The link between Daryl Dixon and Negan that might have occurred in the fantastic The Walking Dead midseason premiere may not be anything. Then again, it may be everything, so it’s worth exploring.
Let’s back up a moment. There’s been some evidence that Norman Reedus’ character, Daryl Dixon, may not be long for The Walking Dead world anymore. To summarize, the evidence has to do with The Walking Dead‘s Daryl Dixon problem, the fact that the character hasn’t had much to do in the last couple of seasons, and the fact that Norman Reedus is developing his own AMC show.
I’m going to put a comic spoiler here out of obligation before I talk about the worst kept secret on The Walking Dead: That when Negan arrives, he kills Glenn with his baseball bat. However, Scott Gimple has noted that the storyline takes a “hard left turn,” which suggests that someone other than Glenn will fall victim to Negan’s bat, Lucille.
Who might it be? We know that whoever dies in the finale — when we assume that Negan arrives — is so close to the cast that the death of this character makes Andrew Lincoln “sick to his stomach.”
“I felt sick to my stomach when I read the script. It was the first day in the whole six years of working on The Walking Dead that I was late for work because I woke up in the middle of the night and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I was so angry and frustrated and I felt sick. And that was just after reading it.”
Lauren Cohan was likewise upset by the finale, saying that it “took a really, really long time for everybody to feel okay again after the finale.”
Clearly, whoever dies is someone close to the cast. We know it’s not Carol. We can probably rule out Glenn because Gimple said the television storyline would not follow the comic storyline.
Could it be Daryl?
Well, now there is motive for Negan to want to kill Daryl. In the midseason premiere, Daryl took a rocket launcher and blew several of Negan’s henchman to little bits, but not before the lead Savior told Sasha and Abraham, “Usually, we introduce ourselves by popping one of you right off the bat.” That could just be a coincidental turn of phrase, or the use of “bat” may be some sly foreshadowing to Lucille, specifically the use of it to kill Daryl.
But, viewers may argue that there’s no way that Negan would know that it was Daryl who blew up his henchman, because none of them survived to go back and tell Negan.
But what if Negan was there to witness it?
Again, this may be nothing — it may be a mistake in filming — but watch very closely in the last few seconds of this clip from the midseason premiere.
It was hard to see, but there was clearly a moving car in the distant background that popped up just as Daryl was launching that RPG. Could Negan have been in that car, and might he have witnessed Daryl blow up his men? If so, that does give Negan motive to kill Daryl, and along with all the other evidence that Daryl’s life may be in danger, the mounting evidence is terrifying.
If Daryl dies, Andrew Lincoln won’t be the only one who is sick to his stomach.