Turns out we’ve heard the soundtrack to the Apocalypse, and it’s ‘Easy Street’.
At least that’s the tune of choice for Dwight (Austin Amelio) while he does his best to torture Daryl into submission now he’s a prisoner of Negan and the Saviors.
Despite being subject to beatings, dogfood, darkness and isolation, Daryl’s spirit doesn’t appear to be broken, although we suspect there’s more to come for him. While it’s not nice to see him in this state, at least he’s going to have a substantial storyline this season. We just hope it’s not his last.
In the meantime, we get more of a focus on Dwight. Previously a lurking, mildly antagonistic presence, here he takes centre stage, discovering what drives him and why he sides his Negan (who lurks more than he does actually appear).
As it turns out, the foundation for his devotion is an unsurprising one: fear. Both for what will happen to him if he doesn’t follow, and for what will happen to the community if he doesn’t. It’s not exactly in-depth characterisation, and Negan’s methods aren’t exactly subtle – obey him or get beaten to death – but it’s good to see a previously minor character get some layers, even if there are only a few.
Like the episode before it, it’s hard to get especially excited either way about ‘The Cell’. It’s all scene-setting, sprinkled with a slight foreshadowing of what’s to come via the underlining of the various conflicts that stir in some of the characters, but otherwise, not a lot happens. Negan’s plan appears to be to take and take – and that’s it. Whenever he turns up he steals the scene, but somehow it feels like it’s not quite enough.
In any case, next week promises another shown between the Saviors and the Alexandrians. In the meantime, this is adequate – if not entirely satisfying – filler.