The Walking Dead returns from its midseason break and another cast member bites the dust. However, in this case, the death paid off with arguably the greatest context of any death on the show. Check out the recap from this week’s return of The Walking Dead, What Happened and What’s Going On.
A Brilliant Cold Open
It was clear that this episode was going to be good from the start. The entire opening was a hallucinogenic montage of a funeral and what looked like a memorial. However, then things really took a turn for the strange when Mika and Lizzie appeared and said “It’s better now.” What looked like a funeral for Beth turned into something much more devastating.
Taking a Side Trip
Basically, Rick, Glenn, Michonne and Tyreese agreed to take Noah to his home town, which he said that Beth was going to help him get to before her death. After Beth’s death, Rick seems really devastated and was much more mellow in this episode than he has been over the course of the season. Rick felt that this might be an opportunity to finally find a place to settle down so they can stop wondering the countryside waiting for more of them to die. Sadly, this trip had an opposite effect.
The Town is Dead
Sadly for anyone holding out hope that this could be the place that the survivors could finally settle down, Noah’s home town was just another ghost town (or zombie town) and everyone there was either dead or they were zombified. Rick seemed really struck by this, and when Glenn asked him if he expected to find anything different, Rick said that he was holding out hope that this could finally be the break they were searching for.
Rick is Deflated but Glenn is Angry
This episode also seemed to paint a new picture of an angrier Glenn. Rick brings up the death of Beth and the subsequent murder of Dawn in retaliation. Rick said that he wanted to kill Dawn, even though he knew that she didn’t really want to kill Beth. He asked what that said about him. He then asked if Dawn’s death mattered. Just when it looked like Rick was becoming more philosophical about the situation, Glenn pointed at the dead around them and said that none of the deaths mattered anymore. Glenn is headed to a very dark place.
The opening of the show was not about the burial of Beth. It was about the burial and death of Tyreese. Basically, Noah ran to his home to see if anyone survived. No one did, and Noah’s own zombie brother attacked and bit Tyreese on the arm. With Tyreese soon dying, things got very interesting and this became the best episode I have seen in a long time.
Basically, the entire premise and subtext of this episode was that the good and pure have no place in the world of The Walking Dead. While he was lying on the floor, knowing he was dying, he starts to have visions. He sees Martin (the Terminus guy that Tyreese held captive) and The Governor. Martin tells Tyreese that he knew that he wasn’t strong enough to survive in this world. The Governor then bullies and torments Tyreese about not holding up his end of the bargain.
Then, Tyreese sees Mika and Lizzie, Beth and Bob, all of which tell him that this was just the way it was always meant to be. Mika and Lizzie then tell him that it is better this way. By the time the survivors find him, chop off his arm, and head back to try to save him, he realizes that – for him – it is better this way. Tyreese dies, and the show clearly shows that, for the pure and peaceful like Beth, Bob and Tyreese, death is sometimes better and this is not a world that is meant for people like them.
On to Washington
Even though Eugene lied about the cure to the plague being in Washington, Michonne convinces Rick to head to Washington anyway, since it is only 100 miles away, because there might be people there and they might find some semblance of hope. While that is a long shot, it at least gives the survivors something to shoot for in their quest to find something.