**WARNING!! SPOILERS FOR SEASON 7 EPISODE 3 OF THE WALKING DEAD BELOW!!**
**YOU’VE BEEN WARNED!!**
When we last saw Daryl, he was definitely in dire straits. Negan has in a holding cell and is doing his absolute best job to break him. His cell is barely big enough to lay down in, he’s kept in the dark constantly, all he’s given to eat is dog food sandwiches, and there’s a damn-catchy tune playing 24/7 so he can’t sleep. All of the bad can go away if Daryl just answers Negan’s question, “who are you?” He only wants one response: Negan.
I’m SO happy to see Negan back in this week’s episode. I understand the need to establish multiple story-lines on this show, especially when the main cast is splintered right now, but last week’s episode was a SNOOZEFEST. Negan wasn’t the main focus of this episode, but just having him around livened up everything around him. “The Cell” was definitely an episode that was meant to establish Negan’s dominance over the people beneath him. It was also nice to see a more human side of Negan. We’re finally given a small glimpse into The Sanctuary, the home of The Saviors. Negan also gives us a moment that I’m sure made every fan girl in the country almost faint when he acted like he was going to use Lucille on Daryl; I love it!
Dwight was juxtaposed with Daryl in this episode and it worked perfectly. We’ve seen just how awful Dwight can be, but it was nice to see that he wasn’t always that way. The sandwich he was eating at the start of the episode was a great plot devices for anyone that was paying attention. Dwight promises to keep making the prisoners, “eat shit sandwiches” for the rest of their short lives at one point; I’m guessing that he was in the exact same position not too long ago. Dwight pretty much sold himself and his wife for the life he leads now. Dwight and Daryl seem more similar than we’ve been shown so far. It’s easy to hate Dwight right now; I also think there’s more to him than what we’re seeing now. His time away from The Sanctuary showed us just how much he really hates being there.
At the risk of sounding sick, it was kind of nice to see Daryl be broken for once. The show can’t or won’t kill him yet, but it’s a nice reminder that he’s human too. I doubt we’ll be seeing Daryl rise the ranks among Negan’s chosen few, I DO think we’re going to see him get worse before he gets better both physically and emotionally. We’ve seen him overcome a lot of obstacles before; I just think sticking him in that cell with a picture of Glenn and Dwight reminding him that Glenn’s death was indeed Daryl’s fault was the turning point of Daryl being portrayed as the “silent badass” for a while.
“The Cell” was SO much better than last week’s episode. We finally got to see Daryl portrayed as a human being for really the first time since Sophia’s death. I don’t think he’s going to be dying anytime soon, but I do think we’re going to be seeing some major changes to his character coming. Rick and the gang should be back next episode, but I believe we’ll be seeing their story from Negan’s perspective as well as their own.
All-in-all, I’m really enjoying season 7 so far. The show has lived up to their track record of having imbalance with their storytelling. The premiere was intense and amazing, last week was kind of slow, and this was a great human story; it’ll be interesting to see how AMC handles having so many irons in the fire, but I guess we can ask Dwight about that. (Ha!) Here’s a glimpse of what we’re going to see next week:
Knock knock! Let Negan in!
What did you guys think of this week’s episode? Get in on the conversation in the comments below!