So what’s up with Daryl Dixon? How do you see him? What are your thoughts about him?
He has great qualities:
• An exceptional survivalist, forward observer, tracker and fighter.
• He is very reliable to carry out a task, tenacious in his efforts for carrying out or going above and beyond what has been tasked. Examples include tracking Sophia ('Cherokee Rose', 'Chupacabra'), assisting Rick countless times and even saving his life a few times ('Home', 'Killer Within').
• He possesses a cautious, unflinching resolve to face whatever is out there in the Apocalypse.
• He has respect and loyalty for solid leadership. The minute he suspects this is weak and he can't control it, he will opt for leaving the group ('Judge, Jury and Executioner')
The stuff that he’s working on:
• I think Daryl suffers from an emotional and social void. Season 4, Episode 12: 'Still' did a wonderful job of relaying this to us. He needs to build and grow those parts of himself.
• He lacks the ability to express feelings of anything to others because his role model was Merle and he basically had to raise himself since both of his parents were alcoholics. He is learning slowly how to do this and distinguishes himself from Merle regarding what he *feels* is wrong behavior ('Chupacabra'). Merle liked to rob folks; drink; use drugs and beat people up. (Some of this is in episode 'Home' and talked about in 'Made to Suffer'.)
In Season Four, Episode 12, Daryl has finally been given a means through a moonshine filled fight to truly express his feelings to someone else. A lifetime of having to keep his feelings to himself is hard to overcome.
Daryl's release of emotion is a combination of:
• Guilt (for not helping others more during the battle and for stop looking for the Governor with Michonne before the battle),
• Loss (for Rick and crew),
• Helplessness (a lifetime of feeling lost and directionless),
• Frustration (at his inability to express his emotions) and
• Rawness from using this as almost a first time to express his emotions to someone else.
This helps him bond with Beth and they are closer and understand each other a little better now. (They also had a hugging moment together in '30 Days Without An Accident' upon Beth hearing from Daryl of Zach's demise.)
• He’s socially inept because no one taught him what was or wasn’t socially acceptable, so he does things like give others puzzled hard stares; urinate in the same room as a lady; licks his fingers whilst eating before shaking someone’s hand, etc… (Ironically certain things he does like take possessions off of dead bodies are now deemed necessary from a survivability stand point. However, even in this apocalyptic setting there are social dos and don't s he still has to learn.)
• He’s indicated and demonstrated he's a mean drunk.
• He has to learn to do things to relax a little and have some fun.
His horrible upbringing and life long self reliance prepared him for physically surviving
the zombie apocalypse better than most people.
It has sometimes given him a seeming hatred or awkwardness towards women who show concern or care for him. I think this comes up to due to his background with his mother and being raised by Merle.
Some quick examples of this:
• Calling Carol a 'stupid bitch' ('Pretty Much Dead Already') when she is concerned about him going out wounded to look for Sophia.
• Massaging Carol's shoulders and then uncomfortably stopping to get back to the group ('Seed')
• Teaching Beth how to shoot a crossbow or railing at her during their game of 'I Never' ('Still')
He is learning slowly how to change socially and emotionally and every step of the way he becomes richer in characterization.
A lot of development we went through as children Daryl is going through now which is why he identifies well with Carl and why he seems immature in some ways or child like.
Daryl is showing his emotions of mourning for Beth and he is getting in touch with them. Beth did get through to him. She gave him hope in people. I think she symbolizes to him the innocence of a young person who was comfortable knowing she hadn’t much time on this earth, however she was always hopeful of the outcome of mankind. Daryl indeed has drastically changed since S1E4. I love his development. He has more dimensions then a lot of characters.
His a true fighter for humanity. Daryl’s response of 'We aren't dead' to Rick's 'We are the Walking Dead' until we get through this. I believe is meant to be reactionary positive. He is slowly taking up the mantel Beth had about trusting humanity. The fact that they are survivors doesn’t mean they are dead; it means they are human. This is a mentality he has over on Rick. Perhaps Rick will come around if Aaron proves to be a bringer of good things with a large camp full of good people who have made all of this work.
What are you thoughts about Daryl? Could he ever lead a group of his own (he did so briefly when Rick had gone off the deep end in 'Say The Word')?
Season Four references:
Will the band of marauders have influence over Daryl and make him into a bad character?
More about that here: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/editpost/467
and here: http://www.thetvcritic.org/reviews/dramas/the-walking-dead-2/season-4/us/
Full List of Dead Threads on The TV Critic:
Other Dead Threads on the TV Critic:
Walking Dead: All About Daryl: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/160
Walking Dead: Bob Stookey http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/167
Walking Dead: Character Development through Story Arcs: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/168
Walking Dead: A Cup of Joe: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/169
Walking Dead: Daryl's Dilemma: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/editpost/467
Walking Dead: The Funeral Home: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/161
Walking Dead: Greene Family Thread is Waning
Walking Dead: Luke, Molly and the Black Shoe: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/159
Walking Dead: On Frank Darabont: http://www.thetvcritic.org/blog/frank-darabont-and-the-walking-dead/
Walking Dead: Psycho Lizzie: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/156
Walking Dead: Rhetorical Questions you have posed to yourself you would like to share with everyone (comments?) http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/152
Walking Dead: Robin Reads the Walking Dead: http://www.thetvcritic.org/blog/robin-reads-the-walking-dead/
Walking Dead: Season Five Speculation
Walking Dead: Season Four Final Episode 'A' Speculation:
Walking Dead: Show Axioms: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/151
Walking Dead: The Silver Spoon: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/162
Walking Dead: Terminus eh?: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/157
Walking Dead: The Walking Dead Vs. Breaking Bad: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/43
Walking Dead: The Train Tunnel Scene (deconstructed): http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/172
Walking Dead: Walking Dead Novels: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/170
Walking Dead: Walking Dead Spinoff News: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/editpost/508
Walking Dead: What is the Walking Dead to you? http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/150
Walking Dead: Wimpy Walkers: http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/177
Walking Dead: Writers of all the episodes with our ratings http://www.thetvcritic.org/forums/other-tv-shows/show/166