Ladies, we finally earned ourselves forty minutes of pure Daryl Dixon, and you can thank Beth for intoxicating him so we could learn more about his pre-zombie apocalypse world. Since we haven't seen much of Daryl since Merle died, it was a relief to finally catch a glimpse of what has been going on inside that beautiful face. However, after everything we have been through with these characters, did the writers of AMC's The Walking Dead offer us something we already knew?
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Let me explain myself. I love Daryl Dixon, but I didn't need forty minutes of drawn out drinking games to find out that he was a "loser" before the zombies took over. I kind of already figured, since season three suggested Daryl always followed Merle's lead. Beth, however, needed to know. Clamoring for her first drink (might as well since it's the end of world and all), she coaxed Daryl into finding some liquor as well as a peace of mind. After an arduous scavenger hunt in a run-down golf club, Beth finally finds some peach schnapps.
Daryl, being pretty standoffish throughout the entire episode of "Still,"
takes the bottle and breaks it, since he'll be damned if her first drink is peach schnapps (honestly though, if you haven't eaten real food in awhile and have never tried alcohol before, peach schnapps may have been your best bet for a good time). He instead takes Beth to an old country house with a still (hence the episode title) that reminded him of his father's. He introduces Beth to moonshine, which she expertly drinks (yeah, right). She tries to get Daryl to open up by posing drinking game questions.
Immediately after Beth asks if he's been to jail, Daryl loses it. He insults Beth, and drunkenly compares his hard life with her relatively easy one. Nothing has ever been handed to him, he had a terrible father, and he's going to take a piss in the corner of the house if he damn well pleases!
Daryl's outburst was masterfully done. Norman Reedus nailed Angry Drunk Daryl. However, after all this time, are we really only given information we already knew? Daryl clearly did not come from a well-to-do family, judging by Merle's drug and behavioral habits and Daryl's rugged, rebellious demeanor (although, you never know). If Daryl wasn't in a motorcycle gang, then he was certainly doing something similar. So when Daryl vaguely informs Beth that all he did was follow Merle around, I wasn't exactly shocked. We already knew Daryl followed Merle; Daryl was introduced as Merle's brother in the first season.
After Daryl and Beth's alcohol-induced therapy session, Beth suggests they burn the house down. Normally I would be all for an over-the-top ceremony like that, but I didn't think the symbolism was needed this time. We get it. Daryl had a crappy life before, and now he needs to embrace his new life and start fresh without his past weighing him down. Also, if Daryl is truly meant for "this world," he's going to have to let go of the old one. I suppose if burning a house down will kill a few zombies, then why not?
Let's get to the elephant in the room: what's going on with Beth and Daryl? After thoroughly intoxicating themselves, Beth tells Daryl that he's going to miss her when she's gone. I can't tell whether Daryl is suppressing his feelings toward Beth, or if he completely disregards the possibility. It seems to me that Beth is certainly entertaining the idea of some comfort. Why else would she want to get to know Daryl?
All I know is that I can hardly take another tragic romance. After Andrea's stupid affair with The Governor and Maggie and Glen's agonizing separation, I think I'm done with Walking Dead love for awhile, thanks.
Catch an all new episode of The Walking Dead Sunday, March 9 at 9pm.
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