Two months later, we’re still reeling from the shocking ending of The Walking Dead’s mid-season finale, “Coda.” We’ve been waiting on pins and needles to see how our survivors deal with the grim, untimely and ultimately pointless death of Beth Greene. So let’s get straight to the recap for “What Happened and What’s Going On!”
The episode starts with a shot of of a grave being dug. During these next few scenes we see flashes of Maggie and Noah crying, a few quick shots of images flashing forward to the rest of the episode focusing on a framed drawing of a house, Woodbury, Judith, the escape from Terminus, railroad tracks, the sun through a car window and pictures of twin boys that look like Noah. Father Gabriel gives a sermon.
Noah tells Rick how he and Beth planned to go to his small compound near Richmond, and we see the group agree to go and head that way. There’s a weird sequence with dead Lizzie and Mika where Mika says “It’s better now.” Then blood drips on the drawing of the house.
We pick up with the gang having traveled to Noah’s compound. They’re almost there. We focus on a car containing Tyreese, Noah, Rick, Glenn and Michonne. Everyone else is following in a car less than five miles away. Rick checks in with them on a radio. Rick tells Carol to hold back as his group goes in and checks out the compound first.
As they drive the rest of the way Noah reassures Tyreese that his plan to make the trade in “Coda” was “the right play,” it just went wrong. Well, it didn’t even go wrong, it would have worked if Beth hadn’t stabbed Dawn.
“It went the way it had to. The way it was always going to,” Tyreese says.
Noah says he never wanted to kill anyone before what happened with Dawn, this leads to a long conversation between Tyreese and Noah. Tyreese says that when he wanted to kill it blinded him to everything else, how he wasn’t facing “what happened and what’s going on.” He tells a story about how his dad made him listen to even the horrible news stories on the radio in the car because it was his duty to know what was going on, even if if was a thousand miles away.
“He didn’t change the channel. He didn’t turn it off. He just kept listening. To face it. Keeping your eyes open. My dad always called that paying the high cost of living,” Tyreese says.
Noah says his dad died in Atlanta, but he has a mom and twin brothers in the compound. He hopes.
The gang parks near some curiously arranged cars in the woods. They walk through cautiously and get to the fence of Noah’s compound.
Glenn climbs up and peeks over to take a look. His worried expression when he looks back encourages Noah to climb over and they all follow.
Noah’s home is a dead zone, with burnt buildings and walkers everywhere. Noah breaks down and cries.
Both Tyreese and Rick try to comfort Noah. Tyreese says he’ll be with them now.
Rick, Glenn and Michonne head to sweep the compound for supplies. Tyreese stays with Noah.
Rick calls Carol on the radio and tells her “We made it. It’s gone.”
Michonne is depressed by what they found and wonders what they’ll do next. Rick tries to reassure her.
As Michonne searches a garage, Rick admits to Glenn that he wanted to kill Dawn, even though he knew she didn’t mean to kill Beth. He’s wondering if it even mattered, one way or another, and killing Dawn didn’t have a thing to do with Beth.
He says finding the compound was for Beth.
“I don’t know if I thought it would still be here. But Beth wanted it to be here. She wanted to get him back home. This was for her. And it could have been for us, too,” Rick says.
Tyreese talks to Noah about how he wanted to die for who he lost. He tried to kill himself by letting walkers take him but he just kept going, and was there for Judith when she needed him.
“That wouldn’t have happened if I had just given up. If I hadn’t chosen to live,” Tyreese says. He tells Noah “this isn’t the end” and Noah gets up. But he starts limp-running toward his house.
Glenn has thoughts about losing Washington and Beth. He reminds Rick of how he made them stop and let a madman out of a container at Terminus. He says that now he would just run right by.
“And I would have shot that woman dead, right or wrong,” Glenn says.
Michonne overhears and reacts with concern.
“We need to stop. You can be out here too long,” she says.
Noah gets to his house. Tyreese can’t talk him out of going inside, so he pulls a knife and agrees to go in first. The door they walk through is open and blood-splattered, not such a good sign.
There’s a dead black woman on the floor, gunshot wound to her head. It’s Noah’s mother. Noah kneels in front of her then covers her with a sheet. He talks to her and apologizes that he didn’t get back sooner.
Tyreese investigates the house and hears the sound of child walkers in a locked room. He sees a dead boy on a bed. They’ve all been dead a while. He sees pictures that show the boy had a twin brother. He turns around just in time to get bit on the arm by the walker twin.
Noah rushes to his aid and kills it with a toy airplane, but it’s too late. He runs off to get some help leaving Tyreese on the floor. Tyreese looks at the radio.
When we come back Tyreese is remembering the bad news he had to listen to on the radio. He hears it coming from a radio in Noah’s brother’s room, hallucinating one particular news story about a massacre over and over. The drawing of a house from the beginning is on the floor.
Tyreese sees the ghost or a hallucination of Martin, who starts blaming him for what happened with Bob. He says that if Tyreese had killed him maybe Garth wouldn’t have been able to track them. Maybe the dominoes would have fallen differently.
The ghost of Bob strongly disagrees. He reminds Tyreese he got bit way back at the foodbank.
“It went the way it had to, the way it was always going to. Just like this,” Bob says, echoing Tyreese’s words earlier.
There’s more bad news on the radio. Martin keeps arguing that Tyreese might not have died if he hadn’t lied about letting Martin live. He says maybe the bill would have been paid.
