In the third episode of The Walking Dead season 7, “The Cell,” we get an inside look at the Saviors’ home base, The Sanctuary. While Daryl is being held hostage by Negan, he gets an understanding of how Negan runs things. We also get a closer look at Dwight and learn how he became one of Negan’s top henchmen.

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Daryl is Not Doing Well

The episode opens with a montage showing us a glimpse of Dwight’s life at The Sanctuary. We learn that he basically takes whatever he wants because he’s no longer working for points like some of the others. After making himself a killer sandwich, Dwight watches as two prisoners lead a walker to the fence. We see that the Saviors have set up a defensive barrier by staking walkers all around the fence surrounding their home. Dwight seems fixated by a walker who struggles to get up only to fall back down to his knees. Is Dwight thinking of his role under Negan’s rule? After all, Dwight seems pretty unhappy about having to kneel to Negan all the time. He also seems to be continuing with his Daryl obsession, as he’s now wearing Daryl’s vest as well as using Daryl’s crossbow.

When we finally see Daryl, he is naked in a dark cell while Dwight hands him a dog food sandwich. We learn that this is par for the course when it comes to Daryl’s treatment as a prisoner. He is left naked and dirty in that small, dark cell. He cannot even sleep to escape his situation because they keep pumping the same annoying song into his cell. Finally, after an unknown amount of time, Daryl is given some dirty clothes to wear. The sweatshirt, which looks absolutely ridiculous on him, is branded with an ‘A.’ Does the ‘A’ stand for Alexandria?

After giving him the clothes, Dwight leads Daryl out of his cell so he can take him to The Sanctuary’s doctor to get his wound checked. When they arrive, Dwight’s ex, Sherry, is there. (She was the one with Dwight in the woods during their original encounter with Daryl.) Sherry immediately recognizes Daryl, but Dwight tells her not to talk to him. The doctor checks Daryl’s wound and says it’ll heal if he lets it. He also says Negan will take care of Daryl.

Dwight Wants to Break Daryl

After seeing the doctor, Dwight forces Daryl into a chair while he has a little meeting with Negan in the hallway. The chair is conveniently placed right in front of a cozy looking room. Daryl looks at the room longingly before being led outside. Daryl sees two other prisoners adding a walker to the barrier. Dwight pushes Daryl against the fence and tells him that he can be a prisoner, a walker or be like Dwight.

Dwight then dumps Daryl back in his cell and tells him to make it easy on himself. Daryl looks at Dwight and says that he will never kneel. Dwight thought that way once. Yet eventually, he kneeled and he knows Daryl will too. After Dwight leaves, Daryl starts exploring his cell, looking for anything to help him escape. He even begins kicking the door to try to get it to open.

Negan tells Dwight he’s doing a good job with Daryl. They both think he’s close to breaking. Negan offers to let Dwight have a little fun with a woman of his choosing, so long as she’s willing, but Dwight isn’t interested. This leads to an unnecessary conversation about whether or not Dwight’s business still works after the Eugene incident. Their awkward conversation is interrupted by a call over the radio. Apparently, someone stole something and left The Sanctuary. Dwight says he’ll take care of it, even though he no longer has to do grunt work.

Daryl Tries to Escape

Dwight leaves The Sanctuary and runs into a section of road near a bridge. The bridge is crumbling and there are lots of disgusting walkers laid out on the road. Dwight tries to pass through them, but a walker falls at him from the crumbling bridge and almost lands right on top of him. Dwight moves out of the way and manages to kill the walker but not without hurting himself and his motorcycle.

While Dwight is out on his little retrieval mission, Daryl is being taken care of by another one of Negan’s henchmen. This henchman, who I believe is Fat Joey, leaves Daryl’s cell unlocked when he drops off his sandwich. Daryl makes sure the hallway is clear before escaping his cell. He then begins to move around the compound, stealthily avoiding the guards (or so he thinks). He’s stopped at one point by Sherry. She tells him to go back while he still can because he won’t get away, “and when you’re bad, it’ll be worse.” Daryl ignores her and continues his escape attempt. He makes it outside, but Negan and the Saviors are waiting for him.

Negan goes around asking all of his Saviors who they are, and they all reply that they’re Negan. Daryl then learns that his cell door was left unlocked on purpose so Negan could see if Daryl understood the fact that Negan is everywhere. Daryl’s escape attempt proves he hasn’t learned that lesson yet. Negan tells Daryl that he has three options: he can wind up on the spike, he can work for points or he can work for Negan and live like a king. There is no fourth option.

