Spoiler alert! The answer is yes. The crushing death of Noah (Tyler James Williams) in “Spend,” the March 15 episode of The Walking Dead, was not just sad and shocking, it was the most gruesome death yet for a series that has already shown Dale and T-Dog eaten alive by walkers, Lori dying during the incredibly painful birth of Lil’ Asskicker, and the beloved Hershel getting his head chopped off by The Governor.
And we still can’t even talk about what that throng of walkers did to Buttons the horse just last week.
But back to the humans. It was Noah’s end in the revolving door of death that will haunt us for a long time to come. While on a supply run with pals Glenn, Tara, and Eugene — and cowardly Alexandrians Aiden and Nicholas — Noah, Glenn, and Nicholas became trapped inside a set of glass revolving doors while trying to exit a building, with a horde of zombies crowding in to feast on them.
Nicholas escaped, but as Glenn and Noah tried to keep the doors steady, and Glenn tried to hold on to Noah, the pack of walkers grabbed one of Noah’s legs and pulled him out of their revolving door cubby, until his entire body was overtaken by them.
Poor Glenn could do nothing but watch Noah’s blood splatter onto the glass and listen to his friend’s screams as Noah was eaten alive, including a particularly horrific shot in which Noah’s sweet face was ripped off and devoured by the walkers.
The scene lasted at least 35 seconds, and even if the loss of Noah didn’t bring tears to your eyes, the brutality of his death, and the fact that Glenn witnessed it up close, had to. (Watch AMC’s behind-the-scenes video.)
“Congratulations, #TheWalkingDead. That was officially your goriest main character death yet,” @roundhoward tweeted, while @INFNTE agreed, “They did Noah super dirty. Jesus! Worst death I remember seeing.”
Added @krockcarsen, “Jesus, Noah’s death was brutal. It’s true: Everybody Hates Chris.”
Of course, because no one on social media can resist a good pop culture mash-up pun, one trending hashtag on Twitter after “Spend” aired: #EverybodyAteChris, a reference to Williams’s CW sitcom Everybody Hates Chris.
Don’t feel too bad for Williams, though. On Talking Dead, the TWD aftershow on AMC, the actor said he knew his character’s days were numbered when he read a script for an earlier episode in which Andy Lincoln’s Rick Grimes covers son Carl with a blanket, and then covers Noah, too.
“For some reason, I went, ‘Oh, that’s it, I’m gone, I’m done,’” Williams joked to host Chris Hardwick.
And the actor, who won rave reviews for his role in the big-screen drama Dear White People last year, will play a technical analyst in CBS’s upcoming Criminal Minds spin-off, which will also star Gary Sinise and Anna Gunn. The spinoff cast will be introduced in the April 8 “Beyond Borders” episode of Criminal Minds.
As for the final two episodes of The Walking Dead’s fifth season, be very, very afraid. Other developments in “Spend” — including the also gory death of Aiden, who admitted he and pal Nicholas had left others to die because of their own spinelessness after he was impaled onto some warehouse accoutrements while shooting at a grenade-carrying walker — put Rick Grimes’s group on a collision course with the Alexandria natives.
We’re beginning to see why the Season 5 finale on March 29 had to be expanded to 90 minutes, and we’re guessing the majority of that extra time is going to be extra bloody.
The Walking Dead airs Sunday at 9 p.m. on AMC.