Warning: Spoilers ahead for The Walking Dead Episode 3, "The Cell."
After meeting the welcoming residents of The Kingdom in last weeks episode, we were introduced to a rather different community altogether during Episode 3, "The Cell," when we finally journeyed to Negan's main base.
Despite the fact that the Saviors seem like a brutal and feral bunch, the introduction to their base actually showed a rather civilized side, with Dwight watching TV and making one hell of a sandwich. However, the real business of "The Cell" was witnessing the brutal treatment of one Daryl Dixon. It was a horrific sight to see, Daryl quivering in his dark cell, being forced to eat buns filled with dog food and listen to "Easy Street" by The Collapsable Hearts Club on repeat (damn that was some Guantanamo level tactics). By the end of the episode Daryl was somehow still loyal to Rick, though to be honest, after all that I wouldn't have blamed him for jumping ship.
But while you were focussed on watching Daryl struggle through his imprisonment, there were plenty of other details throughout the episode. Take a gander at the five thing you might have missed The Walking Dead Episode 3, "The Cell."
1. The first song had a perfect name
I got to admit, I was a little surprised to see how established and civilized Negan's base actually was. As Episode 3 opened we saw Dwight watching Who's The Boss, playing air hockey and drinking games, carving a figure and then making a sandwich.
However, despite how civilized things looked, there were hints that this wasn't a happy community, including a man being beaten up. Then, Dwight pillaging survivors belongings for his sandwich ingredients showed there was a clear pecking order of residents, which we soon learned was a kind of points system. But while all that was happening, throughout the scene the song 'Town Called Malice' by The Jam was also playing in the background.
As with many of the songs The Walking Dead uses, the lyrics were perfect for the situation. Here's a couple of lines from the song that perfectly fit in with the harsh life the survivors are living under Negan's rule:
Better stop dreaming of the quiet life, cause it's the one we'll never know. And quit running for that runaway bus, cause those rosy days are few. And, stop apologizing for the things you've never done, cause time is short and life is cruel
Struggle after struggle, year after year the atmosphere's a fine blend of ice. I'm almost stone cold dead, in a town called malice.
Yep, life certainly isn't quiet, easy, happy or long in Negan's own town called malice.
2. We learned a little about Negan's strict rules
It was only very briefly touched on in the episode, but we got a look at how Negan likes to run his community. After offering Dwight the reward of a woman, Negan told him that he could sleep with any woman (except his ex-wife Sherry) that he wanted "as long as she says yes." This feeds into one of Negan's major rules from the comic series: No rape.
Yeah, it seems weird considering he also has a wife who only chose to marry him to save her husband's life, but rape is strictly against the rules in Negan's community. And, as we also learned in Episode 3, if any of Negan's rules are broken then the offender may be killed, or burned on the face with a hot iron like Dwight.
Speaking of the iron, although we didn't actually see the iron in action during the episode, I definitely expect it'll make an appearance at some point in Season 7 given that Jeffrey Dean Morgan's name flicks over an iron in a fire during the credit sequence. But who will be the unlucky recipient - could it be Daryl?
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3. That picture was of Glenn's dead body
After days of ill treatment (seriously, by the end of the episode I hated "Easy Street", so I can't imagine how Daryl felt), the thing that seemed to finally break Daryl was being presented with a simple picture. Though it was hard to see in the dim lighting, the polaroid was actually of Glenn's smashed remains, and we even saw one of the Saviors taking the picture back in Episode 1:
After being given the photograph, and forced to look at what his actions essentially caused — along with Dwight changing the song from "Easy Street" to Roy Orbison's "Crying" — Daryl finally seemed to break. While he fortunately still remained strong enough to turn down Negan's offer to join the Saviors, the whole thing perfectly showed the sick levels Negan and his men were willing to go to in order to force a prisoner to their knees.
4. The Negan/God comparisons go even further
Speaking of forcing people to their knees, there was more disturbing evidence that proves just how much Negan fancies himself a post-apocalyptic God in "The Cell."
First up there were a few instances when survivors dipped down into kneeling positions when Negan walked past them, echoing the genuflect gesture common in Christian religions. It was particularly interesting to see that everyone knelt before Negan with no exceptions, even Dwight — who was clearly of a superior rank to many of the survivors — quickly dipped into the position when Negan appeared.
Then there was the rather spooky moment when Negan's Saviors surrounded Daryl and told him they were all Negan. We've actually heard this before back in Season 6, Episode 13 when Carol and Maggie were held prison, but it still doesn't mean that it was any less unnerving. Then, after Negan's Saviors all finished introducing themselves as Negan, he ominously told Daryl "See that? I am everywhere." Talk about sounding like an omnipotent power, all right.
5. Daryl eating dog food shows the difference between Negan and Rick
Ever since Dwight killed Denise right before his eyes, it seems like Daryl has been on a quick path downhill. In Episode 1, Daryl seemed almost animal-like when he was herded into the back of a truck, and in Episode 3 things have gotten to such a stage where he's now literally eating food meant for dogs.
What's even worse about Daryl eating dog food is the parallel that Redditor kissmyleaf420 found between "The Cell" and Season 3, Episode 1. Back in the Season 3 premiere the gang were still homeless and desperately hungry after a hard winter. After finding an abandoned house, Carl collects a couple of cans of dog food and is about to start eating it when Rick gets up and throws the can away.
Not only did Daryl eating the dog food show how bad things were for him, but it also served to showed the difference between Rick and Negan - one leader actively discouraging something that the other is totally fine with doing.
The Walking Dead returns to AMC with Episode 4, "Service" on November 13 at 9pm ET.
What did you think of The Walking Dead Episode 3?