The following review will contain SPOILERS for Episode 9 of Season 5 and therefore potentially SPOILERS of any events up until this point. Season 5 part 2 kicked off and it was a bit of a weird one. The beginning of this episode plays very cleverly on the way in which part 1 ended, which was with the avoidable but resulting death of Beth, a fact which the beginning of this episode plays on quite cleverly. We see the group crying, digging a grave, Gabriel reading from the bible, obviously this is the group’s funeral for Beth right?
Everyone is a little down and a little shaken by Beth but honestly it doesn’t seem to have hit them that hard. The focus of this episode is Noah traveling to where his family were to hopefully find them and also give the group a secure area to stay. Of course by the time they get there walkers have already had their way with the place, which as you can imagine Noah takes very well (he cries. A lot!) Naturally Noah decides he wants to go to his house and see for himself, of course with the others looking for supplies Tyreese chases Noah and they confront the situation alone.
This as it happens is the death sentence for Tyreese, who can fight his way out of a horde of walkers unscathed with just a hammer but is powerless to the ninja like stealth of an undead toddler. Noah dispatches his little brother (without any hint of attachment of emotion) and goes to get the others, this is where the episode gets weird but also what has the most meaning. In his fevered state Tyreese begins to hallucinate, he sees and speaks to past characters from the show, all characters that have died. All of them telling him different things about his life, the way he lived, why he won’t survive, why it is okay to let go. The best part here for me was seeing the Governor return, even in such a small role he commands such presence, definitely one of the best characters from the show.
There are small glimmers of hope, Tyreese seems determined to prove his subconscious wrong, the others turn up to cut off his infected arm but alas it is not to be. On the drive out of the compound Tyreese finally gives in and the big loveable giant has gone. The death of Tyreese seems to have been used as a way to say goodbye to the setting of Georgia and ultimately seasons 1-5.5. This is made apparent with flash backs to areas the group have been, for example a shot of the train tracks, a reference to the journey to terminus and of course the re-union of some characters in his mind. I did like Tyreese when he wasn’t a crazy lunatic, and I hope his death wasn’t simply so that they could use this metaphor of saying good-bye to Georgia because that would be unlucky. It was also the exact opposite of Beth’s situation, here Tyreese had a long drawn out goodbye whereas Beth just simply died and in that regard I also feel sorry for her character.
I will be honest I was not expected part 2 of season 5 to be marked with the death of a character, and if i am honest I think the nature of the episode, saying good-bye to the past, to Georgia and Tyreese would have been better suited as a finale. It may not have the climatic feel that was being attempted with the action mid-season finale but i think it just makes more sense that farewells are the way to end something, so it feels oddly placed. I do feel for Tyreese but it was a nice goodbye and I did enjoy the episode.