Daryl Dixon has been put through the wringer since the opening of The Walking Dead season 7 – physically, emotionally, mentally – and on last night’s episode, “The Cell,” Norman Reedus’ grizzled survivor was left facing a brutal choice.
Housed up in a dingy prison cell, Daryl was presented with an opportunity, one that would have seen him join the ranks of Negan and avoid further torture in the process. But rather heroically, he refused, subjecting himself to further mind games and physical abuse. Reedus did warn us that Daryl faced a long, harrowing road following season 7’s premiere, didn’t he?
Reflecting on last night’s installment with Entertainment Weekly, the fan-favorite provided new context to that nail-biting sequence, and why the memory of Glenn still inspires him to keep fighting.
First off, in that first scene, even being in that jail cell, Daryl’s thinking he deserves it. Like, whatever happens to him, he deserves it, but he can’t say he’s Negan because it would give up all of the hope that Glenn had. Glenn was this optimistic guy. He was his friend. He’s done so much and that’s the last thread of humanity that he has left, is saving face for his friend. It’s as much for Glenn as it is for Daryl, you know? That’s the last thing he has left.
Without treading into spoiler territory, Norman Reedus then touched base on what’s left in store for the remainder of the season. In short: buckle up for a “very dark, dark” ride.
It’s been a very emotional season for everybody. It’s a different season. I mean, we saw last week there’s some fun things, but it’s also very serious, and then it’s a very dark, dark season, and hopefully there is light at the end of that tunnel. You have to be broken way down to be able to go way up, and I think that’s kind of what this season is about.
The Walking Dead season 7 continues on Sunday with a super-sized episode. Entitled “Service,” it’ll run for 85 minutes in total – a significant bump up from the standard hour-long episode – and you can find the first promos, along with plenty of TWD content, below.