‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Comic-TV Comparison: ‘Spend’
The Walking Dead Season 5 shambled out its 14th entry with Sunday’s latest “Spend” but how did it hold up to the comic book continuity? Father Gabriel undergoes a crisis of conscience, while Abraham starts a deadly construction gig, and Rick discovers something amiss about Alexandria, so let’s find out how close the source material stuck through Sunday’s latest!
As AMC’s incarnation weaves in and out of storylines from the books and adds its own original characters and developments, we’ve compiled an in-depth guide for fans of the comics as well as AMC’s The Walking Dead to enjoy! Check all the comparisons we found in on The Walking Dead Season 5, episode 14, “Spend!”
Abraham Gets to Work
AMC: Prior to heading out on the construction crew for his first day, Abraham appears visibly apprehensive of returning to dangerous life outside the walls. He similarly takes a few moments to collect himself on the job, but shortly after gets back into the swing of battling walkers with glee.
THE COMICS: Abraham near-identically needed some time to collect himself before leaving the house, though he’d told Rosita of his fears heading outside the walls as early as the welcome party. The actual incident at the construction site unfolded a bit differently, leaving Abraham less time time to prepare for the coming herd.
Holly / Francine
AMC: Before the mission to the electronics depot, Tara teases Noah about a “Holly” he’d apparently been talking to, though we’ve yet to meet her. Later on in the hour, Abraham risks his life and the crew’s “system” in order to rescue crew lookout Francine from the onslaught of walkers, earning her respect in the process.
THE COMICS: A curious adaptation, considering the books had Holly as the woman Abraham would rescue in the attack, with no other Francine known. Holly similarly expressed her gratitude to Abraham, albeit with a bit more flirtatious energy.
Maggie and Glenn
AMC: Also before the mission, Maggie affectionately bids Glenn goodbye, trusting him to take care of himself.
THE COMICS: Interestingly, the comic pair were much more at odds about Glenn returning to dangerous supply missions so soon after settling into Alexandria, having several disputes about it. Not only that, but Maggie’s prior suicide attempt and depression had caused a rift between the pair, one that prevented them from being intimate for some time as well.
Eugene Finds His Place
AMC: Openly a coward, and reluctant to join the mission to obtain a crucial power grid component, Eugene expresses to Tara that he’d earned his keep in getting them to Washington, and shouldn’t be pushed to fight. Once Tara suffers a head injury however, Eugene manages to summon enough courage to carry her outside the infested warehouse, shooting several walkers in the process. Not only that, Eugene even drives the van to provide enough distraction for at least Glenn to escape the revolving doors, coming to blows with Nicholas for trying to leave them behind.
THE COMICS: Given the Alexandria job of a community planner, comic Eugene had little cause to test his courage outside the walls, though a later incident with walkers infiltrating the community led to he, Nicholas and Father Gabriel all bravely taking on the dead, rather than remain in hiding. Also worth noting is that Eugene’s practical intelligence was rarely in question, as a former science teacher, while the AMC version’s acuity seems deliberately murkier.
The Wrecking Crew
AMC: Preceded by a flock of birds emerging from the forest, a number of walkers descend on the mall construction site from which the Alexandria crew gather supplies. Tobin orders all to return to the truck, though an errant shot severs the hydraulics keeping Francine’s loader upright, placing her helplessly in the dead’s path. Abraham instinctively breaks formation to save her, fighting off multiple walkers and earning the respect of the team. Afterward, Abraham insists they continue the day’s work, while Francine punches Tobin for earlier abandoning her to die.
THE COMICS: Abraham and Bruce separately encountered walkers at the supply site, but similarly found the dead bearing down on Tobin and the others closer to the Alexandria construction. In particular, Tobin urged the group into a back-to-back “Phalanx” formation they’d practiced for protection, leaving Abraham and Holly in harm’s way. Abraham similarly managed to beat back the walkers and ultimately urge the crew to continue the day’s work, while Holly got her revenge on Tobin in, shall we say, a more sensitive area.
AMC: Following the incident with Francine, Tobin willfully resigns his position in a meeting with Deanna, Reggie and Maggie, knowing that Abraham would do a better job than he ever could. Deanna reluctantly accepts the decision, afterward noting to Maggie that Abraham makes two of Rick’s group in positions of authority, something Maggie suggests will help them secure Alexandria’s future.
THE COMICS: Tobin didn’t actually come forward with his resignation, but rather explained the shift a week later to Douglas, who seemed firmly against the idea.
Gabriel's Crisis of Faith
AMC: Distraught by the blind welcoming of a priest into Alexandria, and ripping pages out of his bible in a makeshift garage chapel, Father Gabriel resolves to appeal to Deanna that Rick’s people are not who they appear to be, but rather those undeserving of salvation. Deanna responds that she knows of the terrible things Rick and his people had done to survive, but will at least consider his warnings.
THE COMICS: The expansion of Alexandria’s walls allowed Father Gabriel an actual church to practice in, rather than a garage, though he’d similarly ask for guidance from on high, and take his fears to Douglass. Granted, the Gabriel of the books had more directly observed some of the savagery Rick and a few others had inflicted on the cannibalistic hunters, Douglas respectfully questioned what Gabriel expected him to do with such a confession, before asking him to leave.
AMC: Not only does a visibly-drunk Pete drop by Rick’s house looking for a drinking buddy, but Carol deduces from Sam’s interest in a “protective” gun that Pete might be hitting his family. A stand-offish Pete later more or less confirms Carol’s suspicions, to which she suggests to Rick they might have to kill him.
THE COMICS: A black eye on Ron (Jessie and Pete’s only son in the books) is among the first things Rick notices upon entering Alexandria, while Rick would formally first encounter Pete after the party, walking by one morning to find Pete sleeping outside on the porch (re-created back in AMC’s “Remember”). After consulting Michonne, Rick had his suspicions confirmed by a stand-offish Jessie, though a resolution to kill Pete wasn’t immediately proposed. Instead, Rick first spoke to Douglas about the matter, and got a surprising response.
Will The Walking Dead continually curve closer to the comics, now that trouble has already begun to arise in Alexandria? And seriously, whatever happened to Morgan, who was last seen headed for Washington? Did we miss anything else from the comics you might have caught?
Be sure to check back next week for our in-depth comic-to-TV comparison of The Walking Dead Season 5, episode 15, penultimate installment “Try” on AMC!