THE WALKING DEAD 5.09 ‘What Happened and What’s Going On’ Recap

THE WALKING DEAD Season 5 Episode 9

Episode Title: “What Happened and What’s Going On”

Writer: Scott M. Gimple

Director: Greg Nicotero


One of the ways that “The Walking Dead” has differentiated itself from the source material is that certain characters have outlived their counterparts in the comic book series. But this week, the grim reaper caught up with one of the main characters who had been living on borrowed time for at least a season.

Needless to say, there are full spoilers ahead!

The Big Goodbye

Walking Dead 509 Big Goodbye 

The episode opens at a funeral held by Father Gabriel Stokes (Seth Gilliam) and the other survivors that we’re meant to infer is for Beth (Emily Kinney), who died kind of stupidly in the midseason finale.

In part to honor Beth’s last wishes, Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) suggests that the group accompany Noah (Tyler James Williams) to his remaining group in Richmond, Virginia in the hopes that they can all find sanctuary there. And that means road trip!

WD Road Trip

Walking Dead 509 Road Trip

Considering how slowly “The Walking Dead” takes to get its characters from one place to another, it’s shocking how the show skipped over most of this trip. Tyreese (Chad Coleman) gets paired up with Noah for most of the trip, but he seems increasingly disconnected from the events around him.

When the group arrives at Noah’s sanctuary, it’s been wiped out with the cryptic message “wolves, not fear” left behind. I have a Negan… Sorry, a nagging feeling about what that means.

That’s Never Good

Walking Dead 509 Never Good

Tyreese tries to comfort Noah, but he’s not entirely successful. He accompanies Noah back to his house, where they find the bodies of several of his family members. Unfortunately for Tyreese, they also find a walker that takes a bite out of his arm before Noah kills it with a toy airplane.

But yeah… that bite is never good. And soon enough, Tyreese is having fever dreams.

Bring Out Your Dead

Walking Dead 509 Bring Out Your Dead

As Tyreese fights to stay alive, he is visited by hallucinations of his friend, Bob (Lawrence Gilliard, Jr.) and the two children he once cared for, Lizzie (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika (Kyla Kenedy). Tyreese is even confronted by Martin (Chris Coy), the Terminus survivor he spared when he should have killed him. Honestly, I thought that the show was never going to deal with that.

Finally, David Morrissey makes a surprise appearance as The Governor, who also torments Tyreese in his visions.

The Defiant One

Walking Dead 509 Defiant One

Even Beth shows up in Tyreese’s mindscape. Clearly, these characters represent Tyreese’s greatest fears and doubts personified. The Governor even tells Tyreese that he’s weak for forgiving Carol (Melissa McBride).

But in a great moment, Tyreese stands up to his inner demons. However, his life is fading away quickly. Even the arrival of Rick and Michonne (Danai Gurira) isn’t enough to save Tyreese. They cut off his arm to stop the walker bite from killing Tyreese, but it’s too late. Tyreese is dead.

Farewell, Tyreese

Walking Dead 509 Farewell

And then we’re back to the beginning of the episode as we see that it was Tyreese’s funeral all along. Plot twist!

Although I do have to note that fans will probably be more upset about losing Tyreese than they were about losing Beth. Chad Coleman did a great job of bringing this character to life. Considering that the comic book Tyreese never made it this far, the creative team behind the TV series must have appreciated that as well.

Next week, the survivors resume their road trip, as some other threats from the comic book series loom in the distance.