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The Walking Dead Recap: Ep. 514, “Spend”

The streets are empty early one morning as Father Gabriel arrives at the town church. He places a piece of wax paper in a bible, presumably to repair a torn page (though I’m not sure how that would work at all). He looks over to see that Rosemary has left him a delicious looking bowl of fresh strawberries and a note intoning how blessed Alexandria is to have him. He becomes visibly agitated and instead of fixing the page, he tears it. And the one after it. And the ones after that, too, until he rips the whole book apart. He looks up pleadingly, seemingly looking for answers from an ever silent higher power.

Daryl and Aaron head out on a recruitment trip as Reg and Noah meet under a gazebo for a chat one morning. Noah wants to start learning about architecture from Reg so that he can help protect Alexandria’s infrastructure and be integral to its future growth. Reg thinks this idea is a-MAH-zing and gives Noah his notebook.

Reg: I write down everything noteworthy that happens to me. Now you should. You’re going to be learning a lot in the coming mornings, and not just steel cut oatmeal appreciation.

Abraham is struggling. With sobriety? With a lack of action? With mirrors? I don’t know what he’s struggling with exactly, but it’s not a lack of a gorgeous girlfriend. Glenn, Noah, Tara, Aiden, Nicholas, and Eugene are getting packed up and strapped up for a run and Eugene is vehemently against going. He reiterates his uselessness and how he is unwilling to use a gun. Noah gives Eugene one anyway as Tara peppers him with questions about someone named Holly. Someone’s got a crush! Eugene tries to simply explain what the team will be looking for – a dozen batteries for the town’s power grid – but they drag him along anyway. Deanna, Reg, and Maggie see them off as Aiden cranks up the house music and Gabriel peeks his head out so everyone can see his pensive expression.

Rick happens upon Neighbor Jessie’s house by accident and finds her cleaning up her owl sculpture, now shattered in her garage. Rick offers to make out with her ask around and find out if anyone knows anything about the incident, because what else is he doing really? Jessie wonders what is going to happen if he finds out who broke it.

Rick: Some kind of consequences. According to the Broken Window theory, keeping the windows intact keeps society intact.

Think of me as a human Cowardly Lion.

The run group plots their infiltration of their target and it’s more and more apparent how hapless these Alexandrians can be. Glenn wants to talk strategy but Nicholas is all, “I’m just gonna walk out the front, guns blazing, because that’s how I roll!” The team splits up to case the exits for the building, and Tara and Eugene are paired. Once again, he warns her that he is not combat inclined. He told the group that DC would be a good place to find shelter and it was, so he should be exempt from facing this kind of danger.

Tara: Are you really that much of a coward?
Eugene: Yes! I am! I TOLD YOU THAT!

Glenn compliments Noah’s aim and they bond over a mutual disdain for Aiden. Just then they reach a fence that reveals a horde of walkers blocking the front entrance of the building they’re going to enter. No leaving out the front, I guess! At a side entrance, they open the door and Glenn bangs loudly to attract any walkers present and take them out immediately. Strategically, they all enter the warehouse and search for anything moving. Glenn stops them as he hears walkers, but he knows they must be trapped because they aren’t coming for the group and Aiden finally realizes that Glenn really knows his stuff. Up and around a corner they find them: at least a dozen walkers trapped in a fenced cage. Now it’s up to Eugene to locate the product.

Eugene and Tara find the goods – micro-converters – and as they attempt to hold the area a walker in military armor approaches Aiden’s six (as my boyfriend refers to it) so Aiden shoots at him. Glenn advises that Aiden let the walker get closer because it’s wearing armor but Aiden keeps shooting. Then Glenn notices the walker is wearing a grenade and shouts for Aiden to stop shooting but he doesn’t and KABOOM!

Glenn and Nicholas right themselves first and Nicholas is in full on panic mode: he’s just found Aiden impaled on a forklift and declares Aiden dead. Noah finds Glenn and Eugene shouts for help. Tara is bleeding from the head and unconscious and walkers are closing in. Glenn tells Eugene to take out the walker but another sneaks up behind him before he can get a shot off so Glenn and Noah save him. Glenn gets Tara and Eugene and Noah head to a nearby office to hole up.

Meanwhile, Carol hears some thudding and rustling coming from downstairs. She creeps down the stairs and opens Harry Potter’s first bedroom to find Sam, the kid she threatened with horrific bodily harm last week. He is, of course, looking for more cookies. (In a closet? Oh, okay.) He didn’t tell anyone about the guns she stole, he wants Carol to know.

