UPDATE: Here's a full play-by-play recap of Episode 16. Wow!
We’re certainly worried for Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln), especially with The Marauders after him, but anyone who messes with The Ricktator should really be worried. Our boy won’t go down without a fight! He’s in for a brawl this week, and so is his buddy Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), who will be caught in the middle, along with the other Team Richonne players, Michonne (Danai Gurira) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs). They are foremost in our minds as we watch the promos and sneak peeks for the final hour of this very tense and unusual season.
Here are 10 things we’re taking away from the footage shown so far:
1. Meet Gareth
A great New Zealand promo was released and then deleted on YouTube, but you can still see it here. We finally see the mysterious Gareth (Andrew J. West) we’ve been hearing about. We hear him say "Welcome to Terminus." So maybe he's the leader here? However, it looks like he might have a confrontation with Rick.
2. Rick's Group Arrives at Terminus
And those who arrive ... get shot at. We see Rick, Michonne, and Carl as they are escorted into Terminus, alongside a dark-haired guy, with a woman behind them. So Mary is definitely not alone at this place. At one point, it looks like Rick holds a gun to the dark-haired guy's head in front of Gareth. There are apparently people with guns on the Terminus roof and they shoot at Rick, Michonne, and Carl. Perhaps that's how they keep the peace at this place. Remember, there was a sign in Ep 15 that directed people to lower their weapons. It's not because they're all love and happiness hippies. They have rules, like anywhere else.
3. Joe's Marauders Attack
In the NZ promo, they also show dark scenes (at night or inside) with Joe's group confronting Rick and company. Joe’s voice says “You screwed up, you hear me? You screwed up. … Today’s a day of reckoning, sir.” Is Joe talking to Rick both times — since Rick will be the one Tony recognizes as having killed Lou in Episode 11, “Claimed”? Or is some of that for Daryl, since Daryl will probably jump ship from Team Marauders to help his old friends? Carl is seen hiding in what looks like a car during the dark scene, so the marauder guys may be going after him and Michonne too. Update: Based on another promo (see below), it looks like they're going to do a very close adaptation of comic book issue #57, with The Marauders ambushing Rick, Carl and Michonne. (In the book, it's Abraham.) In the new promo, Carl has a knife to his throat, and later Rick growls "He's mine," so he's probably about to chase down the bandit who tried to attack/rape Carl.
4. How Does Daryl Get Hurt?
One shot at the 20-second mark of the U.S. promo, shown in light — not like one of the night/dark scenes — shows Daryl's face. He has a black eye and a cut around his mouth. Is that after a run-in with the Marauders? If so, it at least shows he lived.
5. Michonne Hugs and Holds Carl
In one of the U.S. promos, we see Michonne hug Carl outside in daylight — they appear to be alone, but it could just be for the moment, with Rick nearby. But the NZ promo shows Carl (with blood on his cheek) glaring at someone as Michonne holds him. Is that in response to something happening to them, or to Rick? As Robert Kirkman teased to Entertainment Weekly, "This is Rick Grimes being pushed to his absolute limit," in the finale. "And if you think you’ve seen that before, you haven’t. And the Rick Grimes that comes out of this is really going to shock people.” What if Rick goes to town, brutally slaying all of the Marauders in a way that shocks even Michonne and Carl? Or what if we're shocked by what happens to Rick?
6. Who Are We?
One of the sneak peek videos shows Rick, Carl and Michonne walking in the woods, on their way to Terminus. Carl wants to know what they'll tell people about all the things they've done. Will they tell them the truth? Rick said they'd tell them who they are. "But how do you say that?” Carl asks. “I mean, who are we?" We’re Team Richonne, beyotch! But in that moment, a walker approaches and they prepare to take it down. It's just one walker at this point, so not a big deal. But maybe the Carl question is meant to be referenced again when they confront their own humanity — who are they, and what does it take to get by in his world? That's a key question of the season and maybe it's one Rick will have to face and answer, then live with.
7. Some Guy Is Screaming
In another sneak peek, after Rick gives Carl a lesson in trapping in the woods, they hear a man's voice scream for help. Without pause, Carl runs after the voice. Rick is left to scream "Carl!" and run after him. We don't see how that ends, but the promo shows Carl running and, separately, pointing a gun. Those are daylight scenes. There's also a brief shot at the 22-second mark of what looks like a man being swarmed. Perhaps that is the screaming guy? If not, what the heck is up with that swarm scene?
8. Rick's Haunted Face
In that promo with the creepy echoing voiceover repeating "Terminus," the final shot is Rick appearing to be sitting down, face bloody, looking haunted. Maybe he's reflecting on what he just did — the brutality he dished out in response to what was done to him and his new family. How much more can Rick take?
9. What's With the Candle Room?
The U.S. promo shows a room with candles all over the ground, like they’re in memory of the departed, with the word "ALWAYS" seen on a wall. There could be religious significance to this room, so what if it's tied to the person who took Beth Greene (Emily Kinney)? She was taken in a car with a white cross on the back. What if there's a connection here? We know the person in that funeral home loved to light candles since Beth and Daryl basically used them all up when they re-claimed the place.
10. Where Is Everyone Else?
We don’t see any footage of the people we saw arriving at Terminus in Ep 15: Glenn Rhee (Steven Yeun), Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan), Tara (Alanna Masterson), Bob Stookey (Larry Gilliard Jr.), Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), Abraham Ford (Michael Cudlitz),Eugene Porter (Josh McDermitt) and Rosita Espinosa (Christian Serratos). We also don’t see the people we’ve yet to see arrive — Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride), Tyreese (Chad Coleman) and baby Judith. But we also don’t know the timeline here — is Rick’s group actually getting there first or is this in chronological order? There’s a point in the NZ promo where it sounds like Rick whisper-growls, "Where are our people?" He could be saying "We're all people,” but it sounds like he’s asking about the others. Will we see them too? We’re anxious for a Team Prison reunion, with Rick and Carl seeing Judith, Sasha seeing Tyreese, Carol reuniting with Daryl, etc. It would also be nice for Maggie to reunite with Beth, but at this point we’re just hoping for any hint of Beth’s whereabouts at all. A big cliffhanger is coming, but we don’t anything about it.
What are your theories about “A”? What’s the title about? Who will survive? Will Rick, Daryl, Michonne and Carl kill all the Marauders? If so, at what cost? Is Terminus connected to The Hunters or not? Read more finale spoilers and speculation here!
The Walking Dead Season 4 finale airs Sunday, March 30, at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.