Things are better now.
The Walking Dead returns after the winter break, and things are already pretty bad for our survivors. After going to Washington falls short, our heroes are left without a shelter or destination on the open road full of dangers, and they’re literally right around the corner too. It turns out, everyone will slip up at some point, and our favorite gentle giant pays the price with it.
Tyreese has always been one of my favorite characters, but it doesn’t mean I’m not surprise with his death. The character has taken a backseat for the longest time just moping around, and his story has been quite annoying and inconsistent. One minute he’s finally walking out of his funk, next thing we know he’s been lying about killing Martin. It’s only a matter a time the show decides to kill him off, and give opportunities to some other more interesting characters. “What Happened and What’s Going On” shows us the end of Tyreese’s epic journey, and sends him off in a very high note.
Tyreese’s bite-induced hallucinations are the highest point of the episode. It shows what has been bothering him this whole time, and he secretly blames himself for everything that happened since letting Martin live, including Bob’s and Beth’s death. Also, it bothers him that he used to work for the Governor as well. “I will do anything to earn my keep” is what he used to say to the Governor, but funny enough, he’s not even willing to do that anymore to earn his keep with the good guys. The show has been talking a lot about people needing to do what’s necessary to survive in this new world, and characters should be more ferocious, and not gentler. Tyreese doesn’t have what it takes, and he doesn’t believe in the new way either, so he has to go. At the end, he dies staying his gentle self, and moves on with the other lost souls.
It’s cool to see a lot of old faces in this episode. The Governor, Bob, Beth, Lizzy and Mika all make appearances in this episode, and it works out great. It’s usually kind of cheap a show does something like this to bring back dead characters, but the show handles it well here. My biggest concern here is the lack of Karen. She was Tyreese’s girlfriend, and the biggest reason Tyreese enters his funk in the first place, so it would make sense to have her popping out of Tyreese’s hallucinations too. I guess it’s an oversight from the show, and it’s a little bit of disappointing.
The radio element is something new to Tyreese’s backstory, but it works out great here too. It once again is an element to show how Tyreese really feels about everything he and his group have been doing, and how they’re all really horrible to his standard, slowly breaks him down at the same time. “Turn it off,” and that’s when we know there’s definitely no hope for the big bear, as he finally found his peace.
Meanwhile, the episode also gives us a look at how desperate our survivors have become. No destination and no shelter have made Michonne jaded, and she’s even willing to live at Noah’s old community. The place shows clear signs of attacked with torched houses and dismantled corpses, but it’s not stopping Michonne until she realizes how silly the idea is. Even though Eugene’s cure at Washington turns out to be a lie, the episode has once again set our characters’ destination to Washington. The Walking Dead has always been a show about characters trying to survive and going nowhere, but it’s nice to know our characters have an actual goal, and something to look forward to.
“What Happened and What’s Going On” brings The Walking Dead back strong. It addresses the issue with an old, beloved character, and set our survivors on the road to Washington once again. Tyreese’s sudden death is a tragic we all have to deal with, but it’s goo knowing the gentle giant died the way he has always been- gentle.
Categories: TV Reviews