This is the cue for the ghost of the Governor, who says the bill always has to be paid. He talks to Tyreese about how Tyreese told him you had to do whatever he had to do to earn your keep.
The ghosts of Mica and Lizzie show up to tell Tyreese it’s better now. But the Governor says that’s a lie and starts moving to Tyreese. That snaps him out of his hallucination and he realizes it’s a walker.
Tyreese tries to go hammer time on it, but he drops his hammer. It’s all up his face so he lets it bite him again in his infected arm to distract it, then gets it with a souvenir rock. Now Tyreese has two walker bites.
Blood drips from the walker on the drawing of the house.
Michonne is talking to Rick about a plan to stay at the compound, but Rick won’t agree. He says the place is too dangerous, surrounded by trees, that anyone could break in.
“That’s probably what happened,” Rick says.
“That’s what happened to us,” Glenn adds.
Michonne says they could take the trees out and walks over to look. She finds a horror show, all kinds of mangled bodies and a broken wall. Looks like maybe signs a vehicle went through into the woods, too, leading credence to Rick’s theory that Noah’s people were wiped out by raiders.
As Michonne stews in her disappointment Glenn reassures Rick. Says it doesn’t matter who killed Dawn.
“Washington,” Michonne suddenly says. She says she thinks that even though Eugene was lying, he had a point. They’re only a hundred miles away and it’s better than just making it.
“Because right now, this is what making it looks like,” she says pointing to the pile of corpses.
“Don’t you want one more day with a chance?” she says.
Walkers start coming out of the woods. Rick says “we should go,” but he isn’t scared of the walkers. He’s agreeing with Michonne.
They hear Noah screaming and rush off to help him. There’s a big ole fight to get a bunch of Walkers off Noah. Noah tells them about Tyreese and they run toward Noah’s house.
Tyreese is getting a concert from Beth in the room. She sings a sweet, hopeful little version of Jimmy Cliff’s “Struggling Man” as we get flashbacks, pictures of the twins, pictures of Judith and the railroad tracks. Mika and Lizzie’s ghosts sit and sway with the music.
Tyreese looks like hell.
“It’s okay Tyreese, you’ve got to know that now,” Beth says.
“It’s okay, that you didn’t want to be a part of it any more,” Bob’s ghost says.
“You don’t have to be a part of it,” Beth’s ghost agrees.
Martin’s ghost laughs bitterly. Says that’s his problem.
“You don’t want to be part of it, but being part of it is being now,” Martin says. He tells him to open his eyes.
Lizzie, who always took comfort in delusion, tells Tyreese he doesn’t have to open his eyes. Mica again says “it’s better now.”
The governor berates Tyreese about owning his keep, saying he didn’t know what he was talking about. That he refused to see even though the governor showed him.
“Did you adapt? Did you change? No,” he says.
“You would sit there in front of a woman who killed someone you loved, and you would forgive her,” the Governor says.
Bob interjects “That’s all there is” but the Governor is still on a roll. He says “This is all there is. This is it,” as Tyreese struggles to get up.
Standing, Tyreese says he didn’t know who he was talking to when he told the Governor he would earn his keep. But his eyes are open.
“I know what happened and what’s going on,” Tyreese says defiantly. He tells the governor that everything he was is dead and it’s not over.
“I forgave her because it’s not over,” Tyreese says and begins crying. “I didn’t turn away. I kept listening to the news so I could do what I could to help. I’m not giving up.”
“People like me, they can live. Ain’t nobody got to die today,” he says.
But the Governor gets all ghostly and filmstrips of dead people in the compound flash behind him. He says “You have to pay the bill” and pushes Tyreese down.
Tyreese sees the ghosts of Lizzie and Mika, sweetly holding up his bloody infected arm. He flashes back to reality just in time to see that it’s actually Glenn and Rick holding his arm, and then Michonne cuts it off above the elbow with one clean swipe of her katana.
In a frantic sequence the group evacuates Tyreese. They break the gate open and the fight about a dozen walkers, maybe more. Noah holds on to Tyreese.
As Rick kills the last Walker and they escape Tyreese flashes to Lizzie and Mika smiling, his view of Carol killing Lizzie, his conversation with Martin, Sasha killing Martin and more. Beth agains says it went the way it had to and we hear more of “Struggling Man.”
They load Tyreese into a car and try to take off, but it gets stuck in the dirt. Rick spins it out but it hits a truck in the formation of cars they parked nearby and a lot of walkers fall out of it. Just the torsos and head, but they’re still squirming.
As they drive away, Tyreese looks out the window to a sunset scene and hears the same bad news he remembers hearing on the radio as a boy.
“Turn it off,” he says.
Bob asks if he’s sure. Beth is driving, she assures him it’s okay. And Lizzie and Mika in the back seat say it isn’t just okay, “It’s better now.”
As the ghosts of his dead friends smile at him, Tyreese turns and peacefully looks back out the window. The sunset scenes outside fades to black.
Our group stops the car. They pull Tyreese out and lay him on the highway. It looks like Michonne is going to finish him with her sowrd so he doesn’t turn.
They cover Tyreese with a sheet. We see Father Gabriel giving a sermon at a funeral. Daryl hands a shovel to Sasha and she puts on the last bit of dirt. Rick finishes the grave. It has a nice wooden cross with Tyreese’s beanie hat on it, and it’s on this sad image the show ends.
Discuss this episode on the forum!