Written by John Edward Betancourt
THIS IS THE EMERGENCY SPOILER ALERT SYSTEM...YOU ARE ADVISED TO READ AT YOUR OWN RISK...
Showrunner Scott M. Gimple promised fans of The Walking Dead a different kind of show for the back half of season five and holy crap, he wasn't kidding. This one delivered as the show always does, but gave us a fresh, new and super sad take on death. So let's get right down to recapping "What Happened and What's Going On".
The Good: Wow, this episode at first seemed to be pretty freaking trippy, but there was a plan in place all along and we will get to that soon, because we need to spend a few minutes talking about Noah's gated community and all the creepiness that it entailed. This is an episode that loaded us up with questions. For starters, who the hell broke into the place and looted it blind? Also who killed Noah's mom because clearly a blunt object made its way into her skull. But most important of all, what the hell was with the creepy message "Wolves Not Fair" on the brick behind Michonne and the corpses with "W" carved into their foreheads? While we may not have the answers right now, I have a funny feeling our questions will be answered pretty quickly.
Plus speaking of quick, I love the fact that there wasn't months of debate about heading in the vicinity of our nation's capital. The group made the call, all in Beth's name as a "dying wish" and that's really the big story of the night...death. Specifically the death of Tyreese. See this trippy episode was in many ways...the final moments of this gentle giant's life and holy cow did it make for an amazing episode. First off kudos to Chad L. Coleman for pulling out all the stops in his final performance because his work left me wiping the tears from my eyes. But kudos also go to the show, for pulling together an incredible surprise list of guest stars as Beth, Lizzie, Bob, Martin and even the Governor show up to delve into what has Tyreese more terrified than dying...going out of this world without a clear conscience.
This is where the episode truly shined as Tyreese faced his demons, and his mistakes, doing his best to hold on, not only to live, but to fully be at peace with himself in case he didn't make it. It was an incredible sequence of television to watch really and one that was equally as sad to know that this upstanding guy harbored so much fear and so much stress from all the decisions he made over the last few years. That's perhaps what makes his farewell from the show so heartbreaking, that a majority of those final moments were filled with fear and doubt, but there is solace in the fact that in the end...he found his peace.
The Bad: Um, the fact that Tyreese died!? Actually, in all seriousness, no complaints, this was a masterpiece of an episode.
The Verdict: The show came back with an absolute bang, setting up a future near Washington D.C. after all and giving us the most impressive and tragic character death to date. So long Tyreese, the new world won't be the same without you.