What's Up With The Walking Dead: "The Cell"

The collective fan-base has been waiting with baited breath to find out what happened to Daryl after that world shaking premier, this week we found out! TWD stays the course with it’s one story each week design, something that I think is the biggest problem with the series, to follow Daryl through Negan’s cult like utopia, The Sanctuary. What we find is a lot like what Guantanamo Bay would have been like if David Koresch was running things. The episode sticks mostly with Dwight, who has gone completely Single White Female in his obsession with Daryl, he’s taken not only the lead in breaking the dirty one but also taken over his whole image it seems. As so many people saw in the trailers for the season, wrongly leading them to think it was Daryl who met Lucille, Dwight has taken Daryl’s bike, crossbow, and vest…pretty much everything that would identify the caricature of Daryl.

Daryl is given dog food sandwiches, left in a windowless cell, and tortured with a song that I will NEVER now forget, “Easy Life” from the musical Annie. I know when most people hear about music as a torture method it doesn’t sound particularly vicious but those thoughts have been put to rest, I don’t know about you guys but by the sixth time I heard just a clip of the song throughout the episode I was ready to claw my eardrums out…hearing it on repeat for days at a time? No chance Lance. The episode does provide us with some insight as to the bug that crawled up Dwight’s ass, as it turns out the issue has more to do with his wife…err…ex-wife’s ass then his. Here’s where that David Koresch analogy comes into play. Turns out Negan runs his camp on a points basis, members earn points to get things they need, food, clothing, medicine, etc. If you remember from last season Dwight had a sister who was diabetic. As Negan rolls out with an amazing level of malevolent glee, that shit’s expensive. Long story short, Dwight steals the medicine and runs away with his wife and sister. The sister dies and Negan is ready to kill Dwight before his wife steps in and offers to marry Negan, saving Dwight from the bat (but not from an iron, hence the purty lips he now has). You seriously almost feel bad for Dwight, this guy has to watch the man responsible for the death of his sister cavort around with his wife all while working for the guy and having it rubbed in his face. He knows he can’t get back at Negan so his taken his anger out on anything else…particularly the guy he KNOWS could have saved them if he hadn’t been so greedy. Comic readers that know Dwight’s…I dunno, destiny I guess, will appreciate the ground work that has been laid for his eventual story arc. The seeds have been planted so now we just wait for them to grow.

It's a great Negan episode, his presence in the premier was far too evil to be likeable, but that charisma is starting to shine through. The poster boy for “A guy you love to hate” Negan walks around like a man who knows he has the entire world by the nuts. As you can imagine this isn’t the type of guy that Daryl is likely to sit and have a beer with, even if it wasn’t for that whole Glenn thing. They did such a great job in this episode making you really question whether or not Daryl would submit to Negan’s rule, and wonder if he’d make it to episode 4 if he didn’t. Not to worry true believers, our resident bad-ass leaves intact both physically and mentally (kind of?), that being said they have built a wonderful maze for Daryl and I for one don’t see how he gets out in one piece. He will, I’m just saying I don’t see how.

Next week brings a 90-minute episode where we get back with the main crew of survivors at Alexandria. The big tease is that silhouette of Negan at the gate rattling off a “Little pig, little pig, let me in!” call, followed by a ton of shots featuring a demoralized and broken Rick. I’m not sure what road the show goes down for Rick to reclaim that testicular fortitude but I hope it comes quick…I’m not a fan of seeing him on his knees for long.