Warning: This article contains spoilers about the premiere episode of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, titled “L’âme Perdue.”
Mon Dieu! That might have been Daryl Dixon’s reaction when he woke up disoriented on the shores of France… if he could speak a lick of French, that is. But while the premiere episode of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon on AMC showed Daryl waking up overseas and then working his way Lord of the Rings-style across the French countryside, it didn’t really explain how the guy got there.
Until the premiere’s final scene, that is. Because then we at least got some clues as to why Daryl ended up shipwrecked on top of a lifeboat. Not only that, but we got some glimpses as to what exactly was happening on that boat, and we met a figure that appears to be the big bad moving forward.
The scene takes place at a port in Le Havre on the northern coast of France. As very ominous music plays, we hear a captain explain to a woman named Genet that, “We were in the Gulf of Cadiz when the prisoner escaped. It was beyond our control.” Genet then asks a doctor what the status is. “Our research is largely destroyed,” answers the doctor in French. “Some of the test subjects may still be of use. Whoever did this made a real mess of things for us.”
Those test subjects happen to be walkers — who we see and hear in the background — meaning some sort of experiments appear to have been happening on this vessel. Could those experiments be linked to the final scene of another Walking Dead spinoff, World Beyond?
At the end of that series, we were shown a French lab — the same lab Dr. Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich) referenced back in season 1 of The Walking Dead. And a female French scientist was watching video journals of Jenner discussing the use of cardiac plaques as a host medium to jump-start the circulatory system and expressing a desire to see more of the “variant cohorts.”
Also of note was that after that female French scientist was shot and reanimated as a walker, she appeared to be moving faster and striking harder than your average zombie. Are the French folks in the lab and on the boat trying to engineer some sort of breed of super-zombie?
As for who created the aforementioned mess on the boat, “He was named… Dixon,” says the captain, who also mentions that Daryl went overboard and is presumed dead.
Well, at least this partly solves how Daryl ended up passed out on a lifeboat at sea. And executive producer Greg Nicotero confirms that Daryl is indeed the one who caused the chaos on the larger vessel. “In regards to the destruction on the boat, that is definitely Daryl’s handiwork,” Nicotero tells EW. “And we will discover more at some point because that gives us clues as to how he gets to France. Because all he says in the first episode is it’s a ‘series of bad decisions.'”
More answers will continue to be doled out in future episodes, because that is the question everyone keeps asking. “The funniest thing for me is every time I tell somebody what I’m working on the first thing they ask is ‘How does he get to France?'” laughs Nicotero. “It’s kinda wild.”
And what can the executive producer say about the mysterious Genet and the role she will play moving forward? “You’re gonna learn a lot about Genet, because as the story progresses, we’re gonna realize that Genet is one of the people pulling the strings on everything.” Whether those strings are attached to a new breed of super zombies remains to be seen.