character whose motivations have always been guided by a fear, and now he’s the literal Judas of the group.

    I guess since Noah is gone and Gabriel is obviously not going to survive this season, the Black Character formula is probably going to introduce a new colored male character soon.

    But my bet is that Morgan’s return is right around the corner.

    • NIcholas is going to die a hideous death, he’ll get his just deserts like Aiden. It’ll be interesting how many more people Glenn will have to punch in the face lol. Glenn can start with Gabriel, man that guy has really lost it, Judas is a great way to describe him. Gabriel was saved by the group on their first meeting and kept safe & fed since then. He pays them back with betrayal.

      Noah’s death and Tara’s injury will add fuel to the fire for Rick and co. I didn’t predict Noah was going to die, I guess I should have realized it. I heard after watching this episode that there were spoilers leaked last week that two people would get killed off. Noah is likeable but he hasn’t been around long enough to be a significant death in my mind.

      I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised by Carol’s suggestion to get rid off Peter, it’s within her character to think like that, but it’s really far out there, an extreme way of thinking. If Tyreese was around this is where he would try to keep Carol from going over the edge. If the show wants to keep her around, they’ll have to pull her back.

      Morgan should be returning at some point, he’s been on Rick’s trail to Washington DC. I just hope they use him effectively and for a long time, it’ll be unfortunate to build up his return only to kill him off quickly.

  2. Nice review. It was a very mixed episode. The action was intense and scary, but the human drama was a bit goofy. Still though, it seems like it’s going to get real tense in the next two episodes.

    • Thanks Dan! I think I see what you mean about the goofy parts and yeah the deaths were straight out of a horror movie. Lots of thrills and suspense are building up to these last two episodes, I can’t wait. 😀

  3. wow. what a great episode. was shocked by the death of noah, but i shoulda seen it coming after he discussed plans for a long life.

    nicolas is definitely gonna lie his ass off and try to get glenn in trouble, but i think this will be the impetus for Rick finally having enough of Alexandria and its people

    • Hey Rob, great to get your thoughts on the episode. Noah’s death caught me by surprise, I also should have seen it coming after that scene at the beginning. Nicholas is spineless wuss, he’s nothing but trouble for Glenn and co. Everything will snowball from here, it should be a great final two episodes of the season! 😀

  4. samuelstrader4491

    Mark V. I noticed you mentioned the Black Character formula, is there any correlation of this pattern to the comic books? My roommates and I have reverted to calling the newest characters as T-Dawg II, III, etc.etc. Not that we don’t like the characters, but they don’t have the greatest track record either…

    • I’m not sure about the comic books, as I never had the chance to follow it but I’ve seen comments on Reddit saying that the deaths and ‘replacements’ were fairly spaced out for the ‘deaths to sink in’.

      The only reason I’ve noticed this on AMC’s show is how they die and are replaced almost immediately soon after since the first season on the show. Sometimes a new character is introduced, and you start fearing for an old character immediately i.e. after Gabriel [new] showed up, Bob [old] was killed soon after.

      When Noah showed up, me and my brother started taking bets on which of the two – Gabriel or Tyreese – would die. And… well, we all know how that played out.

    • Hello there! The comic books didn’t have T-Dog or Noah. I don’t remember Bob from the comics, but apparently he only had a minor role in Woodbury and is Caucasian. Also, Sasha isn’t in the comics, Tyreese had a daughter. It’s harder to spot a pattern in the comics other than a whole lot of people die. 😀

  5. Mmmm mmm, I’m liking the look of Rick sans his beard 😉

    • Haha, there was an amusing soap opera moment the other episode where Rick is half dressed after a shower, just as a pretty neighbor stops by to introduce herself and offers to cut his hair. Thought you might like that 😀

  6. One of the best episodes of this season. I blamed Noah for both Beth and Tyrese’s deaths this season. So he had to die brutally and I wasn’t disappointed. Loved his last words. Especially after hearing Steven Yuen explain them on Talking Dead. If there is a showdown coming I don’t think it will be against the Alexandrians but against each other.

