[Warning: Details of previous episodes of The Walking Dead series and comics in this article]
Next episode of The Walking Dead, "The Same Boat", will be directed by Brian Gierhart. He's directed five episodes of The Walking Dead so far, from seasons 2 (Cherokee Rose / Triggerfinger), 3 (Sick / Made to Suffer) and 5 (Crossed). After going through them again and finding some patterns, here are some predictions based on what his previous episodes have to offer:
Yes, yes, I know...this show is filled with these every other episode, but bear with me here. What's interesting about these episodes in particular is that all of them feature a moral debate revolving around death, more especifically to kill or be killed.
In Cherokee Rose, it was Maggie's reaction to the group's attempt to kill the well zombie. In Triggerfinger, it was Randal and the decision to leave him to die or rescue him back to the farm. In Sick, there were the prisoners and Rick's choice between allowing them to co-exist with the group in the prison or simply kill them. In Made to Suffer, Andrea faced the hard decision whether or not to kill a friend (Michonne) to save the Governor and also Michonne opted for revenge against him. In Crossed, first Abraham has to regain his will to live and then Rick and the group have to decide between bursting in and killing everyone in the hospital or attempting a trade.
Personally, this last episode has all the math needed. We're coming into " The Same Boat" with a choice to either trade the Savior for Maggie and Carol or kill him at the spot. And judging from the teaser, this time it appears there will be no deal after all, which is somewhat good news considering what happened in Atlanta in the follow up of Crossed...
Lies and coming clean
Remember when Rick lied to Carl about Sophia being found? Or when Shane decieved Lori into believing Rick was safe and sound at the farm , while he was still fighting his way back from the bar with Hershel and Glenn? What about that time Merle was caught red-handed after he told the Governor he'd killed Michonne and she appeared back at Woodbury hellbent on killing Phillip? Yup...you guessed it. All those happened in Brian Gierhart's episodes.
Even though the Survivors have grown into a tight unit, there's still room for secrets and even some manipulation. Carol hasn't told a soul about Lizzie - the only one who knew was Tyrese and he's been dead a while. And what about her terrorizing Sam into becoming an even more frail and scared kid? He was the only one in on that too, and he's also dead. Last week we saw Rosita questioning Carol about Morgan and why they were keeping it a secret that he'd captured a Wolf - not just a wolf but their leader. Now maybe, just maybe, those lies she's been telling and those secrets she's been keeping have been taking their toll on her and she'll be looking for redemption next?
On that note, Brian Gierhart's episodes have brought us some great moments of discovery. Through them we found out Lori was pregnant - and also did Carl, for that matter. We had our first glimpse of the prisoners back on season 3, Andrea and Michonne found the Governor's zombie aquariums and Rick's group discovered that Dawn wasn't such a fierce leader afterall.
Now, we've seen Jesus, the Hilltop, a couple moments with the Saviors, but no Negan. We're getting there. The show is paving a long and winding road to him and something tells me those women, who captured Carol and Maggie, might have an important - and somewhat upclose and personal - role on the Negan plot.
Foreshadowing and Easter eggs
Now this is my favorite!
There's always something huge in Brian's directed episodes that hint to what's to come. We've had the whole Cherokee Rose story leading to Sophia being dead, Randal's leg about to be amputated by Hershel who, one season later, lost his own. There was also Carol practicing a c-section on a walker, so she wouldn't cut Lori too deep, only to have Maggie go through it later on. Andrea also found a family photo of the Governor's in the same episode she discovered Penny. Lastly, Carl offers to teach Gabriel how to fight and he chooses the machete, the same one he used in this season's episode 9 to kill the walkers with the Alexandrians.
There will be a hint on this one too. Last week's episode already showed the bashed head people's photos, so maybe this week we get a glimpse of the infamous Lucile?
Point is, Brian Geirhart episodes always circle back to the same elements, including someone getting captured and the Carol / Maggie centered episodes. So we know he'll do a great job showing those two at the mercy of Negan's people, albeit I'm sure the pacing will be a little less frantic than most of this season 6B episodes.
Let's see how many of those elements come to play on his next episode.