The Walking Dead S7E3 recap: The Cell

Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in Episode 3Photo by Gene Page/AMC
Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in Episode 3Photo by Gene Page/AMC /

 It’s time to check in with Daryl to see how he’s adjusting to life at the Sanctuary. Here’s your complete recap of The Walking Dead “The Cell.”

After reuniting with Morgan and Carol last week, The Walking Dead takes us into the Sanctuary to see how Daryl is getting along.

We start with Dwight and Sherry watching an old episode of Who’s the Boss while playing a game. Then we see Dwight making a sandwich while Negan’s men beat up a man. The man is wearing #39, so Dwight raids his locker and steals his food. He takes what he pleases from everyone, but when Negan strolls through the camp even Dwight kneels respectfully. He enjoys his sandwich at the top of the steps of one of the buildings that overlooks the courtyard where various prisoners fight for their lives with a group of Walkers. One of the Walkers has impaled himself and he keeps getting up and falling down, over and over again.

Symbolically, Dwight makes a dog food sandwich for Daryl and takes it to Daryl’s cell, where he is being held. He’s naked and alone in the pitch black darkness.

“Easy Street” plays while we see Daryl’s face in the darkness. Dwight brings him more food and smirks as he eats it. Daryl’s wound is bandaged but he’s thin and weak. Eventually, Dwight brings him some clothes during one of his visits. Lastly, Dwight walks in with Daryl’s crossbow and escorts Daryl out of the chamber and down a long hallway to the doctor’s office. His shirt bears the letter “A”. Sherry is there on the exam table, and she recognizes Daryl. Dwight spots a pregnancy test and Sherry reveals that it’s negative.

“Whatever they say, just do it,” she tells him. The doctor takes care of the wound and tells Daryl that Negan will take care of him. He says to trust him.

They run into Negan coming out of the office and Negan tells Daryl he’d like to talk to him. Daryl looks up at a nicely furnished room before being taken out to the fighting pits, where Dwight tells him that he can either be like the people in there trying to stay alive, or he can be like Dwight. It’s his choice.

Dwight returns Daryl to his cell and tells him to make it easier on himself. Daryl refuses to kneel to anyone, but Dwight said the same thing initially. But eventually he will. The music comes back on and Daryl is left in the dark. Now he starts trying to break through the door.

Negan praises Dwight’s efforts with Daryl over a beer. He offers Dwight a choice of women but then wonders if Dwight’s penis isn’t working, but Dwight says he’s fine down there. He offers him free food at the “pussy bar” and Dwight’s saying no. There’s a situation that comes up and Dwight is dispatched to take care of it. It’s a great way to see how Dwight bends to Negan’s requests without question, and how arrogant Negan is.

Dwight leaves the Sanctuary on Daryl’s motorcycle, wearing his jacket, passing the statue of an angel wrapped in human hands. Dwight arrives at the roadblock and there’s a van blocking the road and Walkers are lined up under the bridge up ahead. None of them have legs, and there has been quite a fight there.

In Dwight’s absence, someone else brings his food. He closes the door and there’s a pause before the music starts again. The silence allows Daryl to realize the door isn’t locked. He sneaks out and creeps down the hallway. Behind him, three men walk down after him.

A walker flies off the bridge onto Dwight. He struggles and shoots him.

Sherry runs into Daryl and tells him that he should go back. She says that even if he gets out, once Negan catches up it will be even worse than whatever happened before. Daryl keeps going and spots a row of motorcycles outside. It looks like he was set up, because as soon as he gets outside he is quickly surrounded. Negan strolls up, whistling, with Lucille on his shoulder. “Are we pissing our pants yet?” he asks.

Negan calmly waves Lucille around and asks who the people around him are. They’re response: “Negan.” That means Negan is everywhere. Daryl failed his test just as his life was about to “get so much cooler.” Negan gives Daryl three choices: Work for Negan. No matter what, even if he’s dead, he’s still working for Negan. When Daryl doesn’t back down, Negan starts to take a swing at him, but Daryl doesn’t move. Negan seems to respect that. He walks away as his men beat up Daryl.

Dwight pushes Daryl’s bike, which now has a broken wheel. He sees a man fighting off a Walker and he runs to tackle the man.

Sherry sits outside Daryl’s cell and tells him the story about when they were in the woods and they lost Tina. She said she told Daryl she was sorry. Daryl’s response: “You’re gonna be” and she says she is sorry.

Dwight walks the man back to the Sanctuary. They used to be friendly. The man doesn’t understand how Dwight can respect Negan after what he did to Dwight’s wife. There’s no telling what that means.  The man says he’d rather that Dwight shoots him than to go back. There’s only one Negan and so many of them, so why do they allow him to win? The man says that when he and his wife arrived there they thought they knew how to fight the monsters, but he was wrong. Dwight says he will dig up the man’s dead wife and feed her to the crows. The man gets up again and starts walking, but he says there’s nothing left. Dwight struggles with his thoughts for a moment, but then he pulls the trigger and kills the man.

Dwight returns and finds Sherry waiting for him. Dwight says he did the right thing because it’s much better than being dead. She agrees.

The music is blaring and Daryl sits in the dark. The music stops, and Dwight offers him some food. He urges Daryl to eat and says he got his friend killed, and Dwight got Tina killed. Dwight says that Daryl should be dead but Negan is taking a chance on him. He reaches in and tapes a picture on the wall. “Long live Negan” he says before leaving. It’s a Polaroid of Glenn’s remains. The music changes to Roy Orbison’s “Crying.”

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The next day Dwight finds Daryl in a pool of vomit. He takes Daryl to Negan’s suite and Negan offers him a drink. He even has Dwight fetch him a straw. Negan tells Daryl the story of how Dwight took his wife and Negan’s possible future fiancée away from the Sanctuary because she needed medicine. Even though he screwed up he came back and begged for forgiveness. Sherry offered herself to Negan in place of her sister, so Negan married Dwight’s super hot wife Sherry and Dwight is still one of his top people. Negan thinks that Daryl could be that same guy. He offers up the little suite, and he offers up the high life, but he has to answer one question: Who is he?

Negan: “Who are you?”

Several heartbeats pass.

Daryl: “Daryl.”

Dwight can’t believe how stubborn Daryl is. Negan waves him off. He says it isn’t his problem if he made a dumb choice. Dwight takes him back to the cell and yells at him for making the dumb choice. Daryl says that he understands why Dwight did what he did. And that’s exactly why Daryl can’t do that.

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Dwight goes back outside and watches the Walkers in the cage. He stares at the Walkers before going back inside.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9pm on AMC.