The Walking Dead: 5.09 What Happened And What's Going On
Spoilers ahead. Very quickly too so navigate away.
Television has been surprisingly free of the undead over the last couple of months so it was about time The Walking Dead returned to our screens. This though was not your usual episode from the show; it felt underwhelming after the first half of this fifth season.
The pre-credits montage seemed full of regret and sadness, a downer of a start for sure; but one that misled and at the end the flashes of photos, painting, graves and blood had all been given meaning. From the first scene of Tyreese, Rick, Glenn, Noah and Michonne in the car, focused on Tyreese’s monologue you knew that he was a goner. The show has become a little predictable at giving characters a big farewell and signposting their demise. Poor Beth was always under threat from the moment she had her own episode, and so it was with Tyreese.
Story-wise half the gang went to Noah’s safe haven, it was gone, as were all the people there, they fought some walkers, moped about and spoke about how worthless life is, then decided to go to Washington anyway. The central action was the end for Tyreese. He’s always been something of a different character than he was expected to be, Chad Coleman played him in a very understated and reserved manner, all fitting for this passive man trying to fit into an aggressive world. Often though, it felt like the actor and character were being wasted.
As it was his best episode was the end, reversing those times when he felt like a weak man, actually he made choices based on his upbringing and belief in a good world. Whether you bought the hallucinations (the two girls, Beth, Bob, The Governor, etc) as a plot device or not would have had a big bearing on your view of the episode. Two things did show The Walking Dead at it's very best though: the slo-mo exit through the gates; the poignant long shot of Tyreese's removal from the car.
A sad goodbye this week then, it feels like there was still so much more to come from Tyreese. The series itself continues to shine more than for a long time.