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Harvey, Adair & Smith SPEND Some Time With THE WALKING DEAD

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Season 5, Episode 14 “Spend”

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Timothy: ((ahem))

Dustin: What?

Timothy: It’s Thursday.

Dustin: I know.

Timothy: And…

Dustin: And what?

Timothy: Are you planning on writing anything for The Walking Dead?

Dustin: Tim, you know I write my part while watching the episode.

Timothy: Yeahhhh…

Dustin: Well…

T: You… are… KILLING ME.

Dustin: I had things going on.

Timothy: Yes, we all had things going on SUNDAY. Planet Comicon was happening, and Scifi4Me had a booth, and panels and shooting to do. You had children to take care of. There was a lot going on.

Dustin: See.

Timothy: So what about the rest of the week?

Curtis: I got my part done. On Sunday.

Timothy: Holy crap. I did not see you there.

Dustin: What… where did you come from?

Curtis: Been here the whole time you two have been talking. I’m stealthy.

Timothy: Clearly. Folks, we’re back from Planet Comicon, and the kids are all in bed, so it’s time for our look at AMC’s The Walking Dead. As always, I am joined by Mr. Adair and Mr. Smith, and this week gives us a new challenge on the editing part, as the writers have invented a new way to swear, and it’s just too…

Dustin: Weird?

Curtis: Awesome?

Timothy: … entertaining to pass up on using. Adult show, adult-ish language. And there are SPOILERS.

Spoilers_WalkingDead

Dustin: Wait. Does that mean I get say @#$% without you changing it?

Timothy: Nope.

Dustin: @#$%. RECAP!!!

It’s a lovely morning in Zombie Acres. Birds are singing, the sun is shining. All is right with the world.

Gabe walks into a place; it looks like a garage… but seems to have been set up as a church. He has some plastic with him. He puts the plastic in the Bible. Then he notices some strawberries. There is a nice note from the town telling him how happy everyone is he’s there.

He goes back to his Bible and proceeds to rip out some pages, oooohhh you angsty now, Father? Well, I guess it’s about time you developed some sort of personality beyond block of wood in a collar.

I think you’re being optimistic.

Then he’s all like: sadface.

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In other news: Daryl is back on a motorcycle. He and Aaron head out on their first tour together as recruiters.

At the gazebo, Reg the Glasses meets with.. Noah? What?

They talk about bull@#$%. Noah wants to learn how to build things. He is gonna Cousin Oliver the @#$% out of Alexandria, isn’t he? Noah is afraid that there he a chance the walls could have bad things happen to them, and he’s in it for the long haul, so wants to learn how to repair them and the houses and maybe build new ones.

Alexandria is doomed.

Reg the Glasses writes some stuff down. Then he gives Noah the book and tells him that he needs a notebook if he’s gonna learn to architect. Oh Reg, you’re such a @#$%ing glasses.

As a glasses-wearer… yeah, OK. I don’t know about this scene, I really don’t. On one hand, Noah getting something to do, to maybe develop the character more, sure, I’m fine with that, because he’s really underdeveloped. On the other, it feels… odd. Out of place somehow.

Abe is… not happy… or he is.. I can never tell.

He washes his face. It looks like he is teetering on the brink of something.

Out at a van, Noah and the other away team members are preparing to go on a mission. They want to take Eugene and pick up some parts for the power grid. Tara asks Noah what some girl’s “deal” is. It is unclear whether she is asking for Noah or herself.

Hrm. No Rick yet. No Carol. Daryl buggered off early. This is a “B-Team” story all the way I guess.

Reg the Glasses, Deanna, and Maggie are all there to say goodbye. Aidan likes to listen to really loud techno in the van. Come on, Aidan, ain’t you know the only thing Team Zombie likes to listen to in vehicles with working stereo systems is the sound of their own growing ennui?

More importantly, why is everyone just letting this idiot make all this noise? Yeah, the townspeople make noise, but not really-loud-draw-all-the-undead-to-us-noise, until now, apparently. Does it make any sense whatsoever to make yourself the biggest target when going supply hunting?

