Talking Out The Dead: “What Happened and What’s Going On”

Kelen: Every single time.

Every single time I worry that the show may be getting too comfortable, this happens. Last time I felt this way was before “The Grove” aired and we all know how that turned out. I was all settled in for an emotional episode dealing with the fallout from Beth’s death, which was where we left Rick and the Daryls after the midseason finale. Instead, we got what I like to call “Tyreese and the bad trip that ended with him DYING”. And I thought of that before it was mentioned on Talking Dead by the way.

There’s absolutely no redeeming Noah for me now. Nobody who watched Tyler James Williams’ old sitcom Everybody Hates Chris really hated Chris. But everybody should HATE Noah. Quick rundown:

What Noah has done right

  • Took a beating for Beth
  • Helped the group get to Grady Memorial Hospital so they could save Beth & Carol
  • Successfully baited the Grady cops into the group’s trap
  • Was willing to return to Grady in order for Beth & Carol to leave with the group
  • Led the group to Richmond… Virginia (why does he always pause? Is there another Richmond that’s more famous than Virginia’s?) in search of potential sanctuary

What Noah has done wrong

  • Abandoned Beth during their escape attempt (I know, Beth was glad but I still think he was wrong for leaving)
  • Stole Daryl & Carol’s weapons, which led to them falling off a bridge in a van because they had no weapons to defend themselves from a group of walkers.
  • Panicked Daryl & Carol into running out of the office building, sending Carol directly into the path of that police car, leading to her injuries and capture
  • Beth died defending his right to leave Grady Memorial
  • Went back to his house after they figured out that Shirewilt Residence was overrun, let Tyreese wander off in the house without him; Tyreese gets bitten twice and dies

Two people dead, including a young woman who had matured and was about to be a valuable contributor finally and the strongest person in the whole group. I admit, it’s been a while since the days of Lori and Andrea and young Carl but Noah just crossed into that group. I HATE NOAH. I thought Bob had potential to go there but he redeemed himself nicely. Eugene LIED and I still respect him. But this dude is a cancer.

Safe to say, I didn’t see Tyreese’s death coming. Not right after Beth anyway. I may have mentioned at some point that I thought he could definitely die due to his reluctance to kill, but not like this. I did love this episode but I hate the way he got bit. “I know this house isn’t fully secure but let me stare at this photo of Noah’s dead brothers. Staring… staring… staring… OH SNAP, one of the twins is a walker and it bit me!”

WALKERS AREN’T QUIET, EVER. He looked right at the other bedroom and saw movement, but once he saw the one dead twin and the photos, he thought it was a good time to take a mental nap. So yes, Tyreese’s inaction got someone hurt and it ended up being himself. Ugh.

His struggle between life and death was very well played though. From the flashbacks to his hallucinations of Martin, Bob, Mika, Lizzie, the Governor, and Beth, I loved how they used his past to address all his actions since the outbreak. No clue why Karen, this woman he loved so deeply, wasn’t brought back for this. It was a unique take on the process of dying from a walker bite, which is a well they’ve went to a few times already.

I really liked how they made a point to have the radio on the whole time he’s fighting, a call back to the story he told Noah of his father (that was Andrew Lincoln’s voice on the radio). And when he knew he wasn’t going to make it, it was the radio they used to determine when Tyreese’s time had run out. Watching the sun fade into a bright light and then seeing the rest of the team pull him out of the van was brutal. So I like that he finally found the peace that he was always desperately searching for since Karen died.

What I didn’t like was that it had to be Tyreese. No, I don’t think anyone else could have been used to pull off the storytelling used in this episode but his death really hurts the group as a whole. Tyreese and Abraham are the obvious muscle and in some spots, you’re going to need said muscle. Abraham is a touch of a basketcase from being a soldier before the outbreak and when you add in all his traumas since, he’s not 100% reliable. Not to mention that once again, the moral compass of the group is dead. For all my bitching and moaning about Tyreese not wanting to kill, I didn’t want him dead either. Again, beautifully executed ending for a really good character; terribly handled when it comes the strength of the group as a whole.