Negan then taunts Daryl with Lucille, but Daryl doesn’t flinch. Negan likes that Daryl doesn’t scare easily. He leaves the rest of his men to beat Daryl as punishment.

After Daryl is beaten by the Saviors, he’s put back in his cell. Sherry comes back to see him and talks to him through the door. She tells him that he was right back in the woods when he told her that she’d be sorry for going back. Is Sherry going to play a role in Daryl’s eventual escape? Could he even trust her after the way she and Dwight betrayed him before?

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Dwight Shows Mercy

Dwight finally finds the guy who ran away from The Sanctuary. He tells him he has to go back because he owes and now he owes more. The guy tells Dwight to let him go and calls on their former friendly connection. The guy doesn’t understand how Dwight can be loyal to Negan after everything Negan did to Dwight and his wife. Dwight tells him that there’s nowhere to go and everything is Negan’s now. The guy understands but says he cannot go back.

The guy tells Dwight that he wants Dwight to kill him. Dwight won’t do that. The guy points out that there’s only one of Negan and all of them. Why are they following Negan? Dwight tells him it’s because they were losing and now they’re not. The guy kneels in front of Dwight and tells him once again that he’s not going back. Dwight threatens to do all sorts of unspeakable things to everyone that this guy has ever spoken to, including digging up his dead wife’s body and feeding it to the crows. The guy relents and starts walking back toward The Sanctuary. Yet Dwight, in a rare show of mercy, kills his former friend. Why? What was it about this guy that got to Dwight? Was it that they used to be friendly? Or is Dwight just reaching his breaking point on being Negan’s henchman?

Some Insight into Dwight

Dwight returns to The Sanctuary and has an awkward conversation with Sherry. They both claim they are happy with the ways things are, but they are both clearly lying. Dwight then heads back to Daryl’s cell. He tells Daryl, “You got your friend killed. I got Tina killed. Don’t pretend like you don’t know the score.” (Tina was the other woman with Dwight and Sherry in the woods.) Daryl throws his dog food sandwich at Dwight. Dwight shakes it off and tells Daryl that he’s lucky that Negan is taking a shot on him. He then throws a photograph into Daryl’s cell and closes the door. As a sad song is blasted into Daryl’s cell, Daryl looks at the picture of what I assume is Glenn’s body after he met Lucille. Daryl cries, and we wonder if he’s close to breaking.

Later, Dwight drags Daryl to a meeting with Negan. Negan tells Daryl a story about Dwight and how things weren’t always so good between them. He explains that Dwight, Sherry and Tina were working for points, but Tina fell behind. Negan offered to marry her and take care of her, but she asked for time before she answered him. Instead, the trio ended up running away from The Sanctuary with the meds Tina needed.

Dwight and Sherry eventually returned, and Dwight asked for Negan’s forgiveness. Yet since Dwight broke the rules, something had to be done. Negan was going to kill Dwight, but Sherry told Negan she’d marry him if he spared Dwight’s life. Negan agreed to Sherry’s offer, but it wasn’t enough. That’s why Dwight “got the iron.” After all that, Dwight got on board and is now one of his top guys. Negan thinks Daryl can be one of his guys too. Negan offers him the furnished room they’re standing in. All Daryl has to do is answer a question: “Who are you?” Eventually, Daryl replies with his own name instead of Negan’s, proving that Negan hasn’t broken him yet.

Dwight throws Daryl back in his cell and tells him that he’s either going to wind up in that room or he’ll be hanging on the fence. Daryl tells Dwight that he understands why he did it. Dwight was thinking about someone else. Daryl says, “That’s why I can’t.” Is Daryl holding out because of Glenn? Or is he holding on for his surviving friends?

The episode ends with Dwight seeing the two prisoners take his former friend, now a walker, and making him part of the walker barrier. Dwight seems pretty upset by that turn of events. Is Dwight close to turning on Negan? Will he aid in Daryl’s escape? (Personally, I don’t trust Dwight, and this episode did nothing to change that.)

What did you think of this episode of The Walking Dead? Did all this focus on Dwight do anything to change your opinion of him? What about Sherry? Can Daryl trust her? What do you think it would take for Negan to actually get Daryl to break? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

The Walking Dead season 7 airs Sunday nights at 9/8c on AMC. Want more news? Like our Facebook page.

(Image courtesy of AMC)

Megan Cole

Contributing Writer, BuddyTV