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Monday, February 9, 2015

The Walking Dead Season 5B Predictions [Spoilers]

AMC's The Walking Dead returned to last night to eat our hearts out. Since everyone on the Internet has already reviewed and/or spoilered it for everyone else, I'm not going to review the episode or go into scene by scene recap. (Though the image above probably says it all). I will say that it was beautifully done and ranks as one of my all-time favorite episodes in the series.

It’s no secret I almost gave up on The Walking Dead back in Season Two. I was a purist back then, and I couldn’t separate my love of the Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels to appreciate the TV series for what it is. I could go into great detail about my conversion, but that’s probably best left for another post entirely. Suffice it to say, I’m glad I stuck it out. Looking back I’ve come to the conclusion that Season Two may be one of the strongest seasons in the series.

I’ve wanted to write reviews of AMC’s The Walking Dead for some time now, but I’ve been a little bit of a slacker. Perhaps I might still. Maybe a binge watch review or a seasons ranking post. We’ll see. For now I think I’ll stick to making predictions for the rest of the season.

Anyways, despite its strengths, Season Two deviated significantly from the comic, and the rest of the series seems to have been a slow trudge to getting the show more in line with the comics. As we’ve seen in the back-half of season four and the first half of five, the pace seems to have accelerated. Therefore, my predictions finds most of its basis on the idea the show-runners are bringing the two story lines closer together and staying more faithful to the milestone moments from the comics.

With that in mind, lets get the predictions under way. As always: SPOILERS.

#1: We’ll see Alexandria by the end of the season. 
If you read the comic book, you know that we are well into the trek from Atlanta to Washington D.C. story arc. We’ve seen the Hunters in form of the cannibalistic Terminants, met Father Gabriel, and are 100 miles from the Washington. Despite that fake out with Shirewilt Estates in last night’s episode, if the show-runners are indeed following the comic books more closely, we should be introduced to the city of Alexandria soon. Bearing in mind that creator Robert Kirkman has confirmed that a “a very prominent gay character from the comics” will be introduced during 5B, this is more than very likely. If you haven’t read the comics (and why haven’t you yet?), there are two prominent gay characters in the comic. The first, Aaron, is the Alexandria scout who brings the group to the safety of Alexandria safe-zone, and the other is fan-favorite Jesus, a trade ambassador who is part of the Hilltop community, another group of survivors the group encounters shortly after joining the Alexandria community. Theres a very good chance that both characters and communities will be merged into one, but either way I predict the show will enter the safe-zone story arc by season’s end.

#2: Jesus, not Aaron
As much as I would prefer that that Alexandria and Hilltop communities remain separate, I have a feeling that show-runners will merge the two to streamline the story line for television. That said, Jesus, in my opinion has more prominence in the comics that Aaron, and the character could easily stand in for both men. Honest, I think Noah will end up standing in for the Aaron character anyways.

#3: Negan
I’m not going to reward any of the folks who have yet to read the comics. If you don’t know who Negan is, look him up. However, with the cast members and producers all saying to expect an even darker second half, I’m predicting that the season finale will see Negan in all his evil glory. There was a lot of foreshadowing in the midseason premiere of the evil in the world that the survivors are living in. From the walker torsos in the back of the truck to Glenn’s missives about how it doesn’t matter who killed Dawn for killing Beth because there will always be evil people out there, it all points to a very bad encounter coming up for the group. If Alexandria (or a city like it) is coming up, you better believe Negan is just around the corner to fuck up Rick’s life. And that means...

#4 ...Glenn dies.
Spoilers. Sorry. But at least...

#5 ...Maggie will be pregnant.
Again. Spoilers.

#6 Carol and Daryl
Tyreese is dead. He didn’t make it out of the prison alive in the comics, now he’s gone in the TV show. To me, it was fitting that his death mirrored that of Alan (a character who didn’t exist in the TV show) in the comic since I felt that Tyreese was portrayed more like Alan anyways. Even the Tyreese-Rick dynamics was more like that of Rick’s and Alan’s from the comics, while Daryl, who is not in the comics, fills in Comic-book Tyreese’s spot in this regard.

That said, I think the #Caryl fans will get their wish and we’ll see the Tyreese-Carol romance from the comics play out between Daryl and Carol. I will say: since these two characters, especially TV-Carol, are significantly bigger badasses than Comic-book Tyreese and Comic-book Carol, I don’t expect this story to end the way it did in the comics.

#6 Sasha and Rick
Following the theme of characters standing in for other characters, I am betting on this one.

Hear me out:

Dale died way too early in the TV show, so did Andrea.We never got the opportunity to see the romance and growth between the two that we saw in the comics. Fortunately, we were able to explore that relationship through Bob and Sasha took on the Dale-Andrea romance. Bob also stood in for Dale in the Terminus/Hunters story arc including dying much in the same way as Comic-book Dale did. With Comic-book Andrea still alive and playing a prominent role in comics, it’s only logical that Sasha should continue to fill in for the character on TV as the groups resident sniper. In fact, she already easing into the role. She already tackling Bob’s death just as Andrea did in the comics. Tyreese’s death provides her with the same experience of lost that Amy’s death provided for Andrea. We’ve even seen her show off her sniper skills against the Grady group and the Terminants. If things continue to progress, we should see the Rick-Andrea romance take shape between Rick and Sasha soon.

#7 Death Watch
We’ve witness lots of lost since the the fall of the prison. Many of these deaths involved one character standing in for another character’s comic book death. Herschel had Comic-book Tyreese’s death scene. Bob died in Dale’s place. Beth, who is a TV stand in for Comic-book Maggie’s brother Billy, didn’t die at the prison, but did so soon after.  I think we can expect both Herschel and Beth’s death to affect Maggie in the same way it did in the comics…(hint...hint…). We’ve already discussed the significance of Tyreese’s death, which by was beautifully done by Chad Coleman and Greg Nicotero. This is probably one of my top five episodes of the series. So where does that leave us?

Well, if my Negan prediction pans out, we’ll probably see Glenn die by season finale. Abraham is next if things continue to stay true to the comics. However, I do think that, although Negan will be introduced by season’s end, the “All Out War” story arc will not get into full swing until the first half of Season 6. Therefore, Abraham may actually have until that season’s mid-season finale to keep breathing.

Tara and Noah are on my list, but only because I don’t like them and if we need a few red shirt kills these two are it.

Well, those are my Season 5B predictions. Let's see how they pan out.