It’s always fun to speculate about what will happen next on The Walking Dead. Even if you’re familiar with the comics, the AMC show will find a way to surprise you — and, actually, sometimes knowing the comic book story will just lead you down the wrong path. On that note, we had to smile when seeing this May 2 Reddit post about Season 4:
"Some Monday (Friday) morning Quarterbacking here. I followed this subreddit pretty closely during the season, and every day there were multiple plot speculations about how the season or next episode would transpire, especially regarding the 2nd half of the season. Looking back what were the worst speculations? Which ones were the farthest from the truth? [...] notable examples: Bob working for the governor, Lizzy killing Karen, What episodes Us & A really stood for."
Oh boy! We were guilty of some of those, and a lot more. We let our imaginations run hog wild on Season 4, with limited success in matching what actually happened. But that is part of the fun (and every so often we do call it right).
Here are a few of the places we can admit we went way wrong.
Dr. S. Can’t Be Trusted: Up to his dying breath, we suspected poor Dr. S. was ready to kill everyone in the prison. We had never seen him before the premiere, but his name kept coming up like he was important, and everyone depended on him to save them when they got sick. But was he just making them worse? He was a spy for The Governor. He, as a physician, created the deadly flu. When Sasha went to find him in the sick ward, he was going to kill her. None of this panned out — but, hey, it could’ve! Sorry, buddy.
Bob Is a Spy: Everyone is a spy! To be fair, TWD was intentionally misleading on this one, giving TV Bob Stookey the same name as a character who is completely different in the comics. We still don’t know everything about TV Bob’s past, but it’s probably safe to finally admit he was not secretly working for The Governor, even if the character in the books did save The Gov.’s life. And TV Bob may not have had any connection to any other group that we’ve seen out there on the show. Maybe he was just a loner. Maybe he’s not even immune to walker bites. And apparently he did not leave those rats at the fence or dissect a rat in the prison. He probably wasn’t even at the grassy knoll.
Lizzie Killed Karen and David: At first we were just shocked that Carol did it, so when fans spread the idea that maybe Carol was covering for Lizzie, we just hoped that was true. It did not turn out to be true. The poor kid was blamed for enough in this world.
Sam Will Return: Dammit, we stand by the idea of Sam showing up again, whether in The Governor’s new camp or at the prison. Rick and Carol met Sam and Ana in the suburbs and Ana’s leg was shown — which we thought might be dismemberment foreshadowing — but there was no sign of Sam. We were sure he would reappear.
The Cabin Signs Will Be Connected to … Something: The Governor’s cabin storyline had someone leaving signs like “liar” and “rapist,” and Beth and Daryl saw a lady with a “rich bitch” sign in the country club. Same person leaving these signs? Who? What did they mean? It was eventually revealed, on Talking Dead, that the country club massacre was the result of a class struggle, apparently not related to the other signs. It feels like maybe there should’ve been a connection.
X Will Die! Or Y! Or Z!: We were braced for a bunch of deaths this season and saw shadows everywhere. Our death speculation started with Sasha when it looked clear that she would get the deadly flu. If it was Glenn and Sasha, we figured one of them would go, and Sasha was closer to redshirt status. Thankfully, she lived — and no main people died in the prison. We thought Hershel might die even before he did die, and when it looked like the prison battle storyline was coming, we thought maybe Carol or Michonne might get “Tyreesed” instead of Hershel. In the second half there was a rumor that a major character that’s still alive in the comics might die in the second half, so we thought we might be sayonara Maggie. Or Michonne. Or … Carl? It was none of the above, since they’re all alive. We figured Beth would die at some point, and we’re pretty sure of it when she said Daryl would be the last man standing. We did not predict an abduction. Did you?
Daryl and Beth Might Split Up: Technically they did separate … it just wasn’t intentional. They were the odd couple of the second half, and even though fans insisted Daryl would never leave Beth behind, they had such different ideas about what to do that it only made sense that they might go their separate ways — with Beth running off to find Maggie and Daryl doing whatever Daryl wanted to do. But he had nothing else to do, so he stuck with his eventual new buddy.
Joe’s Group Are The Hunters … Or The Saviors: We weren’t really on board with this one, mostly because Joe was at the “Claimed” house eating out of a can, which is very far from what the cannibals of the books did. If they were OK to go house to house finding food, why would they eat people? For fun? But when they arrived, some fans though they might be The Hunters. Others thought they might be connected to Negan and The Saviors, like early versions. People went wild about this group even though they just followed a remixed version of The Marauders story in the comics.
Morgan Is Joining the Group: We’re still a little upset that Morgan didn’t show up on Season 4 since it was one of the biggest things we were looking forward to. Over the summer a tweet came out saying Scott Gimple said Morgan would be in S4, so we speculated around that idea. What if Rick went back home and Morgan’s mind was healed, and he joined the group on the road? What if Morgan was at Terminus? Scott eventually said he was misquoted on Morgan returning in Season 4, although he said Morgan would return at some point.
Someone Will Lose a Limb: The word “brutality” was mentioned a couple of times in the episode synopses, once in direct reference to Rick Grimes. Would he lose a limb, like in the comics, even with the expenses of TV and the insistence that the show probably wouldn’t go there? Would someone else lose a limb, in a take on The Hunters story? It turns out the “brutality” was from Rick to The Marauders, but we really worried for something bad to happen on that one. Speaking of something bad…
Episode 15 Will Be a Bloodbath: Last summer, there was a story about David S. Goyer directing the penultimate episode of Season 4, and it was one where “something bad” would happen. That made sense, since something bad always happens in the second-to-last episode. We predicted death and/or dismemberment, maybe in relation to the “brutality” tease. And then nothing happened. David didn’t even direct the episode, there was a change.
“A” Is the Alexandria Safe-Zone: The second we saw “A” was the finale title, we just nodded. Of course. Alexandria. It’s where we’re headed by the finale. And Morgan will be there, etc. All the pieces of the comics would finally fall into place. … Nope! We’re not even on the road to D.C. yet. All that comic book stuff was just assumption, and maybe it will show up in Season 5. We rushed it, but we weren’t the only ones going for Alexandria with “A.”
There’s probably more, but that’s enough shame to admit for one day. And there are plenty of theories that are just waiting to be proven wrong — Beth is probably not on the menu at Terminus, she may or may not be with a TV version of Gabriel Stokes, and it’s still possible that the Termites aren’t even eating people. But we still think they are.
Are you ready to confess some wrongful speculation? Preach!
The Walking Dead Season 5 premieres in October on AMC.