Spoilers: The Walking Dead 316 “Welcome to the Tombs”

My, how time flies when you’re watching people fight for their lives. It’s hard to believe it, but we’re on the brink of another season finale for AMC’s The Walking Dead.

Episode 315 “This Sorrowful Life” was Merle’s swan song and his moment of redemption. I always liked the Merle character, not because he was admirable, but because he was interesting to watch. Flawed characters are just more fun. However, I knew his days were numbered, even before the spoiler leaked last week. Looking at the characters remaining on the canvas, it just seemed clear to me that Merle would be one of the members to fall victim to the season ending clearing house that seems to be a staple of  The Walking Dead.

The question now is who will join Merle in the great by and by. There are certainly still plenty of options. I would say that Rick, Carl and Daryl are not in play, but anyone else could go, especially given the set up that the final episode of the season will be the climactic confrontation between Woodbury and the Prison.

In the first sneak peek clip, we see how Team Prison appears to be preparing for the fight: They’re packing up and getting ready to go. But where? Our only clue is the episode’s title: “Welcome to the Tombs,” the nickname given to the walker-infested blocks of the prison complex.

The second clip is the flip side of the coin and shows us Woodbury’s finest in action, storming the front gates of the prison. (Did Tyrese forget to tell them about the big open whole in the back?) At any rate, the Governor certainly has bigger numbers (in spite of losing at least four men to Merle) but their level of battle hardness remains to be seen. They don’t meet any resistance as the essentially walk right up to the front door, which has been left curiously unlocked.

Clip number three is the cut scene clip that shows us a lot but it such short snippets that we don’t get much context. We see the governor rally his troops and we see Rick acknowledge Michonne as one of the group. Perhaps the most interesting thing is what we don’t see: Daryl. When we left the fan favorite, he had just finished off the zombie version of his brother and was in a shaky mental state. Watching all three clips several times, I’m convinced that I didn’t catch a glimpse of him.

Could AMC have dark plans for the character? We’ll have to tune in to see.

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