Season four of The Walking Dead has definitely set its sights on making it much more dangerous for the prison group to stay alive with each new episode that arrives. As Hershel Greene puts it, "You step outside, you risk your life. You take a sip of water, you risk your life. Every moment now, you risk your life." Everyone at the prison is in near total disarray as to how they'll go about continuing to survive in that brutal and tragic world. Anything is subject to getting them killed in one way or another. If it's not the walkers devouring them, it's that mysterious flu-like illness rampaging through the prison cells. We saw last night in "Isolation" that some, if not most, members of the group are now infected with that illness and are quarantined far away from those that were not exposed, or ostensibly unexposed for now. Also, it could be man against man, as we found out last night. After closely surveying a bloody handprint at the crime scene, Rick questioned Carol in a very straightforward manner (he was a cop after all). He got her to confess to killing Karen (Tyreese's ex-girlfriend) and David during the previous episode, "Infected." So as a clear stage is being set for the rest of this season, I would like to be bold and opine on where I think the show may go from here. If you disagree, or you just want to flat-out talk 'TWD' nonstop, do not hesitate to write in the "Comments" section below. Now without further ado, here I go.
How will Rick confront Carol?
Now that Rick has found out who was the assailant of Karen and David during "Infected," what will Rick do with Carol? This is an obvious question on anyone's mind after watching "Isolation" last night, but it's a question that does not yield a definitive answer yet. Rick will have to once again put his figurative cop hat back on (remember that his real hat belongs to Carl now) and question Carol further to see how exactly she went about killing those two. Also, it'll be important for her to tell us all why she did it.
When Rick asked her if there was anything she would not do to protect the group, Carol answered with an unwavering "no." Up until the premiere of the current season, Carol had been on the sidelines, so to speak. It wasn't very clear (at least not to me) what her role within the group was during season three. She appeared to be someone whom the rest could go to for comfort and advice, but she did not seem to have a specific task to do. Because Rick ran his very own dictatorship (a Ricktatorship), Carol merely followed his orders without making any decisions for herself. Now with Rick no longer in charge, she doesn't seem to be coy about taking matters into her own hands whenever she deems it necessary. We saw during the season four premiere, "30 Days Without an Accident," that she has been secretly teaching the children to utilize knives safely. This is not an inappropriate skill to teach even to children, in my opinion. I believe that those kids should learn to wield and use knives safely, and any other weapon that is available for that matter. Yes, they are just kids, but they'll have to learn to defend themselves regardless. Better to learn sooner rather than later, because later may never come for some of them, tragically enough.
Again, knowing how she killed them is very important because we need to know if Carol is gradually turning into a cold-blooded, callous person. I don't believe that Carol did the unspeakable and burned both Karen and David alive. Rather, I think she might have used her knife to kill them first, and then she dragged the bodies outside to burn them in an attempt to avoid further spread of the disease. Yes, that is still murder, but it is a much more humane way of ending someone's life. Because both Karen and David were among the first to get infected, they were most probably going to die anyway, unfortunately. Remember that Carol has a responsibility from now on to protect Lizzie and Mika, especially. She may have indeed done a terrible thing in killing Karen and David, but it could have saved the two girls, at least in Carol's mind. Also, I will opine that she most probably will make Rick a promise that she will never do that again. There was a moment during last night's episode in which Carol was seen throwing a tantrum after she promised Tyreese she would look after Sasha while he went on run for medical supplies. Maybe this was her way of regretting her actions. Because of these things, and because of how loyal and caring she is with mostly everyone, I don't think Rick will punish her in any severe way.
What will Tyreese do?
Let's say, hypothetically speaking of course, that Tyreese makes it back from the veterinary college with medicine alive, along with Daryl, Michonne, and Stookey (who still seems very suspicious to me, for some reason). If word gets around to him that Carol was the one who killed his ex-girlfriend, how will he go about bringing Carol to justice? I already opined that Rick may not do anything drastic to her, but Tyreese presents a whole different possible scenario.
