TV Review: Spend S5E14 // The Walking Dead

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With what many have described as a slow build up to the final episodes of the season, we’ve been waiting with baited breath for a swift punch to the gut – and boy does Spend deliver. Chilling discoveries at Alexandria and shocking confessions from Father Gabriel are sure to test the status quo, whilst a trigger happy survivor leaves people fighting for their lives.

Father Gabriel was a rather strange chap when we were first introduced to him. Hiding out in a church and clinging onto his faith for survival, there were plenty of tasty morsels for the writers to sink their teeth into. There were hints at his sinful past that are yet to be divulged in great detail. We’ve seen people fight a losing battle with their faith in the past, most notably Maggie, but it would be nice to take an alternative look at someone whose only strength is their belief in a higher being. Sadly, we are yet to see this deeper level to Father Gabriel. Naturally, this gives his confession to Deanna that Rick and his group are not to be trusted less of a resounding impact than the creators will have hoped for. Maybe his determination to dirty their names is a method of self-protection on his part. Maybe it’s a means of him purging his soul of the sins he’s committed by associating with them. For now though, all we can do is speculate. With just two more episodes left of the show’s fifth season, it seems that these speculations may not be cleared up any time soon.

“They’ve done things. They’ve done unspeakable things.”

Spend helped tie up loose ends with characters that had taken a bit of a back-seat in the last few episodes. Abraham sets off to help the Alexandrians reinforce the wall that separates them from the walkers, but he doesn’t have an easy ride. After a hoard of walkers begin to encroach on them, Francine is left cowering in the dirt and facing certain death. Whilst her apparent friends decide that her life isn’t worth risking their own for, Abraham does the right thing and runs to her rescue. It’s here that it becomes abhorrently clear where the weakness in Alexandria lies: they may have a bed to sleep in at night, but they don’t have the value of true friendship.

After the nothing short of terrifying threat Carol made to young Sam last week, we weren’t expecting much of a bond to form between the two. However, despite wanting to show that she is not a force to be reckoned with, it seems that Carol can’t help but feel a level of responsibility for Sam. This becomes particularly evident when she is approached by the boy in the hopes of borrowing a gun for protection. Her attempts to probe him for answers fall flat on its face, but later on Carol learns that Pete may be abusing Sam and his wife Jessie. Turning to Rick for help, Carol straight-faced tells him that he needs to kill Pete, a move that would’ve been more shocking prior to Carol’s previous threat to Sam. There’s no denying that there’s a storm brewing in Alexandria, but who will spark the storm is anyone’s guess.

“There’s only one way it can go. You’re gonna have to kill him.”

Now for the nitty gritty. When a commonplace supply run for electricity packs turns sour, we are once again reminded that no-one in this world is safe. After Aidan takes a shot at a walker adorned in grenades, a minor threat soon turns into a horrific one. Tara is knocked unconscious by the explosion, depending on the haphazard Eugene to protect her, and Aidan becomes impaled on numerous nasty appendages that leave him quite literally hanging on for dear life. Glenn, the kind soul that he is, immediately rushes to his rescue with Noah in tow. Unfortunately though, there is simply nothing they can do for Aidan. Knowing that this is the end for him, Aidan confesses that the Alexandria crew are not newbies when it  comes to abandoning their own, and it becomes scarily clear that the group may not be as safe as they were led to believe.

Despite being a new member of the group, Noah has stood out as a genuinely kind man who puts the safety of others before his own. As we’ve come to learn though, being the nice guy can only get you so far. There’s not much that really needs to be said about the graphic details of his untimely death, other than what made it so unbearable to watch was how much it destroyed Glenn. Pressed up against the glass as walkers savagely tear him apart limb from limb, it is obvious that this is not a mercy killing. People cannot keep losing their lives because of the incapability of others. One thing’s for sure: you’ll think twice before using a revolving door again.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOMQZYnFr5I

Before their arrival at Alexandria it wasn’t looking good for Rick and co. Friendships were being tested and minds were becoming increasingly tormented. But just when we thought they were starting to regain their grip on reality, Deanna and her rabble of friendly neighbourhood acquaintances proved that security means nothing if you don’t have the competency to survive. Through all the hardships they’ve faced, the gang have become more dependent on each other than ever before. They have one another’s backs in every sense of the word. Maybe the key to survival that they’ve been searching for has been right under their nose all along.

Words by Sophie Mace.

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