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"Spend" dismantles any false sense of security obtained by its characters by reveling in blood splatter with a fatal, jolting disruption of the status quo.
If it seems like we learned nothing from Tyreese's pointless demise, it's because we haven't. Biters gonna bite, dumb-asses gonna get bitten.
Based on what happens in this episode, Rick seems right in wanting to take over Alexandria. Hopefully it's a little more complicated than that.
On a show with its fair share of gruesome deaths, this may have been the most grisly yet. And Glenn has to sit there and watch behind the glass. It's devastating and effective.
Thanks to all the simmering suspicion, invisible brutality and subdued violence bubbling away inside its walls, the enclosed settlement feels less like a "safe zone", and more like a pressure cooker. An explosion feels imminent.
Not since the explosive death of a certain prince on Game of Thrones last year have I felt this moved to something akin to emotional nausea.
"Spend" saw a line crossed in the sand between the brave and the b*tch-made.
While the novelty of juxtaposing dinner parties with more harrowing (and familiar) adventures out in the woods has worn off a bit, tonight's outing largely succeeded in building up conflicts home and away.
The fact that we are still getting good world-building and character moments goes a long way.
There is an interesting contrast going on in "Spend" that, even though the episode feels too scattered at times, justifies what The Walking Dead has been doing with the Alexandria setting.
"Spend" was a damn solid episode that, in just one week, flipped me around on the whole "Rick taking over Alexandria" situation. Full of huge, tense moments and surprising deaths, this chapter now has me back on Team Ricktatorship.
It was an intense episode when I was expecting a little more calm before the storm now that they're in a safe place. That's a good thing, but The Walking Dead certainly offers little mercy.
Frankly, the overt stressing of the tragedy of a single character hasn't been so tastelessly extended since Otis got devoured in season two.