    • I haven’t thought about Noah like that but you’re right Beth and Tyreese wouldn’t have died the way they did if he wasn’t there. I liked Noah, except for that time he unleashed those walkers on Carol and Daryl. I had to replay his last words since I missed it the first time. I didn’t know there was a meaning behind it. I’ll have to watch Talking Dead, I haven’t been keeping up with that show. I don’t think there will be an all out battle between Alexandrians and Rick’s gang, but my guess is on a big conflict that’ll be surpassed with an even bigger threat they’ll have to face together.

      • When he says, “Don’t let go.” he is not talking about Glenn shouldn’t let go of him but that Glenn shouldn’t let go of his humanity. He knows he’s already dead once the walkers grab him. And then I watched it again and you can totally see it and hear it in his voice. Makes that scene even more sad. You just totally assume that he’s asking Glenn to save him but he’s really trying to save Glenn.

        • That line makes sense now, thanks. Yeah, they way Noah delivered the line, it didn’t sound like “Save me!!”, it was like a promise for Glenn to keep. It says a lot about Noah that he’s thinking of saving someone else in his dying moments.

  7. This was a great episode. The action outside of Alexandria was especially good. That little setpiece of sorts with the revolving door was excellent and I liked seeing Abraham get a moment to shine and even more Eugene getting that chance. The scenes in Alexandria weren’t quite as good. I’ve never really liked Gabriel and this episode didn’t change that fact. Not so much for tattling, but as you mentioned the hypocritical nature of what he was saying. This stretch of the show focused on Alexandria has really been working for me. And it is ramping up nicely for a big finish as the finale draws closer. Excellent review. Can’t wait to see where this show goes next.

    • The revolving door trap scenario is excellent and intense. Even if one side can get open it exposes the other side to walkers which is unfortunately what happened to poor Noah. Seeing Eugene, a self-professed coward, step it up when it counted made Nickolas’ actions that much more despicable. I don’t like Gabriel either, he got on my nerves to be honest. The Alexandria story line is working really well, it’s also a place that has a fresh supply of red-shirts haha. I believe the producers have been doing interviews/giving teasers about the finale but I haven’t read them. I’ll just enjoy the final two eps of the season as I watch them. I’m hoping for a big finish too. Thanks Matthew!

  8. Awesome review yo, I was meant to comment on this sooner but I’ve had a few too many things to do during the week. Anyways, this episode, damn, what an unexpected surprise, like you I thought at first that this episode would be a bit of a bore, but holy shit things changed like the flip of a switch! Madness! Chaos! And cowardice ensued. This was a great episode, however it really did piss me off emotionally, but I guess that’s a sign of good TV when it can leave you thinking about it long after its over.

    So with all that in mind let me talk about the stuff I remember from the episode. Firstly Noah. Poor guy, I knew he wasn’t going to last long term, there was something about his character that made me think he wasn’t going to last (maybe because he was too cool or maybe it is because he’s black and most black people don’t last in a horror-based environment haha). When I saw him in the revolving door with Glenn, I just had a feeling that the end was coming. So I wasn’t too sad or surprised when he got grabbed away. HOWEVER, I did like his chaarcter and wished he lasted longer and holy fuck, he death was the worst I’ve seen yet. The dude was pushed right up against the glass and you saw his mouth get ripped apart! Tragic. And poor Glenn had to see it all, no one should have to experience that. Glenn has definitely become more of badass and I do think of him as a more valuable character than ever before. That douchebag Nicholas, fuck me, I hate him, he firstly leaves Aiden, fucks off Glenn’s plan to allow them to leave the revolving door safely and then attempts to steal the van from Eugene. I hate him, I want him to face judgement from Rick and the crew. He MUST pay!

    Anyways I am also happy to see development for Eugene and Abraham, up until now I thought Eugene was pointless and useless, however that guy actually pulled though, he saved the girl, shot zombies and even drew the enemy away from his mates with loud music. Don. I hope he does grow and becomes more reliable. As for Abraham, besides his well-crafted hair (that never changes) I never cared for him much, but this episode he stepped up, he knows how to be a leader, can safe people that are in a pinch and looks like a badass when attacking zombie (he looked like he’d gone into berserker mode or something haha). I do like how Rick’s crew are slowly becoming the dominant figures in Alexandria, Deanna should be worried, she seems like a smart and fair woman, but I reckon she’s gonna crack and think of Rick and co. as the enemy and like you said after what happened with her son and that Nicholas bastard, there will be conflict for sure.

