On this week's episode of The Walking Dead, it looks as though we're going to catch up with Daryl and see how he's fairing amongst Negan's people. Does that mean we won't get to see Rick and company or where the sexual tension between Carol and Ezekiel led to? Sigh.
Recap: "The Cell"
Okay, so ... we're opening with a Who's the Boss montage. No really, it's playing in the background, as we see a day in the life of Dwight, Daryl's arch-nemesis. He's playing pool and taking shots and fighting and slathering grotesque amounts of mustard onto some bread for a sandwich. Looks like it's going to be a delicious sandwich, really. As he's collecting the fixings for said sammy, we glimpse Negan and some creepy brosef giving Dwight serious stink eye.
The montage ends abruptly with Dwight taking a bite (ha!), as he notices some men out among the walkers. He seems genuinely perplexed by what he sees, and I can't really say I blame him because what he sees is horrifying. An impaled walker is actively working to free himself from his predicament. Almost like he's ... sentient...
We see Dwight making another sandwich with the same scrumptious looking bread -- but with a dog-food filling. He takes it down to Daryl, who is filthy and naked in a completely dark cell (likely why the episode is named "The Cell") and looking near-death. Like, really bad.
Dwight is quickly climbing the top of the list of people who need to die immediately.
We're back with Daryl now, and I'm pretty sure he's wishing he were dead. They're blaring some wretched song that makes me wish I were dead, so I can only imagine how he feels with it screeching in the background at all times.
Dwight delivers some clothes to Daryl with his dog-food sammy this time, and the next time he comes to visit, he is bearing Daryl's crossbow and leads him through the bunker to an unknown location.
They come into a doctor's office where (I'm pretty sure) Dwight's ex-girlfriend just got done taking a pregnancy test. She tells Daryl not to say anything to anyone, but Dwight snaps at her to not talk to him. On their way back to Daryl's cell, they come across Negan.
Dwight goes to his knees and forces Daryl down with him, and Negan dismisses Dwight so he can speak to Daryl alone. But they don't speak. Wait, did I miss something?
Okay, anyway, so Dwight and Daryl are outside watching the walkers go after... what? Are they prisoners? Bait? I'm still really confused, honestly. Dwight tells Daryl that he can either be like them (the bait), or he can be smart and be like him. Meaning not in the middle of hungry walkers trying to avoid being lunch.
Daryl is back in his cell now, and he tells Dwight that he's never going to kneel. Dwight tells him that he said the same thing and that, sooner or later, Daryl will fall in line. He'll be forced to.
OMFG they're playing that godforsaken song again. It's worse than that Family Guy episode where they played "The Bird is the Word" 15 million times. Or at least, that's what it felt like.
Negan and Dwight are chatting, and Negan literally offers to send him someone to bone for doing such a great job -- but then asks if he is even okay down there since his dick got stamped on. Dwight tells him he's cool but that he is going to pass on Negan's offer. Negan tells him that passing up on free sex is not cool and clearly means he's not, in fact, okay.
Negan gets a call, and Dwight offers to take care of it -- Negan reminds him that he needn't worry about grunt work anymore, having risen so far in his esteem, but Dwight assures him that he likes helping him. Negan is impressed with the deference and gives him a forehead bump.
Dwight is on the road, so someone else comes down to deliver Daryl's dog-food sandwich. Can they PLEASE let him take a bath?! He's going to be a walking infection pretty soon.
Oh, oh, oh! The dude who I'm pretty sure is Fat Joe didn't lock the door after delivering Daryl's sandwich! He's freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Is this some sort of sick Negan experiment, though? Wouldn't surprise me in the least. He's more twisted than a pretzel.
Dwight comes across a really gruesome scene in the road and pulls over to clear some of the mutilated walkers from his path. I'm not sure what happened here, but it was bloody. Dwight hears something from above and looks up to see a walker flung from the overpass right on top of him. They struggle for a few minutes before Dwight is able to shoot him through the head.
Daryl is creeping through the bunker when old girl from earlier grabs him and tells him to go back while he still can before Negan finds he's gone and punishes him for it.
Daryl, of course, does not heed this advice, and runs to some bikes outside in the yard. He gets nowhere before Negan and his henchmen surround him and Negan asks, "Are we pissing our pants yet?"
Almost there, Negan. Almost there.
The fact that I still somehow absolutely adore this character is due entirely to the magical unicorn that is Jeffrey Dean Morgan. By all rights, I should loathe him and his very existence, but I don't. Because JDM is just. that. good.