Gabe is… there…to? What is your deal today, Gabe?

Meanwhile: Oh hi, Rick! He’s on his rounds, which just so happen to take him past Jessie’s garage. Rick and Jessie moon at each other. Someone destroyed Jessie’s stupid owl. She’s like: not in my neighborhood!!

Rick is all like: I’m a cop!!

Jessie asks him what will happen to the culprit if he’s caught and Rick says he’s gonna make him… break a window? Or repair one? Jesse doesn’t understand the metaphor either.

Ah, not-so-young-love.

The Away Team arrives at some sort of warehouse. The Alexandria contingent consists of Aidan and Curly McCowardice. Team Zombie’s additions are Glenn, Tara, Noah, and Eugene. So it basically breaks down pretty evenly on the cowardly and useless/brave and smart scale.

Eugene and Tara do a perimeter check. Eugene thinks since it was his idea to go to Washington, D.C., he should basically not have to do nothing ever again, but Tara is basically like: Shut up and stop being an idiot.

Eugene is like: nahhh.

Is Eugene really this clueless? Really? But I do have to say that his “I told you I was a coward” bit was pretty great, because if nothing else, at least Eugene knows that about himself.

Noah and Glenn: Aidan is a stupid jerk for jerks! Also there are a lot of walkers out the front doors of this store. Gee, I hope they don’t become an unmanageable problem later.

Can’t imagine that they would.

Into the place we go…

Glenn is afeared of walkers. Aidan doesn’t want to be afeared.

They check the darkened aisles. There is a noise. Glenn is all: shhh!! There are several behind a fence.

Tara and Eugene are looking for the stuff to fix the power grid. It’s pretty easy to find, although it’s pretty funny that Tara apparently never learned how to open a box.

Meanwhile: Aidan is walking around There is a walker sneaking up on him. It’s wearing riot gear. Aidan starts to take pot shots at it, but since its head is protected, he can’t bring it down. Glenn tells him to wait until it’s closer, then kill it, but Aidan is having a little fun. He shoots it in the knee and it falls. Just about the time Glenn notices there is a grenade attached to the walker’s chest, Aidan shoots it.

SPLOSIONS!!

Ugh, Glenn is okay, everybody. Like we expected to open on smoldering Glenn pieces. Aiden is SO dead. Like impaled on shelving with pieces sticking out of him in weird angles dead. Curly McCowardice is fine though. So are Noah and Eugene. Tara is hurt, she has a pretty bad head injury, but she’s been separated by the group by fallen shelving and boxes.

Eugene is attacked!! Glenn and Noah save him. Then Glenn hops over the barricades to save Tara.

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Meanwhile: Carol has a little stalker. It’s Jessie’s idiot son who Carol had to threaten with death last week! He wants her cookies! Sam’s little owl is broken and he loves her. OMG. Sam is Dennis the Menace and Carol is Mr. Wilson.

She sends him to steal chocolate.

Away Team is now trapped in the warehouse’s office. Tara looks like she is in bad shape, but everyone else is okay.

Hey, Aidan is actually alive!! But still impaled. So not alive for long. Glenn, Curly McCowardice and Noah go to un-stick him.

Which is a terrible idea, by the way, because he’s just going to bleed out. Those spike/rods/whatevers are just about the only things keeping all that useful blood stuff inside him where it belongs. They pull him off, and it’s allllll going to rush out the holes.

In another neck of the woods: Abe has joined the construction crew that is scavenging the area for building supplies. Abe is now a mundane. He looks at birds. What the actual @#$% is going on?

He seems… faint? Woozy.

Walker attack!! Everyone shoots. A woman falls off the bulldozer she is using as a perch and Abe goes to save her as the other workers fall back to a safer location. They are instantly separated from the group. Abe shoots walkers for a bit, but then he gives the gun to the lady and bashes the walkers with a thing. The other men go to save him.

