After two episodes spent catching up with all the survivors of the Governor's assault on the prison, "The Walking Dead" is in position again to start moving toward the final destination for Season four... Whatever that is.
And it's anyone's guess, because right now the various plot threads are as loose-ended as a pair of well-worn tighty whities. Will all roads lead to Terminus? Will Carl get pudding poisoning? Is little Lizzie going to kill the entire cast in its sleep?
In all likelihood, tonight's episode will answer none of these questions. But here are our best guesses and wildest dreams about what's in store:
1. We'll get at least one more heartwarming reunion. Clearly "The Walking Dead" is in no hurry to warm the cockles of our hearts by getting the band of survivors back together in its entirety. And boo to that, because we hate cold cockles.
But with all the prison escapees running around in more or less the same general vicinity — and with the group far too scattered right now to advance all their plotlines separately — somebody's paths are bound to cross. The only question is, who?
A Glenn-Maggie reunion is probably too much to hope for, and the Rick-Michonne-Carl confab is too interesting a dynamic to mess with by bringing another person into the mix. But Daryl, who looks like he's getting just a teensy bit tired of watching Beth cry over various corpses would probably be relieved to link up with another survivor or two.
2. Carl is going to be remarkably non-terrible. "The Walking Dead" rarely goes more than one episode without checking in on the Grimes family, so Carl and Rick should be back in the spotlight this week. And cue the groans, because lately Carl's scenes consist almost entirely of non-stop complaining about how his mean dad won't let him shoot all the zombies.
However! After his solo battle with a suburban walker, an emotional confrontation with his unconscious father and a rooftop rendezvous with a giant can of pudding, it's a fair guess (or maybe just wishful thinking) that Carl will be too exhausted and/or full of pudding to make a spectacle of himself.
3. There will be more Michonne backstory. No, seriously, there will. There MUST. We demand it, damn it! After that brief glimpse two weeks ago of Michonne in her pre-apocalypse days — when she was a stylish mom, a lover not a fighter, and a carefree consumer of culture, wine, and fabulous loopy hair extensions — there's gotta be more where that's coming from.
4. Something memorably gross is going to happen. Fun as it's been to catch up with the survivors since "The Walking Dead" returned from its midseason hiatus, there's one notable element still missing from the show: fantabulously disgusting comeuppances for its titular zombies.
Perhaps we just got spoiled by that scene early in Season four where the zombies on the roof of the supermarket were falling to explosive, extravagantly splatty deaths on the grocery floor. But frankly the show's usual creativity at killing walkers has been sadly lacking in the past two episodes. This next one, therefore, is a golden opportunity to get back on their game.
5. Those newbies from the end of the episode are sticking around for awhile. After beating away the walker that was attacking an exhausted Glenn, Tara turned to the truck parked beside her and shouted, "Hope you enjoyed the show, a--holes!"
Our prediction: that the a--holes in question — who appear to be comic canon characters Abraham, Eugene, and Rosita — did, indeed, enjoy the show! And more than that they enjoyed it so much that they'll be linking up with Glenn and Tara for the foreseeable future.
"The Walking Dead" airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.