The Walking Dead’s Tyreese. Awesomeness in Waiting, or the Softer, Gentler T Dog?


I’m a Walking Dead loyalist. I have watched it since the very first episode. When it’s on, I shhh people. Then I rewind a few seconds to see what I missed while they were telling me stuff. It’s my Sunday night football game. My Scandal.

In other words, I take it way too seriously.

I’ve put up with a lot. Remember Hershel’s farm? If you watch the show, you do. And if you continued to watch it, even though almost nothing for an entire season, then you may be as loyal as I am. How about the Governor’s raid last season. What a letdown, huh? There are nerf wars on Youtube that demonstrate a greater understanding of military tactics. So much for the Governor, huh? Why was anyone afraid of him again?


But I kept watching. I watched the trailers and the teasers and even those boring, behind the scenes chats, where actors sit in chairs, talk in weird accents and reveal absolutely nothing of use. I mean, you might as well watch Norman Reedus order Chinese takeout. Which I kind of would do.


This dude almost took that relationship to the breaking point. T-Dog. One of my first posts was his requiem. If you want to know the depth of my apathy towards that smily faced cardboard cutout of a character, you’ll have to read the post.

Let’s just say, when Michonne finally made her appearance, it made up for the boredom that was Hershel’s farm. It made up for Rick’s annoying kid, and his sad sack wife, too. She made everything better.

Now, there are four Black characters. It’s almost as if the show runners were reading my journal. Michonne and Tyreese, Tyreese’s sister Sasha and some other dude. Only, the other dude who is supposed to be a medic, is actually a drunk. And after what happened Sunday night, he is almost certainly on a downward spiral.

And hyper competent Sasha only underscores how hard it is to find a good Black man on TV. I mean, there have been three Black women on the show. The first only wanted a dignified death. And I can’t fault her for that. The second is Michonne, whose skills with the sword and stealth and the stank eye, border on mystical. The third is Sasha, who barks orders like General Patton. She’s pretty, in a grimy kind of way. And she is amazingly competent at this whole zombie apocalypse thing. Almost as if she’s done it before.


Tyreese’s sister Sasha.

As for the Black men… let me see. Morgan, T-Dog, the street gang with a heart of gold, mean prisoner, good prisoner, Governor’s right hand man, Tyreese and Bob – the once and future drunk. That is a lot of dudes. And not a single one was competent.

Morgan was close, but too crazy. The street gang? I won’t touch that. By the way, they weren’t a gang. They were a bunch of nurses. Surprise! The good prisoner showed promise for about 15 minutes. Then he got shot. Including the street gang, there have been almost 20 Black men to choose from. From all of those, Tyreese has been chosen to prove that Black men aren’t zombie grub.


Tyreese just saw a butterfly!

But Tyreese is a mopey man-child in the Hulk’s body. First, the zombies at the fence are bringing him down. Then, later on, the zombies at the store kind of brought him down too. Poor him. Judging by Carl’s growth spurt, this zombie thing has been going on for three or so years. How did he survive this long, afflicted with such softness?

Weaker men than him, (Morgan, Glenn, Carl…) have transformed into killing machines. But this man, with the body of a Nissan Titan and the spirit of a poet, continues to stumble wistfully through the apocalypse. Next episode, he picks daisies for his girlfriend, but then he’s startled by a ladybug.

I think I know what’s going on. They are setting up a big reveal. In one or two more episodes, something is going to happen and Tyreese is going to explode out of his shell, bonking zombie heads and uppercutting them all the way up to the moon. I get it. But in the meantime, does he have to be so marshmallowy? Huh?

Just so you know, I’m going to keep on watching the show. Continue taking it way too seriously. Waiting, like the blasting cap that lies deep within Tyrees’s psyche. Because sooner or later he’s going to snap, and I’ll have a character that looks somewhat like me, to root for. But next time, how about a Black dude whose super power isn’t anger? It’s kind of a cliche. Get Morgan some meds, put him on a couch and bring him into season five. How about it?