Season 5 of The Walking Dead has given us nothing but quality and the second half of the popular zombie series actually subverts the expectations of the viewers by delivering another episode that’s a rollercoaster of emotions. The writers of The Walking Dead knew that viewers would still be reeling from Beth’s death when the show returned and would consider another death quite far from the realm of possibility so they played with the expectations until the shocking and devastating conclusion of the episode. The episode picks up after the events of ‘Coda’ where Rick, played by Andrew Lincoln, and a couple of his followers set off to return Tyler James William’s Noah to his community.
Upon their arrival, no survivors are to be found, leading Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Rick to a mission for giving meaning to their lives in order to come to terms with the grief. To comfort Noah for losing his loved ones, Chad L. Coleman’s Tyreese comes running and this decision has unimaginable consequences. Basically ‘What’s Happened and What’s Going on’ is simply another exit story for a popular series regular. The show has to come up with inventive deaths for its characters regularly so Tyreese’s last battle with his personal demons fit the bill perfectly.
He comes to terms with the decisions that led to him being bitten by a walker who used to be one of Noah’s twin brothers. He realizes that his downfall is primarily because of his goodness, a very compelling performance by Coleman. The sympathy of the viewers for Tyreese reaches sky high as he is haunted by ghosts of his past (The Governor and Beth are the only characters he hallucinates) and fights, but eventually comes to accept his impending demise. The lens of the character was used to show its death, which eliminated the distance between the viewers and the audience. The result is a feeling of genuine loss, but without the usual spectacle that’s associated with death.
The episode was simply at its best and is an example of a really ambitious series. The production team and performers really worked in tandem to deliver some of their best performances, particularly in the final minutes.
The episode doesn’t just have any tender moments, but also provides high-intensity action from the showdown with the zombie horde that takes places in slow motion, which were some impressive special effects, to the long distance shot of the group doing the unpleasant task of unloading Tyreese’s body to prevent his return. Even though the road has ended for Tyreese, the episode is actual proof that The Walking Dead is at the top of its game. Not only does this episode lay some groundwork for the next episode that involves a trip to Washington D.C fraught with peril, but also manages to focus on Tyrese’s death. Viewers can expect a wealth of horrors and thrills from the remainder of season 5 of The Walking Dead that’s left to come after these back-to-back and hard-hitting deaths.