October is such an exciting time of year for everyone. Leaves are changing color, Starbucks has brought back their pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween is right around the corner, New York Comic Con is in full swing, and (most importantly) the long wait for season 6 of The Walking Dead is over! AMC's hit show had an amazing season five full of twists, turns and surprises that kept everyone on their feet. From the resident redneck, bad ass, Daryl continuously becoming more emotional and sentimental with others to "The Ricktator" coming back darker, dirtier, and bloodier than ever, we've seen it all. The producers even treated the fans to the long awaited return of fan-favorite: Morgan.
One thing that makes this show great are the things you don't see right away. Those small details that the producers expertly slip into the episodes that even the most observant fanatics might not see until a second or third viewing. In the past two season, I have noticed an on going trend of the producers foreshadowing the deaths of major characters.
Season five marked the end for FOUR beloved characters: (in order of death) Bob, Beth, Tyreese and Noah. Despite how sad it is to see these characters meet their tragic ends, audiences did have some clues leading up to their impending doom.
Bob - Death Episode: Four Walls and a Roof (Episode 5.03)
Cause of Death: Walker bite on the shoulder at the flooded food bank (Episode 5.02 - Strangers)
Foreshadowing (Bob's shoulder): Shot in shoulder at the prison (Episode 4.08 - Too Far Gone); Bit on bandages during fog fight (Episode 4.13 - Alone); Narrowly escaping a walker under shelves (Episode 4.01 - 30 Days Without An Accident)
In a world where sports and other recreational activities are pretty much gone (minus the bare knuckle fights in Woodbury), it's kind of nice to see that a sports metaphor is still applicable. Strike one: Bob gets shot in the shoulder when The Governor's group attacks the prison. Nonlethal but still pretty dangerous. Strike two: a walker bites Bob on the shoulder when he, Maggie and Sasha are fighting off a group of walkers shrouded in fog. Getting a little too close for comfort on that one. Strike three: a submerged walker drags Bob underwater after the group thinks all the walkers have been re-killed. Well it just so happens that the third time was the charm as the waterlogged walker manages to sink his teeth into Bob.
Beth - Death Episode: Coda (Episode 5.08)
Cause of Death: Shot by Dawn after stabbing her with scissors (Episode 5.08)
Foreshadowing (Beth's corpse being carried out by Daryl): [while talking about who will survive] Beth tells Daryl "You're gonna miss me so bad when I'm gone, Daryl Dixon." (Episode 4.12 - Still); Daryl carrying Beth in his arms into the kitchen (Episode 4.13 - Alone); Daryl carrying a covered corpse in his arms outside to burn (Episode 5.06 - Consumed).
When you first watch the moments listed above, it's pretty easy to overlook them or even interpret them in a different way. Take the first one for instance: In a zombie apocalypse, a drunken heart-to-heart can easily take a turn for the worse and be about your own mortality. In the second claim, fans of the "Bethyl camp" could see this as a positive foreshadowing: the two finally coming together as a couple. And the third scene (Daryl carrying a small corpse) could have been seen as the producers paying homage to Carol's daughter, Sophia. Unfortunately, all those moments lead up to the shot heard around the world as fans were shocked to see the sweet and innocent, Beth Greene fall lifeless to the ground.
Tyreese - Death Episode: What's Happening and What's Going On (Episode 5.09)
Cause of Death: Two walker bites while inspecting Noah's home.
Foreshadowing (Use of time/clocks, and other signs): The grandfather clock in the middle of the road; The clock radio on top of the desk
In the case of Tyreese, most of the elements that foreshadowed his death were strung through a single episode. The use of clocks and time can be looked at a few ways. The most obvious translation is highlighting the time lapse between the last two episode. It's been 17 days since we last saw the group in Atlanta and they have now traveled 500 miles to Richmond, VA. Another interpretation is counting down Tyreese's time left. By the end of the episode, we notice that the funeral scene at the beginning of the episode is actually for Tyreese and not Beth (the last character to die). A picture of Noah's twin brothers sitting on a bench was also used in a clever way. One twin is smiling while the other has an almost cautionary facial expression directed at his twin. Mere seconds later, Noah's zombified brother enters the room and takes a bite out of Tyreese's arm. Another bit of foreshadowing comes from Beth's song "Struggling Man" and the lyrics saying "I'm a struggling man, and I gotta move on." Seeing as this is all a hallucination, it is a clear cut sign that Tyreese wants to give up. Even after the group's attempt at saving Tyreese by cutting off his arm, the viewers know that Tyreese is going to meet his end by the conclusion of the episode.
