To quote Abraham, MOTHERDICK WAS THIS EPISODE INSANE!!! So many things were happening and rip-your-face-off intensity at every turn (sorry, too soon).
So not to get ahead of myself, let's discuss Carol and the gang back at Alexandria. First off, Daryl got his bike working and it's like a hybrid, total-apocalypse jacked bike. Love seeing him back on the road. Next we have Carol unfolding the dirty truth behind Sam's fits of anger. Now Carol's hatching a plan with Rick to take down the abusive "porch dick" aka Pete. And finally we see a hypocritical "pastor" Gabriel tear out, what looks like the whole new testament, and accuse the group of being from Satan. Possible symbolism behind his actions may be that the New Testament holds some of the prophesies of the end of the world, and the fact that he remains there could cause him to feel betrayed. Keep in mind that he shut out his entire congregation to save himself, just to exemplify my calling him a "hypocrite" earlier.
Now onto the Mission outside of the "Safe Zone". This whole episode revolved around self-preservation. The title might hint at what each individual must "spend" or give up in order to survive, and sometimes sacrifice is it's own way of lasting. Making a name for yourself, and an example to others because self-sacrificial people are the heroes in this new world.
The construction yard was a buzz, and I was thrilled to see Abraham step it up, and take control. Not to mention take out those walkers medieval-style. Gotta build up that wall. We see our first example of abandonment here when the men were going to bail on one of their own, because a heard of walkers sneak attacked a man while he was sending a fax to Cleveland.
Then, the whole episode took a turn for a jaw-dropping worst (or better, because those special effects were astonishing). We got another suited-up walker, and I was geeked to say the least. I'm so happy when they throw in random challenges for the group, and it was nice for Aiden to realize that the walkers are still a threat. Explosion happens, and now we have a unconscious Tara and Aiden ran through by two metal poles. Honestly, if Aiden would have made it out I think it would have been enough to redeem him from his arrogance, and bring him into the real world. Sadly, no redemption and he was abandoned by his friend Nicholas. You jerk, I hope exile comes upon you. Sorry, not sorry.
Eugene overcame his cowardly personality, protected Tara, grew a pair to take out some walkers, and almost shot Nicholas point-black. You go Eugene! You and your mullet!!
Unfortunately we had to say goodbye to Noah, we'll miss you. He finally has a dream to be an architect of some sorts and he freaking dies! Back to the whole sacrifice thing, Noah gave himself to save Glenn almost as a payment for Tyreese and Beth. They saved him from hospital captivity, and showed him that even the lost can make it. Just to sum up what Steven Yeun (Glenn) shared on Talking Dead, he spoke of how Noah mirrored Glenn's character arc. He saw himself in him, and that's partially why it was so hard to see him die at the hands of walkers. Up close on the other side of the glass he witnessed, not only a friend, but his former self die.
This episode was an emotional roller coaster, but chalked full of symbolism and growth. It isn't enough to say this is one of my favorite episodes of this season, but one of my favorite episodes in the entirety of this series.
Things are changing. Characters are altering their entire mental philosophies in order to make it. "This is the beginning" marked Noah's first journal page, and I took that message from this episode to hold for the future of not only the show, but for my personal journey.