Monday, February 9, 2015

The Walking Dead, Season Five, Episode Nine: What Happened and What's Going On

The Walking Dead opens with someone shoveling dirt, a framed picture of a house, and Stokes giving a funeral sermon.  We see flashes of the prison and two twin Black boys.  Later, Noah talks to Rick about his plan to head home with Beth.  Rick talks to the crew, telling everyone that the place Noah is from was secure when he was last there and that Beth wanted to make sure Noah got there.  They decide that though it's a long trip, if the place is secure, it's the last long trip they have to make. 

We get a flash of Lizzie and Mikah smiling and one says, "it's better now."

The group splits up into two groups, with Rick, Noah, Tyreese, Michonne, and Glenn, in a car.  Rick contacts Carol by the radio and Carol promises to come and look for the group, if they don't check in in twenty minutes. Noah tries to assure Tyreese that the trade for Beth was the right play but Tyreese is convinced that it all happened the way it was supposed to. When they get close, Rick asks Tyreese to pull over, adding that they will go in on foot just in case.

They make their way through the woods, with Michonne in the lead and Glenn taking up the rear. When they arrive, it quickly becomes apparent that all of the people are either dead or gone.  Noah quickly hops over the fence and Rick et all have to run to keep up with him.  In the center of town, Noah stops when he sees the ground littered with bodies and a walker making its way towards them.  It's Tyreese who offers his condolences, as Noah cries and Michonne who takes out the walker.  As Noah continues to cry (badly at that because Tyler James Williams is a horrible actor ) Rick suggests they look around for anything useful and head back.  Glenn agrees that they can make a quick sweep, and Tyreese agrees to stay with Noah.  Rick contacts Carol to tell her that the location is gone.

Rick tells Michonne that they will figure out and though she says yes, it's clear Michonne is filled with doubt.  Rick and Glenn talk about how he knew that Dawn mean to kill Beth but he wanted to kill Dawn anyway. Rick makes the point that coming here was for Beth.

Noah continues to weep, as Tyreese stands guard.  Tyreese explains that he wanted to die for who and what he lost, then brings up the time he stepped into a crowd of Walkers.  Tyreese believes that because he kept going, he was able to save Judith and reunite her with Rick.  Tyreese tells Noah that this isn't the end.  Noah slowly rises to his feet with Tyreese's encouragement, then takes off running again, forcing Tyreese to follow him. 

Glenn brings up Terminus and the guy in the storage container.  Glenn says that after the prison he got Maggie back and things went okay.  Glenn picks up a bat and brings up the lose of Washington and finding Beth dead so soon after finding out she was alive.  Glenn declares that he would have shot Dawn dead, right or wrong.  Michonne interrupts the men to say that they need to stop because one can be out here to long.

Tyreese chases Noah to the front lawn of his former home, telling him that he doesn't want to go in there but Noah is insistent.  Tyreese pulls a knife and takes the lead as they approach the house.  Inside, they find a rotting carcass of a woman on the floor and I assume she is Noah's mother.  Noah gets on his knees and draws a blanket over her head, saying that he is sorry it took him so long to return.  Hearing a noise, Tyreese starts to make his way through the house.  Behind a closed door, the shadows move and it's clear that a walker is trapped in a bedroom.  Tyreese makes his way into what was clearly Noah's twin brothers room and looks at the pictures of the boys on the wall.  What he doesn't realise is that a walker is sneaking up on him.  The walker bites Tyreese in the arm and he tosses it across the room.  Noah comes in an puts a toy airplane through the head of the walker, promising Tyreese that he will be back with help.

We see flashes from Tyreese's life, as a radio report talks about walkers roaming around.  Tyreese sits on the ground with blood pouring out of the wound.  He hallucinates Martin of all people, talking about how things could have been different.  Bob appears and says that he died the way it was always going to happen.  Once again, we hear the radio announcer talking about the beginning of the apocalypse.  The Governor shows up and tells Tyreese that the bill has to be paid and that one has to earn their keep, reminding Tyreese that this is what he said when he arrived in Woodbury.  The girls show up to tell Tyreese that things are better now but Philip charges forward saying that things are not better now. The hallucination of Philip turns into a walker and Tyreese struggles with it, dropping his famous hammer.  Finally, Tyreese is forced to stuff his already bitten arm into the walkers mouth so that he can beat the Walker over the head with something from the shelves.  A panicked Tyreese crawls under the desk.

Michonne starts talking about settling in the place but Rick is not convinced, saying that the place is surrounded by forest with no sight lines.  A desperate Michonne suggests taking down the trees to build the walls up.  Michonne makes her way out of the gate, only to find a pile of dismembered bodies.  Looking at the bodies, Glenn declares that it doesn't matter that Rick, or Darryl killed Dawn.  I suppose Glenn means that this is how they will all end up. Michonne then brings up Washington, adding that though Eugene lied about a cure, he picked Washington for a reason.  Michonne points out that they are close and wonders if people are there (read: Washington), or if it is a place where they can be safe.  Michonne points to the dismembered bodies, saying that this is what making it looks like, asking Rick and Glenn if they want one more day with a chance.  Rick says that though Washington is a hundred miles away, they should go.  The discussion comes to an end when they hear Noah screaming.

