Because, let’s face it, nothing good can come of it – can it?
Maybe I’m jaded after having to see so many of my fave characters get bitten and bite the dust as a result. Or maybe it’s the fact that Rick’s group found their sanctuary already and it was all peachy until someone got sick and then someone else (who was also decidedly unhinged) found them and decided they would live there – minus Rick and his gang of wholesome inmates.
So what exactly is Terminus?
Terminus was the original name for Atlanta, way back in 1836. Georgia decided there needed to be a train service to the U.S. Midwest and had to chose a ‘terminus’ for this line. Hence the tentative name given of Terminus and, hello, Atlanta was officially born!
It was also the birthplace for Coca Cola – another reason why I think this new location might be less than pleasant…
Terminus took on a few names until it was finally settled as Atlanta in 1847. So why have the characters living there in The Walking Dead now gone back to Atlanta’s original name? Here are some theories for you:
Considering this is currently the favourite theory amongst the fans, Terminus – meaning literally ‘end of the line or road‘ is an apt name for the people entering what could be considered a death trap.
While this idea may seem far fetched – even for The Walking Dead, fans of the comics would disagree. See, Robert Kirkman went there already. A small group calling themselves the Hunters, eked out an existence by trapping humans (who were easier to lure than animals and a hell of a lot more trusting to their own kind) and keeping them alive while hacking off body parts for roasting (it is easier to eat and keep a small amount of meat, rather than kill the person and try to preserve a whole body, was their reasoning).
There is some suggestion in the comic series that this group ate their own children originally before moving on to larger ‘game’. Considering the recent episode (Season 4, Episode 14, The Grove) where Carol and Tyreese discuss how the young often don’t survive now, and then how Lizzie turned out, this might be considered a lead up to this morbid story line.
This tribe is only small in the comics, but imagine if they secured a place like Terminus and put up signs promising safe haven to all those that arrived? It would be like one big giant food trap…
End of the line.
Being this is the actual meaning, perhaps this really is a safe haven? Perhaps this name was chosen because for all people who arrive will, truly, survive? Weirder things have happened than happy endings in The Walking Dead, so, I guess, it’s possible.
With Terminus being the original name for Atlanta, perhaps this group of people are trying to start a fresh, just like they did back in 1836? Will a new Atlanta rise from the ashes of the zombie apocalypse?
And what of Scary Mary?
Mary (played by Denise Crosby) is the person that greets Glenn and Maggie’s group as they arrive in Terminus. She seems so sweet, so easy to overrun if things turn sour, so inviting with her offer of ‘making them a plate,’ (like making them the actual plate she will be serving up?)
What could possibly go wrong?
Let me give you some possibilities:
1. She’s a murderer.
Fans are already drawing links to the fact that Mary bears a striking resemblance to a painting that appeared in Season 4, Episode 11 (entitled Claimed). Check out the cool image below (courtesy of Dead Talk) to demonstrate the point:
If this is the case, we can be fairly certain she murdered the people in that house. Were they her family? Or was the owner a friend who painted her portrait? Either way, we know what this woman may be capable of…
Another theory is that, because the painting has been tampered with, it is showing how evil this woman really is. Could the person who damaged the painting think that Mary was now dead, was it a warning to those who may come across her because she had escaped, or did that person kill their family because what Mary can dish out is worse than death?
This leads us to point #2:
2. She eats people.
Is she the original leader of this (possible) cannibal tribe? Did she start off back in that house that Michonne and Carl found and moved on (or was chased off). Did she band with more people who found they could not hunt enough food to survive?
And, considering the fact that the place is left wide open, with it’s inhabitants tucked away like that, it is the perfect cattle round up. By the time Glenn and Maggie get to Mary, they may have very well have been watched by a multitude of people. And now they are too far away from the gates to either see them or hear them as they are locked behind them…
3. She’s part of a cult
As Glenn and Maggie enter Terminus, many people watching were surprised at the lack of security. Could it be possible this tribe are merely of the mung beans and free-loving variety? There sure were enough flowers to suggest flower power.
But we all know what happens with cults right?
Yeah, just don’t drink the Kool Aid guys…
4. She’s really Lizzie’s mum
This point kind of ties in with point #1. Before Mary appeared on the scene, many people though the person in the painting looked a lot like Lizzie. Now, we all know how Lizzie turned out, what if it was in direct correlation to a genetic gene pool that was a few sandwiches short of a picnic? Perhaps Lizzie saw her mum killing and eating people and then began to feel more compassion for the walkers because they appeared more ‘human’ than her own people-eating mother?
And don’t get me started on ‘but her mum’s dead‘. I went back and watched those two scenes from the start of Season 4. The first one is where Carl accuses her of getting confused over what walkers really were. He asks her is she’d ever seen anyone die that way. Lizzie replies that she had and there is some sort of implication in the way she says those words that it was someone close to her. And considering her dad is still alive at that point…
Secondly I watched the scene where her father was bitten and subsequently put down. There was no mention here either of what had happened to her mother. So, could she still be alive? And, considering Lizzie is now dead, no one would make the connection either…
5. She is misguided
This point probably could be tied back into #3. Maybe she IS just a sweet lady who likes to help people. Maybe it’s the people running the establishment that should be watched more closely…
More Conspiracy Theories
The internet is rife with theories as to what will go down in Terminus. The best ones I’ve come across for Season 4, in general, can be found here. But here are some extras that concern Terminus specifically:
- This is a safe haven to begin with, but someone will try to take it over (can anyone say Woodbury all over again?)
- Terminus is a great place to live, so long as you pay your tithe to the community across the other side of town
- The men from Daryl’s new group are from Terminus
- The country club that Daryl and Beth visited is tied in with Terminus somehow
- Beth is already in Terminus
- Beth is the grilled meat on the BBQ Mary is tending
- Beth was abducted by the leader of Terminus and she is now being held as a sex slave
Let’s Unscramble Terminus Shall We?
While the sign to Terminus remains constant, it leaves me with the feeling that, perhaps, just by adding some well-placed punctuation, the meaning might be entirely more sinister.
Or, could the word Terminus hold clues? Here’s some words and phrases that can be made using the letters of Terminus:
- Insert ‘um
- Muster in
- Nurse Tim
- Mrs. Untie (Mary, perhaps?)
- Serum tin
- Emit, runs
- Stir menu
- Met ruins
- I sent rum (actually, this is a place I could get used too…)
So What Did We Actually See?
Here’s Terminus as it was presented to us in Season 4, Episode 15 of AMC’s The Walking Dead:
Let me know what your theories are for Terminus by commenting below!
And don’t forget to tune in for the Season 4 finale next Sunday! Have you got your Season 4 finale party planned yet?
Sources: The Daily Beast
(Photo Credits: AMC)