The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
Season 1 - Episode 4: "La Dame de Fer"


Daryl Party I: Daryl navigates through an underground corridor, running into a locked gate, where he sees Laurent standing in the path of walkers. Yelling for the boy to run toward him, or away, Laurent calmly stands and prays as he appears to be overtaken by walkers, as Daryl yells out in horror. The walkers shuffle away, leaving an unharmed, praying Laurent standing. The boy gives a knowing smile to a disbelieving Daryl (SEE NOTES). Suddenly, Daryl comes to realize he was hallucinating after falling though the roof and into a body of water. Fighting walkers off, he makes his way back to the streets, where he runs into Antoine, cycling away with some of his pigeons. He tells Daryl about Genet's raid on his community, but is soon mortally wounded by two of Genet's men, all so they can steal his pigeons for food. Daryl kills the men, but cannot do a thing for Antoine--other than let him see his pigeons set free.

Daryl makes it back to Isabelle's apartment, where the woman seems utterly lost in her separation from Laurent. She does not hesitate to hug Daryl, but he--caught off guard--is slow to return the embrace. Daryl believes he knows where Laurent is headed...

Quinn / Demimonde I: Anna's attempt at resuming whatever relationship she had with Quinn is blunted by his dismissive comments. Knowing that Quinn is now obsessed with getting Isabelle back, Anna states some pointed facts:

Anna: "She's gone, Quinn. For good. Women need a damn good reason to come back."
Quinn: "Is that so?"
Anna: "Yeah, it is. And sometimes, we need a damn good reason to stay." (SEE NOTES)

Codron / Genet I: Codron, Genet, and their soldiers interrogate Fallou's people; Sonia (the widow) is treated with disrespect regarding her faith and belief in Laurent. Typical of an aggressive atheist, Genet says faith is a weakness, and she inexplicably blames it for the reason the world is in its current state (SEE NOTES). Genet is determined to find and kill Laurent (to end the so-called false belief/hope) and Daryl, a decision receiving wholehearted support from Codron.

Daryl Party II: Laurent wanders to the Eiffel Tower, now surrounded by dozens of walkers contained with barricades. The walkers see Laurent, and use their sheer numbers to break through the barricade, quickly surrounding the boy--until Daryl and Isabelle run headlong into the walker horde, killing everything in sight. Laurent hides under a wall of metal siding, but is kidnapped by three of Quinn's men; Daryl kills one, but is too late to grab Laurent before the boy is whisked away in a car. One of Quinn's men is captured, taken to a warehouse, where he attempts to psychologically break Isabelle by writing her status as a nun off as a lie--making suggestive references to her past, finally referring to her as "...a thieving little slut".

Instead of breaking her, the man's personal comments clues Isabelle in that Quinn is behind Laurent's kidnapping.

Daryl loses his patience with the man, and tells the story of a pet pig that a child was forced to hand over for slaughter at the behest of a drunk father (who threatened to beat the boy's brother), but the child--in trying not to injure the pig, prolonged the suffering--the very kind for treatment Daryl inflicts on the captive, as he repeatedly stabs and slashes the man, until he cannot take anymore, finally offering to show his captors how to enter Demimonde undetected.

Quinn / Demimonde I: Quinn tries playing quickie parent to a crestfallen Laurent, who asks Quinn about Isabelle and Daryl in response to Quinn's promise to take care of him. Anna takes notice when Quinn says Isabelle will be with them...and does not mention Daryl at all...

Daryl Party III: Enlisting the help of Fallou, Emille and others, the Daryl party plan to infiltrate the Demimonde using a diversionary attack which will allow Daryl to enter from the catacombs, rescue Laurent, then board a waiting boat for the journey to The Union stronghold.

With much weighing on her mind about recent revelations, Isabelle approaches Daryl, wanting to say something to him; Daryl sort of understands what she'd like to talk about, but requests she save it once they've reached the boat. Elsewhere, Sylvie shares a kiss with Emille, relates this new experience with Isabelle and comes to the conclusion that she would like to stay with Fallou's group--not specifically to be with Emille, but to be a part of what Fallou's community is building. Isabelle understands, not holding Sylvie's decision against her.

