The Walking Dead

‘The Walking Dead’: 10 Questions Raised By Episode 3, “The Cell”

Gene Page/AMC

The Walking Dead delivered the third episode of their new season, called “The Cell.” That was fitting, and quite literal, because the episode mostly centered around Daryl being held prisoner in a small cell at the Saviors compound. The show again kept us away from Rick and his group in the aftermath of losing Glenn and Abraham to Negan and Lucille, allowing the characters (and the audience) a respectful mourning period. We did get our first look at Negan’s home life, though, and it raised some interesting questions. We also got more insight on Dwight, as a character, as his backstory and motivations are becoming clearer.

Here are the questions, theories, and/or talking points we have after watching “The Cell.”

What’s with the lettering system?

We see that Daryl has been fitted with a prison jumpsuit, of sorts, featuring the letter A, which is an upgrade from when he was seen completely naked early in the episode. Later we see that he’s not the only one given a lettered jumpsuit, which confirms that Negan is holding multiple prisoners, for whatever reason (one of our original questions was “Does Negan have more prisoners?” but of course he does).

Perhaps the letters are just an attempt to dehumanize the prisoners down to the point where they accept that they are all Negan now, although the show didn’t make a point to show the poor detainees being called “Prisoner B” or anything similar. Or maybe it’s a ranking system of some sorts, with Daryl being at the top of the ladder with the letter ‘A’, because he is Negan’s favorite?  What’s with the letters?

Via AMC

Via AMC

Remember this chick?

We have to be honest, when we first saw this character on Sunday night, we thought she was brand new to the show (we missed the “Previously on The Walking Dead” prologue). It took some jogging of the memory (along with hints from the show) to remind us that she’s been around longer than we thought. Officially, her name is Sherry and she was with Dwight (pre-melted face) when they encountered Daryl in the woods in Season Six. Although Daryl and Dwight briefly appeared to forgive each other back then, the encounter ended with Dwight and Sherry stealing the motorcycle and crossbow, and leaving Daryl for dead. And now we have some info about what has happened to her since that moment, which brings us to the next question.

Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

What’s Up With Negan’s Marriage Situation?

Negan makes a specific effort to explain that Dwight and Sherry are no longer married, because Sherry was “super hot” and Negan wanted her to himself. Apparently, allowing his (now ex) wife to “marry” Negan affords Dwight special privileges inside the Saviors compound. It also may have saved him from being on the wrong end of a Lucille beating, since Negan also mentioned that Dwight went “code orange” once, which we now know is when they met Daryl in Season Six.

In the comics, Negan actually takes multiple wives. In a sick system of sex and rewards, those husbands who give up their ladies get the best treatment for their loyalty, rather than having to “work on points” like the rest of the low-level soldiers. The show hasn’t hinted at this yet, but it’s still possible.

Via AMC

Via AMC

Is Dwight loyal?

Speaking of rising up the ranks as a Savior, we see that Dwight is basically Negan’s right-hand-man. However, that wasn’t always the case. Dwight previously tried to escape with his wife (and her sister Tina), although apparently they had a change of heart after Tina died. They stole Daryl’s stuff at gunpoint and made a humble return to Negan, begging for forgiveness.

He allowed them to live, but at a pretty high cost. Sherry became Negan’s wife, and Dwight was given the iron (in the comics, Negan would literally melt the faces of those who displayed disloyalty with a hot clothes iron). That does explain how his face went from looking perfectly normal when we first met him in Season Six, to a disfigured mess when he later reappeared. That’s a lot to swallow though. Although it seems like Dwight’s spirit has been thoroughly broken by Negan, we have to wonder if he is just waiting for the right time to get his revenge.

Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

What’s With The Walker Fence?

This episode makes numerous references to the fence outside, mostly as punishment for those who don’t follow the rules. And we see that some of the lettered prisoners are responsible for maintaining the fence, which looks like a really crappy job.

Our only real guess is that Negan thinks keeping walkers alive on the outside fence acts as some sort of security, keeping any nosy survivors far away from the compound. However, we’ve seen on multiple occasions that not taking care of walkers can lead to disasters down the road. Negan seems smart enough to know this. But maybe he’s too cocky to care.

Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

Where do the Saviors live?

Although we did get some sense of the inner workings of Negan’s home base, we still have larger questions about where the Saviors are located. Where are they staying? Our best guess is in some sort of abandoned factory or warehouse. How big is it, though? How many Saviors are there, really? Negan never seems to be in short supply of a small army of scary looking dudes to do evil things for him. But there are (at least) three other settlement communities in the surrounding area (Alexandria, The Hilltop, and The Kingdom). And yet no one seems to know very much about Negan or where he lives.

Via AMC

Via AMC

Why did Dwight shoot this guy?

Dwight goes after a man who has decided to abandon Negan’s group, which is refereed to as an “orange” situation. When he finally catches up with the guy, whose name is Gordon, by the way, we see that there are definitely cracks in Negan’s mythical status. Gordon openly questions why people cower in fear of Negan, just because he has a baseball bat and a bad temper. Surely the people living in the compound could overthrow him and continue living in a more civilized manner, right?

Gordon is so fed up with living under Negan’s rule that he begs Dwight to shoot him instead of forcing him to return. At first, Dwight refuses. Instead he threatens to torture everyone Dwight cares about back at the compound. Gordon finally gives in, and agrees to return. And then Dwight shoots him in the back. Was it out of anger? Or mercy? Maybe deep down inside, Dwight knows that Gordon was right.

Via AMC

Via AMC

Are the Saviors really loyal?

They are all Negan. They follow orders. They stay in their lane. They are the Saviors.

But are they really an united as Negan thinks? We saw that Gordon wasn’t interested in sticking around to be part of the group, and we learn that Dwight had also previously left, only to return and beg forgiveness. A few tense, but brief, conversations between Dwight and his ex-wife Sherry show that hard feelings still exist, even if Negan insists that “things are cool” now. Something tells us that things are certainly not cool, especially when it comes to Dwight. Who else in Negan’s inner circle might be harboring resentment from the past? And will it ever bubble up to the top and cause more problems?

Via AMC

Via AMC

Will Daryl break?

This is perhaps the most important question of the entire episode, one with real implications as the show continues down the never ending road that is a zombie apocalypse. At the end of the episode, we finally see Daryl crack, as he bursts into tears at the sight of a picture of Glenn’s caved in skull. But will he break completely?

Daryl seems steadfast that he will remain “Daryl” and not become another “Negan.” But Negan seems to have perfected the technique of breaking down the human spirit, and he’s taken a special liking to Daryl’s case. Both Dwight and Sherry have already warned Daryl that eventually, one way or another, Negan will get his way. Will Daryl be forced to give in and join the Saviors? Will he simply pretend to do so, waiting for the right time to escape or fight back? Or will he simply continue to hold out, and likely die in the process?

Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

Will Daryl Replace Dwight an Negan’s No. 2?

If Daryl does break, the interesting question will be what new role does he take for Negan? Daryl is a valuable guy to have around in a post-apocalyptic world, something that Negan instantly recognizes. It’s the reason he’s still alive. Daryl has been Rick’s right-hand-man for almost the entire series, and could perfectly slide into a similar role for Negan, should he abandon his loyalty to his old friends and accept his fate as a Savior.

If that happens, the tension between Dwight and Daryl would only increase. They have a violent history of mistrust, after all. Plus Dwight might actually get jealous of Negan’s new favorite henchman. There’s a lot at stake and it all depends on what Daryl decides to do.

Gene Page/AMC

Gene Page/AMC

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