Given that last Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead season 11 ended on a tense standoff between Lauren Cohan’s Maggie and Daryl, we weren’t expecting to get Norman Reedus’ fan-favorite character in adorable uncle mode this Sunday, but that’s exactly what we got. And fans are grateful for it.
With episode 10 concluding with a six-month time jump that revealed Alexandria had been folded into the Commonwealth, episode 11 kicks off with a brand-new paradigm for the show — the characters living safe and happy lives. With the Commonwealth having reestablished a chunk of civilization, Daryl has essentially become a cop — or at least one of the Commonwealth guard — and is looking after Rick and Michonne’s kids, Judith (Cailey Fleming) and R.J (Antony Azor).
We’ve seen a lot of different sides to Daryl over the past decade of TWD, but doting Uncle Daryl is turning out to be one of folks’ favorites. “Daryl” trended on Twitter in the wake of the episode’s release as the fandom lost its collective mind over all the adorable scenes between Daryl and the kids.
They grow up so fast…
The episode ended with a sweet scene in which Daryl gifts Judith with a record player so she can listen to the Motorhead vinyl she was given earlier on. And, honestly, we’d watch a whole episode of Daryl just being a good dad.
Rick would be proud.
Though Maggie and her allies at Hilltop are resisting the Commonwealth, Daryl and everyone else is settling back into living in a regular world again, one where the kids only have to fear the fake zombies at funfairs. But this is The Walking Dead, and we know by now that the good times never last for our survivors. Find out where things go from here as TWD hurtles towards its end, with new episodes airing Sundays on AMC.