The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 9, “What Happened and What’s Going On”
Sunday, February 8, 2015, 9 pm (EST), AMC
It’s only been a couple months since the mid-season finale, but it feels like ages have gone by. The Walking Dead returned with one of the most beautifully shot episodes of the series. We also bid farewell to yet another character that’s been around for some time.
The opening scene is a series of jumbled shots that seem very feverish. We see Gabriel praying over a grave, presumably Beth’s as scenes of Maggie and Noah crying are intertwined. Rick, Glenn and Michonne are furiously running getting into open vehicles. Noah tells Rick that Beth was going to go with him to Richmond, Virginia, where he claimed it was safe. The group is on their way as we see another scene of Mika and Lizzie telling someone that everything’s ok now, followed by a shot of blood slowly dripping onto a picture.
A small group consisting of Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Tyreese and Noah arrive at Noah’s camp. Despite knowing Noah isn’t a threat, Rick still has the group stop a couple miles away before they get out and walk there so they have an escape option if necessary. Especially after Terminus and Grady Memorial, Rick is being extremely cautious. They quickly realize that the camp was overrun and there are no survivors. Noah breaks down, knowing his family is likely gone. While Rick, Michonne and Glenn search for supplies, Tyreese tries to comfort Noah, telling him he almost gave up and went into a group of walkers before realizing he still had an urge to survive. Noah runs off to his house, with Tyreese in tow. Tyreese goes into the house and they first find Noah’s mom, who is dead but didn’t turn. It appears that the camp was indeed attacked by someone. As Tyreese explores the house further, he is bitten by Noah’s younger brother before Noah disposes of him. As Tyreese is bleeding, Noah says he’ll run off for help.
The rest of the episode is Tyreese slowly fighting through the effects of what happens to someone when they’re bitten. He sees visions of Bob, Martin, Beth, Lizzie, Mika and The Governor. It’s interesting that Karen doesn’t show up in Tyreese’s visions considering how close the two of them were before Carol murdered her. Regardless of that, Tyreese struggles between listening to The Governor tell him about how he should’ve pulled his weight more and Martin playing devil’s advocate, saying if Tyreese had killed him, he wouldn’t have told Gareth and then Bob may still be alive. Bob counters as only he could, saying none of it mattered, and that events would’ve played out the way they did. He then has Beth, Lizzie and Mika tell him that things are better now, and that it’s ok if he chooses to let go. It’s almost as if his hallucinations of right and wrong, good and evil are having a battle for him, deciding how his life was. I really enjoyed that the writers decided to bring this unknown experience to the forefront, even though at the same time I’m hoping that everything will work out and Tyreese will survive. Despite losing blood and strength, Tyreese manages to fight off another walker that enters the room, though he has to let his arm get bit again to save himself.
While arguing on whether or not they should stay or keep going, Rick, Michonne and Glenn decide that D.C. may still be the best option before hearing Noah’s screams. They run off to rescue him and get to Tyreese as Michonne cuts off his arm, hoping to spare him as they did with Hershel. While carrying Tyreese out, we finally see that the opening images were what Tyreese was seeing as they carried him out to the car to drive back to their camp. As they drive, Tyreese sees Beth, Bob, Lizzie and Mika one last time as they tell him it’s ok to let go. It’s interesting to note that none of them have the injuries that ultimately killed them. We cut to a far shot of the car slowly stop as Rick and company carry Tyreese out. We then realize the grave being prayed over by Gabriel is for Tyreese. If anything, the title of the episode pretty much summed everything up; we just didn’t realize it until the end.
- How does Noah constantly get caught by walkers and need to be saved? He clearly can handle them since he took down his brother without hesitation.
- Do the writers hate The Wire? They’ve killed off two of my favorite actors this season who were phenomenal in that show. Stop tormenting me!
- Now that Tyreese is dead, there really isn’t a central moral compass of the group. Glenn seems dead inside (pardon the pun) and Maggie is in no emotional shape to be that guide. Michonne may be the closest person at the moment.
- What were all the W’s carved into the walker’s heads for? Is this another group Rick and company will need to deal with in the near future?
- As sad as it was to see Tyreese go, Chad L. Coleman gave a fantastic performance to say farewell to this beloved character.
After reeling from Beth’s death at the mid-season finale, Tyreese’s death truly came as a shock. While nothing is certain in this post-apocalyptic world, we never saw one of the more kind-hearted characters to meet their untimely demise. At the same time, this world is not meant for the kind-hearted.