The season premiere for AMC's The Walking Dead went more or less the way everyone expected it to, with a number of plot points lining up with fan expectations and/or "this is what they should do" articles posted by fan bloggers to the Internet.
But that doesn't mean there weren't a few unexpected moments, or some that were harder to spot than others, sprinkled into the episode. There was a lot going on in last night's season premiere, and it's not surprising that some of it was hard to spot.
LIke what? Well...
Since the episode moved so fast, we weren't totally sure about this one until AMC released some high-quality photos...but Gotham's Robin Lord Taylor, who appeared in a single episode last season as Sam, returned to see that character's story end last night, when he was killed during the "butchering" scene at Terminus.
Of course, most people had already thought he was dead, since they found his girlfriend's foot and all.
And anyway, we're sure he's fine. They probably just pretended to slaughter him and really we'll find out he swam to safety.
Terminus Eats Their Own
Updated: In the run-up to the season premiere, the shot of someone being dissected on an autopsy table was held up as evidence that the residents of Terminus were very dangerous people who couldn't be trusted, and probably also cannibals.
The man on the table is actually Alex, who is Gareth's brother. While Rick was holding Alex hostage at gunpoint in the Season 4 finale, he was accidentally shot and killed by a Terminus resident.
Apparently, the Termites were preparing to eat Gareth's own brother.
Not So Innocent
The bearded lunatic who accosted our survivors when they released him from his captivity in a boxcar? Yeah, he's the guy many of you thought was Negan.
You can see the image, via AMC's Story Sync app, above. It seems as though Mr. Face Tattoos learned the hard way that "screwing with the wrong people" can cost you dearly in the world of The Walking Dead. Of course, that lesson was apparently not learned by Gareth, the "wrong people" in question for Face Tattoo, who lost Terminus last night because he'd been similarly abusive to Rick Grimes and company.
This also seemingly implies that the people in Boxcar B weren't actually going to be eaten/slaughtered/whatever, presumably becuase they were being tortured or something. Why else would the man who terrorized them and changed their way of thinking be left alive while "people who stumbled in" were killed?
This one's from Reddit:
After the crew reunited at the house in the woods, Rick looks back to the Terminus compound and says "I wonder if the fire is still burning." Carol, glancing in the direction of Terminus, sees that the smoke is still black and somewhat solemnly says "It is."
Mika taught her that little bit of science in S04E14 "The Grove".
This one, most people probably caught because it was such an important part of the plot...but we're including it because, frankly, it's one of those things that would happen a lot more of it weren't for story necessity.
When Carol covers herself in walker guts in order to blend in with the heard and gain entry to Terminus, it's a callback to their discovery in the first season that walkers, whose eyes are often damaged or gone, seem to differentiate one another from humanity by smell. The survivors used this trick to move through the streets of Atlanta at one point.
Logically, this is something they should probably be doing all the time...but it would probably feel like a little bit of a cheat if they just ALWAYS managed to avoid the danger of walkers with a simple trick. So...it only comes up once in a blue moon, and that moon came around last night.