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TV Review: The Walking Dead: “What Happened and What’s Going On”

I am very vocal about my distaste for “The Walking Dead.” However, when the show takes a step in the right direction, I give it full credit, and this episode made great strides for the series.

 

 

In the midseason premiere, “What Happened and What’s Going On,” characters react to the tragic death of Beth from the previous episode. Instead of going into Maggie’s, Glenn’s, or Noah’s character, the show surprisingly chooses to focus on Tyreese. After suffering an “accident,” Tyreese sits in a room hallucinating while Noah goes for help. During this time, deceased characters from the show such as the governor, Bob, Lizzie, Mika, Martin (the man who held a knife to Judith’s throat in “No Sanctuary”), and yes, Beth. Not only was it nice to see some old characters make a comeback, but Chad L. Coleman (Tyreese) gives a stellar performance. During these hallucinations, he does not have a lot of lines, he just has facial expressions throughout the episode. In one thousand-yard stare, Coleman shows remorse, fear, and great sadness. Truly, Coleman is one of the best actors on the show.

 

 

The episode does go into Noah’s backstory at the beginning. Noah, Rick, Michonne, Glenn, and Tyreese venture to Noah’s old neighborhood. In Beth’s final episodes, Noah tells her about how wonderful and safe his neighborhood was. Initially, the two had planned to escape there together, but Noah must venture alone due to Beth’s demise. Once Noah discovers that his old neighborhood has been destroyed, he has a breakdown. Once again, the episode offers another great performance. Watching Tyler James Williams walk around the neighborhood is so tragic to watch. You honestly feel that this man has gone through a great loss.

The episode also has a lot of what may be foreshadowing to future events. Glenn and Michonne stumble across a baseball bat and baseball jersey, which may signal that Negan will be appearing soon. Radio announcements and a shot of Glenn caught in a wire fence also signal that Negan may be on his way.

The scenes with Tyreese and Noah were very well done. However, it would have been great to finally get more of an emotional reaction from Maggie for the passing of her sister. The worst part is that after this episode, it does not look like that route will be taken at all.