Monday, February 9, 2015

The Walking Dead Recap, Episode 5.9: What Happened and What is Going On

Episode 9: What Happened and What is Going On

Another pretty brutal episode. Spoilers abound below so don't read if you haven't watched yet. 

So after Beth's apparent death (we'll talk about the 'apparent' part below) Team Family are all very depressed and having a rough time emotionally. In the beginning of the episode, we see a weird series of flashes; images all spliced together. We see trees moving by a car--from the point of view of someone in the car--dirt being shoveled, part of a funeral service, a picture of a small house with blood dripping on it, and finally Lizzie and Mikka, the two young girls whose deaths were both notorious and brutal last season. Then it goes to the opening credits without explaining what's going on. (Of course it did. :D) We also saw Noah telling Rick that his home was just outside of Richmond Virginia, and that Beth was going to go with him. (I know lots of people online had a problem with this. Never, that we saw, did Beth promise to go with him. She wanted him to be able to go home if he wanted, but she never said she'd go. When the first 2 minutes of this episode were released, people immediately went all suspicious about Noah and his motives. Myself, I don't think he's evil or anything. I think it's more likely that he just told a little fib to get Rick to take him home. He wanted to go, but of course no one wants to go off on their own in the world. It would be interesting if his motives turned out to be less than honorable, though, as no one suspects that at all right now.) We also see Rick talking to the group about taking Noah home.


Then we see about half the group in a pale-colored Suburban heading for Noah's home. In the car are Rick, Noah, Tyrese, Michonne, and Glen. They all head to where Noah's home was before he left it for Atlanta. In the car, Noah and Tyrese talk. Noah tells Tyrese that his idea to do the prisoner exchange was the right thing to do, regardless of how it turned out. Tyrese says it happened like it was always supposed to (I think that might be a clue to something, but more about that later). Then Ty tells Noah his dad was big on his keeping up on the news, that he should always know what happened and what is going on (title alert!) in the world. And he, Tyrese, always did that. He always listened so that he would know what was going on and possibly help if he could. 

They pull off the road, hide the car, and head in on foot. A huge wall, almost like the entrance to a gated community, surrounds the community. Glen scales the wall, looks over, and shakes his head. Noah goes over the wall anyway, only to find that the community that had apparently been thriving a year ago is completely burnt out and devoid of life, unless you can count a few walkers. Noah, despite being warned that this might be the case, has a melt down. (Understandable, given that he'd left a mother and two younger twin brothers behind.)

Rick, Michonne, and Glen decide to do a sweep for supplies, while Ty stays with Noah. 

As they walk through the community, Rick and Glen talk about things. Rick tells Glen the main reason he went with Noah was for Beth, to honor Beth. He also says that after she got shot, he wanted to kill Dawn. He knew Dawn didn't mean to shoot Beth, but, right or wrong, wanted to kill her anyway. Glen says similar things about how terrible it was to lose her right after finding out she was alive. Michonne mostly listens, but she's surlier than usual. It's obvious they're all angry, becoming more and more callous, and just trying to deal with the tragedy. Michonne tells them they've been out on the road too long, and they need to find a place to stay and create a community. She makes an argument for staying in Noah's old community. There are houses still standing and they can build up defenses. But Rick and Glen aren't convinced. They're surrounded by woods and it would be hard to defend. Eventually they find a bunch of corpses that are in pieces: arms, legs, torsos, all chopped up. Obviously this isn't the work of walkers. Michonne uses this for her argument, saying that this--the bodies--is what "just making it looks like." She says maybe they should head for Washington D.C. Eugene lied about the cure, but D.C. may still be the best place to go. It might be the place where people have actually survived. After some hemming and hawing, Rick finally agrees with her. (I thought this might happen. They heavily foreshadowed the group going to D.C., which I don't think they would have done if they were just going to call it off after finding out about Eugene's lie.)

