We’re still reeling from last week’s episode and looking forward to the next, but here’s a recap of the mid-season premiere episode of The Walking Dead. After a climactic mid-season break, TWD offers up a trippy episode that begins with a series of puzzling images and indie-like shots that I feel came off as make-or-break for audiences — cluing me that this would definitely be a divisive episode. Rick and the gang, still mourning over the death of Beth, decide to honor her by following through with her mission to help Noah reach his home.
This episode was short on action, but heavy on dialogue and tension. When they reach Noah’s gated community, they find it void of life — with clear evidence that it had been overrun with walkers. Noah runs off to his home and inside, Tyreese is ambushed by Noah’s reanimated younger brother. What’s shocking is that the little f*cker got him, mortally wounding Tyreese. This is where things get trippy.
We’re blessed with conversations between Tyreese and deceased characters from previous episodes, such as The Governor, the “Look at the Flowers” girls (dear god, that was a tearjerker), and Beth. The hallucinations included the flickering images seen at the start of the episode, which suddenly make sense, helping the narrative to take form. This was going to be Tyreese’s farewell. Oh, God.
Tension mounts throughout the rest of the episode as the ghosts of Beth and the girls comfort Tyreese, beckoning him to let go of life while, on the other hand, The Governor, backed by his awesome theme song, acts as a compelling I-told-you-so guilt trip, reminding Tyreese that his choices contributed to his current situation and the deaths of his friends (Beth, among others). Tyreese’s hallucinations are surprisingly interrupted by another walker, and then again by Rick and the others who hold him down as Michonne slices off his bitten arm in an attempt to stop his infection. Amazing, among all the poetic fluff early on, director Greg Nicotero manages to include jump-scares and thrills that add to what appeared to be an episode that could’ve been a talk-fest. The gang struggles to get out of the community in an action-packed sequence that includes a walker’s face getting blown away in slow-motion. They lose Tyreese on the road homeward, and the episode wraps up on another sad note.
It sucked to lose another one of the survivors, but overall, The Walking Dead returns with an okay episode. Although, it’s good to have something to watch on Sundays again, I hear that the rest of the season is bonkers, and I look forward to catching all of them!
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Photos by Gene Page/AMC and courtesy of AMC