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AMC recently released the titles and synopses for the final four episodes of The Walking Dead Season 4 and while they might seem vague at first glance, it's possible to glean some information and potential spoilers from them.
Warning: Spoilers, speculation and analysis of the comic book source material to follow. Proceed with caution from here on in.
Let's begin by taking a look at Episode 14, "The Grove".
After establishing a new shelter, the group considers things returning to the way they used to be.
It seems this is the episode where the group finally reunites after being separated during the attack on the prison. So where and what is this new shelter they're talking about here?
I think it's a church and, despite seeming to offer sanctuary, bloodshed and death awaits them. Why do I think it's a church? Because of the synopsis for the following week's episode "Us".
Survivors rely on brutality and faith.
Scott Gimple admitted that the second half of Season 4 would stick closely to Robert Kirkman's comic book, and I think these two episodes will explore the Hunters storyline.
In the comics the church is in close proximity to the Hunters' base and Rick and the group use the place of worship to shelter during an attack by the hungry people-munchers. It's around this time that one of the group gets kidnapped by the Hunters and unwillingly gives up a leg for consumption.
My guess - and I'm going out on a limb here - is Bob Stookey will be the unfortunate victim and become the Hunters amuse-bouche.
This will lead us into the Season finale, titled "A":
Many paths collide; Rick faces sheer brutality; the group struggles to survive.
On first reading, it sounds like Rick might be on the receiving end of a beating similar to the one he got at the hands of the Governor in the mid-season finale. However, I don't think this is the case. The brutality Rick faces will be the retribution he exacts on the Hunters.
Here's what I think is going to go down, based on what also happened in the comic.
Rick discovers where the Hunters are holed up and takes some muscle with him in the form of Daryl, Tyreese and Abraham. They catch the Hunters off-guard and take them captive. It's here they learn the true depravity of the cannibals' actions and knowing they can never allow them to be free, they kill them.
But they don't just kill them: they seriously f--k them up. I'm talking medieval-style torture as Rick's anger and disgust at their actions comes pouring out. Norman Reedus promised the end of Season 4 would witness some of the most brutal action ever seen on the show and I think he might have been talking about this.
It's going to get seriously messy.
And as for the title of the episode being "A"? I think it's a reference to the Alexandria Safe-Zone. Reedus said the Season ends on a 'high', so I predict the last scene will see the group approach the outskirts of Washington DC and see the thriving community of Alexandria in the distance.
You heard it here first.
Thoughts? Hit me up in the comments or over on Twitter.