WARNING: Spoilers for previous episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead to follow. Any spoilers for the comic book counterpart will be marked with spoiler tags.
As of 10 pm Sunday, we are already a quarter of the way through season five! While episode 504 may not have been a masterpiece, it appears to be setting the stage for what’s left of the first half of the season. Yesterday, the titles and summaries for the next four episodes appeared on AMC’s website. They are as follows:
Episode 506: “Self Help” (Airs 11/9)
“The group must contend with a new set of issues while out on a mission, and must push through to survive.”
There is also a second description on the site that you can still find that reads:
“A new set of issues confront our group while on a mission. Will they be able to push through and survive these challenges? Or better yet, each other?”
Yesterday I cited this second description in my prediction and speculation piece for the upcoming episode. If you’d like to read more on that, you can do so here.
In short, I believe we’ll be seeing a very Abraham-centric episode on Sunday. We’ll most likely get to see a lot about Abraham’s history, why he’s so intent on completing this mission, and where his group came from. I also believe it will be revealed that Eugene does not, in fact, have a cure. This revelation will lead to a scuffle that causes the bus the group is traveling in to crash, leaving them stranded and divided on what they should do next. Abraham will still want to push for D.C., while the rest of the group will want to return to the church to regroup with Rick.
It’s not likely that we’ll get much resolution from this episode, maybe these six either continuing toward Washington or doubling back to the church. Either way, that these characters will be the only ones wee see outside of maybe a short snippet at the tail end of the episode.
Episode 506: “Consumed” (Airs 11/16)
“Stakes are high when members of the group must go on a heroic rescue mission in a previously known location.”
I think the description for this one is a pretty good hint that the episode is going revolve around Carol and Daryl chasing the car with the white cross on the back that they saw in episode 503: “Four Walls and a Roof.” This will most likely lead them into Atlanta, possibly to the hospital where Beth is being held, and will hopefully explain how Carol ended up on that stretcher at the end of 504: “Slabtown.”
At this point, I think it’s pretty obvious that Noah is the one in the woods with Daryl at the end of “Four Walls and a Roof,” and as I’ve stated before, it’s probably unlikely that Carol is in that hospital on her own terms. Alleged spoilers seem to back me up on that as well.
This episode will most likely conclude with Daryl bringing Noah out of the woods and explaining to the group what happened to Beth and Carol.
Episode 507: “Crossed” (Airs 11/23)
“The group is spread thin with some members holding down the church and the others on a rescue mission.”
This description is another that likely gives away the plot to the episode. With Daryl returning to the church, most likely with Noah, Rick will assemble a scout team to make their way to the hospital to recover Carol. No doubt that Rick will feel a duty to do so since Carol was the one who saved their lives at Terminus.
I’d expect this to be a slower episode, laying the groundwork for the mid-season finale. The scout team will probably encounter walkers along their way, possibly gunfire from the hospital. The group who remains at the church will most likely deal with a walker threat as well given the increase in activity in the area since Rick’s group arrived. It’s also not out of the realm of possibility that we see what’s going on with Carol in the hospital. If we’re to see Abraham’s group return to the church, we will most likely see that in this episode as well.
In short, I wouldn’t expect a whole lot of answers from this episode. We’ll most likely see a good bit of exposition, some action, building tension, and a moderately suspenseful cliff-hanger ending.
Episode 508: “Coda” (Airs 11/30)
“New enemies disregard rules and morals; although Rick wants to find a peaceful agreement, the enemies seem to prefer a more violent resolution.”
This episode is the most intriguing of the bunch, and that’s probably what’s intended by the show-runners. Here we’ll get to see Rick interacting people who aren’t all that different than who he used to be. A lot of people are theorizing that Rick and Dawn may know one another, but I feel like that’s a bit of stretch. I do believe Dawn might represent how Shane would have run things if he had killed Rick in season two like he intended. The interaction between Dawn and Rick will be very interesting.
What’s most intriguing is that Rick wants to find a peaceful agreement, but the “enemies” prefer more violent means. It’s certainly not unfathomable, as Rick probably doesn’t want another bloodbath on his hands like he had with the Hunters, but I’ll be interested to see if the presence of uniformed police officers isn’t what makes him go this route.
Either way, we’ll probably see a pretty big battle between the officers at the hospital and our favorite survivors. We’ll also get a look at what’s going on in the inside with Carol and Beth as well. I’ve seen many rumors, from seeming unreliable sources like social media, that the mid-season finale won’t bode well for Beth. I find that hard to believe though, as what would be the point in killing her character off now and not at the prison or funeral home in season four? “Slabtown” gave us a look at who Beth might be becoming, but she isn’t quite there yet. If Beth is indeed killed off, that’ll be poor handling by the writers. Carol on the other hand…
There are some certainly interesting parallels that will be drawn in this episode, not the least of which will be Carol’s place in the hospital. It’s been established that there is certainly a lot of violence toward women in the hospital community, and it will be interesting to see how Carol goes about dealing with that. In addition, Carol may also give herself up to save Beth as she might feel that Beth is a better fit for the group, maybe even for Daryl, than she is.
