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The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon - Deux Amours - Review

15 Oct 2023

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  The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon “Deux Amours” was written by the team of Jason Richman and David Zabel and was directed by Daniel Percival. I think one of the things the show is really doing right is keeping the creative circle small, and it’s really helping to solidify the tone and themes of the series. The title of this episode is a bit of a puzzler for me. It means Two Loves. Is it that Daryl is now torn between his current mission and his promise to return to his friends (Carol)? Is it Isabelle’s two loves? Is it Quinn’s two loves – the most complicating factor in the episode really!

The episode opens with a somewhat idyllic scene of the boat heading downriver. Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi) sits on the front of the boat praying to be strong – and praying that Isabelle (Clémence Poésy) will be too. Inside the cabin, Daryl (Norman Reedus) asks Azlan (Hassam Ghancy) what the Nest is like. Azlan tells him that it’s a special place, a home for the soul. Daryl asks if Laurent will be safe – he’s worried that the nuns raised him “too soft.” Azlan assures him that Laurent will be well looked after – and groomed to be the leader he’s supposed to be – and that doesn’t sound ominous at all… Daryl still isn’t convinced. Azlan asks if Daryl is Christian and when Daryl says no, he tells him the story of Abraham – and asks Daryl how he got so far from home. 

It’s pretty clear that Daryl doesn’t actually tell Azlan, but we finally get some answers. Daryl is walking his bike because it’s out of fuel. A guy – Jones (Gilbert Glenn Brown) stops and asks if he needs help. He asks if Daryl is any good with the crossbow – and takes him back to his camp. It’s pretty clear that he must have gotten some kind of information on the ride there because he picks up some sticks on his way in to the “briefing.” There are a bunch of other desperate ne’er-do-wells, including a kid – TJ (Martin Martinez) who is trying to get back to his girl. 

Jones goes over the rules: no fighting, no stealing, no sexual deviance, no kids will be accepted, no elderlies, or shorties. Juno (John Ales) asks what they want the walkers for Doctor ( François Delaive), whom we’ve seen before in Genet’s (Anne Charrier) lab, tells him it’s none of his business. They get a pint of ethanol per head – and Juno says they were promised a quart. The Doctor promises them a quart for the fresh ones. TJ tries to hook up with another group and Juno tells him to get lost.

Azlan says that however hard it was for Daryl to get there, the home journey is likely to be worse. He also tells Daryl they have about 124 miles to go.

Daryl has no problem rounding up walkers – and he uses the stakes stuck through their mouths to keep them from biting. Juno returns with a bunch and gives them to the Doctor. They are using strobe lights to lure them into shipping containers. Daryl arrives back with even more than Juno. TJ tries to hook up with Daryl and asks him for advice. Daryl tells him to go back to his girl. TJ points out that he can’t go back empty handed. It's a nice parallel to have Daryl mentoring two young men - one in the past and one in the present - both in danger.

In the present, the pull the boat to shore, and Azlan has hidden campsite. He pulls out cans for the perimeter. When he pulls out a watch, Daryl asks him if he’s late for something. Azlan tells him it’s almost time for prayers. Laurent comes through the woods shouting for Daryl – proud that he’s caught a fish. Daryl praises him then says they need to gut it. Laurent is having none of that and says he’s made a promise not to eat living things. 

Daryl says God will understand – and Azlan agrees. Daryl points out that he’s no longer at the Abbey. Laurent tells Daryl he misses Issa, and Daryl says that everyone has people they miss. Laurent asks who Daryl misses, and he says his friends. Laurent says it’s not fair that Daryl knows about his friends but he doesn’t know about Daryl’s. Daryl tells him “Life isn’t fair. Ask the fish.” This is one of my favorite lines in the entire series! Brilliant! But Daryl relents and tells him, “There’s Judith and RJ – they’re kids like you – there’s Connie. Ezekiel. There’s a lady named Carol.” And who didn’t love the people he chose to share with Laurent!?! Daryl then kills the fish. He tells Laurent that it didn’t feel a thing, and Laurent tells him not to worry as they’ll all be together again… presumably in Heaven? 

Isabelle wakes up in an opulent house in the country. She’s been drugged. There’s a woman – Marie (Caroline Gay) – who is clearly there as her keeper. In a nicely parallel scene, Isabelle prays for the others safe passage to the Nest. Quinn (Adam Nagaitis) arrives and tells her that he’s kept his promise – they’ve made it out of the city and are headed north. Quinn wants to know how long it will take for her to want him again. Quinn says everything happens for a reason – and asks isn’t that what God’s all about. Isabelle tells him that God loves the sinner, and Quinn jokes there’s hope for him yet. Isabelle smiles at him, but tells him that she locked that part of her away a long time ago – she needs to pray on it. 

