WEEEEEE’RE BAAAAAACK! Woohoo! New TWD tonight and for the next 7 weeks! If you need some refreshing, we don’t blame you! Catch our Season 5 first half recap RIGHT HERE. And then let’s jump right into Season 5, Episode 9: What’s Happened and What’s Going On!

The episode starts with a funeral. Maggie cries. Gabriel presides. These images are intercut with others: an illustration of a house framed on a desk, an open door, the group running through a parking lot, pictures of twin brothers, even the prison guard tower and Woodbury. Noah tells Rick that Beth was going to go with him to his home, outside Richmond, Virginia. Rick thinks that it sounds like a good place to head to: a walled community.

The opening continues and we see Lizzie and Mika, Lizzie with blood running from her hairline. They look into the camera and Mika says, “It’s better now.” We see the framed picture of the house again, lying on the floor now. Blood drops from above and spatters onto it. That’s probably not good. OPENING CREDITS.

Our entire crew is heading to Richmond. Rick, Tyreese, Noah, Michonne, and Glenn are scouting ahead to check out Noah’s community. Via radio chatter we learn that they’ve gone at least 500 miles and that they’re 5 miles from Noah’s home. That seems impossibly close by, but Google maps confirms that it is a little over 500 miles from Atlanta to Richmond, so there ya go.

Noah tries to reassure Tyreese that the trade at Grady was the right play. Tyreese says that it went the way it had to. He then says that revenge will blind you to what’s happening, and that his dad had raised him and Sasha to always be aware of reality as part of your duty to the world. That’s the gist anyway.

Glenn’s in the back, staring at his reflection in a CD. He squeezes it until it snaps.

Being cautious, the group pulls off in the woods outside the community instead of coming in on the main road. Pretty soon they come up on series of metal cables, stretched amongst the trees. Noah tells them that it was something they had been thinking about doing.

We see the sign for the community: SHIREWILT. Hey, hey, who gets that reference?!

There are no guards and it’s quiet. They rattle the fence and it sounds like walkers inside. Glenn climbs up and looks inside. His face says it all: Shirewilt has fallen.

Noah scales the fence and heads home. He stops before he gets there, sobbing. There are bodies in the street. A couple walkers. Trash every where. Everyone’s pretty dejected. With a big sigh, Michonne goes to dispatch the walkers.

Glenn, Rick, and Michonne go to search for supplies. Rick tells Glenn that he hoped it would be ok there. That they owed it to Beth to try to get Noah home.

Tyreese tries to reassure Noah that everything can be ok. That you can’t give up. Noah gets up and runs to his house. He’s faster limping than Tyreese sprinting.

Glenn tells Rick about his time after the prison and finding Maggie, and then about losing hope after losing Beth and learning the truth about Eugene. He picks up a baseball bat (OH GOD THE FORESHADOWING). Michonne says they need to stop because of what happens when you’re on the road too long.

Noah stops outside his house, and Tyreese tries to talk him out of it. When Noah is resolute, Tyreese pulls his knife and offers to go first. He pounds on the wall outside the front door. No walkers approach. When he enters the house there’s a body on the floor, gun shot to the head. Noah kneels by her and covers her with a quilt.

Tyreese heads down the hall to investigate some scratching. He can see a shadow underneath a door. In another he finds a body on a bed, pictures of twins on the wall. It’s Noah’s brothers. As Tyreese looks at the pictures he fails to notice the walker behind him. Noah’s little brother manages to get a bite out of Tyreese’s arm.

Noah runs into the room, pulls a model airplane down from the ceiling and puts down his little brother with it. Tyreese is bleeding like crazy. Noah runs for help.

Tyreese starts to hear things. A broadcast comes from the radio (a British voice delivering news of the outbreak, but painting the humans as vicious rebels who will do anything to anyone). He’s staring at the illustration of the house. Then he starts seeing the Termite that he didn’t kill. He’s issuing an I-Told-You-So. Then Bob talks to him. He says it went the way it always had to. The Governor talks to him. You have to earn your keep, he says. Lizzie and Mika tell him that it’s better now.

