One of our major bugbears about Season 6 thus far has been the lack of Daryl (Norman Reedus) time. Few – if any – shows would feel confident enough to sideline their most popular character. Then again, most shows aren’t The Walking Dead.
This week, we get our wish with an episode in which Daryl is quite prominent. Quickly separated from Abraham (Michael Cudlitz) and Sasha (Sonequa Martin-Green), he quickly gets caught up in a sticky situation, encountering, getting kidnapped by and subsequently rescuing the same group of survivors, only to get betrayed by them in short order. And judging by our brief glimpse of what will happen in the following episode, things might not get a whole lot better for him.
Despite the focus on Daryl, we don’t learn that much new about him, other than that while other characters have become more ruthless, he has stayed at roughly about his original level of bad-assery. Unfortunately, that’s less than everyone else, which is part of the reason he ends losing his crossbow – for now. We bet he’ll get it back at some point.
Is Daryl being buttered up for an early exit? We hope not, as he’s still a pretty magnetic screen presence, and one of the most endearing characters on the show. Then again, his response of “You will be” to the departing thieves’ apology shows that he might not have lost his edge yet.
Meanwhile, every Abraham scene endears us to the guy even more. Whether he’s bellowing into a zombie’s face, dressing up in a scavenged uniform or putting the moves onto Sasha (“I believe I’d like to get to know you a whole lot better”), it’s hard not to root for the guy. He deserves more screen time.
For a relatively action-packed episode, however, it somehow feels all a tad empty for some reason. If not for Abraham’s capers, it would have been one of the weakest episodes thus far. As it is, it’s merely not bad.