I know the group can’t be perfect and not have flaws but I don’t want to see everyone get picked off one by one so the writers can get artsy either.

I’ll get to the rest of the episode in my next section but I couldn’t not lead off with the death of the man with the hammer.

Thomas: I really didn’t want to be right.  I did say we should be looking at either Tyreese or Tara on the chopping block.  Don’t believe me?  Reread the last paragraph of my first response from “Coda”.  Not bragging, just saying (Truthfully, why would I be bragging when I couldn’t even remember saying it until I reread it?).

The whole episode was a trip.  I was completely wrong as I thought the beginning was about Beth, her burial, and the group dealing.  I had no idea Tyreese was going to die.  I even had hope that the group was going to remove his arm and he would live.

Maybe you were right Kelen.  Did the writers decide Chad Coleman had gotten to “flabby” to continue on the show?  It was a joke wasn’t it?

Seriously, I am in shock at this point.  The episode was very well done.  It was sort of beautiful in an artistic and morbid way.  The flashbacks, the various characters coming back and Tyreese fighting until the end just made it a very powerful episode in my view.

I really don’t want to talk about Noah at this point.  I’m not liking the guy that much myself.  He is a scared kid.  He has done some good things.  He has also done some very dumb things that has had consequences.  I’m not sure that he is a good replacement for Tyreese in the group.  This seems to be the nature of the show though.  A new member arrives, an old member dies.  However in this case, I see his arrival as taking the place of Beth and Tyreese.  Many fans may disagree, but this was a horrible trade off.

I am also in shock about what the group will do now.  Tyreese was the moral compass, he was also a force when it came to walkers.  Now they have lost his conscience and his strength.  By the end of the episode, I was thinking the whole group was going to be in a lot of trouble.  Where do they go from here?

The main thing I got from this episode was how Tyreese died.  He blamed himself for a lot of the things that went wrong.  The characters were his own thoughts, saying he had made mistakes and gotten the group in trouble.  He blamed himself for the deaths of Lizzie and Micah, Beth and Bob.  The Governor’s appearance showed he felt guilt over the loss of the prison as well.

The characters coming back were also his thoughts that fought that guilt.  They were the ones that told him that bad things happen and you can’t always stop it.  It was a showing of guilt and recognition that it’s not always needed.  The final scenes were about Tyreese making peace with all the bad that had happened, and letting go of his guilt.

The final images showed the group fighting to save his life and putting themselves in harm’s way to do it.  It was very powerful and showed how much that he meant to them.  He was a member of the family.  He was in shock, dying, and the group was racing to get him to safety.

It was the group showing their love for their friend.  It sounds corny, but in the TWD world, harsh decisions have been made.  People who are weak can be left behind when they are a liability.  The final scenes show the humanity of the group that sometimes seems lost in their actions.

Like any death scene, this one was powerful.  We watched as one of the characters went through his own demons and made peace.  Was it a good ending?  For the show and group, I’d have to say no.  However, there was something fascinating with the choice of characters and words that Tyreese heard in his last breaths.  The final moments with the girls he protected, Beth, and Bob sort of sealed the fact he had done all he could, and could rest.  In the end, it was something I think the man with a hammer and a conscience deserved.

Kelen: I couldn’t agree with all of your thoughts more. If Tyreese had to go, he went in the best way possible. It was an honorable death for a good man who was just trying to find his way in TWD world.

With that said though, killing Tyreese leaves the group in utter ruins. Beth died just 17 days ago and now the heart and soul is gone. The group hasn’t had something this traumatic happen since the prison and even though it was destroyed, they all got away in groups. It’s not like they were alone thinking everyone was dead. Except Daryl for a few hours between Beth being kidnapped (still unexplained) and meeting up with the Claimers.

Glenn and Michonne are already at the end of their ropes. Glenn sounds like he’s lost any faith he had in people outside the group. Michonne almost had a panic attack at the thought of not finding a new place to settle down. MICHONNE. The same chick who hadn’t said more than 50 words before the end of season 3 and the same chick who used her zombified boyfriend and friend as pack mules to ward off any walkers. She’s even tired of running and not being safe.

