[All images copyright Gene Page/AMC]
So, tonight we got an update on Daryl in an episode titled The Cell, which continued the pace of last week’s stellar episode with another slow-build narrow focused story.
Tonight’s focus was on Daryl, following his capture by Negan, who is being held in a … (wait for it) cell in The Sanctuary.
ON EASY STREET
Daryl is naked, dirty, and being fed dog food sandwiches as Negan’s men try to break Daryl through torturous music, isolation, and other fun games.
The man overseeing Daryl’s “progress” is none other than Dwight, the surprising other half of tonight’s focus.
We first saw Dwight in the Season Six episode, Always Accountable when Daryl ran into him, his wife, Sherry, and Sherry’s sister, Tina.
Dwight and the women had just fled Negan’s group, The Saviors.
Tina, if you recall, was in need of diabetic meds. And Daryl felt guilty when he realized he’d taken her meds and risked his life to return them. And of course, his good deed was punished when (following Tina’s death at the mouths of zombies) Dwight and Sherry royally screwed Daryl over, taking his bike and his crossbow and leaving him for dead.
In other words, we don’t like Dwight … until tonight.
We learn WHY Dwight did what he did.
How he, his wife, and Tina had fled Negan’s group, perhaps to save Tina from having to be married to a psychopath.
However, this being TWD, where hope goes to die, Dwight wound up back with Negan, and he had to pay for his sin of leaving.
Negan was going to kill Dwight because “rules are rules” and shit.
But then Sherry, whom Negan refers to as Dwight’s “hot ass wife” makes a suggestion — she will marry Negan in Tina’s place, so long as Negan lets Dwight live.
And now Negan has turned Dwight into an emasculated cuckold. And because Negan is a bit of an alpha male on steroids douchebag, he takes every opportunity to remind Dwight who the fuck is in charge.
He even takes to offering Dwight a night with any woman he wants (I’m guessing they have prostitutes here?), so long as she says yes. When Dwight refuses, Negan asks him if his penis is working.
The episode builds to a moment where we find Daryl wearing an awesome Scarlett Letter sweatshirt, seemingly broken and out of options.
Negan then offers Daryl an opportunity — join Negan’s Saviors. He’ll have to give up his freedom, but hey, he’ll live like a king!
All Daryl has to do is kneel before Negan and answer one simple question.
“WHO ARE YOU?”
The correct answer for those playing along at home, is “Negan.”
You’ll likely recall when Rick asked a Savior who he was last season, he said “Negan” as well.
It’s not enough to fear and worship Negan, you need to give up all sense of self to serve the lord and master, Negan.
So near the end of the episode, Negan leans in and asks Daryl, “Who are you?”
And we get a look at Daryl, hair covering his face, looking down and out.
We wonder will Daryl actually break?
Will he give in?
“Who are you?”
OH, NO HE DIDN’T!
Daryl then whips out two guns from nowhere, blasts Negan in the head and in the crotch, and screams, “AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!” while a heavy metal guitar screams and fireworks explode in the sky behind him.
Okay, that last part didn’t quite happen like that. But it’s more of less the feeling you’re supposed to have.
Of course, Negan isn’t having that.
Dwight brings Daryl back to his cell, throws him inside, and more or less says, “Just do it, man. Otherwise you’re fucked.”
Daryl then says he can’t.
He also says that he now understands why Dwight fucked him over last season.
And we get a closing scene with Dwight, and you can tell that while he’s trying to turn Daryl, that’s not how this is gonna play out.
Dwight is going to turn on Negan.
OVERVIEW, COOL THINGS, & A MISSED OPPORTUNITY?
- Tonight’s episode was another good one which not only gave us insight into characters we didn’t even like before (Dwight and Sherry), but also set up some great conflict in the upcoming season.
- For a moment I wondered, Will they kill Daryl too? No, they won’t do that, will they?
- Dwight giving Daryl the photo of Glenn then playing Roy Orbison’s Crying was a nice touch!
Next week looks like we’ll be returning to Alexandria and Rick’s group, when Negan comes to collect for the first time since destroying Rick.
I’m not sure what’s going on with Maggie or when we’ll get to her on Hilltop. I suppose we’ll get a standalone episode with her later this season, showing how she’s coping with the loss of Glenn and whatever’s going on with her pregnancy.
I don’t know about you, but I lost interest in Fear the Walking Dead in the first season. I didn’t like the characters or the storyline.
I was going to give Season Two a chance, but for whatever reason, I missed a few episodes and couldn’t catch up, so I said screw it. Maybe I’ll catch in on Netflix before Season Three.
But what I wish they would’ve done, and what seems like a true missed opportunity, was this:
They should’ve made Fear the Walking Dead about a rival group that will eventually come up against Rick’s group.
Imagine if you spent a couple of seasons with the Governor’s group or Negan’s group, or another group we haven’t even met yet, in their very own show, and the whole time you’re seeing them as “the good guys.”
But then you have a huge crossover where that group comes up against Rick’s group, and as an audience you are torn, not knowing who to root for!
THAT would’ve been an awesome second show!
I actually had this idea when Sean and I were thinking about writing a post-apocalyptic series a while back, thinking how awesome it would be to do two different series, and then eventually pitting them against one another.
I even pitched the idea to another writer who wanted to do a shared world sorta thing which never quite came together.
Sean and I, or even Sean, Johnny and I might still do it someday, I dunno. We’ve got a lot of books to write, and only so many hours in a day! But I think it could be pretty cool, and not something you see much of.
Well, that’s it for tonight’s post. I might post something later in the week, non-Walking Dead related, if only to prove I have other things to talk about.