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THE WALKING DEAD: Why Did Daryl Lie to Carol?

By on February 21, 2017

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead _ Season 7, Episode 10 - Photo Credit: Gene Page/AMC

Sunday’s episode of The Walking Dead contained two real key scenes.

In the first, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) battled a Walker with an array of pointy things duct-taped to its body in an effort to show his captors he was serious about an alliance. The second was a far less dramatic, but no less emotional moment, and involved Daryl (Norman Reedus) reuniting with Carol (Melissa McBride) for the first time since Rick’s controversial decision to murder an outpost of Saviors before Negan’s group had the opportunity to make a move against him first — a group decision that Carol ultimately could not live with.

“If they hurt any of our people — any more of them — that’s what I would do,” Carol told Daryl in Sunday’s “New Best Friends” episode, admitting that if forced to, she would return to killing — but at a terrible cost.

“There wouldn’t be anything left of me after that,” she added tearfully.

While Carol has been living a relatively undisturbed life (expect for those annoying cobbler deliveries) in her small cabin on the outskirts of Ezekiel’s Kingdom, Daryl has fared far worse, having been taken and tortured by Negan, after first witnessing Glenn and Abraham being bludgeoned to death by Lucille. Friends from the start, there is no doubt that Carol and Daryl’s recent experiences have set them apart. However as Carol stated, she would come to any of her friends’ assistance in a heartbeat if necessary.

Which leads us to Sunday’s big moment. When Carol asks Daryl how everyone is, he lies and tells her they are all safe in Alexandria. It’s a deceit designed to save Carol from becoming the thing she fears most — an inhuman killer incapable of remorse for her actions. In the moment, we see Daryl not only saving his friend from a terrible truth, but from being put on a path he knows she can’t come back from.

“Everyone’s path is their individual path, and she needs to be away from it because she’s losing herself and that world, when your whole life is changed and your whole world is changed and the dynamics have changed, and you start to lose yourself – then what’s the point, you know?” Reedus told Entertainment Weekly following Sunday’s episode.

“I think that he realizes that she needs to hold on to something. She’s been working towards it and it’s been hard for her, and he sees how hard it is for her to even make the choice to do what she’s doing now.

“And selflessly, he tells her what she needs to hear because he cares about her and doesn’t want to drag her into something that she doesn’t want to be a part of.”

What’s next for Daryl and Carol? The reminiscing may have to take a backseat to Negan and Dwight’s search for their missing prisoner as things heat up in “Hostilities and Calamities.”

The Walking Dead continues Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.

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