The Walking Dead’s Most Popular Character Has Become Boring [Polygon]

Read the full op-ed at Polygon

“If Daryl dies, we riot!”

Remember that? When Norman Reedus’ bad boy redneck character first stormed onto The Walking Dead, full of righteous fury, viewers were smitten. He had emotional baggage, a short fuse and a wicked crossbow. He was the post-apocalyptic badass featured in every video game ever.

Now he’s eating dog food sandwiches in a dark room, and we don’t even care any more.

We first met Daryl Dixon in the third episode of the first season. The Boondock Saint was a proficient hunter and tracker with skills that immediately become useful after the fall of society. Less useful was his temperament. Belligerent and sullen, Daryl was initially presented as a problem for the group — but he was a problem we rooted for.


The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 3 Recap [Polygon]

Read the full recap at Polygon

In its seventh season, The Walking Dead is suddenly doing some serious world-building. Last week we were introduced to King Ezekiel and the Kingdom through Carol’s side trek. This week, we follow Daryl’s capture and learn how the other half — Negan’s Saviors — lives

But the episode isn’t really about Daryl. It’s all about Dwight.

As you may recall, Daryl first met Dwight, his wife Sherry and her sister last season. They were on the run, but ultimately betrayed Daryl, taking his crossbow and motorcycle after Sherry’s sister died. That episode just became a lot more relevant as we learn the details about Dwight and Sherry’s escape, and return to Negan.

But first let’s check on Daryl.