Noah - Death Episode: Spend (Episode 5.14)
Cause of Death: Eaten by walkers after being trapped in a revolving door.
Foreshadowing (Noah's leg causing issues): Limping on his left leg while escaping Grady Memorial (Episode 5.04 - Slabtown); Almost getting killed by a walker after being pinned down near a door (Episode 5.06 - Consumed); Getting offered to have his leg fixed once they get to Alexandria (Episode 5.11 - The Distance)
In hindsight, it probably wasn't a good idea to have a member of your towns supply RUNNERS to have a limp. Perhaps that's the reason why Noah considered changing "career paths" and take up an apprenticeship with Alexandria's architect, Reg. Unfortunately for Noah, his plans are haulted before they could get started. In his final moments on the show, Noah and Glenn are pinned down inside a revolving door with Nicholas on the opposite side. In a fit of panic, Nicholas manages to muscle his way outside while Noah's injured leg gets caught by the walkers.
This past Friday, The Walking Dead took over Madison Square Garden for a season 6 premiere event. Those lucky enough to attend we treated to an early viewing of the first episode along with a Q&A portion with the cast and crew. Other fans, however, can only speculate as to what will happen in the season premiere as well as who could be next on the chopping block. Keeping in mind that the producers might have already alluded to how some characters will die, here is a list of five characters who I think could make their way onto The Talking Dead's "In Memoriam Segment."
Possible Cause of Death: Something malfunctioning or breaking on him in a dire moment.
Foreshadowing: The military vehicle on the way to DC (Episode 4.11 - Claimed); The church bus on the way to DC (Episode 5.05 - Self Help); The firetruck on the way to DC (Episode 5.06 - Consumed); The RV on the way to DC (Episode 5.11 - The Distance); The chained weapon breaking off while fighting walkers at the construction site (Episode 5.14 - Spend).
Abraham's luck with stuff (particularly vehicles) getting destroyed on him at inopportune times is uncanny. One car gets shot, another blows up, two more breakdown, a weapon decides to snap in two, not a very good track record. Sure two out of the four vehicles were rendered immobilized via sabotage (thanks a lot, Eugene), but there are still too many things that have stopped working properly at his hands. Let's just hope the next time a car decides to putter to a halt, Abraham and whoever he is with won't be in serious danger.
Possible Cause of Death: Horde of walkers.
Foreshadowing: Wreckless attacks on walkers (Episode 5.10 - Them); Wanting to take on a group of walkers alone (Episode 5.15 - Try); Laying on top of dead walkers (Episode 5.16 - Conquer).
The back half of season five has not been kind to Sasha Williams. After the loss of her "boyfriend," Bob, and her brother, Tyreese, Sasha has gone into a tailspin of depression. And apparently her only form of therapy is to take it out on walkers. While this doesn't seem like a terrible remedy (ridding the world of a threat is definitely a plus), putting other people in danger while doing so is never okay. During the cliffside walker attack (episode 5.10 - Them), she almost stabbed Michonne (who blocked it with her ridiculous reflexes) and actualy cut Abraham during her rampage. Eventually, this blind outrage might just land her in a situation she can't fight her way out of. During the season finale, we get an oddly peaceful shot of her laying down in a pit full of walker corpses. Could this be a foreboding clue as to the death of Sasha?