Rick seemed to be calmer than we had seen him at any other point this season and it looks like he’s fallen into a more optimistic role that he had between the CDC and the destruction of Herschel’s farm. And let me take a moment to say he has one of the most bad ass beards on television right now (and Sons of Anarchy is over, so it doesn’t count any more).

I liked the fact that the group was split up. Going into Shirewilt with the whole group would’ve been disastrous and probably would’ve ended with more casualties than Tyreese. It’s just another hat tip to Rick’s leadership abilities and how they’ve evolved since Atlanta in season 1.

Moving into the next episodes, I expect the search for shelter to continue in earnest even though Rick decided the group would move on to DC, despite Eugene lying about knowing how to stop the apocalypse. And there’s a lot of fallout to deal with:

Maggie – She’s the last remaining member of the immediate Greene family and she just lost her baby sister. Add Tyreese in there and you have… something happening to her. I expect her to wall up her feelings and limit her interactions with the group, even with Glenn.

Carl – He had a crush on Beth in past season’s and spent a lot of time with Tyreese. But I don’t expect them to do too much with him regarding their deaths. He really hasn’t done anything since he instructed Father Gabriel how to kill a walker, so I expect the storylines to come back to him.

Daryl – He feels the worst about Beth’s death and will feel like he couldn’t protect her, so he’ll be beating himself up about it. I expect him to lash out at someone else in the group because of it, probably Carol.

Sasha – Loose cannon. Bob and now her brother? Last remaining member of her previous group? Closest to probably Maggie who’s going to shut her out? She’s going to do something stupid and get killed before season’s end.

Carol – With all the screen time she got to begin the season, I could see her falling into one of the window dressing roles the rest of the season, where she’s just there but nothing is really going on with her.

Noah – Will be a wreck over his family, Beth, and Tyreese. I hope he dies. I HATE YOU NOAH.

Tara – Definitely the wild card character to me. She’s fallen into the Glenn and the Abrahams clique. She genuinely seems happy to be alive and cares about all her group members. I see her being used in a homewrecker kind of way though. While we know she’s a lesbian, does she spend the night in Glenn’s arms because of Maggie’s cold shoulder towards him (doubtful)? Or does she bed Rosita much to Abraham’s chagrin?

Abraham/Rosita/Eugene -Abraham and Eugene may address their issues but I think they’ll gloss over them with so much time having passed since Eugene came clean. I’d like to see more of them personally as we know so little about them outside of Abraham’s family. We’ll be lucky if we get more stories for Eugene though.

The only ones who won’t have any fallout are Father Gabriel and Judith. And they’re probably the only characters outside of Rick/Daryl/Michonne/Carl/Carol/Glenn-Maggie that will definitely see season 6. Everyone else is on Kill Watch.

Speaking of the Kill Watch though, Terminus was over by episode 3 this season and Grady Memorial really just had a crazy lady running things. Where’s the next threat to the group going to come from? If there’s anything TWD has taught us anything, it’s that people are more dangerous than the walkers. Surely, someone else will be posing an imminent threat to the group and soon.

We just have to deal with the group’s emotions a little longer first.

Kill Watch

Thomas: I’d like to touch on this again.  I liked the episode.  I thought the timing sucked and really didn’t like its placement in the season.  However, I’m guessing a lot of people didn’t like this episode because Tyreese died.  This sort of feels more like an attention grabber.  It also feels like the writers are doing their best to remind everyone that, “anyone,” can go at any time.  I will believe that truly when one of the unkillables is gone.  The ones not on your Kill Watch are what I consider the unkillables.

I’m not hoping for Carol, or Daryl, or Michonne to be taken out.  I’m just saying, the show has tried to stress no one is safe.  However, throughout all the seasons, we have seen a select few are.  Where am I going with this?  Was this death an actual continuation of the story?  Or, like someone said, was this just a way for writers to shock the audience?  It feels more like shock at this point.  I will say if it continues the fall of Sasha and leads to crazier events for the group, I will consider it a strong midseason opener.  Until then, I question the reasoning and placement of this episode.  Still, it was a powerful episode.

