WARNING: This article contains spoilers from previous episodes of AMC’s The Walking Dead, as well as it’s comic book counterpart. Comic spoilers will be marked with spoiler tags. Proceed at your own risk.
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Following the conclusion of this week’s episode, “Self Help,” we aren’t really given any information at all regarding where the next episode may take us. Similar to the episode before it, “Self Help” was a bottle episode that followed Abraham and his group, exploring their next steps after splitting off from Rick’s core group, as well as Abraham’s past and the validity of Eugene’s claims. As I stated in my review for the episode, I felt as if the show would have benefited from the two episodes being swapped. At the end of 504: “Slabtown,” it’s revealed that Carol is in the hospital, battered and unconscious, with Beth though we don’t know how she got there. There isn’t really a whole lot to gain from holding that suspense over our head an extra week, but I digress.
According to all the promos we’ve been treated to, it appears that this coming week we’ll finally see how Carol ended up going from riding shotgun with Daryl to being laid up on a stretcher, just as I predicted.
The first promo we have appears to be an extended version of the clip we were shown at the tail end of “Self Help.” Daryl and Carol are trailing the black car with the white cross on the back as Daryl explains to Carol that it was just he and Beth together after the prison fell. Carol asks if he saved her, and Daryl responds that Beth is strong and saved herself. The clip ends them discussing that Rick will wonder where they went and that the tank is running low. Carol encourages Daryl to run the car off the road, though I suspect we won’t see that happen based off of other previews.
The second promo we’ve been shown is the one that aired during Talking Dead, where Daryl is laying what appears to be a body wrapped in a white sheet onto a fire. He appears to be on top of a roof or landing of a building, and Carol enters the scene and thanks him as somewhat ominous music plays. The camera follows the smoke up into the sky and the clip ends.
I’d bet good money that the person Daryl is laying on the fire isn’t Beth. In fact, the body looks very tiny and Daryl doesn’t appear to be exerting much strength by lifting it. I’m assuming that this is a child they find and Carol, still upset over the events with Lizzie and Mika, request that they give the child a proper burial/cremation. This will probably be one of many touching moments Carol and Daryl will share in the episode, and hopefully we’ll get to explore each of their mental states, as well as their relationship. It’s also worth noting that since they do appear to be on top of a building, they are most likely in Atlanta. Many of the daytime sequences from the next promo show them in Atlanta as well, so this is probably during that time span.
The next preview, the UK promo, is very much like the snippet we were shown at the end of “Self Help.” In this promo, Daryl is discussing how they have the upper-hand at the moment, as the two tail the car into city or town setting. The clip also shows them in a city setting during the daytime, as well as a shot of what looks like Carol on the ground as walkers trudge past her. There are also a few clips of each of them seemingly on their own, together in what appears to be the back of a van, a van with white crosses on the back surrounded by walkers and teetering on the edge of a bridge, a moving-style truck smashing through a gate, and a scene that looks like Carol covering her face as something burns. Oh yeah, and a shot of CAROL AND DARYL LYING DOWN TOGETHER — GASP (I couldn’t resist).
The two scenes that interest me the most out of this promo are the van scenes, since they fall in line with spoilers that surfaced over the summer, and the scene with Carol covering her face. If my prediction about the body they’re burning on the rooftop is correct, I feel like this scene may be a flashback to Carol burning the bodies of Karen and David back at the prison. This would be an interesting callback for us as viewers, and would give us an idea of where Carol is at mentally right now.
In addition to these promos AMC released two photos from the episode. One photo features Carol with a somewhat concerned look on her face, and the other features Carol covered in the scrapes and bruises we see her with during “Slabtown.” In the photo with the bruises, Carol is staring down someone across from her that is blurry, but it looks like it may be Noah in plain clothes. This lends further credence to my theory that it’s Noah in the woods with Daryl when he returns to the church, and this might also mean that Carol does get herself injured on purpose to get into the hospital… though I still feel like that’s unlikely. Either way, Carol doesn’t look too thrilled.
Outside of these snippets of information, we don’t really have all that much to go off of. It seems as if we’ll get a lot of story in this episode and then after that it’s probably back to the action with the main group. Do you think we’ll see a big standoff between our survivors and Dawn’s group at Grady Hospital? What about Abraham and his group? Will they return to the church to regroup with Rick after the big reveal with Eugene? Is Eugene even okay? There’s an awful lot that needs to be resolved before the mid-season finale unless we’re going to be left with another cliff-hanger. There’s only three episodes left until we go on break!
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