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‘The Walking Dead’ Season 5 Trailer: What Secrets Are Revealed in the New Footage?

This past weekend at Comic-Con 2014 saw AMC shambling out its official trailer for ‘The Walking Dead,’ season 5, dropping plenty of bodies, blood and tantalizing teases for the new episodes premiering Sunday, October 12. We couldn’t help diving a little deeper into every frame of footage to read between the lines, so what secrets of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 have we unlocked?

Beware of major spoilers, and check out everything we found in our inside look at the secrets of ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 trailer!

Cannibalism Confirmed?

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Cannibals
AMC

The evidence outlined in ‘The Walking Dead’’s season 4 finale “A” almost overwhelmingly seemed to suggest that the people of Terminus practiced cannibalism, and apparently maintained some sort of shrine to their past victims. That said, series creator Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple have curiously avoided confirming Gareth and his ilk as the comic-remixed cannibals, even through the recent Comic-Con 2014 panel, so does the trailer bring us any more evidence?

Well, we see a hazy POV shot of what appears to be a human body being cut up, while Rick, Glenn, Daryl, Bob and others are all brought to an industrial line by men in bloody smocks, presumably for decapitation. None of this explicitly confirms cannibalism, mind you, but it would seem like an overwhelming misdirect if the writers intended to swing in another direction.

So Wait, What Happens to Terminus?

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Terminus
AMC

Here’s the thing. We know that season 5 will break with the established pattern of ‘Walking Dead’ seasons by eschewing any sort of time jump, and picking back up with Rick and the others inside of their Terminus train car, in order to show their inevitable escape. Adding to that complication is the fact that Andrew J. West has been moved up to series regular for the new season, giving us the impression Gareth will be around for awhile, whether at Terminus or beyond.

So why then, so early on in the trailer do we see most of the major cast already outside of Terminus, presumably bound for Washington? Rick already appears to have recovered Judith, while the other clips of the season we’ve seen suggested that neither Carol nor Tyreese had reached Terminus by the time Rick and his party reunited with the others. Given all the various gunfights and industrial settings glimpsed around the trailer, are we to assume that the group fights their way out of the sanctuary stronghold early on? Why do Rick and Sasha allude to their missing people, when near of everyone seems to be present at the church?

Father Gabriel’s Church

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Church Gabriel
AMC

Speaking of, we see in multiple instances that whatever survivors escape Terminus will seek shelter at what appears to be an abandoned church. Compounding this is the lone shot of Seth Gilliam’s character, confirmed at Comic-Con to be that of comic character Father Gabriel Stokes.

Now, here’s where things will get a bit spoilery, so be warned. In the books, Gabriel introduced himself to the group in the wild, offering shelter back at his church, before the group soon found themselves stalked by the “Hunters,” who themselves were seemingly re-imagined on AMC as the cannibalistic Terminus. In the books, Gabriel defended his innocence when Rick assumed Gabriel to be in collusion with the Hunters, though the religious figure admitted to being responsible for the deaths of his own parish by refusing to allow them shelter from the dead. Might that be why Gabriel seems so emotional in the trailer shot above, or is there something different at work?

Does Gareth Join the Team?

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Gareth
AMC

Things get a bit confusing when we attempt to draw a line between Gareth learning from Bob of Eugene’s supposed mission, to the group seemingly liberated from Terminus and out on the road. Gareth seems reasonably convinced of Eugene’s importance, though the trailer also heavily implies that Rick and the Terminus leader are made to come to some kind of uneasy trust. Could it be that Gareth and the others kept some of “our people” at Terminus as collateral, while accompanying Rick and the others toward Washington?

Also important to note is that while the editing certainly suggests that Gareth is present among Rick’s group outside of Terminus, not one single frame actually shows the man to share scene space with the other characters. Considering how the season 3 trailer kept the surviving prisoners from us by disguising them as the Governor, AMC might be misleading us here. The only real confirmation we could find was the above shot of Gareth eavesdropping, with the scripture passages on the wall at least confirming him at the church. Rick’s “I don’t trust this guy” could also be in reference to Gabriel, even if the footage cuts to Gareth.

