Following his capture by the evil Negan and his Savior cronies, The Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) suffered a savage stay in the cells of the Sanctuary in Season 7. Tortured by Dwight at the behest of Negan, Daryl was striped naked, made to eat dog food sandwiches, forced to listen to "Easy Street" and brutally beaten when his escape attempt failed.
Ultimately Daryl's refusal to kneel and call himself "Negan" resulted in him being forced to work for points, and carry out dangerous and degrading tasks. In order to make these workers easy to differentiate from the Saviors, they were dressed in grubby tracksuits marked with letters. Daryl had a sweatshirt with an "A," but we also saw those with an "F" and "S." And while many fans have been puzzled by what these letters may have meant, we now have an explanation thanks to Norman Reedus and writer Angela Kang.
The upcoming #TheWalkingDead Season 7 Blu-ray is full of new information and the commentary track for Episode 3, "The Cell," gives us some extra details about that Daryl-centric instalment. While Reedus and Kang have slightly different ideas about what the letters meant, one of them definitely seems to make sense! Kang — who wrote "The Cell" — explains that it's basically a shortened Negan-ism:
"It just means a–hole. [...] They’re being juvenile. Like an a–hole and an F and an S for f—face and s—head."
Meanwhile, Norman Reedus had other thoughts on what the "A" could symbolize, joking that he "thought it meant Aquarius."
And while the the mystery over the random letters may be solved, it turns out that the workers were originally going to wear different looking uniforms. Kang revealed that originally the men were going to be clad in factory jumpsuits, but showrunner Scott Gimple nixed the idea because of their similarities to another show. "Scott thought it would look too much like Lost," Kang said. The jumpsuits referred to were the DHARMA Initiative jumpsuits, worn by all DHARMA Initiative employees on the Island and seen at various points in the series.
While the DHARMA Initiative-esque uniforms never made it through to the finished product, The Walking Dead has certainly made nods to the sci-fi mystery series in the past. Way back in Season 5, Episode 6 "Consumed," there was a reference to Lost when Daryl and Carol took refuge in a van that was hanging off a bridge that had a Virgin Mary statue on the dashboard. This was a tip of the hat to the moment in Lost Season 1 when survivors found a crashed plane teetering off a cliff that was filled with statues of the Virgin Mary (which were crammed with drugs). But while both the van and the plane fell off the edge in their respective episodes, The Walking Dead characters escaped unharmed, while the Lost character, Boone, was fatally injured.
The episode commentary — and many more extras — are all part of The Walking Dead Season 7 Blu-ray, which will be available for purchase from August 22. Following that, it's just a short wait until the premiere of The Walking Dead Season 8. The eighth season will open with the show's 100th episode, which is sure to contain many nods to other iconic moments from the series. As a whole, Season 8 will also bring us the much anticipated "All Out War" arc from the comic series, where Rick and his allies go to war against Negan and his supporters.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC for Season 8 on October 22.
Are you satisfied with the explanation behind the letters on the worker's clothing? Sound off in the comments below!