Michonne, Rick, and Glenn find Noah surrounded by two walkers and save him.  Noah is quick to tell Rick, Michonne and Glenn about Tyreese being bitten.

In the house, who should make an appearance but a singing Beth.  As Beth sings, we see more visions of Tyreese's life since the apocalypse.  Beth wails, as the camera focuses on pictures of the twins and the railway to Terminus.  Tyreese is now covered in sweat and when he looks up, the girls sit at Beth's feet, as Beth assures Tyreese that it's alright now.  Bob assures Tyreese that it's okay if he doesn't want to be a part of it anymore. Martin however laughs and warns that though Tyreese doesn't want to be a part of it, being a part of it is being now.  The girls again affirm that things are better now.  The Governer appears again, reminding Tyreese of his promise to earn his keep.  Philip taunts Tyreese about his forgiveness of Carol for the murder of the woman he loves, adding that this is all there is.  Tyreese struggles to his feet and says that he knows who he is, what happened and what's going on.  Tyreese tells Philip that he is dead and that everything he was is dead, adding that he forgave Carol because it's not over.  Tyreese starts to weep, saying that he never turned away and is not giving up. Tyreese says that people like him cannot live and that no one has to die today.

Once again, we see flashes from Tyreese's life, as Philip pushes him to the ground, saying that he has to pay the bill.  Tyreese hallucinates the girls taking his hand and pulling it twards them but what is really happening is Rick is extending Tyreese's arm, so that Michonne can sever it..

Glenn and Rick support Tyreese's weight, as they struggle to get to the gate.  When they find it locked, they hand Tyreese to Noah, as they fight the walkers who burst through the gate the moment it's opened.  Tyreese however continues to see visions of the girls and Martin. Glenn and Rick drag Tyreese through the woods towards the car, as Tyreese continues to hallucinate.  Bob says, "it went the way it had to, the way it was always going to."  Rick begs Tyreese to hold on, as he, Glenn, and Noah carry Tyreese through the woods. 

They manage to get Tyreese into the back of the car and Rick contacts Carol to say that they have to cauterize Tyreese's arm, warning that she is to get Sasha and Carl away because they don't need to see this.  They drive to meet up with Carol and Tyreese stares out the window at the sun with tears rolling down his face, as he hallucinates the radio again chronicling the start of the apocalypse.  Tyreese asks for the radio to be turned off, and Beth tells him that it's okay now.  The girls again affirm that things are better now.  Bob looks back with a smile from the front seat. 

Suddenly, the car stops and Glenn, Rick and Michonne struggle to lift the now dead Tyreese out of the car.  Later, Tyreese is covered with a sheet and shovels of dirt are tossed over his body, as Stokes says a funeral service.  The shovel is handed to Sasha but she drops it on the ground, as Stokes closes his bible.  It is Rick who picks up the shovel and finishes burying Tyreese.  Tyreese has a simple wood cross as a marker, with his iconic black woolen cap hanging from it. 

I'm so mad I barely know where to begin.  It was very clear in this season that we were going to have to lose some people because the cast was so large that it had become ungainly. I remember joking about who would be next to be walker bait, sure that it would undoubtedly be a POC because of The Walking Dead's track record.  I thought that it would be Sasha, clearly forgetting the T-Dog train.  For whatever reason, the moment a new Black male character arrives, one has to die.  For instance, when we got Stokes, Bob died and then when we got Noah, Tyreese of course had to die.  Yes, it's official, The Walking Dead has something against Black men.

I am supremely pissed because Tyreese didn't even come close to living up to the Tyreese we got to know in the comics.  Oh, I know the creators like to tell us that the comics and the show are two separate entities but its clear that the are so closely related that it is reaonable to place them side by side. In the comics, Tyreese was big, tough, brave but most importantly, he was a co-leader with Rick.  He was someone people turned to for support and advice.  That is not the Tyreese we got on the show.  The television Tyreese was weak and served as a nanny of all things while others got into the fray and made decisions.  I kept hoping that this was all a precursor to slowly building his character but of course, it was not to be.

Why couldn't they kill Darryl? Oh yeah, I know, fan favourite.  Tyreese by virtue of his gender and his race was disposable.  If I were Noah or Stokes, I wouldn't get to comfortable because they are likely next to bite the bullet. I know that Rick simply cannot die in this series but it pisses me off that he is covered in teflon while the POC get such piss poor treatment.

Speaking of POC, Michonne actually did something other than babysit Rick's children this episode and snarl.  Unfortunately, Rick still ended up having to save Michonne from a Walker.  Michonne is beginning to suffer from life on the road and while it is understandable, what I want to know is why it didn't happen earlier?  With everything Michonne went through, why is she only showing some kind of emotional issues now?  The one thing you can be sure of however, is that she won't be able to put down her Katana and decide to become a farmer cause life suddenly becomes hard.  That kind of avarice is for the White male characters.

Yeah, I am just too upset to go on.  Maybe when I come down, I'll have more to say beyond, "fuck you Walking Dead".