"Spend," tonight's WALKING DEAD, continued some of the better work from last week, and was somewhat hobbled by some of TWD's usual problems.
It kicked off with Noah suddenly being given some focus. He says he's in it (the Safe Zone) for the long haul, wants to be an architect and begins a journal to record all the things he's going to learn. Everyone knows what that means on TWD and, indeed, before the end he's zombie chow.
Noah's death is an ugly affair, graphic, protracted and gruesome, and it didn't even win the title in any of those departments. That honor belonged to Aiden, who has proven himself to be a Grade-A Dumbass in virtually every scene in which he's appeared. Tonight, his dumbassery caught up to him and he became a gory feast for a gaggle of deads. Before his end though, he confessed that the people on his previous crew had died because, when trouble descended, he and his sidekick ran off and left them.
This isn't the only such revelation. Abraham is working on a construction crew building an extension of the Safe Zone's wall. A herd of zombies comes through the site, one of the workers on lookout ends up falling in the midst of them and the rest of the crew just back away, giving up the fallen woman for dead. It's subsequently revealed that the Alexandrians' have a general policy of leaving behind anyone who ends up in such a situation. As usual, everything on TWD has to be ludicrously exaggerated, every point a hammer to the face, and showing that the Alexandrians have this policy is meant to emphasize in this way their cowardice, weakness and incompetence. To note the obvious, this isn't even remotely credible--if they were this dumb they never would have survived so long, much less thrived. On the other side of the coin, both Abraham and Glenn are suddenly given ESP powers they've never previously demonstrated--both have a moment of pause wherein they realize zombies are coming before the presence of the dead is apparent. Again, an over-the-top exaggeration intended to portray our heroes as being, in contrast to those worthless and horrible Alexandrians, uber-competent and indispensable. Deanna, who oversees the Safe Zone, is concerned about so many of Rick's gang being placed in leadership positions. The godawful Father Gabriel, who had overstayed his welcome on the series about 3 minutes after he was introduced, decides to turn up at her door and even further inflame her anxieties. He locked his own congregation out of his church and let them be killed (which suggests he'll fit in well with the Alexandrians) but he tells her the new arrivals are not good people, that they're dangerous and untrustworthy and that they've committed "unspeakable" acts (the worst one, I would suggest, was keeping Father Gabriel alive and with them). Her apparent concern about the new arrivals is hardly credible given the very poor light the ep casts on the Alexandrians, but what can you do? It's THE WALKING DEAD.
"Spend" was, for TWD, another pretty good ep, but this time around I can't help but feel that judgment emphasizes the gap between "pretty good" for TWD and pretty good.
 Noah finally breaks TWD's black-guy-in/black-guy-out cycle; now, it seems, the writers just want to reduce the number of black guys, period.
 Abraham, for his part, charges into the midst of the dead, rescues her and ends up the crew foreman as a consequence.