The word showed up on a map during Episode 10. It means the end of something, including a travel route, but — as they mentioned on Talking Dead — it was also the original name of Atlanta. So what does that mean for the characters of TWD?
Tyreese (Chad Coleman), Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Lizzie Samuels (Brighton Sharbino) and Mika Samuels (Kyla Kenedy) were told by a dying man to follow the train tracks to sanctuary. Shortly after that, they came upon a sign reading, “Sanctuary for all. Community for all. Those that arrive, survive.” Then there was a map of the state of Georgia, with a point marked Terminus. Was that Atlanta itself? Is the sanctuary meant to be near there? We know the status of downtown Atlanta, or at least we did back on Season 1. Have things changed? Is the sanctuary somewhere else in the area?
Spoilers from the comic books ahead.
In the comic books upon which TWD is based, the former Team Prison group ends up at the Alexandria Safe-Zone in Alexandria, Virginia. They get there on the way to Washington, D.C., joining the “mission” of the three characters who just arrived on last night’s episode: Sgt. Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos), and Dr. Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt). The mission is specifically to get Eugene to D.C. to connect with the science community for answers on the zombie outbreak.
The Hollywood Reporter asked actor Michael Cudlitz about “Terminus.” Will the survivors find sanctuary this season or does Abraham only care about getting to D.C.? “He's on his mission and the rest is the rest,” Michael said. “The mission always comes first. It may be helped or hindered by these other elements, but the mission is always the most important thing to Abraham.” He’s not looking for his own new prison for stability, he just wants to get to D.C. You can understand why Ty and the kids — especially baby Judith — would be much more interested in finding a safe haven. Michael said something similar to TV Guide when they asked about sanctuary. Would Abraham pass up a chance at that kind of safety? “Sanctuary sounds awesome, doesn't it?” he told the magazine. “We'll have to see what happens with that. Abraham will do what Abraham has to do.”
So it sounds like we have two contrasting missions — Team Terminus Sanctuary and Team D.C. Mission. We know Ty and company are now following the tracks to get to this sanctuary, and it looks like Abraham will try to convince Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun) to join Team D.C. Will either mission go well?
We’re worried that this sanctuary could be a trap, but maybe we should be more optimistic, especially since the season is meant to end on a more hopeful note, with some stability for the group similar to when they found the prison. Also, the synopsis for Episode 13, "Alone" (March 9) reads, "One group finds a shelter; a group has a realization about protection." What if the Ty/Carol group finds shelter at this sanctuary?
There’s also this to remember: A while back, actress Anissa Matlock was listed on IMDb for Episode 16 (the season finale) in a part labeled “Featured Terminan.” Maybe she’s at the Terminus sanctuary? She’s now just credited as part of “A” with no name or role description. At the time, there was talk that she might be playing one of The Hunters, a cannibal group featured in the comics. But if the series is meant to end on a more hopeful note, with some kind of real sanctuary, does it make sense to have The Hunters on the finale?
What are your thoughts on Terminus, the validity and location of this sanctuary, and how it may conflict with Abraham’s mission?
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.