The Internet is awash with articles about last night’s The Walking Dead finale and whether or not that plate of barbecued meat was the remnants of missing Beth. Admittedly, it is easier to expect the worst possible scenario whenever a major character goes missing. Especially when said character has had some sort of personal epiphany and grows because of it.
Maggie’s little sister has, for the most part, been a very confused person. While in the prison, Beth vacillated between depression and annoyance. After Hershel was decapitated and the prison overrun by walkers, she wound up with Daryl. Quite possibly the worst companion that a confused young lady could end up with.
While Daryl’s tendency to be stoically taciturn and whose idea of communication can run the scale between sullen silence and the odd grunt, he had become very talkative in the prison, bonding with not only Carol but Michonne. After watching Beth and Daryl come to terms with each other’s particular idiosyncrasies it became evident that the loss of the prison, while catastrophic, was a defining moment for this young lady.
Bonding over moonshine and, later, over the bodies in a funeral home, the two looked like they were going to become an item. But nothing in The Walking Dead lasts for long and after the zombie attack at the “house of the dead” Beth is kidnapped. As Daryl stumbles after the departing car which holds Beth, the viewer feels his pain and loss. Now with the introduction of that plate of barbecued meat in the show’s finale at Terminus, was Daryl about to be reunited with her?
Fans of The Walking Dead, both the comic and the video game, have been speculating about the denizens of Terminus being the cannibals who have figured in both the publication and the game. In the game, at least, the man-eating folks lived on a farm and in the publication the “Hunters” were a group who, after eating their own children, took to killing people for food.
Looking at Terminus, with its loading containers apparently full of live people who call out for help as Rick and his partially reunited group are being herded by the shooters on top of buildings into a “killing field,” it seems that they could be the cannibals that fans have been looking for. This certainly looks like a possible amalgamation of the hunters and the dairy farm occupants, from the game, who have taken to eating their fellow man.
Both Robert Kirkman and Scott Dimple have gone on record by saying that viewers should take nothing for granted and that they should prepare to be surprised when season five starts up. They’ve also said that new Terminus character Gareth will not be the new “big bad.”
Over all, things do not look very good for the missing Beth. We’ve seen two other survivor’s of the prison attack get taken out, Lizzie and Mika in The Grove and earlier, before the mid-season break, Hershel, who was the group’s sage, was murdered by the Governor. So really, whether Kirkman or Gimple want to admit to it, cannibals might be the next big bad, even without including Gareth in their number and Beth, or even Carol and/or Tyreese could have been on that plate.
Since this does seem to be where Terminus may fit in the verse of The Walking Dead finale, despite Kirkman and Gimple’s protestations to the contrary, it does look like that plate of meat could very well be a portion of barbecued Beth. Or, as mentioned above, Tyreese or Carol.
By Michael Smith