Sam: My house doesn’t have power. I was going to paint my owl statue but somebody broke it.
Carol: What? These aren’t real problems. I don’t care about your house. I don’t care about your statue. Now get out.

Sam continues to bargain for cookies: maybe Carol can make him some more? No, okay. Maybe she can teach him how to make them so he can have them whenever he wants? She acquiesces.

Carol: You want cookies? You’re gonna have to steal the chocolate from Olivia. And you’re going to get an extra bar for me. If you get caught or say anything, you’re not gonna like what happens to you. Now, go.

Back in the warehouse, the group realizes their medical kits are with Aiden (now blown to bits) and in the van (outside) and they need to get Tara to the van to save her. Then Aiden groans and regains consciousness. He’s not dead after all! Glenn takes Noah and Nicholas out of the office to try to save Aiden (even though Nicholas just wants to kill him instead).

You guys, I found my catchphrase!

Abraham is on an Alexandria construction crew working on building a new wall. As Bruce, one of his fellow workers, heads off to the tree line to send a fax to Cleveland (people still say this?), Abraham notices birds flying up out of the very same patch of woods. He has what looks like a small anxiety attack and then hears the cry of, “ROAMERS!” He snaps out of it and the whole of the construction crew opens fire on the twenty or so walkers creeping out of the woods.  As they fire, one of the workers, Francine, is knocked from her perch and Tobin would have the group leave her behind. But not while Abraham’s around! He picks her up and puts her into a tractor for safety, just as a small band of walkers begin to close in on him.

Abraham: Mother dick.

He drops and slides beneath the tractor and out the other side, allowing him to shoot all the walkers who had been after him. He tells Francine to take out the walkers behind him as he attacks the ones in front of him head on, one by one. Tobin tries to encourage Bruce to stay away from this craziness, but he’s like, “Abraham’s still alive and I’m going to help him stay that way.”

Pete shows up at Rick’s house, clearly already half in the bag, and offers Rick some beer. “For helping my wife earlier,” he says. Rick declines as he’s kinda always on duty. Pete’s all, “But not at Deanna’s party, eh? I saw you.” Then, apropos of nothing, Pete brings up Lori.

Pete: I’m sorry. I heard you lost your wife. I’m sure it looks like we haven’t lost much, but we have. We’ve lost things. Other things we’re just fighting like hell to hang on to. Everything you people have been through, I don’t know if you see that.
Rick: We do.
Pete: Bring your kids in for a checkup! And let’s be friends.

Yes, please, convivial passive aggressive doctor! I not only want to be BFFs but I want you to be responsible for my children’s safety! (/sarcasm)

In the warehouse office, Eugene offers Tara words of regret and as he hears walkers approaching, pulls together his resolve to save her. He puts Tara over his shoulder and leaves the office like Forrest Gump, putting down walkers as he goes and proving once and for all that he’s more useful than Gabriel. Noah keeps guard as Glenn and Nicholas try to lift Aiden off the forklift, but it’s no good. Aiden’s really on there and they can’t move him without Aiden screaming in pain. Nicholas doesn’t think they can do it and Aiden begs him not to leave him. As Noah kills more and more walkers, Nicholas panics.

Nicholas: You left them. We both left them. It’s who we are. I’m sorry.

A particularly horrible way to go.

And he runs off. As Aiden realizes his fate, he confesses to Glenn that the runners Alexandria lost last month didn’t die because of their own mistakes, it was them. Aiden and Nicholas panicked and cost those runners their lives. Noah drags Glenn away in the nick of time and Aiden is ripped apart by walkers.

Back at the construction site, Abraham drags Tobin for not being willing to save his own people. Francine doesn’t think that’s enough and gives him a heavy right cross. Bruce thinks their fighting noises will attract more walkers and they should probably call it quits for the day, but the action has ignited the fire of leadership within Abraham.

Abraham: Screw that, we’re good. I want two lookouts, one in the bucket and one in the trucks. Should give us more than enough warning if more are coming out after the bash and pop. Now pull the cobwebs outta your ass and move! We got a wall to build.

Nicholas runs out through the rotating doors, straight into the walkers who were out front. Glenn and Noah run up right behind him with walkers on their own tails, and the three of them become trapped in the rotating door, surrounded on all sides by walkers.

