Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Daryl Dixon Mourns the Loss of Beth Greene in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 13: “Alone”

UPDATE: Here's a full play-by-play recap of Episode 15. Good and bad news! And here are details on what happens next week in the season finale. It's going to be "savage"!

Original story:

Are you with “Us” or against “Us”?

The Walking Dead Season 4 is winding down and the second-to-last episode airs tonight (Sunday, March 23). Here’s one synopsis for Episode 15, “Us”: "Survivors rely on brutality and faith."

Here’s another one: "Faith becomes a survival tool for some fighting to stay alive." Here’s a third one: "However brutal some survivors believe they must be to stay alive, we get to see that faith can sometimes be the strongest survival tool."

Faith. Survival. Brutality?

The faith aspect makes us think of the black car with the white cross on the back from Episode 13, “Alone”; it drove away with Beth Greene (Emily Kinney) presumably inside as an unwilling passenger. But Beth isn't shown at all in the Ep 15 promos or sneak peeks, which focus on Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and his new guys, possibly Rick (he was shown briefly in the promo), plus the mini group of Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), Tara (Alanna Masterson), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz), Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos).

The promo for "Us" shows Daryl walking the tracks with his new group. Is Rick in the ep or does Daryl just see something that hints to Rick, like he can track him? We hear Joe (Jeff Kober) say, "When men like us follow rules, the world becomes ours." Daryl says there ain't no rules no more. We head into a warehouse and Joe says "Well, teach him a lesson, gents." Someone gets punched. Is that Daryl? Is that in reaction to Daryl perhaps killing the "claimed" guy in the woods? (See sneak peek below) We also see Glenn running, that group on train tracks, and Abraham saying "tomorrow we go to the end of the line."
 

Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Rick Grimes Hides Under a Bed in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 11: “Claimed”

One AMC sneak peek focuses on Abraham and Tara outside at night, in a scene somewhat similar to Lizzie and Carol's first scene of Ep 14. Tara tells Abraham he can sleep, she's got this. Abraham tells Tara, no offense, he's not leaving Eugene's life in her hands. He plans to move north with them until they find the right vehicle, then five becomes three. "Or two," Tara says. "We each have our missions," Abraham says. He thought Tara was doing this because she's in love with Glenn. But he saw the way she was looking down Rosita's shirt. So, he's taking that to mean she's gay? We know it's true, but … Rosita doesn’t wear much. Where else is anyone supposed to look? Anyway, it’s a bonding scene.

The sneak peek featured on Talking Dead shows the marauder guy obsessed with the word "claimed" fighting with Daryl in the woods. That guy is trying to claim the rabbit. He also bets there's a "bitch" that has him all messed up. He just "lost himself a piece of tail. Must've been a good'un." Was it one of the little ones? They don't last too long out here, he says. Gross. Daryl is ready to slice that guy up. Tell him to look at the flowers, Dixon!

So Glenn's group is still following the tracks to Terminus, and Daryl is clearly still with that group of bad guys from the Episode 11 house in "Claimed." Filming spoilers showed Norman’s Daryl and Jeff’s Joe walking train tracks back in November, when they were filming these episodes in Georgia. What if they run into Rick? It seems like that’s a gun that has yet to go off — Rick saw these guys in the house, he knows they’re not good guys, and one of the men, Tony, saw him before he passed out. It feels like a confrontation is coming. Maybe that’s tied to the “Us” — as in “Us” vs. “Them,” or something.

Or maybe the Rick confrontation is coming in the Episode 16 season finale, “A,” which has this description: "Many paths collide; Rick faces sheer brutality; the group struggles to survive." That sounds bad, but at least the paths colliding suggests the Team Prison mini groups finally unite. Rick specifically facing brutality is troublesome and suggests maybe a connection to the guys from the “Claimed” house. Otherwise, why single him out?

We haven’t seen Rick since that Episode 11, “Claimed,” and he’s kind of the main character of the show, so it would be nice to see him again in Episode 15, whether it includes a marauder confrontation or not.

But here’s something else to consider for Episode 15: Director David S. Goyer talked to io9 at a DC Entertainment party over the summer, and he told them, “I'm doing a Walking Dead this year — the penultimate episode [of the season]. I haven't gotten my script yet... I heard it's an episode where something really bad happens.” He added that TWD offered him a choice of episodes to direct and he picked the second-to-last one because a lot tends to happen. UPDATE: It looks like the director was changed; this ep is now listed as being directed by Greg Nicotero. So never mind about David. And maybe he was just assuming Ep 15 would have something "bad" happen, because penultimate episodes tend to be dark? 
 

Credit: Gene Page/AMC Photo: Abraham Ford Pushes Glenn Rhee in The Walking Dead Season 4, Episode 11: “Claimed”

So we’re expecting a lot to happen in this penultimate episode. We may even see a death (or more than one?) since the show has gone down that road before in past penultimate episodes. (Shane vs. Rick in Season 2, Merle dying in Season 3.)

It’s possible the “faith” aspect isn’t tied to church or religion but is just about faith in finding each other, which might connect to Glenn trying to find Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan). There was a death spoiler a while back that got some fans nervous for Maggie (or Michonne, or Carl…). Do we need to get nervous all over again?

A while back, Andrew Lincoln talked about “the most controversial episode” they’ve ever done, and it was revealed to be Episode 14, “The Grove.” So whatever happens in Ep 15 may not be quite as “controversial” as Ep 14. Whatever bad thing goes down, we are still expecting this season to end on a hopeful note, since Robert Kirkman told TV Guide, "We'll open our last half of the season pretty bleak and we'll move them to something a little more hopeful by the end." Plus, an AMC exec teased, "We know where this season ends, which is not unlike when we got to the prison — it’s a glimpse of what Season 5 will be." That suggests we at least get a hint to some shelter, a stable base, where Season 5 will be set.

Do you have any theories about what bad stuff may go down in Episode 15 and the season finale? Will someone we care about die? More than one person?

UPDATE: What happens? Well, according to Spoil the Dead’s Ep 15 spoilers, we have some good things happening: Glenn and Maggie finally reunite! His group and Maggie's groups join up and reach Terminus in the end. In bad news, Joe's group is indeed tracking Rick, realizing he killed their friend in the "Claimed" house. Carl helps with the tracking in an earlier scene in the episode, dropping a candy wrapper. (Carl the litter bug strikes again!) Daryl is still with Joe's group, but he is not the one who is beat up in the promo. That's Len, the rabbit tool.

It doesn't sound like anyone dies in this episode (except for Len), but it does look like we are gearing up for a Marauders vs. Rick confrontation. The ep ends at Terminus, which is on a huge expanse of land, surrounded by flowers and veggies. A woman there welcomes them, and she's cooking at a BBQ. It looks good, but will it be bad instead? What exactly is she cooking? Are they The Hunters or is this truly a good spot to find sanctuary?

Ready to jump to the season finale? Check out details on Ep 16, "A."

The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.