An episode to change all episodes


Tyreese was visited by past friends such as Beth, Mika, Lizzie and the Governor.

Kedar Collins, Staff Reporter

(Contains Spoilers)

For five seasons, the popular AMC series “The Walking Dead” and its characters have challenged viewers hearts with intense violence and melancholy scenes. However, the series’ captivating and emotional plot is what keeps fans enthralled. In doing so, viewers quickly develop attachments to all characters and hope for the survival of the group in their unfortunate zombie apocalyptic lifestyle.

A great amount of characters, both fan favorites and hated villains alike, have been killed off during the run of the series, but perhaps no character’s death has been more affecting than that of Tyreese in the mid-season premiere Feb. 8.

Introduced as a sensible, street-tough man with a hammer Tyreese quickly became a moral compass for the characters when Dale and Hershel died earlier in the series. Working alongside Rick and his group of survivors, he was integral in the death and defeat of the Governor and Gareth. This triumphant victory was short-lived, as the dangers and struggles of the zombie apocalypse soon hit Tyreese, when he was bit in episode 509.

Tyreese fights for his sanity after being bit by a walker on his forearm.
Tyreese fights for his sanity after being bit by a walker on his forearm.

Throughout the episode, Tyreese struggled with the thought that his peaceful nature did not fit this apocalyptic world he was thrown into. He was never seen as the most dynamic or even most important character on the show, but his struggle through life and his acceptance of death let the viewers understand the mindset of this misunderstood man.

The director of the episode, Greg Nicotero, took a bold yet creative chance and was able to create an extremely captivating episode highlighting Tyreese’s journey through death. Tyreese was visited by deceased characters he loved and hated alike such as Beth and the Governor. Constantly throughout the episode, Tyreese experiences lapses of reality. What he saw as Mika and Lizzie pulling his arm, in reality, was Rick, Glen, Noah, and Michonne cutting it off. The view of possibilities of his life and death challenged him. In his visions, what his deceased friends called acceptance and moving on, his dead enemies called weakness and giving up. In the end no opinions would matter. Tyreese decided his own fate and came to terms with the death he knew would come to him. He would be the deciding factor in his own life.

The directors incorporated allusive images throughout the episode too, including blood dripping on a framed picture of the house where Mika and Lizzie died, and a radio referring back to the childhood lessons Tyreese learned with his father and Sasha. Both experiences would affect him for the rest of his life and influence the decisions he would make. These symbols came early on in the episode, helping illustrate the episode title, “What happened and What’s going on?” By incorporating such imagery into the episode the writers were able to create a nationally televised masterpiece.

Having Tyreese’s death in such close proximity to Beth’s was the only down side to the episode, but in doing so, The Walking Dead was able to keep its viewers on edge. Tyreese’s death was much less controversial though. The not knowing of whether Tyreese would live or die is the thrill previous episodes were missing (other deaths have been sudden). While some may have seen the episode as dull, this was the unexpected turn that has long before been lacking.

The character of Tyreese will long be missed by viewers for many episodes to come but it can not be denied that Tyreese had one of the best exits in the shows history. He was able to change from a man set on seeking vengeance to a man able to understand that he could not handle the pain and suffering the world had to offer him. Without him, it will be interesting to see how the show will progress from yet another dramatic death of a greatly beloved character.