Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Beginning Of The End - The Walking Dead 'Spend' Review

There are only two episodes left of this season of The Walking Dead and up to now it's felt like the show hasn't really been going anywhere.  Yes, the survivors reached Alexandria and have started to become a part of the community, but it hasn't felt like it's been building to anything the way seasons three and four did with the Governor and Terminus.  'Spend', however, ramps everything up a gear and begins to set the stage for what is sure to be a very dramatic finale.

Since the show came back after it's mid-season break it's been a little slower, more focused on the group and their personal struggles rather than action and horror.  We lost Tyrese sure, but it was done in such a way that it was slow, that we saw his demise through his eyes, but other than that the second half of season five has been about the people.

'Spend' bucks this trend and gives us not just one, but two dramatic scenes with Abraham facing off a horde to save a member of the Alexandria community and Glenn, Noah, Terra and the other runners in a supply run gone massively wrong.

What these two situations pointed out though is that perhaps Alexandria isn't the haven everyone was hoping for,  It's no Woodburry by any means, there's nothing dark hiding under the surface, instead it's the ineptitude and cowardice of the community that proves to be a problem, and possibly one of the biggest one the group has had to face.

They're not in direct danger from these people, it's not like being caged up to be eaten, but they're fighting against a system that just doesn't work in this new world.  People died in this episode because of the actions of the people from Alexandria, because of their cowardice.  Tobin, leader of the Alexandria construction group, even goes to Diana and tells her that if people had listened to him then Francine would have been killed.  It was only the actions of Abraham that saved her and kept people together.

The fact that some of the people in Alexandria notice that they're not doing things the best way and that Ricks group can help them is a good sign, it shows that they're not all bad people, just soft.  Tobin insists on stepping down, placing Abraham in a position of authority because he knows its the right thing.  Even Aiden had started to listen to Glenn and realise that perhaps the way things were being done before weren't the best.  It was only an unlucky shot from his gun as Glenn was warning him that led to an explosion and the terrible events at the warehouse.  From the growth we'd already seen from him this episode I'm sure he would have listened to Glenn if he'd have had the chance and things would have ended up very differently.

As it is Aiden met a grizzly end at the hands, and mouths, of several walkers, Terra has suffered a major head injury and is in life threatening condition and the group lost Noah.  Whilst Noah has only been with the group a very short time and we've not been given a chance to really get to know him his death comes as a massive shock.  After the scene at the beginning of the episode where he starts down a new path towards becoming a builder and architect, with ideas on how to improve the community I'm sure many viewers were shocked that he died.  I myself was expecting him to be around a lot longer.

It wasn't just the suddenness of his departure that will be sure to have people talking though, but the brutality of it.  Quite possibly the goriest and most brutal death the show has ever given us the scene is made even harder by poor Glenn.  Not only do we have to watch Noah die, but we have to watch on as helpless as Glenn as he is forced to see his friend die.  Glenns reaction is quite possibly what makes the scene truly heartbreaking.

Suddenly Rick wanting to take over Alexandria doesn't seem like such an extreme reaction, but possibly one of the best things that could happen.  The people of ALexandria have been behind their walls for too long, they've not had to face the horrors in the world beyond and it really shows.

How these events will play out, and what Rick will do now that he has discovered that Pete is beating his wife and son is anyone's guess, though I highly doubt that Diana would freely hand over control of Alexandria without some kind of fight.  What will be interesting, however, is to see what sides people will take.  Will some of Ricks group side with Alexandria?  Sure, Gabriel has already betrayed them by going to Diana and telling her that they're not good people.  And after Abrahams actions on the construction site I'm sure some residents will see the advantages of having Rick and his group in control.

Either way, something big is coming, tensions are rising and sides are being drawn.  By the end of the season nothing's going to be the same again.


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