“The Walking Dead” S07 E03: The Cell

7 Nov

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On last week’s episode of “The Walking Dead” we got our first look at a king and we like him. Ezekiel offers friendship to our two Ninja Warriors, but while Morgan accepts readily, Carol wants space. Maybe Ezekiel can change Carol’s mind with tempting fruit. This week we find out what life is really like at Camp Negan. Will Daryl survive? What do we really know about Dwight? Dwight and his wife tried to escape the rule of Negan, and failed. There are consequences to each of those choices.

Captive

When we first met Dwight in S06 E06; he, Sherry and Tina were running away from Sanctuary and now we know why. Dwight’s life is in sharp contrast to the people living in the Kingdom and Alexandria. Life with Negan is a life of fear. It is mere existence under a dictatorship where everyone kneels before the man with the bat.

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We finally get to see Daryl (Norman Reedus) naked, but it’s not what we expected. There are no soft lights or shower scenes. Daryl is locked up in a cell and treated worse than a dog. Dwight, played awesomely by Austin Amelio, is the one in charge of breaking Daryl and he seems to be doing a good job. Music was used by the military to break the will of the terrorists at Guantanamo. I’m wondering if they used the song Easy Street. Poor Daryl has to listen to this song around the clock. Luckily for the people of Earth, that song by the Collapsible Heart Club is no longer available for sale. When Negan sends Dwight on a mission to bring back another citizen of Club Negan, Daryl escapes his cell.

What is life like for the women of the camp? Do they have rights? When Dwight takes Daryl to the see Dr. Carson, Dwight’s ex-wife is there for a pregnancy test. The result is negative, but Sherry (Christine Evangelista) belongs to Negan now. Negan has many wives and it doesn’t matter if they’re married to someone else. In order to save Dwight’s life, Sherry offered herself to Negan’s harem. Was it worth it? It’s what you do if you want to live.

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Sherry couldn’t save Dwight’s face or his manhood because Negan is definitely rubbing it in that Sherry is now his. Another example of how bad life is for Dwight is with the sandwich scene. Sure, Dwight has enough power to take what he wants from the peons to make an egg sandwich, but he still has to kneel before Negan and, that has to hurt. Why doesn’t Dwight take the offer to sleep with Sherry? He knows it’s a test. Everything is a test even when Negan sends Dwight to capture the runaway worker and even when the door to Daryl’s cell is left unlocked.

Conclusion

You can’t truly appreciate the protagonist of a story if the antagonist isn’t properly fleshed out. The Negan character is a man that is worthy of hate, and yet, there are things that we find ourselves liking about him. He’s a control freak, but he also has a sense of humor. Negan demands loyalty from all his men. That is why they reply, “Negan,” when he asks them for their names. They have willingly given up their own identity in order to survive. Jeffrey Dean Morgan is doing a wonderful job at playing the tyrant. It’s not easy being the bad boy on this series. Your fan mail is mostly death threats, especially if you’re intending on using Lucille on Daryl.

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Daryl is spared the bat because Negan is impressed with his bravery, but Negan’s men beat the crap out of our little stud muffin. But, even though Daryl is held captive in that cell, he is less a prisoner than Dwight is. After escaping the high diving walker and the road kill walkers, Dwight’s conversation with Gordon is very telling. Gordon would rather die than return to the Sanctuary where Negan can take what he wants when he wants it. Was that bullet in Gordon’s back an act of mercy or defiance? Gordon is now one of the pet walkers, but at least he doesn’t have to listen to “Easy Street.”

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We learned several things on this episode: Dwight is a willing captive of Sanctuary because he loves Sherry; Sherry is a good person and might save Daryl; Although Daryl blames himself for Glenn’s death and cries over the photo of Glenn, he did not give up his identity. The strange thing is that even though Daryl and Dwight were the highlight for this episode, I was paying more attention to Sherry.

Sherry’s in a bad place, but she has a conscience and she is willing to do what needs to be done like urging Daryl to return to his cell before Negan finds him. I have a feeling that this season is going to be the season where the women of “The Walking Dead” prove to be stronger and smarter than the men…both in television and in real life. See you next week and don’t forget to vote! 

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