ByJ. Ryan, writer at
Writer. Mother. TV Lover. Obsessed with The Walking Dead. Follow me on Twitter @twdfansite/@jryan_author.
J. Ryan

Another member of the group is gone. Can you say your surprised? I wish I could say I am, but I knew it was coming and not because of the comics. There is never a happy ending for a survivor who can’t do what’s absolutely necessary to survive. Holding onto hope is fine, but holding onto a weapon, and very tightly, against man or walker is a must.

In The Walking Dead‘s Mid-Season Premiere, we had to say goodbye to Tyrese. We thank you for watching over Judith and forgiving Carol instead of killing her. Rest easy big guy, your fight is through.

Breaking Down the Episode

Couple things right off the bat… the way the flashbacks were incorporated were really great. The Walking Dead doesn’t do flashbacks or dream sequences very often, and for that I am very grateful. However, I feel like when they choose that story tactic, it works. It worked for Michonne’s back story and it worked for Tyrese‘s death story.

Yes, it was different, and yes, it was a bit confusing. Yet, if the creators didn’t take chances like this to expand upon a incredibly devastating loss, then you’d have a much lesser quality show. When they want a character to go, they really take the time to consider that person and craft for them an exit that is worth of that character’s arc.

Lori was all about protecting her children, she dies in childbirth. Andrea was all about bringing the two sides together, she died trying to do what was right. Hershel was all about Rick finding his humanity again, he died watching Rick agree to live with a man that killed their own. Beth was about finding the strength and survival she had within herself, she died standing up for her friend and trying to take down an oppressive force.

So, yes, this episode was different, but like him or not, Tyrese was a different kind of character. He was a little too soft for this harsh reality, and after the rollercoaster he’d been on since losing Karen, Lizzie, Mika and almost Judith, it’s kind of hard to believe he was still standing.

As he lay there dying, seeing the ghosts of his post-apocalyptic life holding him in judgement or helping to waylay his fears, seemed very fitting for a man that never really felt like he fit in that world.

Chad L. Coleman has played Tyrese since The Walking Dead season 3.
Chad L. Coleman has played Tyrese since The Walking Dead season 3.

Tyrese said all he could to help Sasha with her pain, and now, he could rest. “It’s ok Tyrese. You gotta know that now” Beth says. “It isn’t just ok,” “Its better now,” Lizzie and Mika tell him.

Finding Hope in a Hopeless Situation

Danai Gurira as Michonne, The Walking Dead 5x09.
Danai Gurira as Michonne, The Walking Dead 5x09.

Michonne and Glenn both showed very different sides in this episode. Still reeling from Eugene’s lie and Beth’s death, Glenn seems to have lost any hope at all, while Michonne seems desperate to hang on the last bit she found after the prison fell. As they scout Noah’s community for supplies, she’s trying to find a way to make the broken area whole again.

With the obvious signs of destruction around them, Rick and Glenn show her its just not possible there. Whatever went down there, was bad… really, really bad. And just what exactly were they going to use that van full of walker torsos for? Nothing good I tell you that. Did you notice each one had XX carved into their heads?

Glenn however, tells Rick that the guy who made the group stop to open the train car to save people, is gone. He would have killed Dawn too, he had no real hope of Noah’s community still being around and whole. One of the last bright lights of hope is fading, which is scary because I really thing Glenn is the last thing holding Maggie together.

The Walking Dead Episode Easter Eggs

EP Greg Nicoteri, Steven Yeun (Glenn) and Andrew Lincoln (Rick) talking on set during TWD 509.
EP Greg Nicoteri, Steven Yeun (Glenn) and Andrew Lincoln (Rick) talking on set during TWD 509.

If you read through the comics, it isn’t a far leap to make that they are getting dangerously close to Negan’s territory. Burned and looted, signs of a horrific ending lay scattered all around them, the words “Wolves Not Far” painted on a sidewalk brick wall. Couple that with the scene of Glenn picking up that baseball bat and using it around the community to take out walkers… Folks, he is coming, and he is bringing Lucille with him.

The other one of The Walking Dead‘s signature pieces that occurred a lot during the episode was the clocks. I am coming to realize that the camera really seems to like to pan on the clocks when a character’s time is nearly up. They did it in episode 504, when Beth was in the hospital – the clock showing it was 5:04, and again in this episode. There was a grandfather clock on the street that Tyrese sees as they walk by. Again in the bedroom, as he is dying and hearing the radio broadcast (which was recorded by Andrew Lincoln) the clock radio shows 5:09, which is also the episode number.

Love it or hate it, you have to admit that The Walking Dead’s Mid-Season Premiere was very unique, at least a little bit sad, and kinda a game changer. All the other characters are going to have really strong reactions while dealing with their recent losses, all while still trying to survive.

Let me know what you thought about the episode by voting in the POLL, and make sure to tune in next Sunday for The Walking Dead 5×10 “Them”, 9 p.m. on AMC.


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