This post is late for a couple of reasons. First off, I was in Portland for the weekend, far away from home, and busy enough that I didn’t actually get an opportunity to watch the episode when it aired. Aspirations were that I would watch it Monday, and write about it then. Taking a red-eye flight Sunday night, and desperately needing to sleep pushed things off. Then, well, you all know what yesterday was, and I knew that there was a high chance of something silly like this getting lost in the shuffle of the important stuff.
So here we sit, the day after the election in the United States. And I am finally taking my shot at writing about the post-apocalyptic future portrayed on a television show, which seems extra silly and maybe a little extra pointless today. That being said, I’m not going to flinch away from my accepted duty, and that means delving back into Negan’s world, and, specifically, seeing the next piece of the story, specifically as it pertains to one Daryl Dixon. It may seem like Easy Street when trapped in The Cell, but it’s definitely no picnic.
The episode opens with us watching Dwight go about his business making an elaborate sandwich, interspersed with scenes showing how he acquired all of the goods for said sandwich. And yet, throughout the entire scene, it felt like Dwight was actually taking above and beyond what was allowed of him. This moment felt reinforced when Dwight and Negan were discussing Gordon, the man who Dwight had to chase down, as Negan kept hinting about getting back what belongs to him. Sure, it could be Negan just reminding Dwight of his place, and maybe each ingredient was truly his to take, but it just seemed to be too overt of a threat, especially with Dwight’s reaction. Given that, why on earth would Dwight push the envelope like that? Ignore what happened to Abraham and Glenn, Dwight knows exactly what kind of person Negan is, and what he does to those he feels betray him. Is mustard really worth the extra risk?
Sherry clearly has a complicated history with Dwight and Negan. That history isn’t getting less complicated with the clear attempts to impregnate her. So maybe she shouldn’t be going around talking with people who are currently viewed as dangerous criminals, let alone in front of her ex-husband, who happens to be the right-hand-man of the person trying to get her knocked up. Maybe she can avoid getting caught in a crossfire, but that just doesn’t seem like a risk she should be taking.
Oh, Daryl. For someone who has been proven to be great at surviving, and pretty astute when it comes to changes in situations being set against him, he can certainly turn a blind eye when he chooses. Nothing about his “escape” should have encouraged him to more forward. Sure, there’s the strong desire to get away, but everything came too easily. From the change in guard to the unlocked door to the wide open hallways, the entire thing just screamed trap. Remember, Negan is the guy who had crews stationed at every potentially road between Hilltop and Alexandria, just in case Rick and company went that direction. So of course Daryl steered himself directly into a trap, and, were it not for plot-immunity, we would have said goodbye to another season one favorite right then and there.
While chasing down Gordon, Dwight was clearly doing his best “no, I’M Daryl Dixon” impression, and it all fell apart when he got to the overpass with the walker bodies scattered around underneath. Rather than move through the area quickly, Dwight decided he wanted to explore and investigate a little, which almost lead to him being pancaked by the walker as it dove off of the overpass. Next time, Dwight, just go around. Take a detour. Treat them like road construction, and don’t risk losing your wheels
Plot-immunity was mentioned above. Now, this isn’t characters being immune from the plot, but instead characters that have survived despite any and all logic, because the plot demands their continued existence. Truth be told, Glenn and the whole Dumpster situation was a bit into this realm, although that was more of a creation to pull at sympathy than true immunity. No, the immunity right now is the fact that Daryl is still, somehow, alive, despite having defied Negan multiple times. Sure, Negan may believe that there’s a chance Daryl can be brought over to the Saviors side, but why keep taking that risk? With Rick, Negan knew he had a broken man who was in no shape to fight back. Daryl is clearly showing that he isn’t going to break easily, and therefore should be viewed as a threat to be eliminated, despite the riots from fans that would loom around the corner.
We’ll see what next week holds. With reality imposing its ugly head, there’s a fair chance that this little blog series will be winding down in ways that I didn’t expect. There’s also a fair chance that I’ll keep plugging away, because little pieces of snarky sanity may just help get through. Catch you next week.