The Walking Dead 7×03 Review: Daryl Will Kneel To Negan…Eventually

Daryl and Dwight are both on a journey of survival where the kind of men they are, aka the armor/shield they use to help them get through life, will lead them down vastly different roads in The Walking Dead’s “The Cell.” Dwight has decided that this is the way of life and that there’s no going back. Daryl hasn’t reached that point in his life. The apocalypse has only made him and his convictions stronger. He will not give up on his people. His road will be that of survival where he isn’t a broken man by the time he reaches the end of it.

I can’t wait to see where this dynamic goes as The Walking Dead progresses.

It’s Only a Matter of Time Before Daryl Goes Down Easy Street

Before you turn away and angrily yell, “This girl doesn’t know what she’s talking about!” let me explain. Daryl is a man of resilience. This episode proved that no matter what is thrown at him, Daryl will fight and try to get back to his people. But he’s also a man that understands the darkness of this world and how far it’ll reach out to destroy you.

So if Dwight or Sherry never help him escape, he’ll be fine. Daryl will survive this by kneeling and pretending his ass off until his moment of escape. Daryl throwing Negan’s “kindness” back into his face when asked what his name was, is not the end of it all. Negan’s got a fascination with Daryl that will make it so he doesn’t meet Lucille for a longgggg time. God only knows how many people Negan has cowed into submission with his trusty bat.

Daryl’s strength and fight are a gem to Negan in a world where he has all the control and he’s frankly got a little bored with it all.

The only time we saw Daryl’s resilience flicker is when Dwight placed a photo of a dead Glenn on his wall. It makes it even more sickening to think that Negan and his crew have done this to other people. They didn’t take Glenn’s picture for some gory scrapbook for Negan. It was meant to break Daryl and make him grieve the death of his friend.

Even then, I don’t blame Daryl for Glenn’s death. One of Daryl’s family members just died in a horrific way. If it wasn’t Daryl it would’ve been any one of them fighting and taking a shot at the man responsible. Daryl was just the first one to step up. I don’t even think Maggie blames him. She’s smarter than that. Negan is the villain. Negan is the one who broke them all and killed members of their family. Negan is the one that will drive both Daryl and Maggie to bid their time, survive, and kill Negan.

Dwight: The Elite Savior with Awesome Sandwich Making Skills

Up to this point we’ve never truly understood what kind of man Dwight was or where he stood with Negan. We, including myself, were ready to sign him off as a grade A asshole who was escaping Negan and who takes his jollies out by stealing from Daryl and killing Denise. At the beginning of this season I was ready to yell that he deserved to that nip to his pecker from Eugene.

Now I’m not to sure. (About hating Dwight. Not the penis bite. He deserves that one.)

He’s a man of power, the intro made sure we knew that as he made that delicious looking sandwich and gave Daryl dog food. (Daryl’s eaten raw critters before. Dog food is fine by him.) He does what he wants, aka what Negan allows, and is rewarded often with an all you can eat of…anything and everything. But at what price? And is it even worth it?

Dwight has lost his free will, wife, half his face, and his humanity because of Negan. Remember when we first came upon Dwight and Daryl asked him how many people he’d killed? Dwight answered none and that once you did that, you lost a piece of yourself. Now he’s lost that. He won’t even fight Negan because he believes that this it. That it’s easier to be on the side of the bad guy because at least you survive his fury and Lucille’s thirst. Sometimes the ends don’t justify the means Dwight.

He’s not punishing Daryl because he wants to hurt him. Dwight is pushing each and every single one of Daryl’s buttons because he sees himself in the man. He wants Daryl to survive and prove to himself that the path he’s chosen with Negan, is the right one. Of course Daryl’s not an easy nut to crack. Daryl is like Dwight in his need to survive in this crazy worth but differs in that he has chosen to keep on fighting because he has people to protect.

Negan has a way of extinguishing any hope that you may carry with brute force and crazy mind games. Hopefully Daryl’s strength will light a fire under Dwight’s ass and get him moving! This is not how the world is supposed to be. 

Additional Notes:
  1. Am I the only one still singing “Easy Street”? Hours later and it’s still playing in my mind. *covers ears* La, la, la, la!
  2. I didn’t think it was physically possible for Daryl to become any dirtier. I was wrong. Also that sweatshirt. Someone burn it with fire! It was the real crime of this episode.
  3. Despite how much of a bastard Negan is…he’s quite charming and likeable. That’s what makes him one of the most dangerous villains of all. Kudos Jeffrey Dean Morgan, you sexy bastard!
Favorite Daryl Moment from The Cell:

Daryl was confined, tortured with horrible music, and made to eat dog food sandwiches while looking at the picture of his dead friend. All of that and HE STILL HAD FIGHT IN HIM when faced with Negan. His name is Daryl. Best remember that, Negan!

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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