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'Walking Dead' returns to AMC [SPOILER ALERT!]

"It was a love song, a ballad, beautiful poetry. It just showed how much Scott Gimple loves this character," said the star whose alter ego died on Sunday's episode of "The Walking Dead."

By Karen Butler
AMC Networks.
AMC Networks.

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- The Walking Dead returned for the second half of Season 5 Sunday night after a winter hiatus and wasted no time killing off another major character.

Actor Chad Coleman's heroic Tyreese was bitten on the arm by a zombie and died after his friends desperately attempted to save him by amputating the appendage before his entire body could be corrupted by the virus.

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Tyreese was widely regarded as someone too compassionate for this world where people have to do horrific things to survive the zombie apocalypse. He played the role of the show's moral compass -- something that also previously proved fatal for numerous other truly decent characters on the show.

This week's episode featured the surprise returns of Emily Kinney's Beth, Lawrence Gilliard Jr.'s Bob and David Morrissey's The Governor, already-dead characters who appeared as visions to alternately comfort and taunt Tyreese as he lay dying.

Coleman talked about his departure from the series on The Walking Dead analysis program Talking Dead.

"It was an homage to the man. It was a love song, a ballad, beautiful poetry. It just showed how much [executive producer] Scott Gimple loves this character. He knocked it out of the park," the actor said of the fitting sendoff Tyreese received. Turning to director Greg Nicotero, he added: "And this guy right here knocked it out of the park with the directing. It was like I said, man, just a crushing love story."

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Asked by Talking Dead host Chris Hardwick if he thinks Tyreese is now at peace, Colemen replied: "Yes, I do. Exhaustedly at peace. I felt the man had done all he could do. It felt like he knew his heart was about to stop."

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