Azlan prays as Daryl show Laurent how to put the fish on a spit to cook it. Laurent asks if Daryl’s ever read the Koran – shocker, he hasn’t. Laurent tells him it’s interesting and there’s only one God. He asks Daryl who he prays to. Daryl answers honestly that he doesn’t. Laurent asks what he believes in – and Daryl tells him pulling his own weight. Laurent doesn’t want to spit the fish, but Daryl tells him you don’t always get a choice and have to do things you don’t want to.

Back at the chateau, Isabelle fashions a weapon for herself, asking God to forgive her… 

Daryl is curious about Azlan’s watch. He tells Daryl that it saved his life. Daryl asks if Le Havre is the only place to get a boat. Azlan tells him that Genet controls the port, but that they’ll help him secure a boat. Daryl tells Azlan that he has to get back because he made a promise. Azlan replies that sometimes a promise can be overwhelmed, but Daryl tells him that when a man dies fighting someone else’s war, it’s the man’s children who suffer and it gets passed down to their children. And I suspect that this is going to come up again in the Rick storyline… Daryl says that sometimes people just forget what the cause was.

Azlan tells Daryl that when he first got to the Nest, he’d just lost his family. They gave him the watch to work on, and by the time he got it running again, he was also ready to live again. In the background, you can hear Laurent praying to let him be strong – like Daryl. 

In the past, TJ is still trying to get the group to take him on. They tell him to go chop wood for them. He’s hopeless at it, so Daryl gives him lesson in splitting wood. TJ tells him that he’s trying to rescue his girl and take her far away – to California, which he thinks has to be better than what they have – but we know it isn’t…

Back at the chateau, Marie blocks Anna (Lukerya Ilyashenko) from interrupting Quinn having a romantic dinner with Isabelle. Isabelle kisses Quinn to distract him, but her object is really to kill him. When she stops, Quinn says to her that Abraham sacrificed his only son, but Isaac was saved. And in the end Abraham was redeemed – He tells her that he believes in redemption and he knows she does too. Isabelle tells him she’s sorry – and he brushes it off, saying he can be patient – they have all the time in the world. He comes out of the bedroom – and an angry Anna shatters her glass and storms out. 

And then we get the best surprise! In the past, there’s a radio at the hub, and Daryl is able to get Carol (Melissa McBride) on the radio! She asks if he’s ok and where he is. We learn he’s in Maine and heading home – to be there in a week. She says everything is quiet there and it takes getting used to. As the radio starts to crackle, Carol says something about someone coming back – is it Rick?!?!?!

In the present, Daryl here’s the warning alarm. Azlan is on watch, and Daryl goes to find him. There are two dead walkers, but Azlan has been impaled on a telephone pole. He’s also covered in their blood. He tells Daryl that at least they know that God has a sense of humor – his father worked for the telephone company! He tells Daryl not to bother getting him water. He gives Daryl the watch – it has a picture of the Nest on the inside. He tells Daryl to follow the river – and beware of telephone poles! He tells Daryl he knows Laurent is in good hands and asks him “to do it” with his knife – which he hands to Daryl. He says one final prayer and dies. Too bad and he was a really great character. 

In the morning, Daryl buries Azlan, and they head back to the river. The boat is gone – and Laurent is the one who set it adrift. Daryl takes his knife and throws it in the river. Daryl loses it, calling Laurent a worthless little shit and telling him he should have left him where he found him. Daryl screams at him why? Laurent tells him that everyone he knows has left him – and when they get to the Nest, Daryl will leave too and he doesn’t want to be alone. Daryl, of course, apologizes and tells Laurent he didn’t mean it and that it will be alright. I liked this scene – we see Daryl finally crack under the pressure – and perhaps a shade of what his own childhood was like. But Daryl isn’t like that and we know he’s great with kids.

Back at the chateau, Isabelle is considering killing herself with her weapon. Marie comes in with breakfast, but Isabelle insists that she isn’t hungry. Marie tells her a friend brought fresh eggs. Isabelle tell her to thank her friend, and Marie replies, who said it was my friend? Marie moves the plate to show that there is a note. Isabelle unrolls it and reads…

Daryl and Laurent are walking. Daryl tells him there will probably be lots of good people at the Nest. Laurent says they might be mean, but Daryl points out that Azlan wasn’t. Laurent wants to come with him and promises to do whatever he says, but Daryl tells him that he promised Isabelle to drop him at the Nest and that’s where she will look for him. And then they hear trucks… Naturally, Laurent drops a bunch of his things in the road. Daryl holds him back from going to get them insisting it will be fine, but of course, it’s not. 

In the past, Juno arrives with TJ in his string – as a walker. Daryl can’t help himself and punches him. The two of them are dragged off for breaking the rules…

In the present, Daryl gives his knife and the watch to Laurent and tells him to follow the river until he finds the building pictured on the watch. Laurent wants to know what Daryl is going to do, and he tells him he’ll be fine. He reminds Laurent of his promise to do everything that Daryl told him to do, so Laurent leaves. Daryl tries to take out one of the soldiers but is captured. He pretends not to know anything about a boy. The soldier is about to take out one of Daryl’s eyes when Laurent gives himself up.

