The Walking Dead Awards: This is the beginning

Season 5, Episode 14: Send a fax to Cleveland
Photograph by Gene Page/AMC

(Spoilers ahead)

Each week, we comb through the guts of “The Walking Dead,” much like a horde of hungry walkers, to bring you the episode’s best moments, surprises, and other post-apocalyptic curiosities. This week: “I Ran (So Far Away),” “Papa Don’t Preach,” and “Love Will Tear Us Apart”

Season 5, Episode 14: “Spend”

Most shameless flirting: “Too bad there isn’t somebody who could look into kind of thing,” Rick said with a cheeky grin as he continued his quest to find Carl and Judith a new mom. We’re just waiting for him to show up at Jessie’s door with this.

Most obvious foreshadowing: At this point in the series, it’s starting to become pretty clear who’s going to get the axe in an episode. Noah opened the hour planning his “long haul” future, then bonded with Tara (and when characters start bonding, vultures start hovering). Of course, the real clue came in when . . .

Blink-and-you-miss-it foreshadowing: Yes, as soon that clinical British female voice cooed, “Now you’re going to die,” in the dubstep mix, we knew someone wasn’t going to make it. And yes, we guessed Noah from the above. But the confirmation came in perfect editing. The music started with a shot on Noah. It cut to the Glenn and Tara, then back to Noah. The voice came in. “Now you’re going to die.” The second the last vowel registered and our neurons processed the sentence, it cut away from Noah.

Least missed character: Was anyone really bummed to see annoying Aiden meet the Grim Reaper? We didn’t think so.

Easiest job: Maggie.

Best “what if”: Pete’s first introduction would have you think he’s going to be a villain, his second a cuckold, his third a drunk, and his fourth, an abusive yet soon-to-be dead husband. Without a doubt we’re convinced he’s an alcoholic and a foil/sexual rival to Rick, but even though the abuse plot is from the comics, something seems off. After all, he wasn’t violent with Rick, and Carol’s suspicions are unconfirmed by any tangible evidence (not to mention, she could be biased from her own history with abuse). Plus, wouldn’t Rick or Carol killing someone in cold blood be a surefire way to get everyone kicked out?

Second best “what if”: Or what if the reason Sam wants that gun is to protect himself from Carol?

Worst priest (again): We’re racking our brains to think of the “unspeakable” things that Rick and Co. have done recently. While we’re thinking, here’s a few unspeakable things Gabriel did: locked his flock out of the church during the apocalypse, hid when the people who saved him were being attacked, and then tried to get those same people kicked out of Alexandria. It would seem that Gabriel is a, excuse us while we put on our sunglasses, Judas Priest.

Biggest mystery: It would seem that every citizen of Alexandria is a complete idiot when it comes to surviving the undead. We don’t understand how a town like this hasn’t burned to the ground when someone left a hot plate on. It’s so sad that even the Governor would have said, “No, save the bullets.”

Best line: “Now pull the cobwebs out of your ass and move!” —Abraham

Most disturbing image: Watching Noah’s sweet face as it was literally ripped apart while Glenn writhed in pain and guilt. It was arguably one the most brutal killings in the show’s history.

Episode MVP: Eugene, for not only stepping up when he was needed most, but also rocking that van the way only a man with a mullet could.

And once again, where exactly does Rick fall this week on the calm/crazy scale?

Illustration by Matt Walljasper; photographs courtesy of AMC
Illustration by Matt Walljasper; photographs courtesy of AMC