Codron / Genet II:
Genet attempts to bargain with Quinn, who says he can help them find Daryl, but lies about Laurent. In exchange for Daryl, Quinn demands a Monet painting, which Genet refers to as "degenerate" art. While Genet accepts Quinn's deal, her primary mission is to prevent Laurent from escaping Paris, a statement leading Quinn to have an armed Anna to guard Laurent, in anticipation of

Daryl Party IV: Fallou's group attacks the grunts guarding the main entrance of Demimonde, but Emille is wounded in the gunfire exchange, forcing Fallou to order a retreat. As planned, Daryl forces his captive to lead him into the catacombs, a route requiring a steep drop from the surface; Daryl lands on both feet, but the captive--having no control of his balance due to having his hands tied, injures one of his legs. Soon, the pair are followed by walkers, leading the captive to make a dash to warn Quinn, but he's caught by Daryl, who leaves him to be consumed by the creatures.

Daryl makes his way into the club via a ventilation shaft. In Quinn's office, Anna's loyalties lean toward Laurent, as she hopes he's able to complete his journey (knowing that separates the boy from Quinn). Daryl enters the room, facing Anna--aiming her gun. After a moment, she tells Daryl & Laurent to leave, sending them face-to-face with Quinn. Daryl brutally beats Quinn down, but stops short of stabbing him, since Laurent was watching.

With all gathered at the docks of the river Seine, Fallou informs the group that Genet is sealing off Paris, making Laurent's escape pretty much an impossibility. Isabelle knows Quinn has pull with Genet and might be able to help their boat move past checkpoints...but that requires she give herself up, just as Quinn planned. Daryl is outraged by Isabelle's decision, but has no choice but to accept it. Isabelle says her goodbyes to Laurent & Daryl, hoping she sees him again. Daryl and Laurent--both depressed by this last-minute turn of events--sail down the Seine, but Daryl's thoughts return to the idea of going home as he passes by the quarter-scale Statue of Liberty replica at Île aux Cygnes...

Isabelle / Quinn: Resigned to her fate, Isabelle returns to Demimonde, where she's met by Anna's mix of glaring and studying. Quinn, still recovering from the beating, is a bit smug, as he's going to get what he wants, one way or another.

NOTES:
Isabelle's feelings for Daryl are no longer deniable, but she does not know if her interest is shared with Daryl.

The captive (one of Quinn's kidnappers) made several references to Isabelle's former, unsavory life in a way suggesting she was a prostitute; Daryl understood what the captive tried to do, but he--already telling Isabelle that everyone has something in the past (E3)--brushed it off.

Daryl torturing the captive for information felt like a callback to his interrogation of Randall from The Walking Dead's "Judge, Jury, Executioner" (S2/E11), along with his mocking behavior. Surprisingly, Isabelle was not too shocked by Daryl's torture session, which could be a window into the kind of actions she witnessed when working for Quinn.

Genet accusing people of faith of playing any role in the fall of the world read as consciously misplaced, atheistic propaganda, since everything presented on every WD series has the zombie apocalypse and the response to it going down the traditional lanes of government influence / interference / overreach, not the actions of people of faith.

One would think Anna--with her "women need a damn good reason" hints--will be a larger turncoat in this story, since she's developed feelings (maternal) for Laurent, and allowed Daryl to rescue him. That, and Quinn is constantly insulting her as if she is nothing more than some dimwitted floozy whose time is close to running out, now that Isabelle has returned. On that note, with the nature of Isabelle's past somewhat revealed, and Quin believes she owes him her life--and more, I almost expect E5 to be rather torturous for Isabelle--her forced actions (if it comes to that) almost tearing down her vows to God.

Daryl's hallucination about Laurent praying for protection from the walkers is Dixon's subconscious questioning at work; although he still throws his disbelieving comments at Isabelle, he cannot explain certain traits or abilities displayed by Laurent. This--of course--is the big mystery of the season which needs to be addressed in the two episodes left to air.

GRADE: A.
 
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
Season 1 - Episode 5: "Deux Amours"


Daryl Party I: Sailing on Azlan's boat, Daryl makes inquiries about the Nest, its safety, as he's concerned that Laurent has been raised to be soft. Azlan believes the Nest's collective will raise Laurent to be the leader he was born to be, which earns a smirk from Daryl, who watches the boy praying.

Alzan asks Daryl about his faith:

Alzan: "Are you a Christian, brother?"
Daryl: "No. They kicked me outta Sunday school."
Alzan: "In the Bible, Abram becomes a pilgrim, after the Lord tells him, 'Go from your country and your kindred, and your father's house to the land that I will show you.'"
Daryl: "I'm guessing Abram didn't end up in France."
Alzan: "No, but i'm curious...how did you end up here, so far from home?"
Alzan: "I'm sure however you got here, it was hard. I fear your journey home may be even harder."

Daryl's mind drifts back to...