Is This Our First Major Death?

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Death
AMC

Though it’s difficult to say exactly where this is taking place, it would appear in this shot that the majority of the core cast are overlooking someone injured (or worse), tended to by Maggie. There are a number of people missing from the frame, meaning that whomever suffered an injury, or potentially faces death off-camera, wouldn’t be among the likes of Abraham, Eugene, Rick, Judith, Sasha, Tyreese, Glenn, Tara or Maggie.

Also worth noting is that in the books, two characters suffered major bodily harm at the church: Glenn took a bullet wound from the Hunters, who themselves returned a dying Dale long enough for Andrea to nurse his wounds, and ultimately end his life. Neither seems to be the case here, though an analogue might well be in place.

Sad Abraham is Sad

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Abraham
AMC

Whatever circumstances allow Abraham and the others to continue on their mission toward Washington D.C., a telling series of shots within the trailer has Abraham collapsing on the road in grief, the source of which remains unknown. Might Rosita have suffered some sort of grisly fate, or could perhaps Abraham have discovered a distressing truth about his mission to escort Eugene to Washington D.C.?

We think it’s safe to say by the very nature of the comic book that the zombie apocalypse doesn’t end up cured, but we’ll leave it to you to figure out why, or perhaps speculate what route AMC intends to take with Abraham and Eugene’s mission.

Carol and Daryl, Together Again

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Carol Daryl
AMC

Somewhat strangely, scenes within the church have clearly shown Rick reunited with baby Judith and Tyreese, though Carol is only found in precious few other shots throughout the trailer. Most notably, we see Carol reunited with her beloved Daryl in the woods, while recent set photos have shown the two on a mission through an urban area. Neither character appears onscreen in the earlier shot that seemed to suggest someone on their deathbed, so might Carol’s reunion prove short and bittersweet?

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Carol
AMC

In particular, we couldn’t help taking note of this brief shot, which appears to be that of Carol so covered in blood that her normally-grey hair practically matches Abraham’s.

Action, Action, Action!

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Explosion
AMC

Especially notable throughout the fifth season trailer is an increased sense of action, as when a bus undergoes a major high-speed flip, and in another shot featuring a massive explosion. The fact that the vehicle says “Church Bus” might a clue as to where the mission originates, or perhaps what caused the deathbed injuries seen later, but what of this mammoth fireball? Did we find another CDC to blow up, or has Rick really decided to show Terminus who they were screwing with?

Batter Up, Glenn

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Glenn Negan
AMC

We see Glenn present through a number of shots in the season 5 trailer, both inside Terminus and out, so we wouldn’t put too much stock in this ominous shot of one man taking a bat (or a blade?) to Glenn’s skull. That said, fans of the book series well know why this quick shot may prove foreboding before long.

Back to the City?

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide City
AMC

Our guess is that this is where Daryl and Carol end up on their little side-mission, but we’ve no idea what to make of this desolate cityscape, or what might bring any survivors so close to a well-documented as dangerous setting. Even more mysterious, what would have sent this van careening off the overpass, considering the road appears entirely empty? Might this be an unfinished effects shot instead?

Beth Begins Anew

Walking Dead Season 5 Trailer Guide Beth
AMC

Though we expect this was the point, we have precisely no idea what’s happening with Beth in the trailer’s closing stinger. Where initially we assumed Father Gabriel’s arrival to be a clue to her disappearance in last season’s “Alone,” the final moments of our lengthy look at ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 show a scrubs-wearing Beth helping out at a hospital, seemingly under duress and fighting walkers all the while. Not to mention, who’s our new smack-happy police officer friend, as played by Christine Woods?

Seriously, neither Beth nor anything about this plot have any basis in the book that we can identify, so speculate away!

Well, what do you think? Does season 5 of AMC’s ‘The Walking Dead’ look like the most exciting year yet? What else caught your eye from the first full trailer? Stay tuned for the latest, and tell us what you want to see from ‘The Walking Dead’ season 5 when new episodes hit October 12 on AMC!

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