Melissa McBride as Carol Peletier. Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Okay, is everybody over Carol’s “the monsters will come” speech to Sam last week? No? Me neither. It was seriously the best two minutes on the show in years. We (heart) you so hard, Carol! Now could you go smack some sense back into Michonne, before she puts on that ridiculous constable outfit again?

Are we at all curious how these nebbishes anchored these steel support beams all the way around Rural Alexandria? Are we curious how they forage for stuff and come back in one piece?

We are? Good, because this episode is titled “Spend,” but it might be better called “Rick & the Gang Try To Save These Cowardly Goobers from Themselves and Pay the Price.” This will not be a subtle point.

We’ll have three story lines with an opening and closing refrain, so look sharp.

In the Alpha and Omega bit (ahaha) we open with Father Gabe! Dude! Haven’t seen you in weeks! He goes into a church (where else?) in Rural Alexandria, looking greatly distraught, as he always does. One Weirdville resident has left a basket of fresh strawberries and a note: “Father, We are blessed to have you! Love, Rosemary.”

He’s not happy to see this, apparently, because Father Gabe is never happy about anything. This guy, you could give him a packed house and a gospel choir and he’d still moan about the organ being out of tune. He goes to the pulpit, sees a Bible and starts ripping out pages until they’re all gone. This does not seem like a good Christian thing to do, but we won’t throw stones (at least not yet). Pardon, but a grooming query: In light of Rick’s sexy haircut scene with Jessie, can we ask who shaves Father Gabe’s head? And how does he keep that collar so white? We will see Father Gabe again, at episode’s close.

In an aside, best new buds Daryl and Aaron go tooling out for recruits, and Daryl’s got a wild new bike, a custom-made job from Aaron’s garage. That’s it for Mr. Dixon this week.

Story line one tracks Noah, and it’s heavy. Noah meets with Reg, Deanna’s hubby, for a breakfast of steel-cut oatmeal and fatherly advice under a crystal blue sky. “So you can teach me how to build things?” Noah asks, cuz he wants to keep the walls secure, the houses together.

Reg says sure. He jots this down in a journal, a record he’s keeping of Rural Alexandria’s early days, for the future (this group seems VERY focused on their role as the Jamestown of the Post Zombie World.) He gives Noah a journal to start writing in, too. Awww.

But the gosh darn power grid, a prototype, has been acting up, and they need to make a supply run to find micro inverters that Eugene can install (hey, there’s Eugene, too) and get Rural Alexandria back up to the kind of electricity that the American People deserve.

So Noah, Glenn, Eugene, Aiden and Nicholas go out in a van, Aiden blasting techno music (to better attract herds of walkers?). They go to a warehouse with…the Capitol in the distance. This is going to be, I’m calling it Southwest D.C? Those scrapyards and warehouses and around Buzzard Point?

They find a box of inverters in a big, dark, scary warehouse with lots of walkers chained up in the back. But then a soldier walker gets loose! He’s in full body armor, and Aiden, idiot that he is, keeps blasting away at him until he hits a grenade on the soldiers belt. BLAM.

Well, genius, Aiden, that was just GENIUS. Tool.

The shrapnel blast leaves Tara unconscious with a wretched head wound and Aiden, impaled but alive, pinned to a wall. He’s got two steel rods, one through his shoulder, another through his gut. Eugene, the Cowardly Lion, rallies to save rapidly dying Tara from a herd of walkers, who are now advancing with attitude. Everyone holes up in an office for a moment. Glenn rallies Noah and Nicholas to bust out and try to save Aiden, while Eugene stays with Tara.

This doesn’t work out well. Aiden comes to while they’re trying to pry him off the steel rods. Nicholas panics and runs off when the walkers get close. Glenn and Noah stick it out until the herd becomes too much. Aiden, gasping, gives Glenn his last words: that the group of others who’d been killed on a supply run because they got scared? He’d lied. It was Nicholas and him who had freaked. They had left the others.

Aiden is then, I do not regret to report, eaten alive. (Not sure why Glenn or Noah didn’t put a mercy round in his head, but I’m not losing sleep about it.)

Eugene, meanwhile, mans up and throws Tara over his shoulder, busts out of the office, grabs a pistol and wastes one walker after another. Atta boy, Eugene! He goes to get the van for the escape.

But our boys are in a tight spot. Going out of the front lobby of the warehouse, with walkers closing in, Nicholas, Glenn and Noah get stuck on each side of a revolving door, with walkers on each side. Nicholas drops his rifle just outside the door, so they’ve got no more weapons. Eugene comes by in the van, stereo blasting, and draws the walkers from the outside of the door. Yay Eugene!

Now all the boys have to do is punch out the glass on one side of the door and they can get out. But it’s tough going and before Glenn can punch out the glass, Nicholas, on the other side of the revolving door, pushes his side open enough so that he can slide out. This, of course, forces open the other side of the door, so the walkers on the inside can reach in.

They grab Noah’s foot! “Don’t let go!” he pleads with Glenn, but they drag him out, shove him against the glass and eat him alive, PULLING HIS FACE OFF RIGHT IN FRONT OF GLENN!!

