All throughout Sunday night's episode of The Walking Dead, there were many small nods and references. Episode one in particular got a number of references, while others were to entirely different shows. But if there was one, tiny little nod that was particularly worth revisiting, it would be Daryl's choice of cigarette.
Just after Daryl traps Noah underneath a bookshelf he picks up a carton of cigarettes and takes a packet to smoke. The brand of the cigarettes, Morley, may seem like an insignificant detail, but actually, it's a great reference, not only to another character in The Walking Dead but also, to many different TV shows!
Morley is not a real brand of cigarette, but it has a long history in film, television, and video games. The packet design is very similar to genuine cigarette brand, Marlboro and the name is a play on the nickname for Marlboro cigarettes, Marley's. The use of Morley's brand in The Walking Dead has been a pretty big nod to some other famous shows and characters.
Firstly however, Daryl smoking this brand was a nice nod to the original wise old man of The Walking Dead, Dale. Morley was Dale's cigarette of choice and we saw him holding a packet of them back in episode 3 of Season 2, when the gang were still on the Greene family farm.
But Morley cigarettes expand further than The Walking Dead and were probably most famously used in The X-Files where they were chain smoked by the Cigarette Smoking Man, the baddie of the series.
Morleys have also cropped up in other TV shows we're familiar with, such as American Horror Story, Friends, Heroes, Malcolm in the Middle, Californication, and Breaking Bad. This connection with Breaking Bad in particular, is just one of many throughout the show's history, stretching from Season 1.
The use of Morley in The Walking Dead was a really cool detail for the show to take up, and I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for any more appearances from TVs most famous cigarette brand in the future!