This Review CONTAINS SPOILERS (so watch it first or don't complain). Well here it is, the mid-season premiere. Oh how I have waited for your return my shambling friends. You too zombies (I'm implying the survivors are the shambling ones, in case you didn't get that). I have been running over the numerous scenarios they could have begun this arc with. I did not think they would kill another main character.
I get that they were trying to do something a little more artsy with the direction in this episode. I guess it was to highlight Tyrese's moral stance (by basically underlining everything we know about him). It's kind of sweet that the show runners liked Chad Coleman (and who couldn't with that last name like that) so much that they use a whole episode to say goodbye to his character. Unfortunately, for me at least, the things they did pulled me out of the moment.
Separately these ideas might be okay but together felt like going overboard. I liked the misdirection at the beginning, obviously we're all going to believe they were burying Beth. I also liked the whole chop his arm off misdirection, he might survive. Oh damn, no he won't.
Now for the things I didn't like (feel free to disagree). I understand that in the post-apocalypse world lot's of things are dangerous even tiny kiddie zombies. But our guys have been out in the world for a long time now and dealt with a lot. So not being covered up against bites seems dumb. Also wouldn't he be more aware, shouldn't they all be hyper-aware of shuffling and groaning? I mean he saw and heard the zombie in the other room, ignores it and then doesn't hear it enter the room (he's not sneaking in, the zombies don't have that ability right?) because he's looking at some photos on the wall. It felt hollow to me. which according to Gale Anne Hurd, means I have a heart of stone.
How about maybe not killing a character that we've seen take out numerous zombies even when frequently out-numbered, in such a F***ING stupid way.
Also his zombiefication happened a tad quickly, didn't it? He gets the cold shiver sweats, turns pale and starts hallucinating. At that point I was certain he was going to die. If he's gone mad and hallucinating from one bite then chopping his arm off isn't going to help, it's gone too deep. I know they've shown characters after they've died like Lori (and those scenes were always good weren't they? *heavy sarcasm) but Rick was mentally tortured to his limit when he went crazy-banana-nuts (they dropped it way too early in the show, it was handled much better in the comic). Tyrese however wasn't mentally drained to the point of being bonkers, in fact he was together enough that he could be the moral compass and say killing just to kill is bad (duh!).
Then the fact that he didn't even kill the little zombie and Noah (the walking catastrophe) takes it out with a toy plane, what the ever-loving F***. Then They chop his arm off with no way to cauterize the wound, I know they can't just leave it because the infection will get in, but they could at least tie it off so he doesn't leak all his precious blood. Noah gets a number of moments to show how bloody useless he is, Rick asks if he can hold Tyrese to which he says yes, then proceeds to drop him as they almost get munched again. Luckily Rick takes it out, but now you have loads of zombie blood on a massive open wound, he's gotta die now.
I also didn't feel anywhere near as emotional with the death of TV Tyrese as I did with the Comic Book Tyrese. Rick and Tyrese's friendship didn't feel as strong and Tyrese didn't really have any character that would be distraught by his passing (everyone will be upset but not distraught). Even Sasha has been hardened to the deaths now after Bob's passing. People are still mourning Beth so Tyrese's death just get's amalgamated into her loss. So if none of the characters are super-upset that Tyrese is dead, why should I be?
I'm glad the show is back (otherwise I wouldn't of written this much) But come on guys step it up. Don't do an art-film, this is The Walking Dead, I watch for a semi-realistic take on a zombie apocalypse. When you go all arty it ruins the realism. If you kill Glen or Daryl in such a stupid way I imagine fans will go crazy-banana-nuts.