This sort of sacrifice would also give the writers a great way to incorporate Carol’s story from the comics. [COMIC SPOILERS] In the comic, Carol allows a walker to bite her, distraught after the outcome of a love-triangle. The television version of Carol is much stronger, much more developed, and much more alive than comic Carol at this point. If the writers were to use that moment of weakness and turn it into a moment of strength, they could really do something special. Carol could purposely allow herself to be bitten so that she would turn and kill Dawn and the other officers at the hospital, allowing Beth to escape. Granted, this is just spit-balling, but it would be a nice way to tie in her comic demise. [END COMIC SPOILERS]
An action like this would complete Carol’s character arc, give her a satisfying ending, while allowing Emily Kinney to continue growing the character of Beth, and create drama for both of our favorite brothers in blood, Rick and Daryl. Rick would feel guilt for not being able to repay Carol, and Daryl would feel guilt for endangering her by going after Beth. Beth will most likely feel similarly as well, something that could bring her and Daryl closer together.
We also have the fact that Beth is beginning to a look a lot like Andrea from the comics, something that I can’t see the writers implying if they didn’t plan to continue with her character.
[COMIC SPOILERS] Andrea is much younger in the comics than she was in the show, and is still alive and in a relationship with Rick. They could essentially re-purpose this story arc for Beth and Daryl, two character who do not exist in the comic universe. [END COMIC SPOILERS]
Another character who we will want to keep a close eye on is Dr. Edwards. There was a lot of talk of his painting of St. Peter’s Denial. As I stated in my review for “Slabtown,” this is worth paying attention to because St. Peter eventually redeems himself and starts the first organized christian church, eventually becoming the first pope.
I think this could be foreshadowing that Edwards will redeem himself, and, at the very least, help Beth escape the hospital. Edwards also draws comparisons to Dr. Stevens from the comic series. This comparison catches my attention even more when consider the similarity in their names (Dr. Stevens/Dr. Steven Edwards).
[COMIC SPOILERS] In the comic, Stevens helped Michonne, Glenn, and Rick escape from Woodbury under somewhat similar circumstances, only to be caught by a walker after they made it out. [END COMIC SPOILERS]
If Rick and company successfully take out the hospital community, they’ll be left with multiple cars, medical supplies, weapons, and even more food. Even if Arbaham and his group find Eugene to be a fraud, they now have Noah who knows of a walled community in Richmond, VA, just outside of Washington. How convenient! That’s everything they’d need for a trip north.
— Sidebar about Noah’s camp in Richmond. [COMIC SPOILERS] In the comics, there’s a newly added character by the name of Magna. Magna tells Rick that her group survived by holing up in a Nursing home and are originally from Richmond, VA, but headed toward Washington when supplies ran low and safety was compromised. According to the comics, the Alexandria Safe-Zone, Rick’s next stop if they follow the source material, is located only six miles away from Washington. Might we meet Magna sooner? [END COMIC SPOILERS]
Now, that wraps up my thoughts on where the events at the hospital might take us, but another thing about this episode captures my attention. The name of the episode, “Coda,” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “something that serves to round out, conclude, or summarize and usually has its own interest.”
This may simply be the end of the Atlanta story arc for our characters as they head north, simple enough. However, upon a Google search, I found that the musical symbol for a coda, when rotated slightly, looks a whole heck of a lot like the symbol Morgan saw carved into the tree near Terminus at the end of the first episode of this season.
Now, this could all be strictly coincidence, but I imagine we’ll see Morgan make his return by the end of the mid-season finale, hopefully heading north with Rick, and actor Lenny James as a series regular (PLEASE!).
And just like that, I predict we’ll see the group stocked up, reunited (at least on Rick’s end, maybe not yet with Abraham), and hitting the road for Washington by the time the credits roll on “Coda.”
UPDATE: It appears that the next episode Lennie James, the actor who portrays Morgan, is credited with is in fact “Coda” according to his IMDB page. Take it for what it is, but it still raises an eyebrow or two.
That’s all I got! Let me know what you think! I’ll be posting a review for episode 505 probably Sunday night/Monday morning, and predictions for episode 506 shortly after. Keep an eye out for some more video game posts coming soon as I’m making my way through Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare right now, and will be posting my thoughts on it once I finish the single player campaign.
I’d also like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been stopping by regularly to read my stuff. My traffic spiked five-fold yesterday, and it means so much to me to know that people care about what I’m writing. Thank you so much, and don’t forget to like, share, comment, subscribe, tell your friends, whatever!