Tobin reports to Deanna, Reg, and Maggie that he has ceded control of the construction site to Abraham. Although Abraham has no demonstrated experience running a construction site (as Reg points out), Tobin thinks Abraham will be more successful than he because, well, people actually listen to him. And they’re still out there working, even after the horrible attack that almost cost them a team member. Deanna agrees with slight reluctance but Tobin says she won’t regret it.

Maggie: He’s right. Abraham’s more than qualified.
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. That’s why you wanted us here. You wanted a future. You need us for that.

Sticky Fingers Sam arrives back at Carol’s with the pilfered chocolate as agreed, so she bakes the cookies as he tries to make small talk.

Sam: Were you a good cook, before?
Carol: We’re not talking.
Sam: We don’t have to be friends. It just doesn’t have to be quiet.
Carol: I was good at it. It distracted me and made me forget when I was sad.
Sam: Sometimes when I get sad I break stuff.
Carol: Like what? Owl statues? Did you break that? Why are you here?
Sam: Why’d you steal the guns?
Carol: Because sometimes you need to protect yourself.
Sam: Can I have one?
Carol: Why?
Sam: It’s not for me.
Carol: Who’s it for?

And without collecting his well-earned cookie loot, Sam runs out of Carol’s house.

Why couldn’t it have been Nicholas?!

In the rotating door, Nicholas has ammo but Glenn and Noah have the guns. Eugene drives up with the van to lure some of the walkers away and Glenn tries to break one of the door’s glass panes. If Noah and Nicholas hold the door steady, Glenn and Noah can grab a rifle and they can all escape. But Nicholas, predictably, freaks out and pushes the wrong way, opening the door enough for him to escape and for the horde to grab Noah. As he sits, still trapped in the rotating door, Glenn watches as Noah is savagely torn apart and will never have a peaceful night’s sleep again.

Nicholas runs up to Eugene in the van and orders him to let him in and drive away. Eugene wants to know where the others are but Nicholas is all, “Get out of my way or you’ll be as dead as your friends!” They scuffle and Glenn shows up and knocks that dickwad out (#ForNoah!). Eugene asks where Noah is but Glenn can only tell him to tie Nicholas up and throw his dumb ass in the back of the van.

Carol turns up at Neighbor Jessie’s house looking for Sam, but Pete answers the door. She wants to know if Sam is okay, so Pete asks, “Why wouldn’t he be?” Carol asks to speak to Jessie, but Pete closes the door claiming it’s not a good time, and Carol recognizes the signs of an abusive household. In the van on the way home, Glenn and Eugene are shell shocked and Eugene notices the only contents of Noah’s newly acquired notebook: “This is the beginning.” (Sob.)

Gabriel visits Deanna as Carol visits Rick, each with a heavy sense of foreboding.

Gabriel (to Deanna): Satan, he disguises himself as the angel of light. I’m afraid you let that false light in when you welcomed Rick Grimes and his group. This place is a paradise and I’m grateful for being here, but Rick and his group are not good people. They’ve done unspeakable things.

Carol (to Rick): Pete’s hitting Jessie. Probably Sam, too.

Deanna knows they’ve done awful things; they had to in order to make it out there as long as they did. Gabriel insists they aren’t assets and can’t be trusted, and Maggie creeps up on the stairs to eavesdrop.

Gabriel (to Deanna): They can’t be trusted. You may believe that they only did what they had to do, but the day will come when they will put their lives before everyone else’s and they will destroy everything you’re trying to build.

Rick wonders how Carol can know about this abuse. Did Sam tell her? “He didn’t have to,” she tells him. Gabriel reiterates that Satan disguises himself as a light bringer, and Rick and his group are “false apostles” who “don’t deserve paradise.” Deanna thanks him and shows him to the door, but not before Gabriel says he wishes he had told her sooner, that he hopes it isn’t too late for Alexandria. As she reflects, we hear Glenn outside, shouting for help. And Carol gives Rick her two cents re: Abusive Pete.

Carol: Rick, I know how this is going to go with Pete. There’s only one way it can go. You’re going to have to kill him.

The Questions: Is the only way to deal with an abusive spouse in this world really to kill them? Is Carol being crazy or pragmatic (especially considering her own experiences with abuse)? What is Maggie going to do about: 1) Glenn nearly dying again, and 2) the information about Gabriel, their very own Judas? What job does Rosita have in Alexandria? Is anyone sad that Aiden is gone? And WHO WILL AVENGE NOAH?! #ForNoah!

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