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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We haven’t been given a whole lot to speculate on in regards to this upcoming episode, “Coda.” That seems to be a running theme, as the past few episodes have been hard to take a guess at.
We left the group still divided at the end of “Crossed,” with five of them in Atlanta, holding three of Dawn’s officers captive… well, two after one manages to knock out Sasha and escape. On the other side of the city, Beth has done her best to give Carol what she needs to pull through, and has suspiciously earned Dawn’s trust all of a sudden. Michonne, Carl, and Judith are back at the church where Gabriel has escaped and fled into the woods, and good ol’ “GREATM” has solved their water problem, Abraham has gotten over himself with some tough love from Maggie, and Eugene is waking up.
Most importantly, we have Rick and his team attempting to bargain for Beth and Carol, but who knows how that will work out since Officer Lamson has escaped and is… wait for it… on the lamb. Eh? Yeah? Get it? Lame joke.
Looking at all of this, and the promos we were shown, we don’t really have much of an idea of where things are going to go, so let’s speculate, shall we?
First and foremost, the episode name “Coda” is a word that is defined by Merriam-Webster as “something that serves to round out, conclude, or summarize and usually has its own interest.” From this description, I think it’s safe to assume that we’ll be seeing the conclusion of something. I’m going to assume it’s the group’s time in Atlanta. Rick and his faction still don’t know that the cure and D.C. are fraudulent, and even if they find out, Noah comes from a walled community in Richmond, VA. One way or another, this group is going to head north with GREATM probably joining them along the way.
In addition to this, the episode description gives us a little insight into what will be happening:
“New enemies disregard rules and morals; although Rick wants to find a peaceful agreement, the enemies seem to prefer a more violent resolution.”
If this description is accurate in any way, it appears that the peaceful solution that Tyreese cooked up and Daryl vouched for isn’t going to work with Dawn. I’m going to say it’s fair to assume we’ll see a lot of action as well, if this description is indeed accurate. The promos, as well as some rumors, may lend some authenticity to this assumption.
As far as the promos for this week go, we don’t get much. One features Rick speaking with someone, presumably Dawn, about how the Grady cops have two of his people. He names them, and begins to offer a proposal. There are a few shots of Rick running through the streets, police cars, and Daryl and Sasha set up as snipers on a rooftop. Some quick shots of Gabriel are shown before we also see Beth back at the elevator shaft, telling someone that this is “who they are.” For a split second after that, we get a look at Maggie and Glenn, and it looks like they are in the fire truck, which appears to now be surrounded by walkers. Before the promo ends, there is one last shot looking up at Rick as he draws his gun as if to fire.
I’d guess that the deal between Dawn and Rick goes sour pretty quickly, and probably happens within the first half of the episode. I also believe that Rick telling Dawn that she has two of his people, is going to immediately put Beth and Carol in danger as Dawn will quickly realize that they know one another. The shots of Rick running through the street are most likely him chasing down Lamson, who may also be the person he is drawing on at the end of the promo. This situation, if it occurs as I believe it may, reminds me a lot of a situation Rick encounters in the comic.
-COMIC SPOILERS- In the comic, Rick is taken captive by the Governor along with Glenn and Michonne. After some brutal torture and detective work, the Governor figures out that the group is holed up in a prison nearby. The only problem is that the Governor doesn’t know where it is located. To figure this out, he has Martinez break the three out of captivity, and helps them (along with Dr. Stevens and his assistant, Alice) back to the prison. Once everyone, or mostly everyone, arrive at the prison, Rick notices that Martinez has gone missing, and takes off after him in Dale’s RV. When he reaches Martinez, Rick hits with the RV, incapacitating him. Rick gets out to confront Martinez, he swears to Rick that he was only going back to get more people — good people– as they deserve a chance at the prison. Rick, untrusting of Martinez, kills him so that he cannot reveal their location. -END COMIC SPOILERS-
In short, I feel like Lamson may be playing a role similar to comic Martinez.
The shots of Gabriel in this promo seem to fall in line with the second promo we’ve been shown, which I’ll touch on in a moment. My real big question, is who is Beth talking to at the elevator shaft? There’s a good chance it’s Carol, but I can’t see Carol being good enough to walk yet, much less repel down an elevator shaft for that matter. Beth may be talking with Dr. Edwards, who as I stated before, may be fulfilling the role of Dr. Stevens from the comic, and helping Beth get out of the hospital. He may be trying to save his own skin as well, which probably isn’t the worst idea he’s ever had.
The only other question regarding this promo is how Glenn and Maggie get themselves trapped with walkers all around. I’m guess that it may be the hoard over the hill that’s been lingering for a few episodes now. My theory is that since GREATM aren’t that far from the church, which isn’t that far from Atlanta, a firefight or big explosion without any ambient noise to drown the sound out could draw the walkers toward them, thus trapping them in their only shelter, the fire truck.
The second promo is one exclusively featuring Gabriel. In the promo he has wandered all the way to the school, the one STILL packed with walkers, where Gareth and the Hunters were hiding. Gabriel picks up a few items from around the campsite, including a pack of playing cards, a backpack, and bible signed “Mary B.,” Gareth’s mother. Gabriel opens the bible and turns to the second book of Chronicles. The specific section he opens to is about King Solomon. I looked at the specific verses on the pages, and while none of them present anything that may have a specific meaning, King Soloman was the person responsible for building the first temple in Jerusalem. I feel like this may be a hint at where Gabriel’s destiny lies, as in the comic -COMIC SPOILERS- he joins the group in their trip to D.C., and founds the first church in the Alexandria Safe Zone. -END COMIC SPOILERS-
I think in this scene, we’ll see the walkers break out of the school, and put Gabriel in immediate peril. Just when things are beginning to look bleak, I think we’ll see Morgan show up to save Gabriel, as he appeared to be following the Hunters’ symbols they were carving in the trees when we last saw him in episode 501.This would most likely lead him to their camp. From there, Gabriel might persuade Morgan to come with him back to the church as protection, and since Morgan has met Carl and Michonne before, he’ll realize that this is Rick’s group and hopefully join up with them.
The fact that we’re light on promo material makes me think we’ll be seeing a lot go down. I’m assuming the first half of the episode will be very tense, and the back half will contain a lot of action. Maybe we’ll see the walker crowds that Glenn’s group is encountering merge with the group at the school, and the massive amounts of walkers in Atlanta like Carol and Daryl saw when entering the shelter in “Consumed.” We know that there are going to be massive quantities of walkers in the episode, so that would sense.
In addition, we can probably expect one form of heartbreak or another, as Norman Reedus has admitted to working through some serious emotions while filming the mid-season finale. Possible character death? Multiple deaths? Who knows, but it definitely doesn’t look very good for Carol or Beth if Dawn finds out they’re both with Rick. Especially not Beth based off of some nasty rumors floating around.
I’m not sure what to expect, but I stand by these predictions. They seem reasonable enough. Let me know what you think. I just want to see the Rictatorship in full force one more time before the mid-season break!