Was This Week's 'Walking Dead' Death The Most Devastating One Yet?

'Walking Dead,' you're a cruel mistress.

Major "Walking Dead" Spoilers Ahead!

People die on "The Walking Dead." We're used to this by now. What we're not used to is having to watch one beloved character die over the course of 30 minutes, bleeding out slowly and painfully as their once and future ghosts come rushing back from the dead.

But that's exactly what happened on this week's midseason premiere. After wrestling with his place in the apocalypse for so long, Tyreese finally left the world he feared so much. The big man with an even bigger heart no longer lives among the lurkers, and to say we're devastated is a bit of an understatement.

Here's what we're wondering after the heartbreaking episode:

  1. Was Tyreese's death the most devastating one yet?

    It's certainly way up there. Few other "Walking Dead" demises were as prolonged and emotional as Tyreese's. Lori Grimes sacrificing herself so that her child could live comes to mind, and even then, that was more of a shock than a true devastation. With Tyreese, we watched an entire episode devoted to the man's final stand, and as much as he tried, he couldn't pull through in the end.

  2. Was Tyreese's death the most surprising one yet?

    It was, insofar as it involved so many figures we thought we'd never see again. A veritable who's who of the "Walking Dead" deceased came out in force to welcome Tyreese to the afterlife: Martin of Terminus, one-legged Bob Stookey, Lizzie and Mika of "The Grove," the recently departed Beth Greene, and even the snarling Governor. As shocking as it was to lose Tyreese in this way, it was even more surprising to see these dead men and women return for one final haunting — surprising, and spectacular.

  3. Was Tyreese's death too soon?

    We just lost Beth, and aside from the few months between the midseason finale and premiere, we really haven't had a chance to mourn or process her passing. Was it too soon for us to lose a main character after already losing a main character one episode earlier? Maybe, but it's a reminder of the lethality of the "Walking Dead" world. Rick's group has been on the road for so long now, that some fatalities were bound to pass. That tragic, inevitable reality is clearer now than ever thanks to Beth and Tyreese's sudden deaths.

  4. Was Tyreese's death avoidable?

    Absolutely. Ghost Bob can crow about how "it happened the way it was always going to happen," but if Noah didn't run off into his family's house, Tyreese doesn't get bit. For that matter, if Noah wasn't around to piss off Officer Dawn, Beth might still be alive. So Noah is at least partly responsible for the deaths of two main characters. Much like Chris, everybody hates Noah.

  5. What does life after Tyreese look like?

    How does Sasha move forward? She already lost Bob, and now her brother is gone, too. Will it bond her closer together with Maggie, who also lost a sibling? And what about the rest of the group? With two key members of the squad now dead and gone, will Rick and friends feel even more paranoid than usual? Who is the moral compass now that Tyreese is gone? If it's Father Gabriel, then that's very bad news indeed.

  6. What about the severed limbs?

    Not Tyreese's severed arm, mind you, but the scattered arms and legs seen throughout Noah's neighborhood, and the accompanying torsos that Rick's group encountered at the end of the episode. What's up with that? Just another gross layer in the world of "The Walking Dead," or a sign of dangers to come?

  7. What about Washington?

    Finally, Rick agrees with Michonne on their next stop: Washington, D.C. The world needs Rick Grimes, after all, and the best chance for Rick's world is probably at the heart of the nation. It's a 100-mile trek between Rick's present location and Washington, and while the 200 miles between Atlanta and Richmond were event-free, it sure looks like the trip to D.C. won't be without some bumps in the road.