Zombie Round Up: The Cell
Ok folks, this week I’ve got a special post for you just in time for the next episode. Why special? Well, you know my reviews always come speckled with spoilers. This week it will come speckled with politics as well. You have been warned. Move on if you don’t want to hear my politic opinion and how it related to TWD, but I promise to not get too deep or angry.
First off, I think we all have had a certain special song in our head most of the week, right?!?! I mean, with everything that happened in the USA this week it added to the ironic that my head just kept jingling “When you’re on easy street”. Certain things about this week’s were just comical, in a sadistic, painful sort of way.
The entirety of this week’s episode surrounded Daryl and his internment at Negan’s compound. Like we sadly discovered during the season premiere, Negan has A LOT of followers. What I did notice in this week’s episode at the compound, there weren’t a lot of women. There were a few, most importantly Negan’s wife who happens to be Dwight’s wife, only Negan took her in the bargaining for taking them back.
This week got in to the psyche of three important people: Daryl, Dwight, and the Negan collective. Not Negan you say? Not really. I mean, we already know this guy is the most sadistic, power hungry a-hole the crew has met, so his sexist comments and torturous behavior towards Daryl were not really a surprise.
First let’s focus on Dwight. This guy has pissed me off from the beginning, and how could he not? First he twice betrays Daryl when Daryl was trying to help his crew. Then we meet him again when he’s back with a giant scar on his face serving as one of the Saviors. He steals Daryl’s cross bow, and jacket, and kills Denise. He’s quickly checking off the points in the cons column. This week all of what he did added to that column exponentially: he made shit sandwiches for those he didn’t like, he tortured Daryl, he killed an old friend trying to escape Negan and turned him in to a walker slave, and he obeyed everything Negan told him to do like a pathetic puppy dog. Still, there was a point to this episode, and I think it was to show us that Dwight might be just doing all this to survive, and maintain his currently cushy lifestyle as Negan’s right hand. But there will obviously be more to come from this man, and we might find him changing sides in episodes to come.
Now Daryl. I think a lot of his female followers might have been happy about his lack of clothing for some scenes, but I personally couldn’t get over his ability to withstand torture. He’s kept captive in a tiny room, fed shit sandwiches, all while they BLAST an initially catchy but eventually horrendous song over and over to prevent sleep and drive him insane. We all know Daryl’s a good guy, but here’s my first political aside: do we really want to be a people that condones this and much worse for our prisoners? I know I wanted to stab my eyeballs out at the end of the episode and didn’t even have to be in that room, I just had to watch it. Imagine it for others that go through much worse, and imagine if just one of them was not guilty. Is it worth it?
Ok, political rant aside for a second, I found my self continually wondering why Daryl doesn’t just play along with Negan and behave? It would get him closer to the top, and give him more advantage in the possibility of overthrowing Negan. Then I actually thought hard about it and I think I know why he doesn’t. What would be the first task that Negan would give Daryl? He would likely test his true alliance by forcing him to kill, or worse torture, one of his old friends. So maybe Daryl’s way of dealing with the torture and staying defiant is also the smartest in addition to the bravest.
Lastly, here’s my discussion of Negan’s followers. He explained that they are all extensions of him, which is why they are all “Negan”, a Negan collective. Ever since starting to meet the Saviors in TWD I started thinking about how Negan gets so many people to say yes and follow. How has there not been a mutiny? There are so many hundreds of Saviors, and they can’t all agree with Negan’s brutal ways, right? We know that to be true this week as well when one of his followers ran away and Dwight was faced to track him down and bring him back. I just keep thinking that there can’t be that many people that condone Negan’s actions. Then this past Tuesday’s election happened, and 53% of white women voted for a man that has continually talked about women as sex objects and worthless. I will do my best not to say one side is right and wrong, I know real life is not as simple as TWD, but I will say it was eye opening for me. Whether it be because you are a believer, you like power, you are scared and think falling in line is the way to behave, you find something different better than something established, or you let others cast a vote for you, it forced me to realize that in a post-apocalyptic zombie world there would be a lot of Negan followers, even people you wouldn’t expect. Yes, it’s sad. But that again is why I continue to love TWD: because the core characters continue to fight for the life they believe in, and they say and do things that are morally right for ALL people, regardless of their skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or deformities. Here’s to hoping more people like that can bridge the divide in this country.
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