Daryl Flashback:
Somewhere in Maine, Daryl--his motorcycle out of gas--runs into Jones--a man who is part of a seemingly rag-tag auto repair, radio room and containment facility run by a French man named The Doctor (introduced in E1) who hires random people to collect walkers in exchange for a number of goods and services--including gasoline.

At an orientation meeting, a grizzled, older man named Juno makes lustful jokes about a photo of a woman--the girlfriend of a young man named T.J. T.J.--needing gas to get back to his girlfriend so they can flee from her domineering father--tries to partner up with Daryl, but Dixon is not interested. Out in the woods, Daryl's unique hunting skills snares several walkers--more than Juno and his men were able to find. The walkers are marched into trucks using flashing lights to attract the creatures (SEE NOTES), all to be used as part of The Doctor's experiments.

TJ continues to beg to join anyone, finally convincing Juno to allow him to tag along...

Using the camp radio, Daryl calls Carol, who speaks as if she's talking in code until the end of the conversation:

Daryl: "Everything good there?"
Carol: "Yeah, you know, pretty quiet here."
Daryl: "Quiet's good. You okay?"
Carol: "Yeah. Just takes some getting used to, that's all."
Daryl: "You sure you're okay?"
Carol: "You never have to worry about me, Daryl. How is it out there?"
Daryl: "I'll tell you all about it when I see you.I'm just gathering up some fuel. I'll be there in about a week.I promise."
Carol: "Copy that. Hey Daryl?"
Daryl: "Yeah?"
Carol: (radio static) "...came back."
Daryl: "Who came back? Carol--who came back? Carol?" (SEE NOTES)

Later, as Daryl is collecting the gasoline he earned, he sees the grizzled man and his team return with bound walkers...with TJ among their number, with rope burns on his neck. Horrified, Daryl punches out the man, but both are taken prisoner for a rules violation, and forced aboard a boat headed for Europe. The ship is a mix of brutal enforcers who cage captives in cells, while the most unfortunate are beaten into submission, then tossed into covered cargo holds filled with violently active walkers.

Daryl pretends to cough up blood, leading three guards to drag him to the walker cargo holds as a meal--only Dixon was playing possum, sending one man into the walker pit, shooting another in the head, finally breaking the neck of the third. As guards rush the deck, Daryl opens cells holding walkers, flooding the area with the creatures while he frees Juno. The unlikely duo head to the top deck, working to release one of the lifeboats. As chaos overtakes the ship, Juno sees one of The Doctor's Cohort Variant walkers break free of his bonds in a rage, swatting "regular" walkers aside in order to race up to the top deck to devour Juno. Below, explosions erupt from the war, and although Daryl beats the Cohort Variant back with a fire extinguisher, he leaps from the deck and into the ocean...

Daryl Party II: Temporarily coming ashore to rest, Laurent questions Daryl about his personal life--the people he misses. Begrudgingly, Daryl names a few people (Judith, RJ, Connie, Ezekiel, and Carol), with Laurent adding he knows Daryl misses Isabelle as well. Laurent observes Alzan--a Muslim--preparing to pray, noting that there's many different names for the one God. He asks who Daryl believes in, getting a "pulling my own weight" from Dixon. That evening, Daryl overhears Laurent praying for Dixon's friends back in America..because Daryl does not know how to pray.

Alzan toys with a pocket watch with an engraving of a large castle inside its cover. Alzan explains it once saved his life, but analyzes Daryl, knowing his desire to return to America:

Alzan: "A lone wolf who only wants to get back to his pack."
Daryl: "I made a promise."
Alzan: "There are times when even a man's promise gets overwhelmed by a connection to other people or a larger cause."
Daryl: "You know, when a man dies in someone else's war, its his kids that suffer. That gets passed down to their kids. After a while, no one even remembers what the cause was.The causes were...never really my thing."
Alzan: "When I first got to the Nest, I had just lost my wife and son. All I wanted to do was die. Losang asked me to fix this watch--told me how important it was. I worked on it, day and night, for months.And when I finally got it running, he told me it didn't matter anymore, because I had found a reason to live."

Clearly, Alzan was hinting that Daryl's former life might be supplanted with Laurent's mission.

Isabelle / Quinn I: Isabelle awakens from a drug-induced sleep at Quinn's guarded palatial estate. She's met by Maria--Quinn's servant, who confirms she had been drugged. Her prayers for Daryl and Laurent's safety are interrupted by Quinn, who assures her that Daryl and Laurent successfully left the city. Quinn wastes no time trying to massage Isabelle into rekindling their romance. He is put off by her stating she needs to pray on any decision she makes.

