Before the winter break, “The Walking Dead” basically ripped off the band-aid when it came to Beth’s death, but this episode entitled ‘What Happened and What’s Going On” felt like when someone slowly and painfully pulls that band-aid off and you just with they would rip it and get it over with.
It was beautiful and painful all at once which is something you don’t always put together. Most people noticed that the show looked very different too, and it felt like director Greg Nicotero was doing a wonderful homage to Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life”. The visual were beautiful, haunting and full of misdirection. What we were led to believe from the opening shots were not so. This episode also kept giving us little bits of hope to grasp onto but then ripping it away just as quickly as when the walkers bit into our moral compass characters arm.
You know that from here on in, every one of these characters view on the world has changed, some forever. The show also dropped lots of great hints of what’s to come, especially with the wolves, the ‘W’ ingrained on walkers head, and all those body parts tossed about like treats for the wolves. We keep feeling like just when Rick Grimes and company have suffered enough, it’s only just the beginning. Check out Ep 10 ‘Them’ trailer below.
There are spoilers below so if you’ve not seen this episode, you are warned. You should see the episode as this one truly ranks as one of the best ever.
The first episode after Walking Dead’s winter break sets the crew up after the debacle at the hospital in Atlanta. They are headed to the walled garden that Noah keeps talking about in Virginia. The kid that Rick’s gang invited into their group seems very sure that they can find safety at his old home. But in a world full of zombies, not to mention some humans that are worse than the undead, there are no certainties. Rick basically agrees to see the place out of respect for Beth, who believed in Noah.
The gang stops in the woods before getting to the walled community to approach silently. Here they park beside a walker that has been trapped in a car from the start of the apocalypse. You would think the monster would have gotten out of the car by sheer luck by now. Noah is still a bit gimpy from the fall he took in the elevator shaft back at Grady Memorial. But he still manages to outrun everyone else in his new tribe when he decides to foolishly rush around his former homestead as we will see.
It is amazing that Rick or any of his people want to make contact with other people. Almost every single group they have encountered has been evil and the meeting ended in a bloodbath. It might be best to stay hermits for a while. Noah is a good kid, so it does stand to reason that his people would be decent.
When they get inside the walled community we see it is a total loss. By total loss I mean there is death at every turn. The rotters have taken over the place although they are just seen sporadically. There is no sign of any humans though and Noah freaks right out. He is certainly not going to add any toughness to Rick’s team just yet. He is soft and naive.
After it is clear that this place is just another dead end, literally, Michonne shows her frustration. She is at the point of giving up it seems. When all they encounter is death and mayhem, it’s easy to see why. But they have to deal with the world the way it is. The way is was has little bearing on their situation. Remembering that has kept Rick’s people intact for the most part.
As Noah continues to fall apart emotionally, Tyreese tries to mentor the young man. This is some serious weak on weak crime. Noah probably needs a good shaking, not a pat on the back. His actions are not helpful in this jacked up world. They can get you killed. Noah and Tyreese check out the inside of the kid’s home. They find a dead walker on the floor as they enter. For some reason Tyreese gets caught up staring at the pictures on a wall while Noah is doing something other than watching his partner’s back. That is pretty unfortunate as down goes Tyreese with one of the nastiest bites I have seen on “The Walking Dead.” Dude was spewing blood from his forearm like a damn fountain. The little guy who bit Tyreese was apparently Noah’s younger brother. I don’t know much about the youngster except he had razor sharp teeth. Noah did end the boy’s misery as a walker when he impaled his head with a model airplane.
Noah tells Tyreese to stay put as he will run for help. Kid is fast like I said, so it would seem like he could have gotten Rick or Michonne rather quickly. That was not the case because Tyreese was left there alone long enough to encounter a few blasts from the past. As the big man sat there bleeding out he had to endure a speech from the Governor and take the smart comments from baseball cap guy cannibal also. He had to take another look at the sisters Mika and Lizzie, who told him it’s easier once you’re dead. Not the most encouraging words, but they were trying to help in their own way. Tyreese also got a visit from the recently departed one legged Bob.
While Tyreese was dealing with beings that weren’t really there, he got jumped again by another zombie. He had a hard time fighting the old thing off since he had lost about two liters of blood from my vantage point. He finally managed to use his mutilated arm as a jerky treat for the walker so he could get in some shots to stop the persistent monster. That was a nice move by Tyreese. his arm was no good at that point anyway.
While Noah is pinned down by a couple of walkers, Michonne tells Rick that she wants to go to Washington even though Eugene was a liar. She makes a valid point that Eugene made the right calculations on that being the best bet for safety. Politicians surely had some sort of bunker system stocked with canned goods and whores for an event that involved walking dead.
Rick and Michonne find Noah huddled up like a scared child under some chairs as two walkers claw at him. The dynamic duo save the second weakest member of their group. Noah is only above Little Ass Kicker on the survival scale at this point. They rush to get to Tyreese as the slowly dying man has an argument with the Governor. Tyreese is still hallucinating when Rick amputates his infected arm. Awful scene, even though we’ve seen it before with Hershel.
As the group tries to get Tyreese back to the SUV they have to fight through some walkers at a gate. This is one of the best zombie killing scenes yet on the show. Michonne is slicing up fools with her sword and Rick is making a mess of things with his pistol. One walker slips through and approaches Tyreese only to have her head blown near off by Rick’s .357 Magnum. Nasty!
They reach the SUV only to be a bit stuck in the wet leaves. They break free but ram into another parked vehicle. After the impact there are quite a few upper torsos of walkers that spill out. They are the better halves of the bodies seen in Noah’s subdivision I am assuming. Rick speeds off to meet up with the others in the crew. They need to get Tyreese’s arm cauterized and he is in bad shape. The big pacifist sees Beth once again and starts to drift away as he hears the radio news from his youth.
The SUV stops on a hill as they pull over to deal with Tyreese who has passed away. The impromptu amputation didn’t save the man’s life and they ended up giving him a proper burial. Tyreese was one of the best people of them all. Sure he made some mistakes that I have called weak. Not killing the baseball cap cannibal was a big problem, but Tyreese just wanted to do good. He was able to forgive Carol for what she did to his girlfriend at the prison. And he tried to avoid spilling blood whenever possible. He tried to do what his dad wanted him to do as a kid. He wanted to make the world better. That is a tough position in the world in which he found himself.