    Oh oh and Gabriel that git! I was meant to ask you for the last two weeks “Where’s Gabriel? What’s that guy been up to? Is he alive or dead? What’s up?” But I guess this episode answered my questions perfectly. Looks like he’s been plotting away and being a dirty little hypocrite and traitor to the group. I can’t believe how he’s trying to make the group look so bad after they SAVED HIS LIFE and like you said he left people he knew to die outside of his church. What a scumbag. I pray Maggie says something and he gets his comeuppance too.

    I’m so intrigued to see what follows, I just want our team to freak out and take on the people of that town. Those people are inexperienced cowards who need a good beat down. Daryl, please, make them pay!

    If you get to the end of this and don’t feel tired after reading, I thank you Eddie. 😀

    • Hello mate! I always look forward to your thoughts on each episode whenever you find the time! Things got crazy this ep. When we are screaming at the television and at characters, you know the show is really pressing our buttons haha.

      The opening scene had me wondering, “is this going to be an episode on Gabriel?”. I dreaded that thought. I wasn’t missing him at all. I can’t believe what he said to Deanna. Such a hypocrite. I thought Maggie would have looked more angry, she’s never gotten along with Gabriel. I’m sure next episode we’ll see what she does with this info she overheard.

      I must be one of the few people that thought Noah would be sticking around longer lol. He seemed to fit in with the group well and started to bond with some of them. Oh well. I was also surprised to see how gruesome his death was.

      Nicholas’ despicable actions made Eugene look even more cool. Nicholas won’t make it past the finale, he’ll get his comeuppance. And it will be nasty!

      Abraham must spend a lot time taking care of his well-crafted hair and mustache haha. When he crawled under the truck it reminded me of when Rick crawled under the tank. So bad ass. All the construction crew are like … he survived?!

      Man, I can never get tired of discussing stuff with you! Such a blast to be able to enjoy the show with you and other fans. 😀

  9. What an episode! I’ve only just had the chance to watch it, hence my late arrival. 😀

    So much going on in this one. And those deaths… Wow. Poor, poor Noah. I know he’s made his mistakes (who hasn’t in that world), but being honest I was more invested in him than I was in say, Tara, who I don’t particularly care about all that much. But, she’ll be an interesting plot device now because the group will have to spare Pete (for the time being) in order to give him a chance to possibly save Tara. I’d also wager that nobody bothers Pete and his family at all, even if they’re aware of or suspect the abuse, because he’s their only doctor. Rare commodity in their world, I’m sure.

    I still love Carol. I don’t mind that she thinks their only recourse is to kill Pete. I’m not sure what that says about me exactly, but I’m still somewhat on her side. As you’ve mentioned, it takes a battered woman to know a battered woman. And from a power-play perspective, it makes sense to take out the only doctor when they make their move to take over. That is, if they do ultimately make that move.

    Gabriel. Holy crap. He’s lost it. He’s also an idiot. The story about him essentially killing his parishioners may come out if Deanna speaks to Maggie, but regardless, I think time is short for Fr. Judas, as the group will be informed of his hypocritical treachery, and while they may not be inclined to kill him outright for it, they certainly won’t save him, either.

    I’m also curious to learn how Deanna takes the news of her son’s death. I’ve no doubt Nasty Nicholas will spin some story, but the truth will win out eventually. Will Alexandria’s “exile” rule be enough for Rick & Co.? I highly doubt it. I was so surprised that Glenn didn’t shoot him in the head right then and there at the truck, but now knowing (thanks to your commenters) what Noah’s last words really meant, I understand. I’ve no doubt though that Nicholas will get his just desserts.

    Abraham was awesome. So was Eugene.

    It’s very possible that we’ll get jumps to Daryl and Aaron in the next episode, and this could possibly be where Morgan comes in? I’m looking forward to it, either way. Not long to go now.

    Two of the most gruesome deaths I’ve seen so far on TWD, and there have been quite a few. I thought I’d become desensitised to them. Apparently not!

    • Hello V! I see you and fellow bloggers have been busy celebrating Ireland month. Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day! 😀

      Good call on Pete, hmm, so let’s put this all together. Pete must be the doctor that Aaron said could help Noah with his leg (poor Noah). At the end of the ep, we hear a scream for help outside Deanna’s house, I’m guessing it’s Glenn back in town and like you said Pete is gonna save Tara’s life which in turn should spare his own for the time being.