Enough about Tyreese, on to the group.  I look at what you say, have to agree with most of it.  At this point, two regular strong characters, Maggie and Sasha, have been hit hard.  It may not seem like they are strong, but both have gone through some serious things in a short period of time.

Sasha seems to be a loose cannon.  She lost Bob and seemed to lose it several times.  However, I need to point out that her mistake with “Officer Bob” really didn’t have much overall affect on the first half of the season.  It seemed like they were going to make it her mistake causing a problem, yet nothing came of it.  I sort of think after the death of Tyreese, her actions could have serious consequences through the rest of the season.  She may die.  I have this feeling she will be responsible for at least one other death before she does.

Maggie will probably not have much of an impact this season.  I could be wrong, but she found out Beth was alive and had that torn from her.  I think she will be withdrawn, and end up a wallflower.  She will be quiet, depressed, and possibly go into a suicidal mode.  Some may think that is over dramatic.  Yes, she did lose Beth once.  What did she do?  She focused completely on finding Glenn.  It was sort of her rock of stability.  She also didn’t know for sure what happened to Beth.  This allowed her to bury her feelings and focus on Glenn.  She doesn’t have that this time.  All she can focus on is the scene of Daryl carrying out her lifeless baby sister.

Glenn was rather down and depressed.  I don’t think we can blame him.  I think the implications are going to be slowly revealed over the weeks.  He was always the optimist.  Now he is dealing with the loss of Beth, Maggie’s reactions, and still dealing with the fact Eugene was lying.  It seems trivial, but he did at one point latch on to  Eugene’s story.  It seems hope has been taken from him too often and too quickly for him to adjust.  I think this could end up with him not making it to season 6.  I could be wrong but just a thought.

Michonne was freaking me out.  It is true, we have seen some different sides of her.  She has been the stalwart warrior that kills with ease and skill.  She has been the goofy big sister that Carl could connect with.  She has also been the sensitive confidant to both Rick and Carl at times.  She has been the cool headed adviser when tough decisions have been made.  She has also been brash, angry, and seeking revenge.

This was the first time we saw her looking around, frantic, and dare I say it, scared.  She got it together pretty quick.  However, panic attack was the perfect way to describe her.  I’ve seen people have them, and it was a perfect imitation.  What will this mean for the group?

I think we are so used to seeing her as the warrior, we forget she is still human.  Remember after the prison, her actions and reactions?  However, there was sort of a beauty to that scene.  It was her cutting away her old life, and deciding to hunt for her friends.  This was different.  It was borderline her grasping at anything to make sense.  I think it could be Beth’s death had a serious affect on her as well.  This will be something that could build into a problem as the season progresses.

Moving on to Rick.  I have to admit, his calm throughout the episode was surprising.  Then again, he has had his fair share of crazy.  Who knows, this could be good or bad for the group.  Yes it was a good idea not to take the entire group to the community.  He also seemed the most optimistic of the group.

Perhaps Rick is just in a zone right now.  He is trying to get everyone he can to safety and holding in what happened to Beth.  I just have this feeling that things are going to break down for him before the season is out.  Either that, or Rick is doing his best impression of a borderline sociopath.  I know the last isn’t true, considering what he has done for the group.  I think there will be a time in the next couple episodes that he will be hit hard by what happened to Beth.  Piling on what happened to Tyreese, it could happen sooner rather than later.

Where do they go from here?  Apparently to DC and the unknown.  I still feel that this episode was in the wrong place, especially considering how the midseason finale ended.  I have been wrong before.  This episode could lead to a strong finish to season five that will make us all crave the next season.  The jury is still out though.  I do know that TWD tends not to disappoint when they wrap things up.  It can bore, frustrate, anger, and surprise you when looking at episodes individually.  However, when they wrap things up and bring it together for midseason or season finales, they tend to leave you wanting more.  It is something that the show has been successful doing throughout the years.  Even though I have my issues with the episode, I’m willing to wait and see where this goes.

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