Later, Isabelle creates a makeshift knife and after asking for forgiveness from God for what she planned to do, Isabelle prepares to cut her own wrists. This is interrupted by Maria, who serves eggs from a "friend"--but not her friend. Isabelle notices a small, rolled note--its contents alarming her.

Isabelle / Quinn II: Quinn returns to Isabelle's room, quite pleased with the idea he can win Isabelle back with promises of being a changed man, along with the stuff of her once materialistic, sinful life. Isabelle plays into Quinn's lowered defenses, leading him to the bed...as she prepares to kill him with her blade. Quinn's bastardized talk about redemption breaks her focus, perhaps confusing her. Fortune (or misfortune, based on what's waiting down the road) steps in as Anna shows up to the estate, overhears what was going on in Isabelle's bedroom, and once facing Quinn, shatters a champagne glass on the floor, then marches out of the estate.

Daryl Party III: Daryl leaps to his feet to discover walkers in the camp; after killing the invaders, he makes a tragic discovery: Alzan has been impaled by a telephone pole's metal rung, and bitten on the arm. Alzan--seeing the expression on Daryl's face--gives Dixon the pocket watch, instructing him to follow the river until he finds a castle like the one etched into the watch lid. Then Daryl hears something quite different than the norm from someone moments away from their mortal end:

Alzan: "I'm at peace, Monsieur Dixon. the boy is in good hands. And i'm facing East." (SEE NOTES)
Alzan: "Truly to Him shall we return..."

Alzan dies mid-prayer, leaving Daryl to put the man down.

Daryl Party IV: The next morning (after burying Alzan), Daryl discovers the boat had been cut from its rope to drift out of sight. Angrily confronting Laurent--to the point of calling the boy "worthless"--Daryl demands to know why the boy cut the rope. Almost shocked into silence, Laurent admits he cut the rope, knowing that his arrival at the Nest will mean Daryl--like everyone else he cares about--will leave him alone. Daryl hugs the boy, hit by the gravity of the boy's admission of his sad situation. Cutting through the woods, the pair hear vehicles in the distance; as the duo take cover, Laurent's unsecured bag spills his book and Rubik's Cube into the dirt--with no time left to retrieve the items. Daryl orders the reluctant Laurent to keep moving along the river until he finds the real castle similar to the one etched into the watch lid.

From the vehicles emerge a unit of Guerriers, who find Laurent's possessions; Daryl attempts to ambush one of the Guerriers, but is caught, brought to his knees and abused for his refusal to acknowledge the whereabouts of Laurent. The unit's leader--no longer tolerating resistance--orders one of his men to cut Daryl's left eye out, an act prevented by Laurent surrendering himself.

Isabelle / Quinn II: Quinn has been invited to Genet's gathering at Maison Mère for De Gaulle Day, which prompts Isabelle to suddenly expresses an interest in reconsidering her relationship with Quinn. This works like a charm, as she accompanies him to the stronghold surrounding Maison Mère, where their car passes by dozens of survivors all waiting to attend Genet's ceremony. Isabelle scans the faces and sees Fallou, Emile, Sylvie and another companion blending into the crowd (SEE NOTES).

Led into the corridors by Guerriers, a prideful Quinn meets Genet while Isabelle is distracted by one of Quinn's men being beaten to death. Genet leads Quinn and Isabelle to a jail cell, where Codron and Anna stand, watching the prisoner--a sight unsettling to Quinn, shocking to Isabelle: Daryl behind bars. Quinn instantly realizes Anna betrayed him, saying:

Quinn: "You got no idea what you've done."

Anna gives him a goodbye kiss, leaving Quinn trying to explain away his double-dealing to Genet, who has Quinn thrown into the cell with Daryl. Isabelle stares at Daryl (probably wondering what happened to Laurent), leading Dixon to apologize. Later, Quinn is pissy at a disinterested Daryl regarding the botched arrangement.

Codron / Genet / Power of the Living I: Genet orders Isabelle to her office, where the nun is reunited with Laurent. Genet mocks any account drawing parallels between Laurent and Jesus, but she intends to use the boy--and the story surrounding him to convince the Union of Hope that the Power of the Living is working to unite the people of France. Laurent has grown defiant, openly refusing to cooperate, until Isabelle, knowing the danger of defying Genet, presses Laurent to do as Genet says.

Genet warns Laurent against making her angry, only for Laurent to observe that Genet is not angry, but heartbroken, which unnerves Genet...

