"The Walking Dead" Air Date + Spoilers AMC

“Walking Dead” fans have been dying for any news regarding Season 5, and despite the series being based off of comic books of the same name, there have not been any serious spoilers. On July 4th weekend, “The Walking Dead” and AMC finally treated fans to a gift of some sorts, a full series marathon which was touted under the aptly named “Dead, White and Blue” holiday weekend. The marathon ended on Sunday evening, along with the fantastic Independence Day weekend, with a special episode of “The Talking Dead,” the talk show that normally airs directly following new episodes of “The Walking Dead” when premiering in season. “The Talking Dead” host Chris Hardwicke interviewed the cast and crew of everybody’s favorite zombie apocalypse series, and despite their attempt to keep mainly tight lipped about the forthcoming fifth season, a few spoilers did manage to slip through.

The Season 4 finale of “The Walking Dead” concluded with Rick and the other survivors finally entering Terminus, the supposed miraculous safe haven in the midst of an endlessly chaotic zombie apocalypse. Glenn and Maggie’s group arrived first, initially meeting Mary, a Terminus resident, and apparent excellent barbeque cook. The kindly looking woman invited them into Terminus, offering them safety and food, two luxuries that are difficult to give up on “The Walking Dead.” However, upon the arrival of Rick’s group fans soon learn that Terminus is not what it seems to be, with Daryl’s notable poncho being worn by a stranger and Herschel’s cherished pocket watch in the pocket of Gareth, the rumored leader of Terminus.

It is unclear what the situation at Terminus truly is, but fans do know that the group is finally reunited, however they are locked away in a train without any tools or weapons. While Rick, Carl and Daryl were running through Terminus in an attempt to escape fans saw signs indicating cannibalism, bones, blood, make shift memorials, and other train cars possibly filled with other survivors. The cannibalism theory has circled the internet for a while, with one fan pointing out an earlier cool indicating that Mary is not who she seems to be. In “The Walking Dead” comics there are a group of six people, known as “The Hunters” who turn to cannibalism after food gets scarce. Some fans believe that the residents at Terminus are the vicious cannibals from the comics, this fan theory is only strengthened by a piece of “art” discovered by Michonne and Carl in episode 11 of Season 4. While searching for supplies, the pair discover a painting of a female with a distinct braid hanging down one side, blood red paint is dripping from the canvas, and two rabid X’s have been scrawled on the painting, one covering an eye and the other covering her mouth.

Mary in the Season 4 finale of "The Walking Dead" compared side by side to an image of a painting discovered by Michonne and Carl in an abandoned home before their journey to terminus in episode 11. imgur.com

When compared side by side, the painting does bear a striking resemblance to Mary, and there is not many random pieces of art in “The Walking Dead” so it is absolutely a sign of something. Perhaps indicting Mary’s nature as a cannibal or something more. After hearing “The Walking Dead” show runner Scott Gimple comments regarding Mary, the painting and Mary herself may be a more complex character then simply a blood sucking cannibal. During the 4th of July “Talking Dead” special Gimple admitted that the character of Mary was loosely based off of Luke Skywalker’s Aunt Beru of “Star Wars.” If you are like me, and don’t know the familial tree of Skywalker, I’ve provided a “Star Wars” refresher. Aunt Beru and her husband, Owen Lars raised Luke Skywalker, Owen was constantly smothering the boy in attempt to keep him from turning out like his biological father, Darth Vader. However, in comparison, Aunt Beru pushed Luke to make his own choices and urged him to follow his passions, even when it came time for Luke to go to the Imperial Academy to become a stormtrooper. “That doesn’t mean that Luke is a bad guy,” said Gimple when discussing Skywalker’s desire to go to the Academy. “He was just going with what he knew … that might say something about Terminus if you could follow me at all.”

Now while admittedly the “Star Wars” theory is a bit complicated, it could be a way to explain Mary, Gareth, Terminus, cannibalism and even that painting. Fans do not know the full backstory of Mary and Gareth, but based on the “Star Wars” analogy, fans can assume Mary raised Gareth, she could be his biological mother or not, the main point is that there is most likely a mother-son relationship between the pair. In addition, Gareth may not be the villain, he was made out to be in the Season 4 finale, cannibalism may be the only thing he knows, and the only way to survive in this zombie apocalypse. Like Luke Skywalker, Gareth may only be following the steps his father, most likely now deceased, had put in motion to keep the sanctuary of Terminus up and running.

So where does Mary and the painting fit in to all of this? Well, Rick’s group gets out of the train car, and without any tools to break through, we are assuming that the group convinces a resident of Terminus to free them—and I believe that person is Mary. Continuing the “Star Wars” comparison, Gimple made a point to clarifying that Aunt Beru gets “barbequed” in the film, in addition to his word choice, which can’t be a coincidence, Mary may suffering the same fate if she releases Rick’s survivors. Finally, the painting, I do believe that the painting is meant to be Mary, if it was her originally, or it simple bears a likeness to her, fans do not know. However, the two X’s provide significant clues, in addition to the red paint, which symbolizes the blood from the cannibalism at Terminus, the two X’s aptly placed over the female’s eye and mouth, may be a sign of her refusal to see and say anything against the horrific act of actually eating people. If Gareth is her son, she would be fearful to speak out against him, and in an attempt to express her true feelings emotionally added the “blood” and black X’s to the painting she discovered in an abandoned home.

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