The Walking Dead Season 7 Episode 3 The Cell Recap Review
It looks like The Walking Dead‘s Glenn and Abraham got off easy with Negan. The survivors who are now his slaves will be living a rough life. Daryl’s treatment in episode three was deplorable.
Now if you enjoy a nice Alpo sub sandwich, Negan’s cell might be right up your alley.
Two things are clear after watching The Cell.
– Daryl is being recruited to work as one of Negan’s right-hand men.
– Daryl should take the deal. It’s the only way out of this situation, even though it will make him look weak to kneel.
The open of this week’s The Walking Dead showed scarface Dwight eating a delicious sandwich that was created by various survivors providing the means for his meal. We get to see a beating in the mess hall and watch Negan’s men kneel as he walks past.
Dude is truly living like a king. Ezekiel is playing the role of royalty, but his evil counterpart is taking it to a whole new level.
Besides seeing Daryl mentally tortured, there’s lots of shots of the Savior’s compound. Some men are trusted associates, others work on a point system, and some are damned to the fence as guard-dog walkers.
Daryl is given these options later in the show by Negan himself, and he chose poorly.
He may be a tough guy, but no way he can hold up to the sleep deprivation along with being kept in a dark cell 24 hours a day. If nothing else, that terrible song that keeps playing and preventing his rest will break his spirit.
If you’re interested in buying the track “Easy Street,” by Jim Bianco and Petra Haden’s Collapsable Hearts Club, you’re likely out of luck. And insane for wanting to hear it again.
Dwight’s plan is to crush Daryl then lift him up little by little. He even gets a doctor’s checkup and sees Sherry, who is now Negan’s wife. She used to be Dwight’s spouse until he got the bright idea to run away. That’s when Daryl had met them in the woods last season and they stole his motorcycle.
Negan doesn’t take kindly to deserters, so Dwight got an iron to the face and Negan took his woman. You can see how Dwight would have a bit of a mean streak. He tried to leave the Saviors and ended up crawling back. So he sees the only viable option being to do whatever Negan commands.
He thinks it’s better than being dead.
That loyalty is tested when Dwight has to track down a thief who left the compound. It was a pretty cool chase that involved my favorite kind of Walkers…..Droppers.
Seeing them fall off the overpass was just as cool as the time they fell on top of Daryl and Carol’s ambulance.
Dwight was nearly bitten in the chaos as he looked at the carnage on the road where a car had veered off the bridge and killed a multitude of people who were now zombie roadkill.
Dwight eventually gets his man. The guy tries to talk “D” into letting him go or just capping him in the head, so he doesn’t have to go back.
At this point, it looks like “D” is redeemable as he struggles with what to do. And he eventually does put his former friend down.
Meanwhile, Daryl makes a terrible getaway attempt. He slips out the cell and finds a bike to steal, but of course, it was all a trap to test his resolve.
For his trouble, our boy gets beat down by about seven Negans. Dude is everywhere as he says. His cronies take on his name to show their loyalty and that their own identity is completely gone.
Before the beating, Daryl is given the options of living like a king, being put on a stake at the fence, or working as a grunt. Daryl chooses poorly but shows no fear as Lucille was raised to his head.
Negan sees something special in Daryl and is willing to let his defiance go for now.
Once Dwight returns, he drops off a Polaroid of Abraham and Glenn, taping it to the cell wall. He hears his victim crying eventually and thinks Daryl is almost broken.
So the next day he takes him to Negan for the official kneeling ceremony inside Negan’s cozy apartment. They are sorely disappointed when Daryl answers with his own name when Negan asks, “What’s your name?”
Before defying the king, Daryl listens to Negan tell how he took Dwight’s wife from him after the couple returned. You can see how uncomfortable this makes Dwight. The guy wanted to remain alive and save his wife, but the cost was his dignity.
This kind of evil leader will keep people in line for just so long before assassination attempts are made, right?