Genet / Daryl: Twisting Biblical scripture into a speech on her organization and her followers remaking life in the world, Genet--with Codron, Isabelle and Laurent watching--ends her bloviating with a call to punish their enemies, in the form of Daryl, who is forced into an arena, given a battle axe and is set against one of the Cohort Variant walkers...

NOTES:
Isabelle--once again--has her values challenged. First, she prepared to commit suicide until circumstances (Fallou's note) took her attention. Although she planned to kill Quinn with her makeshift blade, for a moment, she seemed genuinely interested in Quinn's baiting her with the idea of rekindling their relationship--and pulling her back to the love of materialism with art and jewels.

As predicted, Anna turned on Quinn--no longer having a "damn good reason to stay" with him when he tossed her to the curb in favor of Isabelle. Quinn's threat to her should not be dismissed, as I can see him doing whatever he can to kill her, even at the expense of his own life.

The major plot development of the series--almost taking attention away from the A-story--was Carol's radio call, and Daryl suspecting something had gone wrong back at the Commonwealth. Either another party invaded the Commonwealth (the person who "came back"), overwhelming its considerable security (perhaps a certain group hunting Rick and Michonne? Negan's new alliance in New York?) Or, the Commonwealth may have been attacked by the evolved super-walkers.

Alzan's saying he was facing East was a reference to Islamic practice of facing The Kaaba in Mecca while in prayer and other scared rituals.

Its anyone's guess whether or not Daryl will ever accept the power of faith or how it works through people (including a boy with knowledge he still cannot explain away), but time after time, he sees the universe-wide difference in selfless conviction, heart and service between people such as Alzan, the troubled Isabelle and Genet, Quinn, and the others in the service of the dictatorial and/or criminal organizations. The showrunners would trash the chance for character progression for Daryl (or Isabelle-in the event she survives the season), if he simply reverts back to dim disbeliever, learning nothing from his experiences--some clearly not coincidence.

The episode title--"Deux Amours" ("Two Loves") would seem to be a reference to Isabelle, however, instead of one of her two loves being Quinn (a man she was planning to kill), it could be Daryl, while the other refers to her motherly love for her nephew.

Next week: the season one finale.

GRADE: A.
 
My computer is acting up so it might be a minute before i can write a detailed response... but saw this review, and while i think it is a little extemist and don't agree with all, there ARE a few legitimate points
https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikka...eview-almost-as-bad-as-fear-the-walking-dead/

Also, the show feels like The Last of Us, and seems just barely tied to the Walking Dead World...seems more like an excuse to squeeze what they can of Norman Reedus (and for him to squeeze what he can of his career).
 
The Walking Dead TV franchise is no different than others of the medium which launched a number of spin-offs: some were strong, others lukewarm, and still others were outright garbage (e.g., a great deal of CBS-Trek, most of Garry Marshal & Norman Lear's sitcoms, NCIS TV universe, etc.). The Daryl series has the advantage of showing the response to the ZA through the eyes and perceptions of people completely different than the Americans who dominated most WD TV series up to this point. Moreover, it was good to focus on a very unsophisticated (though experienced) character such as Daryl, making him the one who takes this journey in a land far different than his own, while facing the challenge to his disbelieving sensibilities--something that should be explored in a story dealing with the "what are you living for?" questions long after the fall of the material world and its loss of purpose in favor of nihilistic philosophies.
 
My computer is acting up so it might be a minute before i can write a detailed response... but saw this review, and while i think it is a little extemist and don't agree with all, there ARE a few legitimate points
https://www.forbes.com/sites/erikka...eview-almost-as-bad-as-fear-the-walking-dead/

Also, the show feels like The Last of Us, and seems just barely tied to the Walking Dead World...seems more like an excuse to squeeze what they can of Norman Reedus (and for him to squeeze what he can of his career).
Forbes has made it clear they have a bias against the Walking Dead franchise. Okay, they did seem to enjoy the original show after Rick left, and they retroactively changed their opinion of Fear's first three seasons after the show reinvented itself in its fourth season. But otherwise, you'd be hard-pressed to hear them say anything good about the franchise at all.
 
I am cautiously optimistic about Carol's return.

I was totally bummed at McBride not joining the show

But after watching the show, it is almost flawless with the cast they have. I really hope the other characters don't get ignored, espelly Isabelle and Quinn.
 
Well, damn, that was a fine finale to a fine season. The story is resolved, but also with room to continue and one hella cliffhanger. Granted, it seems likely Daryl is going to end up staying in France, but now we know Carol is searching for him and based on the news released at NYCC this past weekend, she's probably going to end up in France eventually.

