The Walking Dead, Season 5, Episode 9: What Happened and What's Going On
ZPAA ratingAdults only
Offensive contentThe usual variety and gore of zombies and head wounds, including some corpses with nasty head wounds. Not much language, no sex.
Synopsis & ReviewI didn't review the first half of season five for two reasons: (1) life was very busy back then, and (2) the first episode's gore was so graphic I wasn't sure I'd keep watching. It's one thing for a movie to have a lot of gore--it's two hours or less. If a TV show goes that route, the viewer can't know if the makers will continue the high levels. It could get to be too much. I stuck with the show and am now back, though the title of this episode was not very encouraging mostly because it looks lazy. It sounds like a recap episode as when Alias's budget ran short and they did a "highlights from the last few episodes" show. Those were annoying. This episode does have a lot of retrospective moments, but it earns them.
New group member Noah wants to go back to his secured neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia. He convinces the others to go because it may be a chance to settle down safely. Since they don't want to stay at the Atlanta hospital and the cure in Washington is a hoax, they don't have many other options. They head off to Richmond. Rick, Michonne, Glenn, Tyreese, and Noah scout ahead to make sure it's okay.
When they arrive, they discover the compound has been overrun. Noah starts to have a breakdown. Tyreese stays with Noah while the others scavenge for any useful supplies. Tyreese comforts Noah as he always does for others. Noah gets up and races back to his home. Tyreese tells him not to go in but Noah insists. Nothing happy is inside. Noah covers up one of the bodies while Tyreese checks the rest of the house. He's bitten by a zombie and lapses into a seeming hallucinatory state. He sees dead people he knew (like Bob, the Governor, Beth, etc.) and discusses with them whether his optimistic view is the right one to have in the situation. It's an interesting debate that is both well thought out and artistically displayed. Flashes of his life both haunt and comfort Tyreese. His choice to live early on in the series is validated by the good he's been able to do. But, as they say, all good things come to an end. Tyreese dies from his wound in spite of Rick and company trying valiantly to save him. He does have a good end--he's the first character in a long time to get buried and have a pastor reading over his grave.
This was a very sad but very beautiful episode. It looks like the show is back on track.