It took five weeks, but The Walking Dead finally gave fans their Dixon fix on Sunday, Nov. 15.
After barely any screentime so far this season, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) and his peculiar breed of greaseball sex appeal showed up in a big way on “Always Accountable,” negotiating a surprise run-in on the road while Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green) and Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) battled their demons in an abandoned insurance office.
In addition to being a showcase for Daryl’s very particular set of skills (and a dutiful reminder that he’s still the show’s biggest badass, forever and always), this week’s installment also introduced yet another wildcard into its existing cadre of threats — a group of faceless survivors who make the Wolves look more like puppies.
A Surprise Ambush
Thanks to Daryl, Sasha, and Abraham staying the course, the remaining zombies in that giant herd have been successfully redirected westward (enjoy that, West Virginia!). But our heroes ran into trouble on the road back to Alexandria: a sudden ambush by a convoy of strangers in cars with guns. After being separated from Daryl and killing one cars’ full of assassins, Sasha and Abraham realized that this wasn’t a targeted attack, but a conflict between two groups of strangers that they just happened to stumble into. Ugh. What are the chances?
Knowing that Daryl would find them more easily than they’d find him, Sasha, and Abe holed up in a nearby insurance office, sharing the space with one agitated zombie trapped behind a plexiglass divider and a pair of locked doors. It was a much-needed opportunity for our heroes to get some rest and relaxation, but it also made Abraham’s long-brewing personal crisis come to a head, as he traded in relative safety, again, for a totally stupid, unnecessary flirtation with death, again. Fortunately, some real talk with Sasha (and the first sparks of what could be a romance but is, at the least, a beautiful friendship) left him with a more cheerful outlook and a sense of purpose, which means that Abe and his magnificent mustache should be safe… for now.
Beware the Kneelers
Meanwhile, an injured Daryl outwitted his pursuers and hid out in the woods, only to bump into the three people who were the actual targets of that guns-blazing car chase. And in the span of about five minutes, he was: a) was mistaken for one of their enemies and taken prisoner, b) escaped, and then c) returned as an ally to help them evade their would-be captors. It turned out, the three were refugees from another community, one that requires survivors to subjugate themselves in exchange for safety. Even more unsavory: It’s heavily implied that women in said community are forced to be part of its leader’s harem. (Note: That guy remains nameless for now, but it’s gotta be Negan, a well-known villain from the comics who it’s just been announced will be played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan.)
An unfortunate zombie incident cost the life of one of Daryl’s new friends, but he invited the other two to come back with him to Alexandria — which made it truly outrageous that they chose instead to hijack his motorcycle at gunpoint and leave him alone in the zombie-infested forest. Rude.
“We’re sorry,” said the horrible, ungrateful people.
“You’re gonna be,” Daryl replied.
And then the Rudes rode off camera, where they promptly drove the bike into a ditch and were murdered by zombies. Or bears. Or zombie bears. (At least, I hope so. It’s no less than they deserve.)
And because Daryl Dixon is the best and most capable man in Zombieland, it took him less than a minute to find a working truck in the middle of the forest, and less than two minutes to find Sasha and Abraham and head for home. But it looks like they might be taking a detour, because when the three tried to summon their friends on the radio, they got somebody else instead. It was a stranger, and he said just one word:
Which, knowing our heroes, they probably will. And which, knowing The Walking Dead, will probably end up being a terrible mistake that results in many, many deaths. Rude.
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