“Beth wanted to get him home, this was for her…and it could have been for us too,” says Rick (Andrew Lincoln) to Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) as they discover that Noah’s (Tyler James Williams) home in Virginia was overrun by zombies in the midseason premiere episode of season five of the horror series The Walking Dead.
*WARNING: Spoilers ahead as this is a recap and review*
Rick and his group are still in grief mode after losing Beth (Emily Kinney) when they reach what once was Noah’s home and discover it lost to walkers. Noah is too overcome with grief to deal with the situation, while Rick, Glenn, Michonne and Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) scout to find supplies. When Noah goes sprinting away, Tyreese goes after him finally catching up to him before he’s about to enter a house. “It used to be my home. I have to take a look!” says Noah, and together he and Tyreese check out the house room by room. Noah sees what’s left of his family’s remains while Tyreese is blindsided by Noah’s younger brother who now is a flesh-hungry walker. Noah kills his zombie younger brother but not before it takes a huge bite out of Tyreese’s arm. Bleeding profusely, Tyreese tries to bind the wound and tells Noah to go get Rick and the others. Suffering from shock and continued blood loss, Tyreese begins to hallucinate seeing Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.), The Governor (David Morrissey), and Beth (Emily Kinney), along with others who have long since passed away, as he begins to deal with his guilt and face his fears.
Shot and paced differently than most The Walking Dead episodes, season five’s ninth episode titled “What Happened and What’s Going On” plays out in a series of flashbacks and dream sequences similar to a Terrence Malick film. It’s a slower and emotionally deeper episode than most, with Chad L. Coleman giving his best and, yes, final performance as Tyreese – the clinging to his morals strong arm of the group.
In addition to the death of a major character, the episode also pulled off a few other surprising/shocking moments (including Noah and Tyreese’s discover that it wasn’t just walkers but also deadly vandals who overran Noah’s community). The rest of the cast delivered solid yet subdued performances, capturing the weight they all felt with the loss of Beth and any hopes that they could start over in Virginia with other survivors.
But really it’s Coleman’s performance as Tyreese, as he deals with his overwhelming issues of guilt and regrets, that’s at the very heart and the soul of this episode. The back and forth between he and David Morrissey, back as The Governor during Tyreese’s hallucinations, is one of the best scenes and the highlight of the episode – not to mention it’s great to have Morrissey back portraying the Governor, if only as a ghost in this one episode.
With great zombie effects and make-up, a stand-out performance by Coleman, and a more melancholy feel to the zombie series, it will be very interesting to see what’s next for Rick and his group in a series which is known for its shocking twists and turns.
Premiered: February 8, 2015
– Reviewed by Kevin Finnerty
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