WARNING: Possible spoilers for The Walking Dead TV and comic series ahead! Proceed with caution!
Wow. I'm going to say it: Last night's episode of The Walking Dead was the best of Season 5. Don't get me wrong, the premier was bad-ass as hell, but Episode 14, "Spend" just went totally next level.
On one hand, we had some amazing development from both characters old and new, and on the other hand we had some serious action scenes, including two incredibly intense death scenes. Seriously, Noah's death was without a doubt the goriest AMC has ever done, and also one of the most heart-wrenching at the same time. Never have I been so torn on whether I should cry or look away in disgust.
But with every episode of The Walking Dead, there's always plenty we did see and plenty we didn't, check out these 5 things you may have missed in Episode 14, "Spend."
1. The Bible came up again and again
As we all know, The Walking Dead has never shied away from references and comparisons to The Bible and the use of religious imagery throughout the last 5 Seasons, and tonight was no exception. First up, we had Noah in what we thought was the beginning of his journey to becoming Reg's apprentice architect. It really looked like Noah was going to help Alexandria become a modern day Noah's Ark, helping the living ride out the flood of the dead. Unfortunately, Noah's Ark and arc came to an abrupt end, though hopefully he made Reg understand the importance of educating the younger members of Alexandria so that the community can continue to be a safe place.
The second big biblical reference came, unsurprisingly, from the man of God himself, Father Gabriel. After burning his clerical collar a few episodes ago, Gabriel was back behind the pulpit. However, he seemed to come to a realization, and went and told Deanna that Rick and co. were not to be trusted, using the phrase:
Satan, he disguises himself as the angel of light. I'm afraid that false light is here, inside these walls.
I'm not exactly sure where Gabriel has been hiding out since the group arrived in Alexandria, but he's definitely making it clear that now that he's safe behind walls he's ready to play the part of Judas. Interestingly, in the Bible there are several different accounts for how Judas died. In the Acts of the Apostles it states that after buying a field with his blood money, he fell headfirst and his intestines burst out, and in the book of Matthew, Judas commits suicide by hanging. To me, given that Maggie overheard his tirade to Deanna, it certainly seems like Gabriel may have metaphorically hung himself. I can't wait to see what this means for his future given the changes Alexandria looks to be going through.
2. Carol fought with her inner demons
Carol has definitely been the character to watch over Season 5. After the horrific events of the second half of Season 4 involving Karen, David, Lizzie and Mika, Carol has changed and become a much harder person. Her last few interactions with young Sam have definitely shown her reluctance to form any kind of bond with children again (she even never really seems to engage with Carl or Judith any more), and given her past with Sophia and then Lizzie and Mika, who can really blame her.
Fortunately though, she softened enough to understand that poor Sam was hiding a secret that Carol herself had hidden for many years, and that Sam was shadowing her for a reason: he wanted a gun to protect his family from his father, Pete. Even though it may have seemed harsh when she suggested that Rick would kill Pete, after what happened with Ed back in Season 1, Carol knew that there's no place for people like this in a small, post-apocalyptic, society. This is one storyline to watch carefully, I predict it will be one of the bigger storylines for the last two episodes of Season 5.
3. The finale was foreshadowed
There was a decent bit of foreshadowing in this episode, the first of which was Noah's death when the song 'Internet Friends' by Knife Party was blasting in the van when the group took on their run. The line "now you're going to die" unfortunately rang all too true for the newest member of the group when he succumbed to a group of walkers thanks to the cowardice of Nicholas.
The second reference to something sinister was the sign by the construction zone which read:
Big things are coming: The Woodlands mall.
You've arrived at your destination.
While the construction crew did have to deal with a whole group of walkers later in the episode, I think the sign was definitely indicating much bigger things to come in the season finale, most probably related to all of the Wolves foreshadowing we've been seeing. For those interested in some healthy speculation, and not adverse to potential spoilers, take a look over here at what I believe the season finale will hold.
4. The group has taken over
Despite Noah's death, he wrote something pretty prophetic down in his journal as the first and last entry, "this is the beginning." This episode is certainly the beginning of Rick's group taking over Alexandria and making it into the best that it can be. First up we had Abraham showing the construction crew how things are done, and former leader Tobin willingly handing over the reigns. After the events of the supply run it's obvious that Glenn will now step up and make sure accidents like the deaths of Aidan and Noah never happen again. Rick and Michonne already have law enforcement under control, Daryl is a recruiter, while Sasha is in the newly created lookout position. Even Maggie is already in place to shadow Deanna on the political side of things.
They may have been there for a short time, but that was all the group needed to show their power, authority and usefulness in Alexandria, and thankfully the citizens seem to understand that this new group can handle things much better than they have so far.
5. There was a TON of character development
Even though this episode had quite a decent amount of action, it was also filled with development from many characters:
- Eugene: Wow, finally we're seeing what kind of balls the man with the mullet has! After claiming he wasn't combat ready, and stumbling at the blocks when they were inside the warehouse, Eugene really showed his worth when he got an injured Tara out of the building and then saved Glenn and Nicholas by drawing the walkers away with loud music.
Aidan: Sadly Aidan took until his dying moments to show any sign of development, but with his dying breaths he admitted that the others in the supply run group had died because his and Nicholas' actions, saying "it was us. The others before, they didn't panic, we did. It was us."
Noah: Noah had always been a nice enough character, adding a decent amount to the group in the short space of time he had been with them. Sadly in "Spend" he showed that he really wanted to commit and contribute to society within Alexandria, but unfortunately although he was willing, the fates had other plans.
Nicholas: Well, we didn't learn a lot of good things about Nicholas, but he did show his true colors when he was more than happy to abandon his injured friend and then leave Glenn and Noah for dead in order to save his own skin. I truly hope there is some sort of repercussion for his actions, particularly now that Rick is in charge of law enforcement.
- Gabriel: Just like Nicholas, we didn't learn an awful lot of good things about Gabriel, but he did show that even though he chose to leave members of his congregation locked outside his church to succumb to walkers, he still has some weird belief that Rick and the group are worse than him. Thankfully I don't think Deanna will take Gabriel's word to mean much, after all, how can you truly believe a group with a baby could be all that bad?
What did you enjoy the most about "Spend"? Tell me below!