      I’m a huge Carol fan. This is totally within Carol’s character to think like this. She was the one that suggested to Andrea to kill the Governor in his sleep (I remember fans were like … ‘when did Carol get so cutthroat?’ haha). There was also a deleted scene where she told Merle she’d shank him if he crossed anyone at the prison. And this was all back in Season 3 before she started killing people for real. But unless Pete does something really deserving of death, I don’t think Carol and Rick are going down that path. But there should be some major consequence for Pete.

      Oh Gabriel, that guy is nuts. It’s hard to figure out the mind of a fool but it wouldn’t surprise me if he wants no else to know about his secret, which means getting rid of Rick’s group because they can reveal the truth. If the sole reason is because he thought Rick’s group was evil he would have came to Deanna earlier. I guess it has something to do with that opening scene. He wouldn’t be able to face his new parishioners if they found out what happened to his old ones (assuming anyone would want to hear his sermons). I think Rick’s group are going turn their back on him.

      It’ll be interesting to see how grief will cloud Deanna’s judgement. She should be able to see through Nicholas. She knows it’s not the first time that Nicholas has come back from a supply run while some of his team mates didn’t. It’ll be an interesting turn of events if the exile rule comes back to haunt Deanna, those people she previously kicked out could come back with a vengeance. Or even better, Carol’s threat to the kid is what she’ll do to Nicholas haha. It could be the new “exiled and tied to a tree rule”. 😉

      Great point about Daryl and Aaron finding Morgan, I can totally see that happening. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll evaluate Morgan and decide to bring him back home. Hope he ain’t crazy no more haha.

      Just when you think we’ve seen it all, the walking dead comes up with new ways for people to get devoured to death. Gross but very cool!!

  10. Great review! I’m really enjoying this second half of the show. The plot is moving along at a decent pace and the focus has been mostly good on individual characters. I wasn’t expecting Noah to die. I got the feeling someone would but I was thinking it would have been Glenn. Agree about Steven Yuen and his growth as an actor, still bored with Maggie/Glenn but Yuen is much better than he was in the 1st season.
    Abraham is perfect as the construction leader which shows how pathetically inept the non-Grimes gang is. The Alexdrandia group isn’t an obvious threat but their complete lack of survival skills makes them a threat to everyone. How have they survived so long?
    Father Gabriel is such a hypocrite, he locked out his own parishioners and now is saying Rick et al are the bad ones. Way to deflect Father! He also appears to be losing it a bit which makes me think he won’t be around for much longer.
    Another good episode, let’s hope the final few keep it up.

    • I’m also enjoying this half, for a lot of fans this season is the show’s most consistent. And what I like about the pacing is that it feels like the show is building towards something each episode. Good to hear I’m not the only one that wasn’t expecting Noah to die. I thought he’d be safe with Glenn inside the door, plus this was after Eugene diverted a bunch of walkers away to sort of rescue them. I guess we’ll see how his death might affect Rick’s group as I’m sure Aiden’s death will affect Deanna and co.

      I’ve noticed Yuen’s improvement compared to season 1. I agree with you on Maggie/Glenn, their drama together isn’t interesting to me and it’s too forced at times. I do like how Glenn is stepping up of late.

      It’s interesting that Alexandrians aren’t evil per se, but they are a threat through their own incompetence and lack of a backbone. I really liked how Abraham took charge of the people that abandoned him moments earlier. Alexandrians are sort of like sheep haha.

      Good point about Gabriel deflecting, he’s really something else. Good riddance if you ask me lol. I also hope the show can keep it up, so far so good.

  11. I’m still not sure about why Carol wouldn’t kill the guy herself. She’s shown a willingness to act in the past. Why does Rick have to do it? Would it fall under his role in law enforcement? Both of the deaths in this episode were so grisly, even more than normal. I’m curious about where the growing conflict is heading!

    • Hello Dan! I was thinking the same thing myself, Carol is passing the buck onto Rick. I would think Rick would need some actual evidence before deciding his next course of action. The deaths were so grisly, really graphic stuff this ep. I’m so excited for where this goes next! 😀

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