Meanwhile, Ty pep talks Noah, telling him that he has to choose to live, and despite the tragedy, this is not the end of his life. At first, it seems to work, as Noah gets to his feet, but then he starts running. Ty follows. They stop in front of a house that Noah says was his. Inside, the body of a woman--presumably Noah's mother--lies in the living room. Tyrese moves down the hall, giving Noah time to grieve for his mother. In one room a young boy's body--one of Noah's brothers--is laid out on the bed. Another walker can be seen moving, trapped behind a door. 

Then it gets weird. Tyrese peruses pictures on the wall of the two twin boys and he seems to kind of freaks out. He gets this really shocked look on his face, which is never explained in the episode. Did he know them? Is he just melting down because they're both dead (unlikely). He's so preoccupied looking at them, that he doesn't notice the second boy--still an animated walker--coming up behind him. It takes a bite out of his arm.

He fights with it briefly, but then Noah comes in and stabs his former brother in the head, putting down the walker. He tells Tyrese he'll go get the others to help. 

At this point, the flashes from the beginning become more clear. They're from Tyrese having hallucinations because he's been bitten. He sees Martin--the guy from Terminus he told Carol he killed, even though he really didn't--Bob, then Lizzie and Mikka, Beth playing a guitar and singing, and finally the Govenor. (I know!)

Now, while Tyrese believes all these people are dead, I think it's more complicated than that. These are his regrets. Most are people whose deaths he believes he either had a hand in, or should have prevented. Martin and the Governor represent him beating himself up about it. So, Bob, the girls, and Beth keep saying it's all right. You have to know that, now. It's better now. Martin and the Governor keep giving him guilt trips about how he should have done things differently, what a terrible person he is, etc. It becomes obvious that he's arguing with himself. For example, Martin says that Tyrese hadn't lied about killing him, and had either really killed him or let someone else do it, the Terminus people wouldn't have been able to follow Team Family, and then Bob would still be alive. To which Bob countered that he'd been bitten before the Termites got there, so it wasn't Ty's fault anyway (which is true). So Ty is reliving his most recent regrets, trying to come to terms with his mistakes and forgive himself for things that really were outside his control. I kept wondering what the significance of the whole "It's's better now" was. Ostensibly, in the episode, he was giving himself permission to die. But it was repeated so often, I kept wondering if there was a deeper meaning. Anyone have thoughts on that?

What felt like years later, Noah returns with the others. They cut off Ty's bitten arm to try and save him. Then they carry him back toward the car, fighting off plenty of walkers along the way. They make it to the car and take off, radioing Carol (they talk to the rest of the team with walkie talkies throughout the episode) to tell her to get ready to take care of Tyrese. Ty, in the car, sees Bob, Beth, and the girls one more time, and they say it again: "It's okay, it's better now."

We see the car stop. They pull out Tyrese and lay him on the ground. He has died.

The funeral service we caught glimpses of at the beginning was his. The person riding in the car was him. Everything was foretelling his death at the end of the episode. 

So sad! I wasn't totally shocked by this. Lots of people thought Tyrese would die this season, so I was prepared for it. I didn't think it would happen this episode, but even so. It was very sad. I loved Tyrese! Wish they would have kept him around for longer.


1) What (else) did "it's okay, it's better now" mean. Perhaps more symbolism will be revealed as the season progresses. 
2) Why did only half the group go? Why would Daryl especially stay behind? Daryl is usually on the front lines of these kind of missions. 
3) What was up with the CD at the beginning? It was either Rick or Glen that had it and broke it. I assumed that would be explained, but it wasn't. Of course Michonne also broke the glass to get a t-shirt out. Maybe it's just symbolism for how the group is beginning to crack?

Okay so let's discuss Beth's "apparent" death from earlier. My last recap was me being super depressed that they killed her. Since then, I've stopped being depressed, and not just because I got over it. Rather, I think she's not really dead. I think we'll find out next episode that she survived. There's been TONS of evidence for it. For example, notice how Tyrese got an entire episode to say goodbye. We see Team Family burying him, mourning him, and we as viewers got plenty of time to work up to his eventual death (in this episode, I mean). With Beth, we got about four minutes at the tail end of a boring episode, and we have no idea what happened to her body. Did they bury her? Have a funeral? Why wouldn't they tell us? They have with every other character. Anyway, either you think she's coming back or you don't, and I believe she is. Whether I'm right or wrong, we'll know next episode, as 5.10 is supposed to be her next episode. 

