Air Date: Sunday, February 8, 2015 at 9/8c on AMC
*Spoilers in the photo gallery*
“It went the way it had to, the way it was always meant to.” – Tyreese
As The Walking Dead premieres its mid-season opener, all I can think is ‘Idon’twantotcryIdon’twanttocry’ because I can’t handle any more heart wrenching drama. I, like many other viewers, am still reeling over Beth’s (Emily Kinney) death in the mid-season finale “Coda.” While the first few minutes of “What Happened and What’s Going On” are intriguing, beautifully artistic, and confusing, they don’t give much in the way of explaining where things are now. It isn’t obvious what’s going on given that five different frames seem to be spliced into one as the camera’s focus flickers; a sepia tone washes over the screen creating a dissolving film effect hinting that the images are in the past. But the picture never becomes clear. So what are we meant to decipher from this artistic vision? What image is the director trying to illustrate?
Can We Start Over?
I never would have guessed Tyreese (Chad L. Coleman) and his journey is the focus of “What Happened and What’s Going On.” The entire episode plays out as an homage to his struggle in maintaining and surviving the zombie apocalypse. While we still don’t know Tyreese’s full story, we know the man he is today; that man has held up so many people, and overcome various things since coming into the survivors’ fold. He takes a walk down memory lane as the survivors continue on the journey never begun by Beth and Noah (Tyler James Williams). Wouldn’t it be great for the gang to finally have somewhere to hole up for a bit? We learn through this exploration there is no safe place, there is no hope in sight, and the dead might finally have peace even after a gruesome death.
What’s most powerful to me are the images of desolation, despair, and destruction. Noah’s neighborhood is the epitome of this picture being drawn by the writers of the menace awaiting those who are surviving. Hope is a thing of the past. There is nothing left to look forward to in a world overrun by the dead, and the remaining living who are just as dangerous. The looted homes and desiccated bodies of the dead open your eyes to the things we’ve yet to see. What do the other areas in the country look like? So far, we’ve seen Atlanta after it’s bombing, and parts of Georgia on the outskirts of the cities. It’s interesting to see just how ruined the world has become. The realization of the finality of life as they know it hits Glenn (Steven Yeun) and Michonne (Danai Gurira) the hardest. Michonne can’t contain her desperation. Her words to Rick (Andrew Lincoln) are full of emotion that can’t be ignored. “We need to stop. You can be out here too long.” She’s tired of running and being on the move. Glenn is weary of losing the things he hopes for. And while I wouldn’t say Glenn is as intense as Rick is, he’s not the young man we met in season one. Glenn has something, someone, to live for now. But just how far is he willing to go in pursuit of that happiness?
Rick to Carol about the journey to Noah’s home in Virginia: “We made it. It’s gone.”
Tyreese tries to comfort Noah after seeing his neighborhood has been overrun: “I wanted to die for what I lost, who I lost. I stepped out into a crowd of those things just tryin’ to take it all out on them, until it took me. Put ‘em all in front of me so I didn’t see anything. But, I just kept going.”
Tyreese to Noah: “And that wouldn’t have happened if I had just given up; if I hadn’t chosen to live. Noah. Noah, this isn’t the end.”
Tyreese speaks a little wisdom here. Just how much suffering, heartache, and disappointment will these survivors face until they reach their breaking point?
Michonne to Rick and Glenn about the possibility of Washington being a safe haven because dammit she’s fed up: “What if there’re people there? Huh? What if it’s someplace that we can be safe? We’re a hundred miles away. It’s a possibility. It’s a chance. Instead of just being out here; instead of just making it because right now, this is what making it looks like. Don’t you want one more day with a chance?”
Tyreese to the ghosts of his past: “I’m not giving up. You hear me? I’m not giving up. People like me, people like me, they can live. Ain’t nobody got to die today.”
For someone with a bum leg, Noah sure does run fast, doesn’t he?
Michonne’s katana doesn’t always get the job done. Did you see the look on her face when her blade bounces off the walker? What a blow to her ego.
I know I’m not the only one who was a little disappointed to not have Talking Dead air immediately following The Walking Dead. I get the need to showcase a new show when most people are watching but you can’t interfere with our therapy, AMC. We need Chris Hardwicke and his talking things out to deal with the more intense episodes.
I’m getting a really bad feeling about the rest of this season. Not only have we lost yet another beloved character, I can tell there will be more loss to come. This is the zombie apocalypse, after all. My worry is for who will be next on the chopping block and how much the survivors will be forced to endure before they can no longer go on. Coleman and Williams get major kudos for the amazing acting done in their scenes together. You know I cried, right? The writers don’t make it easy for me to keep the tears at bay, and the actors don’t hold back in their craft.
Now that season five is continuing, where do you think the survivors will end up next? D.C. is only 100 miles away … Let me know what you think about “What Happened and What’s Going On” by dropping me a line in the comments section below or tweet me @ellemoe.
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Photo credit: Gene Page/AMC © 2010-2015 American Movie Classics Company, LLC. All rights reserved.
© 2015, Elle. All rights reserved.
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