SPOILER ALERT: Read on only if you have already watched Sunday night’s episode of The Walking Dead.
It was a shocking episode all around on Sunday’s The Walking Dead, but it ended with one last touch that has us scratching our heads a bit. Even with all the mayhem of “Four Walls and a Roof,” things appeared ready to end on a quiet note as Michonne and Father Gabriel sat on the church steps after ridding themselves of the Terminus cannibals. But then some noise from the woods led Michonne and her newly recovered katana to investigate. Daryl Dixon emerged and then told someone else to come on out before the episode came to an abrupt halt without revealing that person’s identity. So who else is out there? Here’s a list of candidates in order from least to most likely:
The moment was set up too dramatically for it just to be Carol returning as well. To be clear, Carol may be there along with someone else, but for them to leave us on a cliffhanger and it turn out to only be Daryl and Carol would be a major letdown. Someone else has to be back there as well.
Can’t see this happening yet. For one thing, if it was Beth, there would have been much more excitement on Daryl’s face as opposed to trepidation. Plus, we saw all those gnarly scenes in the season 5 trailer of Beth in some sort of hospital-like setting. The guess here is that we still have some business to attend to with her in that environment before she reconnects with the rest of the group. (The teaser for next week would seem to confirm that.)
Certainly possible. Daryl and Morgan may have crossed paths, but after having one surprise Morgan appearance at the very end of the premiere, would he be reintroduced in another mysterious manner again just a few weeks later? Plus, judging by what exec producer Greg Nicotero told me about the premiere secret scene, it could be a bit longer before Morgan catches up to Rick and Co. Here’s what Nicotero said about that then: “You see the little circle carved into the tree. And of course the vines growing up on the sign, so clearly time has passed. He’s not hot on their trial, but it gives us that opportunity to go “Wait, a second, what’s going on?” Does that mean we have a bit more time until Morgan makes it on the scene?
THE PEOPLE WHO TOOK BETH
Daryl was chasing that car with the cross after a cross car made off with Beth. Could a person or people from that group have caught Daryl and taken him as a prisoner back to the church? Certainly possible, but it also might be a bit soon to have another human threat emerge just after Gareth and Co. were disposed of. Might need just a moment to breathe before we head down that road again.
I publicly predicted back in August in my EW cover story that the next major character from The Walking Dead comic we would meet on screen would be Aaron. A recruiter for a walled-off post-apocalyptic community known as the Alexandria Safe-Zone, Aaron is introduced in issue #67 of the comics, right around the spot we are now in the show. The comic version of Aaron is the polar opposite of the Gareth we just met — he has no nefarious agenda, but is rather seeking good strong survivors to willingly join and help their thriving community. He could be coming with Daryl to make his pitch to the group, but again, the timing of that pitch right after the Terminus debacle may not quite be right. Plus, they already have their next big move plotted to Washington, D.C., so that whole situation may have to get settled before we deal with Alexandria…which, it should be noted, is just a few miles outside D.C.
SOMEONE ELSE COMPLETELY
Exec producers Scott M. Gimple and Robert Kirkman have said there will also be new characters this season who are not from the comics. The person Daryl has brought to the church could be one such individual (who also has no such connection to the people who took Beth). Could be friend or foe. So for all the folks we have put forth as possibilities, watch it turn out be some random person we’ve never heard of. Or it could be Tyler James Williams, who we know is joining the cast this season as someone named Noah. Or it could be zombie Jim, back for vengeance after being left on the side of the road back in season 1. Okay, not zombie Jim.
Who do you think is about to emerge from the woods with Daryl? Hit the message boards with your guess.
Make sure to also check out our interview with the man who played Gareth, Andrew J. West. And for more ‘Walking Dead’ intel, follow Dalton on Twitter @DaltonRoss.