Instead of a proper lede for this article, a hook to draw you in, I’m actually going to suggest you shamble away like a dead, rotting corpse.
These next few words are your giant SPOILER WARNING, inviting you to run away, look for cover, or gather your weapons because a huge herd of zombie spoilers are shuffling your direction. Sure, I don’t have confirmation of the episode order for the upcoming season 6 of The Walking Dead, but I’m about to spoil lots of the comics. Being that the show hews closely to the comics, here are some The Walking Dead Season 6 predictions, extrapolated from a close reading of the comics.
Seriously, last chance SPOILER WARNING.[divider] The Walking Dead Season 6 Predictions: Episode Order [/divider]
The trailer for Walking Dead season 6 is off-the-charts exciting, clearly suggesting that there will be a power struggle between Rick and Morgan. Perhaps, but trailers are meant to introduce red herrings and are often intentionally misleading. So I think we need to lean on the comics a bit more, reading between the lines to predict what’s in store for Rick’s gang in season 6.
With that in mind, here are my episode-by-episode predictions for season 6 of The Walking Dead:
Episodes 1-3.5 – The Herd
After the shock of season 5’s finale, many will be understandably frightened of Rick, wondering if they should follow someone who would execute a man right in front of them.
Enter the herd, a massive swarm of zombies that will overrun Alexandria (comic issue #79). But this experience would help solidify Rick’s leadership of the group when they realize that they need him if they hope to ever repel the herd and refortify the walls.
Episodes 3.5-6 – The Wolves
Unlike last season when the tension of Terminus was wrapped up immediately and quickly at the start of the new season, I think the writers will allow the threat of The Wolves to hang a bit.
But being opportunists, the Wolves will take advantage of the disarray left by the Herd and will use traps and guerrilla tactics to take a number of Rick’s gang. Eliminating the Wolves will only serve to further illustrate that Rick is not to be messed with.
Episodes 7-8 – ‘No Way Out’ Storyline Conclusion / Introduction of Jesus
The Herd is a part of the No Way Out storyline, which concludes in issue #84 of the comic.
It’s a grim storyline (aren’t they all?), but its conclusion would be one that would fit well for the mid-season finale. The storyline has Jessie being savagely ripped apart and I predict we’ll see that on the TV show as well. The storyline also features the death of Morgan, a death that I think is unlikely, since I believe the TV show writers will want to do more with his character.
But if the writers are wrapping up that storyline (and it features some gruesome deaths), then they’ll want to tease fans with wants next, a new character to hook the audience over the mid-season break. That’s why I think episode 8 will introduce Jesus, a fan-favorite character from the comics.
The trailer only covered the first 8 episodes (1st half) of season 6. And the writers have stated they are holding open a couple options for the back half of season 6. Which way will the writers go? Here are my predictions:
Episodes 9-11 – Hilltop
The introduction of Jesus paves the way for the characters to be introduced to the Hilltop settlement. This could be excellent for the future of the show.
The writers could have a few long time characters leave Rick’s group, expressing exhaustion with events or simply being uncomfortable with Rick’s leadership. By “writing off” these characters, the writers are given room to explore others characters, while also have a plausible scenario where they could bring back those characters, having only “loaned” them to Hilltop.
Episodes 12-13 – Carl’s Eye
Even though Carl’s injury would’ve happened earlier in the comics, I think the TV writers will use the opportunity here, creating some drama and suspense around Carl’s character.
An injury to Carl would shake up Rick and the special effects crew of The Walking Dead could certainly handle Carl wearing an eye patch and having a disfigured face.
Episodes 14-15 – The Saviors
I think at this point things are calm for Rick and his gang until they realize that the Saviors are threatening and demanding tribute from other settlements like Hilltop and the Kingdom.
It’s not like Rick to let something die down and not get involved. Of course Rick will poke the bear with a stick, saying that he’ll lead and organize all settlements against the Saviors.
Episode 16 (Season 6 finale) – Negan
Of course, that’s leads us comic fans right to who we want to see: Negan.
I think the introduction of Negan will be the season 6 cliffhanger that we are hoping for. I also think the episode will play out exactly like it did in the comics, with Negan using Lucille (his barbed-wire-covered baseball bat) to murder Glenn in front of Rick.
Glenn is a fan favorite and would bring emotional resonance to the finale, while also opening the door for Maggie to become the new leader of Hilltop, which is something that I think could lead to really interesting future episodes of the TV show. This sets up season 7 for All Out War.
There you have it, my Walking Dead season 6 predictions, episode-by-episode.
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