This week's episode of #TheWalkingDead offered more than just a refreshing sea change from the monotonous Georgian hum of cicadas. It brought questions, and plenty of them. Like, what is the meaning of Tara's white girl wrist tattoo? Why hasn't Rick's group been going on wicked road trips to the beach this whole time? And why does Oceanside remind me so much of Gazorpazorp, the female-dominated planet from Rick and Morty?
But the biggest mystery of all is the significance of three little letters. After escaping the bridge walkers and finding Heath's broken glasses, Tara discovers the RV missing— with something left behind in the muddy tire tracks. It's a hotel key card, and it bears a message: "PPP".
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What Does It Mean?!
Before you start frantically tweeting Alanna Masterson (Tara) in a bid for answers, you should probably know that even she doesn't know what "PPP" means. In fact, in the episode of Talking Dead that followed Swear, executive producer Scott Gimple revealed that he's the only one who knows what it stands for. Damn you, Gimple.
The last time we saw a mysterious three-letter acronym on this show was with the introduction of Enid's signature catchphrase: "Just Survive Somehow", or "JSS" for short.
One might assume that "PPP" is a running joke between Tara and Heath. Maybe the two were massive fans of Potter Puppet Pals, before the apocalypse killed YouTube. Tara did look hopeful when she found the card, but what she said out loud indicates that she wasn't positive that it was even from Heath at all: "maybe that was you. I hope that was you."
Considering Gimple's staying so tight-lipped on the whole thing, fans have been desperately trying to figure out the hidden message for themselves. Let's take a look at some of the possibilities:
1. A 'Fear The Walking Dead' Easter Egg?
There was quite the Twitter flurry from fans on Sunday night over Swear's undeniable likeness to #FearTheWalkingDead. It had a beach, similar dialogue style and even a hotel key card. Could it be from the same hotel from Season 2 of Fear The Walking Dead?
Actually, no. Fear The Walking Dead showrunner Dave Erickson flat out discredited the possibility of the two shows ever crossing over in an interview with TV Line. The reasons for this are the massive gaps between the shows in both time and geography— The Walking Dead is at least five years ahead of Fear The Walking Dead; not to mention they're on opposite sides of the continent.
The key card may not have come from the Rosarito Beach Hotel. However, it's still possible that the key card itself was a subtle nod to the spin-off show, which returns in 2017 for Season 3. But would they really feature such a shameless plug in an episode? Better yet, would anyone actually be surprised if that happened?
2. Heath Is Actually A Brony
Extensive research on the many "PPP" acronyms that exist resulted in some interesting possibilities. From tech jargon like "Point-to-Point Protocol" (a reference to two nodes establishing connection), to economic terminology "purchasing power parity", every possibility seems as vague as it is irrelevant to Heath and Tara's story.
And then there's the My Little Pony reference:
Pinkie Pie, one of the characters in My Little Pony, has been known to make "Pinkie Pie Promises", or "Pinkie Pie Swears". While it may seem like a far stretch, but remember: The name of the episode is Swear. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe Heath has actually revealed to Tara that he's secretly a Brony, and "PPP" is his way of "Pinkie Pie promising" to return— which means that won't be the last we'll see of him.
3. An Epic Troll
Of course, those three letters might not even be Ps at all- they might be Ds. Now get your mind out of the gutter for a moment and consider this: "DDD" is an acronym of "Ding Dong Ditch". Heath decided to troll Tara and "ditch" her on the side of the road, leaving nothing but a prankster's calling card in his wake.
Also, considering how badly Tara and Heath's inspection of the bridge shanty town went, it's all too likely that "PPP" actually stands for "Piss Poor Planning". And we thought Tara was the comedian on this show!
4. A Throwback To Alanna Masterson's Early Career
Forget the not-so-subtle Fear The Walking Dead promo: Things are starting to get seriously Deadpool around here, with a potential in-show reference to one of the actor's earlier films.
Alanna Masterton may claim to know nothing about the meaning behind "PPP". But she was asking the same question we all are— over five years ago:
"PPP" is a reference to Peach Plum Pear, a 2011 film Masterton starred in about two guys who have their car stolen. Like Dude, Where's My Car?, but the indie version. This film just might hold the key to deciphering the meaning behind "PPP". Or maybe it's just Gimple's way of drawing attention to Masterton's relatively unknown early acting roles.
Check out a pre-apocalypse Masterton in the trailer for Peach Plum Pear and see if you can figure it out:
5. Obscure Hipster Music Reference
'Peach, Plum, Pear' is also the title of a Joanna Newsom song, which suggests Heath and Tara might have been spinning some of her tunes in the RV during their incredibly lengthy scavenging mission. Who knows— maybe Gimple is a massive Joanna Newsom fan and wanted to pay tribute in the show.
Electro-pop band Beach House also have a song called 'PPP', but it was released last year— long after the virus had hit and put an end to the electronic music industry. But still, it's got the acronym and a beach reference. It's got to count for something... right?
Will next week's episode of The Walking Dead reveal what "PPP" really means? Check out the trailer below:
(Source: TV Line)