Review: ‘The Walking Dead’ Episode 5.9 “ What Happened and What’s Going On”

**Spoiler Alert** If you haven’t seen Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead, than you probably already know what happened. The Internet is a big old gossip.

The world can rejoice because our beloved show is back and they didn’t spare any time in breaking our hearts once again. If you are an avid reader of TV news then you may have read the numerous teasers about what lied ahead for the group. It really isn’t anything new; destruction and devastation all around! Judging by the first episode back from winter break, the group is headed to a dark place (mentally, maybe even physically.) Things are looking bleak, again. Which, of course, leads to some of the greatest moments in the show’s history. So, let’s get started and recap the wreckage from Sunday’s episode.

Post-loss the group has temporarily separated to go check out Noah’s “secure” town. The group has finally made it out of Georgia, traveling 500 miles to get to Shirewilt Estates, a walled up neighborhood where Noah grew up. Last time he was there, things were secure, his mother and twin brothers were alive. Glenn, Michonne, Rick, Tyreese, and Noah go and check out the promising place. They park their vehicle in the woods and walk to the entrance gate only to find that the neighborhood is not how Noah left it. It is has practically been destroyed. The houses look ransacked; there are dead bodies in the street and even some walkers stumbling around. Noah breaks down and Tyreese stays to comfort him, while Glenn, Michonne, and Rick go check out the houses for supplies.   Glenn’s outlook has changed since Beth’s death and no one can blame him. Rick tries to explain how everything went down leading up to her death. He explains how Dawn didn’t mean to kill Beth; he could see it in her face. It doesn’t really matter to Glenn, who would have killed her regardless. Michonne  seems like ‘voice of reason’ as she tries to hold on hope that they could still settle down in the neighborhood. Yet, Rick points out that there are way too many spots that would be uncovered and they discover there is a lot of damage to one of the walls. They also discover a lot of dismembered body parts, mostly the bottom halves.So…disturbing.

Noah decides to go check out his house, attempting to run with his hurt ankle. He still manages to get away from Tyreese who chases after him. When they reach his house Tyreese goes in first, seeing a dead woman lying on the floor of the living room. Noah sees his mother and covers her up with a nearby blanket. While Noah is still in the living room Tyreese sees shadows moving and sounds from a closed door. A nearby open bedroom reveals one of Noah’s brother’s died on the bed. He sees pictures of the twin boys and is caught of guard when the second brother comes in and bites his arm. Noah ends up killing his brother using a toy model jet, marking the first impressive kill of the episode. Tyreese starts to bleed out, while Noah goes to find the other three for help.

The random bits put together at the beginning of this episode seemed to make sense now. Mika and Lizzie, the pictures of Noah’s brothers, the streets of Woodbury. It is all things in Tyreese’s memories. He starts to see the people that still effect him in someway. Starting with Martin who tries to make him feel guilty for not finishing him off. Maybe things would have ended up different if he would have killed him. Bob is now there to reassure him that his death was bond to happen. Mika and Lizzie tell him that everything is better, while The Governor yells at him that he hasn’t kept to his word. Beth is there to tell him that it everything is going to be ok. Visions of the dead are not a new path for the show to venture down. No one will forget Rick being haunted by Lori, but this is more upfront. The people in the room represent Tyreese’s struggle to keep his humanity. He possible feels some guilt for not killing Martin because he ended up bringing Gareth to their door. Not to mention, he witnessed his sister slaughtering Martin later on. The Governor almost seduced him into doing his bidding, but Tyreese fought to be himself. Bob, Beth and the sisters all represent part of his guilt, but also a reminder to keep his humanity. As he bleeds out he is literally fighting with heaven and hell.

Tyreese fades in and out to see everyone struggling to keep him alive. They chop off his arm, drag him through the streets, the woods and back to their truck. The tires get stuck in the mud and Rick crashes into a nearby truck. A bunch of walker torsos topple onto their windshield, leading to the one of the biggest WTF moments of the show. Like, WTF happened in that town? Was it ransacked by a bunch of Jeffrey Dahmer wannabes? On the way back to the group, he envisions Beth driving the vehicle, Bob in the passenger seat, Mika and Lizzie sitting next to him. They all reassure him that things are going to be ok and that it is not so bad. The bright rays from the sun gaze through the window. We see the truck driving off in the distance and it suddenly stops. Glenn, Rick and Michonne drag Tyreese’s lifeless body onto the road. The ending images of the show is the dirt being dug up as the group buries yet another treasured member.

This episode was so different from previous episodes. The way they handled Tyreese’s death, well, was frankly beautiful. It showed the depth of the writers, who seriously should be recognized with some kind of award. If they had awards for well made TV shows. (Wait, they do? Why the hell…ok, ok another argument for another time.)   The episode was directed by the Greg Nicotero who will be directing a couple more episodes this season, including the finale. In a show, where the dead generally stay dead, it was nice to see some of the characters come back in the subconscious mind of Tyreese. His death further proves the point that being the ‘moral compass’ of the show is a surefire way to die. Someone has to do it, right? So…who will replace Tyreese? It just better not be Daryl or Michonne, who both seem to continually be the ‘voice of reason’ in the last few episodes. All I know is that we are in for a bumpy and horrible ride the rest of season. As for Tyreese, it was sad to see him go. I am sure going to miss that gentle giant.

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