Welcome back, Walking Dead fans! Could there be a more apt title for this episode? Although quite a bit happened in “What Happened and What’s Going On,” the crux of the episode skimmed over what has happened in the last couple of seasons. More specifically, the episode looked at what has happened to Tyreese.
If you’re thinking that there’s only one reason whywould dedicate an entire episode to a single character, you’re probably right. That being said, The Walking Dead has maintained its status quo for black characters with the relative newcomer, Noah.
If you were looking for action in the mid-season premiere, you’re probably disappointed. However, if you enjoy the slower episodes with a dramatic disposition, combined with an interesting directorial approach, then it’s likely that you’re wholly satisfied. Greg Nicotero did a masterful job with the direction, especially if he’s responsible for the episode’s bookend beginning and finish, and for the flashback/hallucination elements.
It was especially creative to fool the audience into thinking that the opening funeral was for Beth when, in fact, as we learn by revisiting the scene at the end of the episode, it was for Tyreese. (At least now we know what Father Gabriel’s purpose is — as well, what’s with the biblical names, i.e., Gabriel and Noah?) Incidentally, Beth made a musical appearance in this episode, along with the Governor, Bob, and a few others. These characters appeared to Tyreese as his post-bite delirium set in.
The tangible elements of this episode took a small portion of Rick’s tribe to Noah’s secluded pre-neighborhood, which had been fortified, in the hopes to find his family and fellow survivors well. This was Beth’s goal, to bring Noah home, and as Rick expressed, this trip was for her as much as it was for them. Does it make sense that Maggie wouldn’t be a part of this trip in honor of her sister?
When we get there, Noah has a literal breakdown when it’s discovered that his home has been overrun, and it’s Tyreese who’s there to give support. Through him we learn that despite everyone’s dire circumstances, there’s still a reason for existing, a purpose, and there’s still hope.
The hope theme comes into play again near the end of the episode, when Michonne suggests that they still head for Washington D.C. Her reasoning is such that even if Eugene lied about being a scientist and knowing the cure, he’s still a smart guy and had reasoned with some plausibility that D.C. was the place to be. And even if there’s nothing there, at least the tribe still has “another day” of hope — and we get another half season of road travel.
So, will hope and finding one’s purpose be the running theme for the second half of Season 5?
We can be fairly confident that we’ll see some road time with the tribe, but for how long? More importantly, who and what will they encounter along the way? And when will Morgan make his presence known?
Another thing to consider is who else will die by the time Season 5 concludes?
What do you hope to see happen in the rest of this season? What are your predictions?
Rock Hard \m/