Rick has known Carol for a long time now, so it would be understandable if he ends up just scolding her. But Tyreese does not, nor can they much less be considered friends up to this point. Ever since he discovered the burnt bodies, he has set his mind on revenge, and only revenge. While arguing with Daryl and Rick during the first scene of "Isolation," he shoved Daryl and punched Rick a few times before the latter finally put him down. Tyreese did calm himself a bit after that exchange, and he even appeared to make amends with Rick. But, he still wants the killer (Carol) to be brought alive to him, so he said. Let's not forget that he is also concerned about his sister, Sasha, after he found out that she has been infected as well and is now in quarantine.
As a result, Karen's death + Sasha's infection = a likely dangerous Tyreese. Tyreese may try to hurt Carol, but Rick will be there to stop him. Let's hope that Rick does not have to kill Tyreese the way he did Shane, and for the same reason. But again, for all of this to happen Tyreese has to get back to the prison alive. Based on how he persevered and managed to catch up to Daryl, Michonne, and Stookey, he'll make it back alive, most possibly.
How long will that flu-like disease be prevalent?
This disease could stay with the prison group for a very, very long time if they do not find another place to live in soon. Because the infected are now quarantined, it does reduce, albeit minimally, the spreading of it. Hershel's method of using elderberry can further reduce it, and help those infected live a bit longer. But in the near future, everyone at the prison will have to answer this inevitable question: is it safer staying at the prison, or moving somewhere else?
The makers of this show did a great job of introducing a threat that successfully handicaps the survivors. If they stay in the prison for too long, some of them could be fall victim to the disease. If they go outside, either walkers or people could kill them. Of course, people could kill people at the prison too. As you can see, there really is no win-win situation. It's all trial and error, basically.
If this disease were to stick around for too long, it could potentially kill everyone, effectively ending the show. I believe the makers of the show will give the characters a way of ridding themselves of it. Whether it is by keeping those infected as far away as possible (keep in mind that this could mean killing them off, including Glenn, Sasha, and Lizzie), whether it is by curing the ailing somehow, or whether it is by moving the uninfected away from the prison, they'll most probably find a solution to this problem. The solution is not coming any time soon, though. I don't what it to, at least.
Who is feeding the walkers?
This is another difficult question because, to me, more than one person could be betraying the group. I always suspected Bob Stookey from the very first time I saw him during this season's premiere. During the first few minutes of "Infected," it appeared that only one person was feeding the rat to the walker. After watching last night's episode, I immediately thought Carol might be behind this also. But then again, why would she try to endanger the group? I am not really aware of any valid reason as to why she would do such a thing, but you never know.
But then, I thought of someone else who I tried to suppress from my memories. Someone who we haven't seen since the season three finale. Someone who is a deranged sociopath that was capable of shooting his own townsfolk. You guessed right, The Governor (dum, dum, dummmm). Maybe The Governor might have managed to get an ally of his into the prison between seasons three and four. Or maybe he already had an ally on the inside when season three ended and all the Woodbury residents were allowed to live at the prison. The Governor is the ideal person to want to hurt the group fatally, but he'll need help if he wants to accomplish that evil deed.
So in my opinion, there is probably a group behind the feeding and luring of the walkers. It could be Stookey, it could be Carol (she is highly unlikely, though), it could be an ally (or a few allies) of The Governor, or a combination of all those people. Whatever the case, Rick and co. will have to battle for their lives soon enough. It will be the Battle of the Prison, Part Two.
Speaking of him, when will we see The Governor again?
I always thought that Michonne might be the one to spot The Governor somewhere on the road. Those two will most likely trade blows once more, and I always surmised that Michonne would be the one to hand The Governor the finishing blow, something he has coming to him. I've heard some 'TWD' fans predict that he will launch yet another attack on the prison. That is good prediction, but The Governor only had two people on his side the last time we saw him. Martinez, and that other guy who always eye-balled Michonne when she was in Woodbury, but whose name I do not recall. He'll need to build another army to unleash an attack.
And besides, the prison has plenty of defenders that know how to fight and that will be ready to launch a defensive. The best way for The Governor to attack the prison group is by using stealth on the inside. Like I opined earlier, he probably has an ally or two at the prison feeding the walkers. If they could somehow let the walkers pass the front gates, all hell would break loose. With Rick and co. trying desperately to fend off the walkers, it would be the ideal time for the The Governor to step in and do his worst. The prison group will basically have to fight a war of two fronts: against the walkers on one hand and against the The Governor on the other.