As I predicted, we have rational explanations for most of the stuff we've learned about Laurent except how he knows what was said in the last conversations Daryl had with Carol and Judith, which is the one truly mysterious thing about him suggesting there's something "other" about him that can't be rationalized.

Finally I want to comment about what a great moment that was near the end where Daryl finds his grandfather's grave. It's so subtle, but the way Daryl briefly becomes overcome with emotion in the moment was really well done. Might well be one of the finer Daryl scenes in the entire franchise.

Damn good show all around.
 
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
Season 1 - Episode 6: "Coming Home" - Season one finale


The episode opens with a flashback to the aftermath of the invasion of Normandy, where the corpses of several G.I.s are seen, including one with a dog-tag stamped "Dixon"...

Daryl / Codron / Genet / Power of the Living I:
Daryl is forced into an arena, given a battle axe and is set against one of the Cohort Variant walkers, who is injected with a chemical enhancing its strength, aggression and most surprising of all, its anger and awareness. Despite the Cohort Variant walker, charging attacks, Daryl uses the battle axe effectively, sending the creature into the arena wall, before sweeping, then impaling the creature to the wall, much to the loud displeasure of the spectators. Still, Gene smiles as the axe released the walker's acidic fluid on the handle--and sprayed some of Daryl's fingers. Isabelle covers Laurent's face and prays for Daryl:

Isabelle: "Father, please protect Daryl, and give him strength. Let him find refuge under your wings."
Laurent (who watches the spectacle without fear or apprehension): "Don't worry, Issa. Daryl will win."

The walker pulls itself from the axe, relentlessly chasing Daryl, who sends a very pointed message to Genet by using the French flag's pole to drive its shaft into the walker's skull, killing it, then tossing the flag to the ground, leading an outraged Genet to rise to her feet. A grinning Laurent tells his aunt, "I told you so".

Daryl / Codron / Genet / Power of the Living II: Genet is far from finished with Daryl: her guards usher Quinn into the arena, chains his wrist to Daryl's and arms both with weapons--the assumption being they will fight to the death. Instead, as four, chemically enhanced Cohort Variant walkers are unleashed at the unlikely team, leading Laurent to repeat Isabelle's prayer. One of the walker's head explodes from the drug, while another attacks one of its own, tearing the walkers head apart. Daryl and Quinn resourcefully kill the remaining walkers, a feat leading the spectators to chant "Dixon! Dixon! Dixon!", while leaving Genet clearly simmering with rage at petrified Doctor, who defends himself with the fact more work needs to be done with the walkers.

Daryl--like an ancient gladiator--hurls a walker head at Genet and her guests. As she orders one of her men to kill Daryl, the guard is shot to death by Fallou (who--along with Sylvie & Emile--worked their way into the spectator gallery), causing mass hysteria as the crowds flee.

Daryl / Codron / Genet / Power of the Living III: Genet and her guards escort Isabelle & Laurent to the jail cell; when Isabelle asks what's to become of them, Genet--as expected--replies:

Genet: "All I know for certain, my dear, is that God is not coming for you."

Laurent attempts to blow past the guards, but he's tossed in the cell with Isabelle, with Genet studying him for a moment, then saying with smug confidence:

Genet: "The Messiah? I don't think so."

Laurent justifies his actions by saying its what Daryl would do. The boy wonders if Genet was right--that God had abandoned them. Isabelle responds by telling him now is when they need faith the most, revealing cell door keys she pilfered from a guard...

Daryl and Quinn race through the catacombs, dodging guards along the way. Daryl makes the grim discovery of a bite on Quinn's shoulder; Quinn admits he was terrible to Isabelle, with Daryl adding he used his own kind to get her back. Daryl implores Quinn make the sacrifice of losing his arm in order to set him free, promising to save Isabelle and Laurent. Quinn asks Daryl to tell Isabelle his actions were for her, as Daryl cleaves the dying man's forearm off. Quinn confronts a number of guards in what will be his last act as a living man.

Evading guards, Daryl makes his way outside, where he conveniently finds his belongings in the back seat of a vehicle, then runs into Fallou, Sylvie and Emile, who free him from the cuffs. Daryl heads to the corridors leading to the cells, running into Isabelle & Laurent--a locked gate between them. As Isabelle finds a pipe to use on the lock, a reanimated Quinn attacks; Isabelle strikes him in the head, but the fresh walker pins her to a column, with her horror (at what's happened to Quinn) causing her to panic. Daryl--in-between killing another walker--begs the hesitant, frightened Laurent to kill the Quinn-walker, saying God will forgive him. As the Quinn-walker is close to biting Isabelle, Laurent uses an axe to hack into Quinn, putting his own father down.