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So there’s a couple of things to unpack here, and neither of them make a whole lot of sense. When the lady – whose name is Nadine, by the way –  is looking like she’s going to be attacked, everyone else just leaves her, and the foreman guy even says that that’s what they do when this sort of thing happens. Which is just insane and if this is the way that these folks operate, then how many people have they just let die? Lots of empty houses, and we know that they’ve lost some of the supply run team, but how the hell do you come up with the operations plan of abandoning your people whenever they are under attack?

Yeah, and there’s other thing: the new swear-word I was talking about.

So, you may have noticed that Dustin swears a lot, and I make a lot of these “@#$%” happen. On one hand, it’s because we sort of try and run this site with something resembling an all-ages approach, even with a show that is clearly aimed at grownups like TWD. There is plenty of swearing on the show, sure, and we could just let Dustin’s swearing through, but to be honest, I think the “@#$%” stuff is funny.

But this… well. I have never heard the phrase “Mother Dick” before, and clearly neither had Twitter, ’cause it blew up with it, and it’s obviously a placeholder for “mother@#$%” or “mother@#$%er”, and it’s as bad as those terrible dubs of those R-rated films that get broadcast on network TV with all the swearing turned into ridiculous nonsense words.

Still, it was funny. So there it is.

Back in Zombie Acres: Dr. Husband arrives to shoot the @#$% with Rick. He drunk. He wants Rick to drunk with him. Dr. Husband is not impressed with the destruction of the owl. Dr. Husband brings up Lori. Ooh he so drunk. Now he wants to give the kids a check-up, but not now. He wants to be friends. Oh. Dr. Husband, you are 100% doomed.

Oh, but the subtext is thick here, and I’m pretty sure that the not-so-good doctor did see Rick and Jessie having their moment. And again, one has to wonder, what kind of town is this, because this kind of behavior isn’t going to just be limited to Rick, I mean c’mon.

Hey, Rick is still wearing his wedding ring. How have we not noticed this before?

Eugene is so upset that Tara is hurt. He lurves her, you guys. He sneaks out of the office with her over one shoulder. Shooting a couple of walkers along the way.

And today, Eugene becomes a man. Or something. Seriously though, look at Eugene step up here. Suddenly he isn’t quite all the uselessness, and that’s good.

Glenn and the others arrive where Aidan is kabobed. Oooh it’s bad. He will not live.

They try and pull Aidan off the skewers, but he’s… really stuck on there? You guys, don’t you hate it when you’re eating meats on a stick and the meat has, like, fused with the wood and it makes it super hard to get it off? That’s basically what’s happening here with Aidan. Curly McCowardice can’t handle it. He panics and runs. Noah is holding off the walkers as best he can, but they are advancing.

Aidan tells Glenn this isn’t the first time Curly McCowardice’s panic has gotten someone killed. It happened to the last scavenger team too. Aidan basically tells Glenn and Noah to go.

More than that, he tells Glenn that he and Curly McCowardice are the reason that the other scavenger team people got killed, because they were the ones who panicked. But then, since the apparent town policy is “Run! Save yourselves!”, how is this different?

Walkers eat the @#$% out of him.

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And no one mourned. Well, maybe his family. Maybe.

At the construction site: Abe is pissed that he and the lady were left to die. So is the lady. They punch the guy that ordered the retreat. Abe takes over the job site. He has purpose again.

As they should be, and as he should be. But it makes it look like the reason Alexandria wants Team Zombie to join is that they keep leaving their people to die.

At the Warehouse: Curly McCowardice runs to the front doors, but there are walkers out there!! There are walkers inside, too, so he’s basically trapped. Glenn and Noah arrive on the scene, but they are out of bullets, so they all try to get out the revolving doors. Walkers pile in on both sides, trapping them.

The guy from the construction site goes back to Deanna’s to tell her what happened. He’s not mad that Abe took over, he’s actually pretty glad. Neither is Reg the Glasses, but Deanna has a bit of concern on her face. The guy wanders off, and Reg the Glasses goes with him. What are they gonna do, I wonder. Stand in the middle of the street and talk about how they are basically useless?

And yet they neatly avoided the cliché of the foreman guy being angry for the stupid reasons. And again, it makes the whole “leave them behind” thing make no damn sense, and it’s obvious that they know it.