Father Gabriel Stokes
Possible Cause of Death: Suicide
Foreshadowing: Standing against the wall at the food bank after seeing the walker-version of someone he knew (Episode 5.02 - Strangers); Attracting a walker and approaching it unarmed (Episode 5.16 - Conquer); Stating he deserves to die when Maggie stops Sasha from shooting him (Episode 5.16 - Conquer)
Where we last see Father Gabriel, it seemed like he is losing his grip on reality and his faith. Not only have we seen Gabriel strike the "cross pose" on more than one occasion, we even see him mentally breakdown during his argument with Sasha at the end of the season. I don't know about you, but I don't think claiming a person's loved ones "died because of they were sinners and didn't deserve to live" is not a very priestly thing to say. Furthermore, claiming that he, too, deserves to be killed for his sins does not inspire that much hope for his future. In the final scene we see with Gabriel, it appears that Maggie has controlled the situation and is now leading the group in prayer. For his sake, I hope this is the first stepping stone for him to get out of this weird funk that has befallen Alexandria's pastor.
Possible Cause of Death: Pinned down by walkers
Foreshadowing: Pinned down by two walkers in the super market (Episode 4.01 - 30 Days Without An Accident); Being flanked by walkers after running over a herd (Episode 5.11 - The Distance); Getting piled on by three walkers after fighting and getting shot by Nicholas (5.16 - Conquer)
Despite being one of five characters who have been around since season one, Glenn's name has always been thrown around when people consider who might be killed off next. And for good reason as his character in the comic book met a very grizzly end. But seeing how the TV series has been so vastly different than the comics, I think the producers might take Glenn's death into a completely different direction. As stated above, there have been multiple accounts of Glenn being on his back in the face of walkers. Impressively, he has been able to fend off each attack thus far. However, one thing that had multiple appearances in the season six strailer are herds of walkers. For someone who has a history of being the bottom of walker dog piles, that's probably something Glenn should actively avoid.
Possible Cause of Death: Self-sacrifice to save another person/group
Foreshadowing: Drawing walkers away from Beth when they enter the funeral home (Episode 4.13 - Alone); Taking the beating for Rick when confronted by the Claimers (Episode 4.16 - A); Offering to draw walkers away so that Aaron can escape after being trapped in a car (Episode 5.16 - Conquer)
Daryl Dixon has been cheating death on TWD since season six. It was the producers initial intentions to have him killed off early. Seeing that he is such a fan favorite, the producers changed their minds and we're still lucky enough to see the crossbow wielding archer. Week after week, season after season we have seen Daryl embrace his heart of gold more and more but still keep his tough guy demeanor in tact. But now that his heart has grown three times its size, Daryl's care for his own well being is beginning to suffer. Time and time again, Daryl has managed to pull off near-impossible escapes from precarious situations: getting cornered into a basement, taking on two guys in a street fight, fending off a muscle bound cop with the skull of a walker; eventually his luck might just run out. At the end of the season six trailer, we see Daryl bound and held at gun point in the middle of the woods by an unknown man. Let's just hope Daryl has at least one more daring escape hidden up his vest.
Last night, season six started off with a HUGE bang: introducing more characters, setting up this seasons new story arcs, and presenting the biggest walker threat we've seen yet! So clear your schedule and set those DVR's because you're not going to want to miss a second of The Walking Dead.
Sources: NY Daily News: Walking Dead Premiere at MSG, Walking Dead Wikia: 30 days Without An Accident, Walking Dead Wikia: Too Far Gone, Walking Dead Wikia: Claimed, Walking Dead Wikia: Still, Walking Dead Wikia: Alone, Walking Dead Wikia: A, Walking Dead Wikia: Strangers, Walking Dead Wikia: Four Walls and a Roof, Walking Dead Wikia: Slabtown, Walking Dead Wikia: Self Help, Walking Dead Wikia: Consumed, Walking Dead Wikia: Coda, Walking Dead Wikia: What's Happening and What's Going On, Walking Dead Wikia: Them, Walking Dead Wikia: The Distance, Walking Dead Wikia: Spend, Walking Dead Wikia: Try, Walking Dead Wikia: Conquer, Walking Dead Wikia: Bob Stookey, Walking Dead Wikia: Beth Greene, Walking Dead Wikia: Tyreese Williams, Walking Dead Wikia: Noah, Walking Dead Wikia: Abraham Ford, Walking Dead Wikia: Sasha Williams, Walking Dead Wikia: Gabriel Stokes, Walking Dead Wikia: Glenn Rhee, Walking Dead Wikia: Daryl Dixon, YouTube: Walking Dead Season 6 Comic Con Trailer