Daryl Dixon is far from broken, so it’s back to the cell. He tells Dwight he gets why he bowed to Negan. Saving his wife was worth it. But Daryl doesn’t need to bow to save anyone but himself. And he does not fear death.
The Cell wrapped up with a scene that shot down my theory of Dwight being redeemable. He may hate Negan deep down, but he is a long way from disobeying him. We see his ole buddy, the thief, staked to the fence area with the rest of the Walkers.
He was shot in the back, not the head so that he could be eternally punished by Negan. The fence serves two purposes.
– To help protect the compound from human intruders.
– To deter any rebellion from inside the compound, lest the rebels end up on the fence for eternity.
If I’m Daryl, I go ahead and kneel. It means nothing in the long run. He has no power to change his position if he does not appear loyal to Negan.
Once he has a little trust from the dictator, then he can put a knife in the guy’s back.
Pride will get you so far, then it’ll get you a bucket on your head and staked to the Earth as a fence zombie.
Some The Walking Dead Fans Are Having A Little Issue With Comic Book Negan vs. TV Show Negan
We are now entering into perhaps the most famous era of The Walking Dead comics, the set-up to and eventual war with Negan. We’ve already seen the explosive introduction in the season finale/premiere combo, and now we’re heading into the “Something to Fear” portion of things before “All Out War” begins, to use comic terminology.
But something feels wrong about this rollout for many fans that have contacted us, based on what we’ve seen to this point. Yes, it’s early, but last week’s episode really rubbed some people the wrong way, and they are hoping that it isn’t indicative of the entire conflict to come.
This has nothing to do with the famous “scene” that was split between the finale and the premiere and how bad that cliffhanger was, as that’s been discussed to death at this point. Rather, it’s more about how the show is moving the major chess pieces of this conflict in place, given what has been seen recently.
Some comic spoilers will follow, so beware. They may not turn out to be accurate, but the show has gone back to sticking to the comics pretty closely.
So, what’s the problem here? Why does everything feel a bit “off” with this Negan set-up?
It is becoming pretty clear that Daryl is taking over Carl’s role in the comics, as someone that gets us a look inside Negan’s base of operations to understand how he works. Negan has taken a special “shine” to Daryl, like he does with Carl in the comics, and it seems that Carl’s role will be changed or reduced because of this. Many fans are having an issue with this given how important the relationship is for both Carl and Negan.
Daryl is a fan favorite and an quite the badass, which is probably why he was chosen for this starring role in Negan’s “break down the wild dog” plotline, where Daryl is tortured and tried to be converted into one of Negan’s loyal followers.
The problem with Daryl is that, despite his fan favorite status, he really just is not as good of a character as so many other members of the cast. Name the last truly impactful storyline Daryl has had before this. He’s been pretty dormant, and you would have to go way, way, back to his adventures with Beth; and that was eons ago at this point. The show just doesn’t really know what to do with him other than let him slink around and shoot things.
We love his character, and when he was just showing up on his motorcycle to do something or grunt and look forlornly in the distance, it felt like the writers weren’t sure what to do with him.
This is evident in the way this sequence is playing out already. The idea is that we’re supposed to mourn for tough guy Daryl as he’s subjected to this humiliation, but he seems too dumb to figure out the correct course of action here. It’s frustrating because we know Daryl is a survivor and not dumb, but he’s coming off that way in that half-assed escape plan.
Negan’s entire army is made up of old foes, for the most part. Literally, all Daryl has to do is pretend to be broken, and then turn on Negan when the time is right.
When Negan asked Daryl “Who are you?” and Daryl stubbornly said “Daryl,” instead of Negan. Like, there’s no one around to look tough for, man. If Dwight, a guy who literally betrayed Negan outright, can rise to be the man’s number two, couldn’t you do the same thing? Get in a position of power and then be able to sabotage Negan’s entire operation from the inside and kill him? But again, Daryl seems too dense for this, which is part of the reason why last week’s episode didn’t work for me at all.