We all know The Governor is approaching. We can feel it in our bones, we can sense it when that cold shiver runs down our spines whenever we mention him (actually that might just be me). The question is when will he decide to show himself again. Will he be alone, or will he be with his two cohorts? Could he have been able to recruit more poor souls to join the dark side? We shall see!
Which major character will be the first to go this season?
The infection angle introduced this season is indeed an interesting one, but it will lack some credibility if it only kills off supporting characters. At some point, a major character will have to meet his/her demise from the disease. It's tough to pick one character that I think will pass away. We know now that Glenn and Sasha are both infected.
Out of those two, I would think that Sasha might be the one to go first, or the only one to go. She has shown that she can hold her own against herd of walkers, but other than that we do not know much else about her. She could be the most expendable out of the two. However, this could also be a chance for her to persevere and prove her worth, although it is difficult to do so when she's constantly coughing and barely able to walk straight. There isn't much of a storyline to her character yet, but it should be built if she is able to survive longer. We can perhaps gain some insight on her background, while learning about other abilities she may have that are helpful. If she were to be killed off, I don't know how much humanity Tyreese will have left in him. And if Tyreese becomes deranged and lunatic, then he'll have to be put down too if he were to attack anyone. But, I don't see the latter happening any time soon.
Glenn's journey throughout this whole show has been an interesting one. In season one, he was just an innocent young man who knew how to maneuver his way through a city. In season two, his character was further developed to show potential leadership skills and defensive tactics. And in season three, he became much more vocal and determined to use his skills to defend the group in any way he thought it best to do so. In spite of all that, Glenn really has not had too many chances to portray the leader in him. Personally, I do believe he can lead the group successfully. He is vital to the group, as he can be trusted to carry out tasks and defend others when necessary. On the other hand, all of the skills he has can go to waste in a heartbeat if the disease were to claim his life. But to build a character so much for so long, and then to have him killed by a disease? That would be cruel, but cruelty is the norm in a zombie apocalypse.
One person I would never want to see die on this show is Daryl. But lately, there have been cues that seem to hint at the possibility of this season being his very last, like Norman Reedus' (who portrays Daryl) interview with Comicbook.com for instance. I don't think that Daryl will be killed while looking for medical supplies at the veterinary college. If he does at any point during this season, it will most probably be when The Battle of the Prison, Part Two is fought. To me, it is still extremely unlikely that Daryl will be killed off this season. I will continue to watch with the mindset that Daryl will be safe for season five. I would be both shocked and saddened if the producers decide to do away with him. He is another crucial member of the group that has been loyal, helpful, and courageous from the start. He cares for people, he defends others well with his patented crossbow and occasional knife, he is experienced enough to be able to implement good strategies when fighting, he is perhaps the best hunter at the prison, and he can tell right from wrong even in a world where morals and ethics are practically a non-factor. How in the world can you kill off someone like that?
Who is the source of the radio transmission?
While Daryl, Michonne, Stookey, and Tyreese went to a local veterinary college that is about 50 miles away from the prison, they heard a voice through the radio. It was not clear what the person transmitting the message was saying. There is no way of knowing if the other person is even alive at the point in which they heard his/her voice, meaning that the message was previously recorded.
But remember way back during the season one premiere when Rick heard Glenn's voice from the tank's radio? Rick was not only able to join the group, he reunited with his wife (Lori) and son (Carl). Maybe this time around, learning who the source of the transmission will help the prison group escape their flu-like dilemma. Maybe they will be able to call another place home. Maybe they will unite with whole new group to form an actual community. Or maybe none of these things happen and the person on the other end of the transmission is leading them into trap. Many queries can be made about a radio message that lasted only a few seconds and was incomprehensible.
In my opinion, the person behind the radio message is probably alive, and is not alone. When Daryl gets back to the prison, he will tell Rick and Hershel about the voice, and they will pay closer attention to the radio. It is also very likely that the same message will be heard again, offering some sort of asylum that promises safety from walkers.