Later, Fallou provides a jeep for Daryl's party, but the leader--and Emile--must part ways to continue their fight where they're needed most. However, Sylvie decides to rejoin the Laurent mission. On the road, Sylvie asks Daryl if he's ever been in love, but Daryl being Daryl, he hits the gas as a distraction. Laurent is visibly disturbed with his having to kill Quinn, but Isabelle tries to comfort him by reminding him that he protected her. Laurent replies, stating he did not consider Quinn his father, and that sometimes one must do horrible things, but God will forgive you.

The jeep breaks down, giving Isabelle the time to tell Daryl she lied about the illustration in order to convince him to lead Laurent's mission. Daryl talks about his family, referring to his abusive father, and the fact his grandfather died in France as part of the invasion of Normandy, but disrespects him for leaving his grandmother expecting a child stateside--tearing his family apart.

Isabelle recalls her first impressions of Daryl--how she was afraid of a man who had been through some "stuff", but believed he could lead them to their destination. She admits the illustration of Daryl on the beach was created at her request as a ploy to get Daryl to help them.

The group is ambushed by Codron and four guards; Codron intends to shoot the group--Laurent at the top of the list, leading to a brief fight ending with a knife plunged through Isabelle's shoulder. As Daryl begs for Laurent's life, Laurent--facing the barrel of Codron's gun--tells him, "God loves you". Taking a long look at the boy, Codron suddenly shoots his four guards to death. Turning to Daryl, he says, "Not today, Dixon. Next time.".

Codron picks up the watch, identifying the engraving as representing The Nest. Walking off, he suggests Daryl's group burn their jeep, as its too easy to track.

The Nest I: The quartet make the long trek to The Nest, where they are cheered like heroes by a large number of residents of all faiths. Spokesman Losang gives Daryl the rundown on The Nest, informing Daryl they will be prepared if Genet's forces come for them. Later, Isabelle--after receiving care for her wound--awakens to see a makeshift bed near her own...with Daryl's belongings. She observes Daryl training residents in marksmanship, while Laurent plays soccer with friends of his own age.

Isabelle and Sylvie watch happily Daryl and Laurent still bonding (playing with a Rubik's cube, which Daryl tries to solve with his eyes closed), the pair likely guessing Daryl is becoming comfortable at The Nest.

Isabelle asks Daryl to help clean the shoulder wound she cannot reach--paralleling her tending to Daryl when he arrived at the Abbey; she asks Daryl if he likes The Nest, to which he admits the place has grown on him, but does not reply to Isabelle saying The Nest feels like home.

Losang speaks to Daryl about Laurent, stating he once visited the Abbey, and when he met the boy, he "knew". After informing Daryl of his arranged transportation, he leans in on the idea of Daryl belonging at The Nest, instead of going back to his own family in America.

Codron / Genet / Power of the Living III: Genet questions Codron about the disastrous field mission, quickly reaching the conclusion that Codron murdered her men. Codron justifies his actions by admitting he could not carry out the planned murder of Laurent. Once again, Genet drones on about the Union believing in "fairy tales" which makes everyone weak--how they must be snuffed out. Refusing to tell Genet the location of The Nest, Codron is beaten to the floor, with a promise his pain will only get worse.

The Nest II: Daryl packs his bags, taking a look at his "angel" vest, which Judith modified--another reminder of home. Isabelle approaches, wondering why he did not tell her he was leaving. She tries to guilt trip him, first by saying he found something--even if he was not looking for it, and that he--like his own father before him--would be abandoning Laurent, never escaping that particular shadow. Daryl's glad Isabelle and Laurent feel like The Nest is home, but he's adamant about returning to his home. Daryl finds Laurent sleeping, but does not wake the boy to say goodbye. He places the Rubik's cube on Laurent's bed, then departs.

Daryl's decision: Daryl scales the hills near the coastline, where he's supposed to rendezvous with a boat. He discovers a long-abandoned WW2 veteran cemetery, and following his curiosity, finds the cross headstone of one William Dixon (the man seen dead in the flashback) aka Daryl's grandfather. For the first time, Daryl is overcome with emotion about his grandfather's life and what his sacrifice meant on the very grounds he's standing on. Suddenly, dormant walkers rise from the ground, coming at Daryl from every side, but Dixon manages to kill all in his path as he heads toward the beach to see a ship flashing a signal toward him.