It’s understandable that Daryl has to stick to his thing, but there comes a point where you’ve got to play to stay and then exact your revenge when your enemy is least expecting it. Another theory is that Daryl knows that if he hadn’t punched Negan, Glenn might still be alive. It’s not something we know for sure since Negan wanted to make some major impact, but Daryl knows he didn’t help the situation. He could feeling like he deserves to be treated like a dog for now.
The other main reason? Many Walking Dead fans are just hating on Dwight, even after last week where the show is already making it very, very clear that we’re supposed to be rooting for him at some point.
I don’t know why, but I just can’t get behind the actor who plays Dwight, as he doesn’t seem right for the part in both appearance and temperament, and given how crucial a role Dwight plays in pretty much all future Walking Dead storylines to come, it’s hard to imagine this version sticking around as a permanent part of the cast. I remember when Garret Dillahunt was supposed to be joining the TWD cast and he seemed like he’d be a great Dwight, but sadly, this current version is just not cutting it for me.
I also think it was a mistake to put so much attention on Dwight so early. We learned essentially his entire backstory, how he ran away, came back, was burned, had to give his wife over to Negan, and so on. Now, obviously I’ve read the comics, but learning all this information, and essentially giving Dwight his own sympathetic POV in this, the third episode of the season, seems like a pretty obvious telegraph that Dwight is going to end up betraying Negan at some point.
I’m not sure if every show-watcher picked up on that, but it just seems so blindingly obvious. I mean, Negan essentially rules like a barbarian king and he trusts a guy who he screwed over the most to watch his back and carry out his most important duties. That, plus the fact that the show is already treating Dwight like a good guy character, and it seems pretty obvious where all this is heading already, which is killing some of the suspense about how Rick could possibly defeat Negan and his huge army.
In the comic, we don’t get a look inside Negan’s palace for a while, and actually, one of the earliest scenes of the conflict is Dwight being captured after an initial assault on Alexandria. Rick lets him go, which plants some of the seeds for later, but this? The complete spelling out of his backstory (which we already saw part of a season ago) plus the full tour of Negan’s operation really lifted the curtain on the character too early, in my mind.
Another factor here might be Negan himself. While I do believe that Jeffrey Dean Morgan is doing a fine job of conveying the look and tone of the comic Negan onscreen, I’m starting to be unconvinced that comic Negan actually translates all that well to the show.
The quippy, goofy lines that might have read well in the comic sound kind of stupid when they’re delivered out loud onscreen. Negan comes off as more delusional than menacing like he’s built this empire of people who hate and fear him and it’s not all going to come tumbling down in a matter of weeks.
I have faith that Negan might get more grounded over time, once he’s not in such an absolute position of power, and I am curious to see how the character will evolve when he’s lost the war, and eventually is assimilated into a wary ally for Rick and co. as they face off against the new, even stranger threat, the Whispers.
For now, though, I’m not convinced that Negan is coming off as the right kind of menace, especially when compared to the other terrifying villains in the show’s history. The Governor, in particular, stands out as someone who took a rather cartoony comic book villain and made him more human and believable. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Negan took that cartoony character and let him stay a cartoon character on screen, and that’s been a bit strange to see so far.
Rick is sort of the X-factor in all this. We get to see Rick’s first post-execution scenes with Negan tonight, and he can make or break this entire plotline.
I have faith that Andrew Lincoln will be the glue holding all this together, first being hated by his friends as he bends over for Negan, but eventually emerging as a hero once again as he heads a coalition to victory. I thought Lincoln’s performance during Negan’s “test” scenes were great in the premiere, so I have faith that he will deliver for this entire storyline, even if there are quite a few other weak links in the chain.
It’s still early, and maybe I’m reading too much into some aspects of this, but I am not terribly enthused with the focus on Dwight and Daryl in this conflict so far, and Negan himself has yet to convince me that he’s going to be as effective on screen as he was on the page. We’ve got a long road ahead of us, so let’s see how it all plays out.