As much as this show frustrates me, I recently got my Team Delusional enthusiasm back and I started thinking about future episodes and what could potentially happen in the season finale.
I think that in 5.16, Daryl will either go off on his own on a run or go with other people but get separated. Either way he’ll run into trouble in the form of another violent group (I’m not sure if it’ll be Negan’s group or not).
Now either the people who were on the run see he’s in trouble and go back to Alexandria to get help (in the form of C@rol) or C@rol gets worried about how long Daryl’s been gone and she goes looking for him herself.
Meanwhile things are not looking good for Daryl and it looks like he may get hurt or killed (even though we know they’d never kill him) but then in that moment a figure comes out of the woods (like when Daryl brought Noah back to the church) and it’s Beth (potentially with Morgan). I think that in 5.13 we’ll get a coda showing that she’s alive (since that was the episode where a bloody blonde survivor was spotted) and I think that she’s the surprise guest on Talking Dead.
I think the real surprise for the viewer in 5.16 will be the death of one of the original group members-C@rol. I think that Beth will try to help Daryl (and moderately will-I want it to be emphasized just how physically and emotionally strong Beth has gotten in the time she’s been away from the group) but the group has them cornered (like Joe’s group did with Rick, Carl, and Michonne). I think at this point C@rol will show up (dressed like a soccer mom but carrying the large gun she arrived at Alexandria with) and help save Beth and Daryl (like Beth saved her life).
I think that during this altercation there will be a moment similar to when that guy was holding a knife to Carl’s throat except this time it will be Beth. As was speculated for 5A, C@rol will make the ultimate sacrifice and save Beth (a redemption of sorts) while she ultimately dies.
I think that there will be a conversation between C@rol and Daryl about how she tried to change and go back to who she was before the apocalypse (that’s why she started dressing and acting normal) but she realizes that that’s not who she is. Being this tough, hardened woman is who she really is now but she doesn’t want to be that but there’s nothing she could do. This brings me back to when C@rol said to Daryl how they can’t save people anymore but in fact she was able to help Beth and Daryl and ultimately redeem and save herself (as Beth said to Tyreese in the hallucinations, it’s better this way).
I think that Beth will be standing behind Daryl silently and tearfully watching the exchange and she could even offer to be the one to kill C@rol (kind of ironic because she was the one to save her at Grady) but Daryl tells her that he’ll do it and he proceeds to take out Beth’s knife (the one that C@rol gave him) and tearfully kills C@rol so she doesn’t turn.
I think that Daryl will have such a mix of emotions (from being happy that Beth’s back but being devastated that C@rol’s dead) and I think that this is what will make Beth and Daryl’s reunion bitter sweet. I think that the episode could either end with them in the field (or wherever they are) and Daryl crying in Beth’s arms or they could even take it one step further and have Daryl carry C@rol’s body back to Alexandria with Beth in toe which would give us a moment similar to the end of Coda but with so many mixed emotions from the group.
I think that this would leave the audience wondering about what would happen in season 6 and how the group is going to deal with all this and I think that Norman and Melissa would be the guests on Talking Dead after the finale to help everyone deal with what happened.