Just as Daryl waves to the ship that will start his journey back to America, Laurent calls out to him--the boy standing on a structure at the cemetery...with walkers closing in on him. In that moment, Daryl must decide which path he's going to take...

Epilogue: On a road in Maine, an armed man on a motorcycle is chased by a sports car until the pursued man stops to shoot the car's grill, bringing it to a stop. Demanding the driver exit the car, the man sets his eyes on none other than Carol, who says the man is riding the motorcycle of the friend she's looking for, Daryl Dixon. As the man holds Carol at rifle point and searches the trunk of her car, Carol swiftly renders the man unconscious with a concealed wrench. Coming to, the man finds himself in Carol's trunk--his hands bound. He tells Carol where to find the location where he made a trade for Daryl's bike. Carol threatens the man if she determines he's lying, then locks him in the trunk, and rides off on Daryl's bike, headed to The Doctor's compound...

NOTES:
A good deal of great surprises in this season finale, with the most significant being Codron's flip to save Daryl and Company. I'm not certain he finally realizes Daryl did not kill his brother, but we must assume Laurent's faithful statement sparked his change. Yes, he did identify the image in the watch as the Nest, so one should not be surprised if Genet will obtain this information and mount an attack on the stronghold--possibly during the season two premiere.

Carol returns! Daryl's best friend was not going to just let him vanish into thin air, and as she's headed to The Doctor's compound, she's sure to find her way aboard a ship heading to France, and we must assume a conflict with Genet.

Isabelle no longer hides her growing feeling for Daryl, not being shy about wanting him to stay--if not for herself, then for Laurent, who thinks the world of Daryl, and has risked his life just to bring him back to The Nest.

Laurent wondered if God had abandoned them, considering their circumstances, yet he had not given up on his faith, which was the right way to subvert the expectations of those viewers who complained about the expression of faith in this series (completely missing the underlying point of the show).

Daryl and Quinn in the arena of walkers was a callback to a similar situation Daryl found himself--and Merle--in on the orders of The Governor in TWD's "The Suicide King" (S3 / E9).

Overall, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon was a fascinating game changer in TWD's TV universe, proving the base concept (in its TV rather than comic book format) is expansive and flexible enough to create the franchise's biggest Fish out of Water story, and have it be far more compelling than a number of the parent and main spinoff series' past few seasons.

There's something definitely not average about Laurent, but I maintain my earlier hope that he is not passed off as the true Messiah (for sociopolitical reasons concerning the history of such casting). Perhaps he might be a 21st century Apostle, which would account for certain behaviors seen in the boy, but this series should not push him as the Messiah. On the topic of faith, for a series based on a comic co-created by a militant atheist, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon did not go the route of summarily condemning faith as too many agenda-driven TV and movies have done in modern filmed entertainment. Daryl--or Genet for that matter--are incapable of explaining any of the events or actions either witnessed or recounted by others. There's no slight of hand at work, so the showrunners have painted themselves into a corner that demands some explanation, not retconning season one's numerous statements or acts, or hand waving Laurent away as just some well-taught kid.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon has raised the bar for the spinoff series to the point the Rick & Michonne series will have much to live up to.

In other WD news, Fear the Walking Dead returns on October 22, with the first of the final episodes of that series.

GRADE: A+.
 
Random thought: given the Nest is located in what is in the real world a well known landmark in France, it shouldn't be too difficult for Genet and her people to find it in the show, should it?
Season 2 Teaser
Well. they've clearly begun filming!
 
Random thought: given the Nest is located in what is in the real world a well known landmark in France, it shouldn't be too difficult for Genet and her people to find it in the show, should it?

It seems The Nest was "hidden in plain sight" as it was claimed for the Union, so as chaos overtook France (and everywhere else), groups like Genet's appeared to be more interested in securing the infrastructure--to rebuild the old world, with its material value, rather than take over one location.

Well. they've clearly begun filming!

:bolian:
 
I gave Dead City a 8 out of 10.

I will give Darryl Dixon a 9 out of 10.

It was almost flawless. It was the best season of the franchise in a long time and Liked all but 1 season of TWD.
 
I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on the preview of the show?
Enjoyable and does achieves its purpose, raising interest in S2. But otherwise, doesn't leave much of an impression.

I'd have liked it if they provided a premiere date.
 
The idea that the kid has some kind of ability to pacify the Zombies (because he was born from a zombie?) is worth following up on.
 
I just realized Dixon has already been renewed for a third season. That is good news. Did Dead City get renewed for a third season also?
 
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