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Warning: Spoilers and instances of rampant speculation to follow.
Just when it seemed that Daryl and Beth were contemplating settling down and playing house, the finale of last week's episode "Alone" saw Beth kidnapped and Daryl at the mercy of a bunch of denim-wearing tough guys.
S--t got real really quickly.
Fans have since been speculating on the identity of Beth's captor and what their intentions are for the sweet-natured survivor. While no one knows for sure who was behind the wheel, there were a couple of clues that might shed light on the mystery.
Using skills of sleuth - and my my own imagination - I think I might know the identity of Beth's kidnapper.
Father Gabriel Stokes.
This is he:
In the comics Gabriel encounters Rick and the group on the road after the destruction of the prison forced them to flee. Despite being a man of the cloth, it's later revealed Gabriel survived the early days of the zombie apocalypse by being a terrible Christian to his fellow man. However, he lets Rick and the gang take refuge in his church, but things take a turn for the worst when the Hunters turn up.
I won't give away too much detail about what goes down, but needless to say, blood flows, limbs are lost and death happens.
So why do I think the guy who kidnapped Beth is Gabriel?
First off, I don't think we'll get an exact representation of the comic book character.
The funeral parlor that Beth and Daryl stumbled across was well stocked, spotlessly clean and the corpses inside had been lovingly taken care of. It suggests the inhabitant is not a savage - unless they're a savage with a case of extreme OCD - but rather someone who has respect for the dead (and life?). A man of the cloth perhaps?
The second clue was spotted by a couple of you guys who commented on my recap article. The car that drove off with Beth was sporting a crucifix on the back, again suggesting the person driving was somebody of faith.
So if the theory holds up, what does this mean for the rest of the season?
If we see Gabriel then I expect the Hunters will also show up - in fact they might even be the gang that surrounded Daryl at the end of the episode.
There's a storyline in the comics involving Dale, a missing leg and tainted meat that is really iconic. But in a slight twist to the comic arc, I predict that on the show Gabriel has been kidnapping people and giving them to the hunters in exchange for protection. His latest victim for consumption is Beth and it's now a question of whether Daryl can get to her before it's too late.
If the show goes down that route, all bets are off. And so are someone's limbs.
Do you think Gabriel kidnapped Beth? If so, to what end? Speculate away in the comments section or hit me up on Twitter.