Everyone has theorized over the break that Team Family would have left her body behind. Like, maybe they get swarmed with walkers and are forced to leave her corpse because she's literally dead weight. So if she woke up, they wouldn't know it and there would be a funeral service for her later. After this episode, though, I'm wondering if that's not the case at all. I would argue that maybe the characters already know she's alive, and just don't say that because they don't want us, the viewers, to know it yet. 

Glen and Rick talk about "losing Beth" (not her dying) in the past tense. And yes, the shooting happened in the past, but the way they talk almost sounds like the losing itself is in the past, as though it's not happening anymore. Thoughts? Tyrese saying everything at Grady played out like it was supposed to is another clue. And then there's the question of why would certain people stay behind from a dangerous mission. Look at who's missing: Daryl and Maggie (obviously tied to Beth; if she's fighting for her life somewhere, they'd probably stay with her) and Carol (the closest thing to a medical person they have at this point, and she's also still healing from her time at the hospital). Okay, I have no idea why Sasha didn't go. The only thing I can think of is maybe, because Other Bob, hit her on the head, she's still recovering too and Tyrese urged her to stay behind and rest. I don't know. And then of course there's Karl and Judith, but Rick always tries to leave them behind from dangerous missions.

All right, I'll stop expounding my theories now. I really hope Beth comes back next episode. Either way, I think they'll go back and show what happened right after Grady. I thought the title of this episode meant that they'd finally shed light on all the unexplained weirdness swirling around the first half of the season, but that wasn't the case. The title was just part of Tyrese's psychological journey toward death. So maybe next episode will have more answers. 

Check out the promo for next week's episode below, courtesy of (Notice everyone looking super-shocked about something at about the 13-second mark. Someone waking up, perhaps?)

What did everyone think of this episode? Predictions for the next one?


  1. You guys should add "Disqus" to your comment would probably go a long way to encouraging people to comment.

    This is a well written review of the episode (which I just had a chance to watch); you know how it is: Watch the episode and then go search for others' feelings about it to see if there are any angles that you're not considering.

    Something I hadn't considered is the death of Beth. Perhaps I wasn't as caught up in her story as everyone else seems to be; and gunshots to the head (shown in her appearance this episode) aren't normally recovered from...especially in the frontal lobe.

    Even if Beth were to wake up as you propose, she should not have anything close to a normal, functioning brain.

    I realize that this is a tv show, but we can't have our cake and eat it too...almost literally in this Beth scenario.


    As far as Tyrese, it didn't seem like he should've gone the way he did. This circumstance also makes me think even less of Noah. This guy has been problematic since he came on the scene. Whether he means well or not, he has been a problem since he met Beth.

    He has stolen, lied, and lead to the death of [another] positive character... I don't know about you, but this is not the resume of an upstanding, desirable character. Why do you keep forgiving him?

    At the end of the day, perhaps I am annoyed that the producers didn't release a two-hour Mid-Season Premiere. Not sure if I'm running out of patience with the story, or if they're just dragging this out to the point where my interest is waning.

    Regardless, I would miss TWD if it suddenly stopped.

  2. You make a good point about Noah. I honestly didn't think of him as a potentially toxic character until people made a big deal about him saying Beth was going to go with him, which she really didn't. But you're right. Since he showed up we've now potentially lost 3 beloved characters. Maybe we shouldn't be so quick to forgive him. I think it'd be terribly interesting if he ended up being evil or having ulterior motives. As for Beth, I really hope she comes back, and we should know one way or the other next episode. I totally understand your arguments, but I loved her and the Daryl dynamic so much, I don't even care if it's plausible. Anyway, glad you stopped by. Always nice to meet another TWD fanatic. Here's to hoping the rest of the season is awesome! :D