This past Fourth of July Weekend, AMC celebrated their Dead, White and Blue Weekend by running every episode of The Walking Dead before culminating in a special summer edition of The Talking Dead. Showrunner Scott Gimple stopped by while Chris Hardwick and Aisha Tyler discussed the show and tried to pump Gimple for information.
We obviously didn’t get any big spoilers; but we did get a glimpse into what Season 5 will bring and even some new insights about Season 4. Though the biggest event was the mini teaser that Gimple brought along. So let’s recap what we learned and take a closer look at these reveals.
Season 5 Teaser:
We didn’t learn much from the Teaser; but it did show us how the other group of survivors is fairing – and the answer is not well. We find Tyreese and Carol still on the road with baby Judith as they try to hide from a herd of Walkers. We knew traveling along with a child wouldn’t be easy for them; and this scene perfectly demonstrates why.
If you watch the scene you can see that they are on the railroad tracks and are following the same Terminus signs the others were. We don’t know when they will reach the others at Terminus; but they might be bringing an entire herd of Walkers with them. Whatever is coming this season is going to be big and is going to happen fast.
Where is Beth?:
The last time we saw Beth it was unclear whether she left Darryl behind or was kidnapped. Darryl certainly thought she left him behind; but we now know that she had a much different fate. Was she abducted by Seth Gilliam’s new character – a priest named Gabriel Stokes – or is she in one of those train cars at Terminus… or their stomach? Whatever her fate might have been, Scott Gimple assures us that we won’t have to wait long to find out.
Gimple might not have said whether Beth was alive or dead; but he did give us a little background into that funeral home her and Darryl were staying in. We originally thought it could have been an elaborate trap set by the Termites; but Gimple told us that the funeral home actually had an epic back-story that involved the elderly caretaker of the funeral home who still carried out his duties despite the apocalypse.
The old man would still take bodies, clean them up and burry them. Sadly, one day while out on a supply run, this kindly old man died because he was unable to get his Nitroglycerin medication. The reason this was cut out was because there simply wasn’t enough time or a good way to film it; but this actually does paint a beautiful picture for the Beth and Darryl scene.
Considering the home’s back-story, this would mean that the funeral home might not have been a trap. Instead, Beth and Darryl might have actually just stumbled upon this house while the man was out on his fateful run. Beth kept speaking about how kind the family who lived here must have been and how they should leave a note thanking them for the hospitality. Little did they know the man they need to thank was out on the road meeting his horrible fate. It’s sad, poetic and has a depth that we’ve come to expect from this show. I for one am sad this didn’t make it into the show.
One Man, Two Paths – Gareth & Rick:
Gimple never said what the Termintes are; but did liken their situation to Star Wars. Thankfully Chris Hardwick was able to decipher what Gimple meant by this very complex comparison. What Gimple meant was that in many ways, the story of Star Wars could have been very different had certain things been slightly different. For example, it’s possible that Luke would have enrolled in the academy and become an grunt Storm Trooper.
The same can be said about the members of Terminus. They could have been very different people; but certain events turned them into whoever they are. This might not be true for every resident; but it is certainly true for the Terminus leader named Gareth – played by Andrew J. West. West described his character as the mirror image of Rick. He’s a “real human” who is “just trying to survive” and found himself on a path very different from Rick. Whether that path involves Beth Burgers or not remains to be seen; but even if Gareth isn’t the ‘hero’ of the story, he is the hero to his people. Cold and calculating, he has all the strength of the Governor; but with none of the emotional fragility.
New Season 4 Insights:
We didn’t just get some hints for Season 5 in this special; but also some new insights into Season 4 – and if you couldn’t tell by the name, I’m all about “Insights”. One point that Gimple confirmed – that I had put forth in my article – was that in the final episode of season 4 titled “A”, the trap that Rick was teaching Carl how to make in the beginning was mirrored by the trap Rick, Carl, Michonne and Darryl found sprung on themselves at Terminus. They were being herded down a path and by time they realized it was a trap, the noose already tightened around them as they found themselves surrounded.
Another great insight put forward was by Aisha Tyler who reminded us about the Three Questions Rick and his group used when asking someone to join their group. These questions not only served to make sure the new recruit is a good person; but also to make sure the person has the guts to do what it takes to survive. In this new world, the only people who have survived this long – aside from a few charity cases – have become hardened and learned how to survive. Some have managed to keep their humanity intact; but others have become lawless fiends. These questions weren’t just to see if you were a ‘good person’; but also to see if you were ‘good enough to survive’.
The final insight that Gimple revealed took everyone by surprise. When we first saw Mary at the Terminus camp, many people compared her to the bloodied painting Michonne found a few episodes prior. As we suspected, these weren’t the same woman; but what we didn’t expect was who Mary’s dress was actually based off of. Once again we return to Star Wars as we learn that Mary’s costume was to be based off Luke’s aunt Beru – who was last seen charred to a crisp. One barbequed and the other barbequing. It’s kind of poetic . . . or just creepy.
Negan is Coming… Eventually:
One of the biggest things fans have been pondering is whether or not the character known as Negan will be making the transition from Comic to TV. Between every other word out of his mouth being an f-bomb and his truly ruthless nature, it’s hard to imagine how this character could possibly be shown on TV.
Well Gimple assures us that Negan will indeed appear on television; but probably not this season. His storyline would probably mirror his in the comics – much like the Governor’s and Woodbury – so we probably won’t meet him until our gang makes it to the Alexandria Safe Zone. Perhaps that’ll be something for the Season 5 finale; but it’d certainly make things easier if AMC became a pay-for channel like HBO. Otherwise, I have no idea how they’ll get away with half of Negan’s horrible acts.
It felt so good to watch Talking Dead again. I think I speak for everyone when I say we fans are suffering from The Walking Dead withdrawal. Thankfully the wait is almost over; and better yet we should have a full trailer when San Diego Comic Con starts later this month. I’ll be sure to cover that trailer as well as the entire upcoming season as always; so subscribe, Like on Facebook and get excited for a season of The Walking Dead like no other.