Predictions and Speculation for The Walking Dead Episode 504: Slabtown

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WARNING: This post will contain spoilers for season five of AMC’s The Walking Dead. Information for all previous episodes will be discussed, and speculation on future episodes will be made. Any concrete information on events beyond episode 503: Four Walls and a Roof will be marked with spoiler tags.

Is it Sunday yet?

The first three episodes of season five have been pretty crazy. By the end of episode three we had gotten some resolution as far as the Terminus/Hunters story arc goes, and even more questions regarding the trip to DC, where exactly Daryl went, and who he was keeping tucked away in the woods. Well, we may not get all the answers we’re looking for immediately, but we can speculate.

First and foremost, if you haven’t seen the official teaser for episode 504: Slabtown, you can do so right here:

It appears that we’re finally going to get to see what happened with Beth. It’s actually been quite awhile since we’ve seen Beth. The last episode featuring the character portrayed by Emily Kinney was episode 413: Alone. In that time we’ve seen Daryl join a new group, eventually turning on them after they went after they attacked Michonne, Carl, and Rick. Glenn found Maggie with aid of Abraham and company, Carol was forced to do the unthinkable after Lizzie killed her sister Mika, which led to Carol confessing to Tyreese that she had murdered Karen. The group has been captured by the Termites/Hunters, subsequently broken out thanks to the aid of Carol, gained a new member in Father Gabriel, lost Bob due to surviving members of Terminus, and finally closed the book on the Termites/Hunters. We’ve even seen Tara, Maggie, and Glenn split off with Rosita, Abraham, and Eugene to head for Washington. That’s a lot of story between then and now.

To put things into perspective, we’ve seen Morgan more recently than Beth. Think about that.

This all leads me to believe that the next few episodes probably won’t be in chronological order, instead falling in line with the previous story arcs. We’ll most likely pick up with Beth shortly after she was abducted by the car with a cross on it.

I can only assume we’ll see a large deal of exposition on the group who has taken Beth in, as we haven’t seen anything like them in the show or comic before. Beyond that, it gets hard to predict. Who knows how long it will be before we see Rick and co. again. The showrunners like to let things linger a bit after a lot of action unfolds. Think back to the episodes that focused on the Governor last season. We’ll probably see two or three episodes of similar quality and structure.

I’d also assume that we will get introduced to some new characters during the Beth arc, including — LIGHT SPOILER– Noah, a fresh face to the series portrayed by Tyler James Williams. Tyler James Williams was spotted on set a few months back, and the casting was officially announced around a month ago.

To add some validity to this prediction, Noah can actually be seen in the official season five trailer, apparently fleeing with Beth, also adorned in hospital scrubs. You can see Noah in the frame very quickly right at about the 2:47 mark:

There are also a few scenes in the trailer that we have yet to see, including the “short bus,” as Abraham so affectionately called it, crashing into another car and possibly flipping over, as well as Eugune manning the hose on a fire truck, blasting away walkers, Maggie alongside Glenn and Abraham in what seems to be a new town, and Abrham dropping to his knees tearfully. I also noticed that in all of these scenes Maggie, Abraham, and Glenn are wearing the same clothes they had on when they left the group back at the church, so it’s possible we may see these events unfold soon as well. I don’t think that will happen within the next episode however.

This next part treads into spoiler territory, so be warned. –SPOILERS– back in July, photos of the set surfaced that featured the crew shooting scenes involving Carol and Daryl in Atlanta. The outfits that the two are wearing in these photos are in line with what they had on when they drove off after the cross-marked car in episode 502: Strangers. In addition to this, there were rumors from spectators that they saw a white van falling off a bridge at one point, and Carol being hit by a station wagon marked with a cross similar to the car that took Beth.

I couldn’t find any reliable documentation on these rumors, so normally I would dismiss them, but they fall in line with a scene leaked on Reddit featuring Beth where she sees a very tattered, unconscious Carol being wheeled into the hospital on a gurney. The scenes are no longer available, though you may be able to dig them up if you look hard enough. –END SPOILERS–

It’s hard to really say where they’re going to go with this next episode and beyond. This new group is uncharted territory as Beth, Daryl, and this specific incarnation of Carol aren’t even featured in the comic, let alone this new group. From the trailer we’re to assume that these new characters are bad guys, but the folks behind the Walking Dead have a history of tweaking trailers to throw us off.

I’ll be curious to see how long this side story carries on for.  I can’t see it taking up the rest of the first half as there are five whole episodes left. My assumption would be two episodes away from the main group, with the remaining three tying up all loose ends, and the group setting off for DC by the mid-season break.

— POTENTIAL SPOILERS– More news has surfaced lately on where the season might take us, including a giant set in Senoia, GA featuring a housing development surrounded by by massive walls that would appear to fall in line with the Alexandria setting. In addition to that, a local paper reports that AMC is attempting to reach an agreement to leave the walls standing through 2019. This certainly would fall in line with the massive amount of time the group spends in their most recent home in the comic, the Alexandria Safe Zone, a safe-haven meant for politicians just outside of Washington, D.C.

To add some credence to this, Andrew Lincoln was recently seen with his beard shaved off  which is similar to how the character looks after adjusting to a more relaxed setting behind the walls of the safe zone in the comic.

All of this is particularly interesting to me, because I’m curious to see if the safe zone will be moved to Georgia within the cannon of the show, or if the set constructed will be set in D.C., but actually shot in Georgia because of how deeply rooted the production is within the region. Either way, it will certainly be interesting to see how the group gets to this point, especially with Abraham and the mission to get Eugene and his cure (or possible lack there of) to Washington. –END POTENTIAL SPOILERS–

So there you have it, I’ve laid out all I know so far, and all we might see coming up in the not too distant future of the Walking Dead. Let me know what you think in the comments, and please “like,” share, and subscribe!

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