It’s not every day that you see a spin-off that surpasses the legacy of the main series. Especially when the series has run for over a decade and garnered the kind of cult following that’s persevered through its weakest days. If you take a look at the mess The Walking Dead franchise has made with the majority of its spin-offs, Daryl Dixon will come as a truly bewildering surprise. It was never a matter of question that if The Walking Dead had to base a sister series on one of the characters that wasn’t Rick Grimes, it had to be Daryl Dixon. The scruffy, fidgety man who’s as comfortable wielding a crossbow and a flail as he’s hesitant to ever admit how soft his heart really is. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon premiered its season finale, and with it came the news of AMC already having greenlit a second season with a title so stretched that it’s almost a smirky nod to how long the mother series has run.
As seen in season one, the post-apocalyptic French landscape has been as cruel to the uninvited American as it’s been kind. It’s understandably taken us a while to even begin connecting the dots and realize exactly what sort of bad decisions led to Daryl inadvertently crossing the Atlantic and finding himself in France. Granted, the central trope of having a cold and deadpan hero ensure a safe passage for a miracle child did seem a tad too similar to The Last of Us initially. But Daryl Dixon series has proved that it’s everything that happens around the central trope that can make a show one of a kind. Chock full of gray antiheroes, formidable antagonists, and a pervasive theme of empathy and perseverance, Daryl Dixon gave us an experience that only goes to show that the right elements need to fall into the right hands to be molded into a masterpiece. Here’s a quick overview of the journey that Daryl took in a strange land that embraced him as his own.
What Happened In Season 1?
While I’d totally suggest checking the show out for yourself, if you’d rather wait for the second season to come out and binge the two together, I might as well catch you up to what Daryl found himself facing in the apocalypse-torn France. You could even compare it to a fairytale. We have our hero, the menacing Daryl Dixon, in charge of safeguarding a magic child’s passage to the Nest. And then we have our lionhearted heroine in the form of Isabelle, the nun who’s secretly related to Laurent, the child born of a walker. What makes up the bigger chunk of the narrative is how Daryl, Isabelle, and Laurent grow as people and open their hearts to one another, as love and faith are what can strengthen their pursuit of humanity’s deliverance. And as is the case with any fairytale, there’s a frightening antagonist, namely Genet, who’s been steady in her crusade to crush everything good and moral—everything that the Union of Hope stands for. With supercharged zombie variants and people who’d do anything to fulfill their ghoulish agenda, the trio’s journey to the nest is far from easy.
What Will Season 2 Be About?
The thing about Daryl Dixon series is that it has strayed far from the mother show to focus on Daryl’s convoluted emotions. He’s never been much of a people person. And the ones he did end up giving his heart to and considering family were left behind in Virginia as we walked off to see what the world had in store for him. The fight he found in France was never his fight. But being the man who masks the emotions he is actually capable of feeling, Daryl’s come to truly care about Isabelle and Laurent. At the end of the day, he’s only bothered about contributing his heroics to the cause because he’s found a new family in the killer nun and the sweet kid. But while he’s a man who’d lay his life down to protect the people he loves, he’s also terrified of acknowledging just how much Isabelle and Laurent mean to him. And there’s one more problem. He’d made a promise to Carol that she’d get her best friend back.
If Melissa McBride could have moved to France for the shoot, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon would’ve gone a whole different way. But we did get a glimpse at the feisty apocalypse survivor out in the middle of nowhere. By the looks of the ending scene of the season 1 finale, Carol’s out looking for her best friend, and there’s no stone she’ll leave unturned until she reaches Daryl. The last time Daryl spoke to Carol, he’d promised to visit her in a week. But as we all know, being shipped to France aboard Genet’s boat didn’t give Daryl a chance to reunite with his friend.
With Melissa McBride joining the cast of season 2, titled, The Book of Carol, it can be said with absolute certainty that the new season would cover Carol’s frantic search for Daryl. And from the looks of the season 1 finale and the season 2 teaser, there’s no weapon that Carol wouldn’t take up to make sure that her friend is safe. Considering the second season will be shot in France, chances are Carol will find her way back to Daryl across the Atlantic. It’s possible that, being the righteous warrior that she is, Carol would join forces with the Union of Hope and assist them in their fight against Genet and the undead. But when the dust settles, will Daryl leave Laurent and Isabelle behind to go back home with Carol? We’ll have to wait for The Book of Carol, which is set to come out in 2024, to find out exactly what destiny has in store for Daryl Dixon.
Who Will Be On The Cast?
For season two of the Daryl-based spin-off, Norman Reedus will be joining the cast as Daryl Dixon, the hero caught between the two worlds. Clémence Poésy will be returning as Isabelle, the nun who isn’t wary of causing a major bloodbath. Louis Puech Scigliuzzi will reprise his role as Laurent. The boy, as foretold by Pere Jean, will revitalize humanity. As Genet’s dream of conquering the Union of Hope and having her dictatorship established in France is far from over, Anne Charrier will return to send chills down your spine. And last but far from least, we’re getting Melissa McBride’s Carol as more than a cameo; as the title suggests, the second season will be just as much about Daryl’s fearless best friend as it’ll be about him.