Deanna and Maggie have a chat about Abe. Dianna is worried Team Zombie is taking over Alexandria. And Maggie is basically like: Yeah. We are.

And yet that was clearly what Deanna had to know would happen when she started giving Team Zombie these jobs. She’s too smart not to.

Dennis the Menace returns with the stolen chocolate. Carol makes that kid some cookies. Dennis wants to talk, but Carol does not want to be friends. She has had her fill of children who want her attention.

Why do you think that is? Carol seems to attract children to her. I think it’s probably because children can sense that she is a survivor. Carol will do whatever it takes to live, and to make sure those around her can live. Even if that means killing. I think she must give off the feeling of protection that draws people like a moth to the flame. I tell you this: If I was in this world, and I had to choose someone to survive with, I would choose Carol over Rick in a heartbeat.

Then I would do everything in my power to avoid the flu.

I think there’s more to it than that, even though I agree that the children can tell that Carol is a protector. Part of it, I really think, is that Carol is almost the essence of MOTHER, albeit taken to an extreme. She loved being a mom, and has recreated that relationship again and again, whether it’s been with the doomed sisters or in one of the facets of her relationship with Daryl, or being in many ways, the mother to Team Zombie.

And c’mon: If Carol didn’t want the kid there on some level, she would have chucked his butt out. Literally.

Dennis really is a menace; he broke the owl because he was sad. Carol asks why he is a thing. Suddenly, Dennis asks if he can have one of the guns she stole. Carol’s Abused Mother Sense starts to tingle. Carol asks him why he wants the gun and Dennis runs out of the kitchen.

At the Warehouse: In the revolving doors: Everyone is still trapped.

If only someone was there to help… Oh. Look. Eugene to the rescue. Huh.

Eugene uses the van to attract the walkers away from the front doors. Now Glenn just has to figure out how to get out without having to feed anyone to the walkers on the inside of the revolving doors. He tries to break the glass with his gun, but that only makes the door swing and almost feeds Curly McCowardice to the walkers. Curly freaks and using his Coward’s Strength pushes the doors open enough for him to escape.

Of course this opens the doors enough for walkers to get in to the compartment where Glenn and Noah are. Noah is pulled out the door and devoured by walkers while Glenn watches helplessly.

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Bye, Cousin Oliver.

Not sure that’s the most graphic of the zombie kills we’ve had on this show, but it certainly is up there. Unfortunately, I’m watching it thinking about the makeup and prosthetic effects instead of the emotional impact of watching Noah die, because I have no emotional investment in the character at all.

Glenn is supes upset.

Curly McCowardice catches up the van and tries to order Eugene to leave his friends. Eugene says no, and basically blocks the door of the van until Glenn arrives on the scene and punches Curly in the @#$%ing face.

Eugene is stepping up a lot this episode, and that’s surprisingly cool to see. I wonder if we’re going to see the kind of shading of character that some of the folks like Rick, Carol and Daryl get with Eugene, and have him be both the awful coward and the guy who acts when the people he really cares about need him. Probably not, but that would be some good storytelling, should some writer types want to tackle it.

Carol goes to Dennis’ house and Dr. Husband answers the door. She asks to see Dennis. Dr. Husband is still drunk, and he refuses to allow her to see him. So Carol asks to speak to Jessie. Then Dr. Husband closes the door in her face… which is SO the wrong move.

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Yeaaaahhh. Pete is not aware of the level of hell that is about to fall on him, is he? Between Rick and Carol, there isn’t going to be much left of him other than some blood splatter on a wall. But again, how has this behavior gone unnoticed for so long in such a small group of people? I know that abuse is sadly easy to hide, and fear keeps victims from asking for help far too often, but the world is different now, right? People can’t afford to have the kind of blinders on that keep us from noticing these things when there are so few people, and all of them are needed for survival.

And that leads back to the messed up nature of this town.

The Away Team heads back to town. Eugene sees Noah’s book. Inside, Reg the Glasses had written ‘This is the Beginning’. I think we’re all supposed to feel really sad about it, but I… don’t?

