The Walking Dead Season 7, episode 3 “The Cell” is unlike any episode ever seen on the long-running series, and it’s the Daryl Dixon episode we’ve all been waiting for.
We’re on Easy Street… and it feels so sweet. Because the world is but a treat, and we’re on Eaaaasy Street!
Ah, sorry about that. That song has been stuck in my head for nearly 24 hours now. What might work as torture on Daryl Dixon apparently doesn’t have the same effect on me. If it were me, Dwight would check on me in my cell, and he’d see me snapping my fingers and singing along.
The newest episode of The Walking Dead continues the show’s penchant for making bottle episodes. Coming straight off of another one with Carol and Morgan at the Kingdom, I initially wasn’t thrilled about this episode. After watching it, however, I wouldn’t trade the episode for anything. In fact, I feel it’s the Daryl Dixon episode that’s long overdue.
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It’s obvious that Daryl is one of the most popular characters on the show. But honestly the series hasn’t done much with the younger Dixon brother in recent seasons. He’s gotten to kill walkers and bad guys, being the badass he always has been, sure. But when was the last time they’ve really explored the character a bit more?
“The Cell” does an incredible job at adding some more layers to the character made famous by Norman Reedus. When Daryl had his bottle episode with Beth Greene back in Season 4, it was entertaining, but didn’t add much to the character. This episode completely makes up for it by really getting into who Daryl really is.
They torture Daryl so much in this episode that they might as well have called it “The Passion of the Dixon”. He’s stuck in dark cell, only allowed to eat Alpo sandwiches. He has to listen to the same songs on a loop. He attempts an escape, only to get beaten down and imprisoned again.
Just listen to the song again. You know you want to.
It all culminates with being shown a picture of Glenn’s brains on the ground, after Dwight reminds him that it’s his own fault. After all of the torture, this is when Daryl finally breaks. He weeps harder than he ever has before, even following the death of his brother Merle. He certainly reaches his lowest point ever in this episode, and it had to be heartbreaking for any Daryl fan.
“Who are you?”
No matter what, though, Daryl keeps his integrity. He shows how much of a resilient badass he truly is by the end. Negan tells him that the torture can come to an end, with only one condition. Daryl must refer to himself as “Negan” and treat the bat-wielder as his master. But there’s no way Daryl will do this, no matter what silly songs the Saviors choose to blast on loop. I couldn’t have been more satisfied when he responds with “Daryl” after Negan asks him who he is.
I absolutely love “The Cell” because it’s the Daryl Dixon episode I’ve long been waiting for. The character is so guarded that I feel like I’ve never really gotten to know him. Seeing him reach his lowest point imaginable and staying true to himself was extremely satisfying. And my fandom for Daryl has been solidified.
See what happens next when The Walking Dead airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC.