SPOILER ALERT: This discussion of "The Walking Dead" Season 4 contains storyline and character spoilers, as well as spoilers from "The Walking Dead" comic book series.
Why was everyone forced into a railroad car? Who were the people screaming in the shipping containers Rick and his friends ran by? What was that room with all the lit candles, and names of people written on the floor? Are those the names of people at Terminus, currently? Or are they people who were at Terminus, alive at some point, but not — alive, that is — any longer? And what about the phrases painted on the walls in the creepy room: "Never Again. Never Trust. We First, Always"?
So many questions were posed, and later answered, throughout the just-completed fourth season of "The Walking Dead." And though we now know that all is not as friendly as it might have originally seemed at Terminus, the so-called "sanctuary for all," we still don't know exactly what Terminus leader Gareth ("Greek" and "Nip/Tuck" alum Andrew J. West) and his cohorts have in mind for the hostages they've locked inside that railroad car and the shipping containers.
But we have theories. Or rather, a theory...
Gareth, as readers of the "Walking Dead" comic know, is not a character taken directly from the comics. He may be inspired, at least partially, by a comics villain named Chris, from the "Volume 11: Fear the Hunters" storyline.
Again, major comic spoilers, and potential TV series spoilers, ahead.
Chris, in the storyline that spanned Issues 61-66 of the "TWD" comics, was the leader of a group that became cannibals to survive, going as far as to eat their own children because they were so bad at hunting animals.
Evidence that Gareth and company might just be cannibals:
* It would explain why they didn't kill Rick and the others yet... maybe they want to fatten them up first.
* The Terminus folk were very quick to offer the newbies plates of food, and the area right outside the railroad car was littered with empty paper bowls and powdered milk containers. Why would they use valuable food resources on people they don't know, people they're imprisoning, unless they have a bigger purpose?
* When Rick initially refused to go into the railroad car without Carl, Gareth responded, "Don't make us kill him now" — "now," which could suggest they already plan to kill Carl sometime in the future. Again, perhaps after he's been fattened up for maximum meatiness?
* The woman repeating the Terminus "sanctuary for all" message over and over into a microphone: Maybe they're broadcasting that message to lure humans into their honey trap not to offer them sanctuary, but to, ahem, beef up their supply of human BBQ.
* And the kicker: Remember Rick and Abraham's conversation at the end of the season finale? Rick: "They're going to feel pretty stupid when they find out." Abraham: "Find out what?" Rick: "They're screwing with the wrong people."
That exact conversation, with the addition of a couple of F-bombs, takes place between Rick and Abraham in Issue 64 of the comics, about Chris and his flesh-feasting friends.
In fact, several other major "TWD" TV series events are similar to the "Fear the Hunters" comics storyline, including the tragedy of sisters Lizzie and Mika (they're a pair of brothers in the comics), the tough decision that had to be made to deal with psychologically-disturbed kiddo Lizzie (a different character — don't worry, no spoilers — carries out that decision in the comics), and Rick's brutal vengeance against a group that tried to do him and his friends and family wrong.
And we rest our case. All those slabs of protein Terminus chef Mary was cookin' up on that grill… Terminus meat is people?!
Now tell us: Do you think we have it right? Is Terminus really Camp Cannibalism? Is Gareth the TV series' Chris? Or is there some entirely different brand of evil afoot at Terminus?