When Negan points at his henchmen, and asks, "Who are you?", they all answer, "Negan." He is making a point that everyone he sees within Negan's walls work for and are loyal to him and him only. He is everywhere.
He is giving Daryl three choices: die, be his bitch, or give over to him completely and live a life of luxury.
When Daryl doesn't answer immediately, Negan says "fuck it" and takes a swing at him. Daryl stops him, though, and doesn't flinch. Negan tells him that Lucille doesn't appreciate being disrespected and thwarted, but he likes that Daryl doesn't scare easily. He walks away without harming a hair on his head, but his men give him a beating that he won't soon forget.
Dwight is rolling his bike along the road (it's damaged, maybe?) when he sees a human struggling with a walker in the middle of the street and looks like he's ready to go and help.
The lady is back at Daryl's cell, and she's apologizing and telling him that he was right all those months ago in the woods: she is sorry now.
Dwight has found what he came for -- the dude in the street that was fighting with the walker. Apparently they think he was trying to dodge or something. This dude asks how it's possible that Dwight still works for him after everything Negan did to him and his wife. That's who this chick that keeps showing up is, his wife. But I guess Negan decided she wasn't his wife anymore?
Dwight tells him that it's his only choice. Everything is Negan's, and, if it's not now, it will be. There's no point in trying to fight it or outrun it. His friend isn't okay with this, though, and tells him to kill him. He'd rather die in the street than go back there again. Dwight threatens to kill everyone he's ever loved, and dude stands up and walks ahead of him, obeying the commands.
As he walks away, though, Dwight proves that he can still feel after all and shoots his friend in the back of the head rather than making him go back to the place that causes him so much despair.
Dwight finds his ex-wife (or something) smoking in a corner of the bunker and goes to talk to her. He bums a cig from her, and I'm sure they're about to share a meaningful little moment.
Dwight asks her if he's (he who?) good to her, and she says yes. She asks if Dwight is happy, and he says yes. He then tells her that they did the right thing, and the outcome is better than being dead. She doesn't seem so sure, though...
Also, why won't anyone say her name?! I'd like to call her something other than "that chick from earlier."
"Easy Street" is playing again, and I hope Daryl gets to kill whoever is playing that song slowly and painfully.
Dwight brings Daryl's sandwich, but Daryl refuses to eat it. Dwight tells him he needs to eat and realize that Negan taking a shine to him means he's lucky. Dwight tapes up a Polaroid on Daryl's cell wall, and, when Daryl picks it up, we see that it's... actually I have no idea what it is, I can't make it out. It seems to have thoroughly upset Mr. Dixon, though.
Oh, there's a new song playing now. It's far superior to "Easy Street," that's for sure.
This song brings Daryl to tears, though, and that I do not like. Dwight is outside listening to him weep and walks away with the belief that Daryl is well and firmly converted.
When Dwight comes back, we see that Daryl is passed out in a puddle of his own sick, but Dwight brings him in to see Negan anyway. Negan gives us a little backstory about how Dwight came to be in his position. Apparently, Negan was set to wed Dwight's sister-in-law, but, then, they all just stole the medicine they needed and fled instead. Negan was pissed, obviously, but he let Dwight live because Dwight apologized. His maybe almost fiance died, though.
Dwight begged Negan not to kill Sherry (that's her name!), which he thought was sweet, so he decided that he would just kill Dwight instead. But, then, Sherry told Negan that she would marry him if he didn't kill Dwight, and he decided to let him live. He still had to make up for his mistakes, but he finally did it, and now he's a top guy.
So, to avoid death, Dwight had to give up his wife and watch her become the Queen of the Saviors and be flaunted about by Negan for the rest of his life.
Negan tells him that, to wrap this all up, he just has one question for him -- and if he answers correctly, he's sure Daryl will be his top guy soon enough.
Daryl doesn't answer, though, and Negan tells him he'll ask it just one more time. After a tortuously long pause, he replies with a short, "Daryl." Dwight wants to attack him, but Negan tells him that it's fine, he made his choice. Daryl goes back into his cell and tells Dwight that he understands why he did it because he was thinking of someone else. But that's why Daryl says he can't do it.
Dwight is back to observing the walkers in the yard and notices that one of them is his friend that he kills in the street. He turns his back on him and walks away, and the episode ends.
Wooooweeeee. I don't usually enjoy the episodes that focus on one main character rather than visiting with the whole group, but I cannot be mad about an episode filled with Negan and Daryl. Dwight is also becoming a much more intriguing character, as well. All-in-all, I'd say it was a very solid episode.
Until next week, Deadheads!