Have to have an emotional investment to feel sad. We never got that with Noah, aside from his scenes with Beth, so maybe if she had lived, we’d have that connection. Without it though…

Gabe goes to see Deanna. He tells her that he’s afraid Rick and the rest of Team Zombie will be dangerous. Maggie overhears. Shut the @#$% up, Gabe.

Carol goes and tells Rick Dr. Husband is hitting Jessie. He asks her if she has any proof, and she says she JUST KNOWS. If anyone JUST KNOWS, it would be Carol.

Gabe tells Deanna Team Zombie is dangerous and she should have never let them into Alexandria. It’s clear to me Gabe is talking about himself, but he’s deflecting in a pretty spectacular way. Basically, Gabe is @#$%ing nuts. I think Deanna sees it in his eyes. Maggie hears the whole thing.

Outside, we hear, but do not see the Away Team return.

Carol tells Rick he will have to kill Dr. Husband.

Dun Dun Duuunnnn!!!

Aaaaand you didn’t write much in the final climatic moments, and you’re making that face you make.

Yeah. So a couple of things, I guess. First, Gabriel is crazy, and it’s obvious that he’s crazy, and not in a “we, the audience, know he’s crazy, but why can’t Deanna see it” kind of way. He’s neon-sign, hey look at me I’ve lost my god!@#$ed mind crazy.

He’s also so damn stupid it kills me. Look. Team Zombie saves him from his walking around stupid, and he hears, from their own mouths, that the Fine Young Cannibals are at the church to kill and eat them, and he still sneaks out of the church to “check” their story, ruining the church as a sanctuary. Then he tries to force his “help” on Sasha, reacts all hurt when she tells this stranger who she knows got his flock killed that his help is not something she wants or needs. So yeah, he’s stupid, he’s crazy, and he’s projecting. And if the next episode doesn’t open with Deanna telling the others that Gabriel is crazy and a danger to the town, then the writers need to be slapped, because no one acts like this if they are sane.

And this town… how are any of them still alive? They all have this… blindness to basic human behavior going on and it’s bizarre as hell. Sure, you have great walls, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t, oh I don’t know, throw something over them, so you put someone in the tower to keep watch, just in case, right?

No, not here.

You have a limited number of people, so you do your best to protect them out in the dangerous world beyond the walls, and when they are under attack, you do everything you can to save them, right?

No… not here.

In small towns, in not so small towns, everyone kind of knows everyone’s business, and when you’re trapped for better or worse with the same group of people, you see them over and over, you can’t help but notice the good and the bad things that they do, right? And yet we have a town doctor who is apparently a drunk, and is certainly a jerk, and is likely, and let me say that again, likely, an abusive husband and father.

And I say likely, because he is one in the comic, and he’s probably one here, too. In fact I’m sure he is, but what if he isn’t? Carol and Rick come with some pretty powerful built-in biases, don’t they?

Rick as a cop, and because he’s stupid on stupid-Jessie, and Carol because she’s been abused, sure. But Dr. Husband is going to be hitting Jessie, because drama, and he’s going to die, because Rick, you know that, right?

I do. But what if he isn’t what Carol thinks he is? She’s so certain, and Rick will be so certain, and he’ll kill him and everything will be whatever passes for OK on this show until the next thing, but how much more interesting would it be if they were wrong?

I think you’re applying too much thought to a show that has given us the gift of “Mother Dick”.

It’s what I do. Ah well. Thanks for reading folks.

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Timothy Harvey

Timothy Harvey is a Kansas City based writer, director, actor and editor, with something of a passion for film noir movies. He was the art director for the horror films American Maniacs, Blood of Me, and the pilot for the science fiction series Paradox City. His own short films include the Noir Trilogy, 9 1/2 Years, The Statement of Randolph Carter - adapted for the screen by Jason Hunt - and the music video for IAMEVE’s Temptress. He’s a former President and board member for the Independent Filmmakers Coalition of Kansas City, and has served on the board of Film Society KC.

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