The Governor storms at him and Tyreese comes to long enough to realize that it’s actually a walker. He gets up and fights with it. In order to hold it off he puts his already bitten arm in its mouth (smart), then clubs it with a geode. He slumps to the floor, his blood dripping on the illustration of the house.

Michonne makes an argument for fixing the fences and staying. Rick says that the forest obscures their site lines and makes them vulnerable to other humans coming to attack. They go to check the hole in the wall and find a bunch of corpses, cut in half and dismembered, the pieces scattered around. They also see heavy damage to the wall on the outside. Someone attacked? This place isn’t safe either.

Michonne makes a case for heading to DC. It’s close, and it’s definitely the place best equipped for a major disaster. After all, Eugene wanted to get there for a reason. She can’t stay on the road, it’s too horrible. Then some walkers approach. “We should go,” Rick says. “It’s a hundred miles away. We should go to Washington.” They hear Noah calling for help and run.

Noah got ambushed by walkers outside a house. They take care of the walkers and then head to Noah’s house to help Tyreese.

Inside, Tyreese continues to hallucinate. The broadcast continues. Beth plays guitar and sings. He sees scenes from his past. Noah’s brothers. Train tracks. Tyreese’s ghosts talk to him. His subconscious is trying to come to terms with the decisions he’s made. Tyreese struggles to his feet. He confronts the Governor. “I didn’t know who you were! … Everything that you were is dead. I’m not giving up! …You hear me?! I’m not giving up!” The Governor shoves him back down, “YOU HAVE TO PAY THE BILL!”

Tyreese imagines Lizzie and Mika holding his had. Cut to reality and it’s Rick pulling his arm straight so Michonne can cut it off, stopping the infection.

They go as fast as possible to the gate. They break it open and have to kill a small herd of walkers. Tyreese’s arm bleeds heavily as the group fights off the walkers. They get back to the van as fast as possible but Tyreese is fading. He continues to see his ghosts.

As Rick slams on the gas, the SUV hits the truck in front of them and a bunch of armless walker torsos tumble out onto their hood, seemingly the work of the person that left the detached corpses by the wall. The undead torsos snap their teeth through the windshield. You can see a “W” carved into their foreheads (hm…).

Tyreese hears the broadcast again, and he sees only friendly ghosts in the SUV. Bob sitting shotgun, Beth driving, the girls in the back with him. He asks them to turn off the radio. “You sure?” Bob says. “It’s ok, Tyreese, you gotta know that now,” says Beth while driving (and totally not looking at the road). “It isn’t just ok, it’s better now,” Lizzie and Mika say. Tyreese looks back at Bob, who smiles at him. His head drops to the side and the late afternoon sun shines down through the trees as they drive.

Pulled back from the SUV, we see the group stop and pull Tyreese out of the back seat. Rick checks him and walks off. Michonne reaches for her sword.

The next scene is the funeral that opened the episode and we see that it isn’t Beth’s funeral as we might’ve thought, it’s Tyreese’s. The group takes turns shoveling dirt onto Tyreese’s grave.

The last shot is a makeshift cross marking Tyreese’s grave, his famous beanie perched atop.

OH THE FEELS!!!! Tyreese, you may not have been the beast of a right-hand man you were in the comics, but you were a gentle giant of a man in the show. A man who had known violence and anger and had let it all go, and in doing so was no longer really fit for the world he was living in. It’s ok, Tyreese. It’s better now.

What did you guys think? I’ve seen this a couple times and it still gets me all emotional.
What will Sasha’s reaction be?
How will this impact the group?
Will they really head to DC?
What will they find if/when they get there?
What I’m really curious about is this: Tyreese’s death wasn’t like any death we’ve seen on the show before. We spent time with him as he died and we saw his visions. Why do you think that is? Why Tyreese? Why now?

Knock our socks off with a comment and you might win a Skybound Mystery Box (size at our discretion, since we’re almost out of our reserve stock).

PS: sorry if the description of Tyreese’s visions were a bit truncated. They were scattered and I was emotional.

UPDATE: And the THREE WINNERS (because we’re feeling generous and a midseason premiere only happens once a year…) are beachball48, jlahair, and ocassie! Congrats!

And be sure to check out our panel to screen comparison!

And The Walker Stalkers’ Podcast Discussion of 509!