- The latest episode of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon finally reveals how Daryl ended up in France, and it turns out his bad decisions weren’t entirely his fault.
- The flashback episode connects The Walking Dead: World Beyond with Daryl Dixon’s story.
- The flashback episode is the series’ peak, revealing new variants and introducing Carol. It was the perfect time to give answers to the mystery, setting up a climactic finale for Daryl’s arc.
The Walking Dead universe is plagued with secrets at the moment. What is going on with Rick Grimes at the CRM? Is Alicia Clark dead? Will Maggie and Negan have a weird romance? So many questions, and yet none of those right now are as big as Daryl Dixon’s drop-off in France, which finally has some answers in the fifth episode of the spinoff.
Throughout the series, it’s been hinted that Daryl is well aware of how he ended up in France. Daryl makes a point in the first episode to emphasize that “bad decisions” led him to France, leaving the specifics up in the air. Now, though, fans finally get a glimpse at what these bad decisions were, and let’s just say his shipwreck doesn’t all fall on him.
How Did Daryl Dixon End Up in France?
The fifth episode’s present-day incidents are intertwined with flashbacks of Daryl in Maine in America, shortly before the events of Daryl Dixon. Daryl is taken to a community on the coast of Maine after a stranger finds him stranded with his bike on the road, with no gas to get him home to the Commonwealth. At this point, Daryl seems to have given up on his mission to find Rick Grimes and Michonne. While the timeline isn’t specified, it must be months to a year that Daryl’s been searching for his friends in America. With no luck, he thought it was a good time to at least check in at home.
The community has a pretty fair system that helps survivors get what they need, just as long as they’re willing to work for it. Daryl and others are asked to gather live walkers in exchange for supplies; in this case, for Daryl, that means gasoline. Daryl can easily handle this bargain, rounding up several walkers all on his own for the community, who are in business with the Genet’s French scientists. One young man, though, TJ, struggles with the task and is believed to be killed by other survivors to turn in more walkers.
Daryl accuses Juno (one of the men in the circle) of killing TJ, leading to a fight between the two. The problem is that fighting is a big no-no in the community, so the two of them are placed on a ship headed to France as punishment. Likely, the French scientists would’ve used them as live subjects for their experiments if Daryl hadn’t made his escape off the burning ship. This leads to Daryl washing ashore, just as the French scientists inform Genet of an American who sabotages their boat and interrupts the experiments.
The Flashbacks Connect World Beyond and Daryl Dixon
The Walking Dead: World Beyond has gotten a terrible rap within the franchise, even though it was one of the most important series to pay attention to ahead of the spinoffs. It unfortunately failed to capture audiences with its teen take on the zombie outbreak, and suffered with its pacing and writing. For this, it wrapped only after two seasons, but it did the job it was supposed to do: it introduced the CRM and set up bigger problems for established characters to face in the future.
World Beyond‘s post-credits scene – which has long been assumed to be forgotten or brushed off by the franchise – features the last scientist of the “Violet” team in France and mentions a “Primrose” team. The scene features a female scientist at the beginning of the outbreak, watching a video of the CDC scientist Dr. Edwin Jenner discussing a new variant of zombies. An intruder barges in and kills the scientist, practically blaming her for the outbreak. The scientist turns almost immediately into a walker, but one unlike the usual walkers seen in the franchise – she’s swift, aggressive, and has the strength to break down an entire door.
Since then, these aggressive walkers have never seen the light of day. That is, until the fifth episode of Daryl Dixon. Daryl encounters these walkers on the ship to France, which means that not only is Genet creating the flesh-burning walkers, but she’s also continuing the work of the Violet team. This is further proven at the end of the episode when she places Daryl in a pit with an aggressive walker enhanced by a serum of sorts.
The Flashback Episode Is the Peak of the Series
Some may think that it might be a little too late to reveal the details behind Daryl’s shipwreck to France five episodes into the six-episode first season. But it was the perfect time to give answers to the mystery. This episode not only reveals a new type of variant that connects the franchise as a whole, but it also introduces Carol into the spinoff. If these moments were captured in the first episode, then the series would’ve dragged in quality by the Season 1 finale. They are the climatic moments of Daryl’s arc in the first season, so it’s only right that the flashbacks were placed when Daryl was broken down and defeated by Genet and Codron – his two biggest enemies in the series.
Other television shows have been known to integrate the biggest moments of a season in the penultimate episode. Game of Thrones is the most famous example, with Ned Stark’s death and the Red Wedding taking place in the ninth episode of their respective 10-episode seasons. Daryl Dixon is doing nothing different, creating tremendous plot twists and cliffhangers to lead viewers straight into the season finale.
The Season 1 finale of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon premieres next Sunday on AMC and AMC+ at 9:00 PM ET.
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