At the chateau, Quinn arrives with an extravagant diamond necklace and earrings. He got it for her – 12 years ago. Quinn tells her that Madame Genet has invited him to a special event – Gold Day. Isabelle tells him that she’s been thinking about what he said, but you can’t go forward if you are looking back. She suggests that they start over.

Quinn takes her with him to Maison Mere. There’s a line of people waiting to get in – and Isabelle sees Sylvie (Laïka Blanc-Francard), Emile (Tristan Zanchi), and Fallou (Eriq Ebouaney) there! No doubt, this is connected to the eggs and the note! 

Quinn and Isabelle enter Maison Mere via an underground corridor. They see a man dragged into a room, and soldiers start to beat him – his cries and sounds of beating are heard throughout the scene as Genet appears and greets them. Quinn introduces Isabelle. Genet apologizes. It’s one of her guards who accepted a bribe to let people pass out of the city – it’s clear she knows exactly what’s happened. Quinn knows he’s in trouble. Anna is there and she’s given him up. They head to the cells – and Daryl is there too. Quinn tells Anna that she has no idea what she’s done – but it’s clear that she doesn’t care. I’m pretty sure she will though. Quinn is put in a cell. Daryl tells Isabelle he’s sorry before she is forced to go with Genet. 

Isabelle and Laurent are reunited in Genet’s office. Genet tells Isabelle she sees why people fall for “it” – that Laurent is special – life from death etc. Isabelle wants to know what she wants, and Genet tells her she simply wants him to make an appearance. All he has to do is smile. She wants to show the people that they aren’t enemies. Laurent doesn’t want to do it because it is a lie. She tells him that he doesn’t want to make her angry, and he tells her that she isn’t angry, her heart is broken. And that touches a nerve. 

Quinn blames Daryl and tells him he’d better sleep with one eye open. Daryl and Juno are loaded on the boat with containers full of walkers and weird experiments going on. Some containers are labeled feed while others are labelled fast. Daryl and Juno are put in a container with other prisoners. The guards have the same tattoo as Codron (Romain Levi), and one of them takes Daryl’s vest! The soldiers come back and take one of the men out of the container and feed him to the walkers. 

In the present, guards come and take Daryl out of his cell. Genet brings Isabelle and Laurent to a stage over an arena and a crowd. She tells the crowd that they are brave because they ventured out to celebrate the rise of the 6th Republic. She promises they will be fee and unafraid. 

As Genet talks, we flash back to the past. It looks like Daryl is hurt, and Juno is yelling for help. They seem to be the only ones left. Juno tells them to take Daryl out before he turns. They drag him toward the container of the “to be feds.” Over this we hear Genet. “But we didn’t give up. In the name of the ones we loved.” And that describes Daryl perfectly. They open the container. As Daryl looks in at the walkers, Genet says “In the name of all those we lost.” Daryl takes out his guards, dropping one in the container and choking out the one with his vest. As the other soldiers show up, Daryl lets walkers out and then Juno. Genet continues “We kept going…Living. And we must continue to do so. Not for ourselves but for the future. Years from now you will tell your grandchildren that you were here. Now.” She then talks about the ones who want things to go back to the way they were. The crowd starts singing. Meanwhile, in the present, Daryl nears the arena, and in the past, Daryl tries to escape. 

Genet’s whole speech belies the horrors that she is actually committing that we see on the ship. The greed and hubris she talks about is really her own. She identifies Daryl as the enemy in the arena – like he’s one of the corporate elite she’s been going on about. 

In the past, the walkers are all over the ship and the soldiers have their hands full. Daryl and Juno find a lifeboat but have a hard time figuring out how to release it. The walker that was being experimented on breaks free – and is a climber! He pushes Juno into the release button and the lifeboat drops. The walker starts eating Juno but then heads for Daryl.

In the present, a guy comes in and gives Daryl an axe. The crowd chant “Pouvoir” as a crazy walker is brought in. Some shoots a dart into its neck. In the past, the crazy walker comes at Daryl who fends him off, but then there’s an explosion and Daryl just jumps after the lifeboat. In the present the walker’s eyes go black and its veins seem to bulge. Isabelle tells Laurent not to look. Codron taunts Daryl that he’s going to die today for his brother. Daryl holds the axe like a baseball bat and the last thing we see is the walker charging at him. 

Once again, the episode ends on a cliffhanger. I loved the interplay at the end between past and present. McBride’s “appearance” was a great surprise. Lots of great stuff from Reedus in this episode, and its great to see such a range of emotions in Daryl. Is anyone else hoping that both Anna and Quinn have painful deaths coming up? Any decisions on the meaning of that enigmatic title? What did you think of the episode? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!