'Walking Dead' Recap: Major Character Dies in Most Haunting Episode to Date

Walking Dead season 5 recap Tyreese

(Spoiler warning: stop reading now if you’re not caught up with the latest Walking Dead!) Who’s disoriented by this trippy dreamlike opening? I feel the writers divvied out a package of Benadryl and just wrote whatever came to mind: “Weird funeral montage.” “Blood dripping on a picture.” “Mika and Lizzie sitting there like the girls from The Shining, solemnly repeating ‘It’s better now.’”


Ugh, is this going to be one of those lame slow thinky episodes where Carl eats a lot of pudding and people have, like, realizations about stuff? (A: No. Might as well haul out the tissue box now, because we’re going to the bad place, folks.)

Tyreese, Rick, Glenn, Michonne, and Noah make their way to Richmond to find that nice gated community Noah was telling them about. It’s where Beth wanted to go, so hooray, road trip! Except this is kind of a bummer of a vacay, what with Tyreese sharing this story about how his dad used to make him listen to the news on the radio even if it was sad, because it was “paying the high cost of living.” Jeez. Well, I sure hope that grim little trip down memory lane doesn’t end up serving as a hint for how we the viewing audience will experience Tyreese’s final agonized moments in life.

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They get to Richmond and everything is amazing — the walls haven’t been compromised, there are lots of friendly people with plenty of food and supplies, no one can explain why but the Wi-Fi is still up and running, and ... oh god I just wanted to believe for a minute, okay? IS THAT SO WRONG? Richmond is a total zombie shitshow, of course. Noah collapses because he just cannot believe his sweet yuppie neighborhood has been taken over by ravenous corpses. Noah! There have been five seasons of this shit, man! Even Michonne is pointing out that it’s been, like, forever since anyone’s settled somewhere and felt human for half a second: “You can be out here too long,” she says wisely. Right? And then you get all stupid and start thinking that the living dead will be stopped at the gate along with the lower class riffraff.

Tyreese life-coaches Noah along for a bit until Noah bolts from him like a total dumbass. Noah wants to see what’s in his old house, and I can tell you RIGHT NOW what’s in your old house oh fine have it your way Noah. See? There’s your dead mom with her head blown open, right there on the living room floor. Are you happy now?

Tyreese is in Noah’s brother’s bedroom, totally distracted by the photo on the wall. Twins! Hey, Noah has twin brothers, that’s cool. One’s a disemboweled mess in the bedroom, and the other ... hmm ... probably no reason to worry about his whereabouts. Let’s just gaze at this photo for a while. La la la WAIT OH MY GOD TYREESE SERIOUSLY TURN AROUND GET A GUN DO SOMETHING ANYTHING AHHHH!

Too late. Chomp. Tyreese has been bitten, and now we’re swirling into a nightmare hallucination that goes on and on and on and is frankly way the hell more depressing than anything I’ve seen on this show so far and yes I’m including “The Grove.” A radio crackles to life, telling a gruesome story of cannibals running through the woods and setting people on fire. The Governor, Lizzie, Mika, Bob, Martin, and Beth show up, each playing a horrifying little role like the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come. (Martin: “I tried to tell you, it was gonna be you.” Bob: “It had to go this way.” The Governor: “You have to pay the bill.” Lizzie and Mika, in unison: “It’s better now.” Beth: *sings mournful, annoying song*)

Tyreese finally rallies against the Governor in a tragic final show of strength, yelling, “I didn’t turn away. I kept listening to the news so I could do what I could to help! I’m not giving up! You hear me?” Rick, Michonne, and Glenn appear in order to make things worse by chopping off Tyreese’s arm. They make a horrible getaway — why are the car’s tires just spinning in the dirt, what the hell — and I’m too overwhelmed by how sad this is to question the seriously weird things that are flashing onscreen: what’s with the zombies chopped in half? What’s with the trunk full of severed heads?

Tyreese tells the Ghost Governor that “people like me can live. Nobody’s gotta die today,” but that is in fact what he does. And it’s fucked-up and miserable, with him fading away in the backseat of the car and hearing that radio. “Turn it off,” he whispers, and Ghost Bob says, “You sure?”

Ghost Beth: “It’s okay, Tyreese. You gotta know that by now.”

Ghost Lizzie and Mika: “It isn’t just okay. It’s better now.”

Well, I really and truly hope it is, because from where I’m sitting that was the most AWFUL WAY TO DIE EVER, and I don’t like to think of ANYONE’S last moments playing out like that, how about he gets visited by his GIRLFRIEND or his GOLDEN RETRIEVER instead, and oh god, am I actually crying, Walking Dead? I think I am.

RIP, Tyreese. May you wear your ski cap well on the other side.

Seriously, how upsetting was this episode? 

Image via AMC

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