Nicholas doesn’t see any of this because he’s run all the way to the van. He pulls Eugene out and says, like he’s a big boss, that he’s taking the van and Eugene can stay behind or get back in the van and leave his friends.

Just then, Glenn runs up and clocks Nicholas. He says to Eugene, “help me get him in the back,” letting Eugene know with his eyes that Noah is gone, and we leave them there.

Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Story line two follows Abe. It’s a lot easier. He goes out with a crew to a construction site to get material to expand the steel walls around Rural Alexandria.

A herd of walkers comes up on them, natch, and the rest of the crew panics. They can’t shoot for nothing, these people. One of them does manage to ding a bulldozer rod, though, which has a lady named Francine high up in the raised scoop, where she was acting as lookout. This inverts the scoop, and down falls Francine. The rest are going to leave her there and run home, of course, cuz that’s just how they do things.

Abe, the former Army sergeant, is having none of it. He runs to Francine, taking out a couple of walkers with his M-16, but is quickly surrounded by a herd hungry for a ginger snack.

He gets Francine in the cab of the dozer. She takes the gun and starts picking off walkers, while Abe takes batting practice with construction tools upside their heads. He enjoys his skull-busting work — this guy!! — and dispatches them in short order.

Then he chews out the construction crew (Francine punches the guy who was going to lead a retreat), says they’ve got plenty of good daylight left, and they’ll be getting back to work.

“We got a wall to build,” he says. Abe: Large & In Charge, y’all.

The head of the crew runs back to town and tells Deanna that Abe is super great and he should take charge of the building group. He leaves and Maggie seconds the notion. Deanna, who has been begging Rick and the Gang for help, now turns to her and says, “I put another one of your people in power and you agree…it’s becoming a pattern.”

“You wanted a future, you need us for that,” Maggie says, but you can tell Deanna thinks it’s about time for the new kids to go home for lunch.

Story line three is about Rick and Jessie.

Somebody has gone into Jessie and Pete’s garage and smashed an owl statue that their kid Sam (the one who was scared witless by Carol last week) was building. Rick is walking by and, as constable, stops in to ask about it.

“Stuff like this doesn’t happen here,” she says.

They make cute and away Rick goes. Pretty soon, Pete, Jessie’s husband, the town doctor, comes by Rick’s house. He’s tight, if not drunk outright, and after trying to get Rick to take a snort, walks right up on him, standing WAY too close. “Let’s be friends,” he says, shaking his hand in vaguely hostile fashion. “I’ll see you, Rick.” Whoa! A body-check on the Ricktator for thinking about driving Jessie’s lane, y’all! No foul called!

Sam, meanwhile, is making a pest of himself at Carol’s, asking about more cookies. She tells him he’ll have to steal two chocolate bars from the town pantry — one for his cookies, one for her — and then she’ll teach him how to make them himself. He does (Carol, with those post-apocalyptic family values).

During cookie-baking time, he reluctantly confesses to busting up his owl himself because he was sad and upset. When he asks her about why she was stealing the pistols, she says she needed one in case she needed to protect herself. He asks her if he can get a gun, but says it’s not for himself. When she asks what he’s afraid of, he runs off.

Carol, alarmed, goes by his house. A drunk-off-his-behind Pete answers the door. When she asks to see Jessie or Sam, he says, “It’s not a good time,” and shuts the door on her.

Carol — an abused spouse, remember — goes to see Rick. She tells him that Pete is hitting Sam and Jessie. “I know how this is going to go with Pete,” she says. “There’s only one way it can go. You’re going to have to kill him.”

Whoo! It’s gettin hot up in here.

Finally, our coda is a mean one: Father Gabe weasels his way into Deanna’s house and, spouting off about how “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light,” warns her that Rick & the Gang are turrible people, just turrible, who have done “unspeakable things.” (I guess he’s voting himself a spiritual mulligan for locking his own congregation out of the church and letting them be eaten alive.) Unbeknownst to either Deanna or Gabe, Maggie is just around the corner in the next room, overhearing all of this.

Seth Gilliam as Father Gabriel. Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

“They’re dangerous, they can’t be trusted,” Gabe tells Deanna. “They will destroy everything you have here…they don’t deserve this paradise.”

“I wish I had come to you sooner,” he finishes. “I hope it isn’t too late.”

Deanna thanks him and lets him out. It’s unclear if she thinks he’s a nut job or a prophet. NOW you can throw all the stones at Father Gabe you want.


Last thoughts:

It is not good to be a black man on this show.
Bob, Tyrese, Noah — We’re down to…Father Gabe? This ain’t right.

I’m giving 8 to 5 Carol kills Pete before Rick does. Seriously, is this even a bet?

Is everybody in Rural Alexandria a gutless coward? No? Who?

That supply run is going to be the powder keg that blows up this season. Glenn and Eugene are the only two coming back in semi decent shape. Aiden, Deanna and Reg’s son, is dead. Noah, a nice kid, is dead because of Nicholas’s cowardice. Glenn punched out Nicholas. Tara is bleeding out of a head wound. This is going to set off both groups. It’s not going to be pretty, which leads to our last question:

Which side will Michonne take? Hhhmm. I haven’t lost faith in her just yet. I’m saying she’ll come to her senses.