Subscribe to Our Podcast


Become a Patron!

Listen to the latest SQUAWKING DEAD Episode!

⬇⬇⬇Listen to the most recent episode!⬇⬇⬇

Why miss out? Subscribe to our blog via E-Mail!

Monday, October 16, 2023

Deux Amours |1x05| The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

Why miss out?
Subscribe to our blog via E-Mail!

⬇️Listen Now⬇️

⬆️Tap the above graphic⬆️
to listen to this episode
in your favorite Podcasts App

Enter into a covenant with us by following us or subscribing to our content as we witness a whole new dimension of Daryl Dixon that had us "shooketh". Quinn is gross... maybe. RIP Azlan: you were endearing... definitely. And, wuh oh, that walker is the most dangerous variant we've seen in #twduniverse...
๐Ÿ›‘STOP LISTENING! STREAM the unedited version of this podcast, instead! Buying us a ☕coffee on Ko-fi or joining a membership on either Patreon or Ko-fi will grant you immediate access to the uncut version of this video, past sessions, and future unedited episode recordings!

David Cameo:
Sherrandy Swift:
Bridget Mason-Gray:


The Blog is devolving

We radically upped our blog game when we brought on Aidan Atkin to write our blogs sometime around our coverage of Better Call Saul's final season. The visual and descriptive format was pretty stellar and, after adopting it, it was hard to imagine doing it any other way or ever going back; however, for the hours and hours of work that goes into every individual blog, to make them coherent and worthy of a read, we're only receiving 5% of the traffic we were typically receiving per blog only a few years ago. So what's the point of being so literary? One could and often does simply listen to or watch the episode over reading it, anyway.

We welcome your feedback in the comments and always have (so change our minds, please) but, from this point forward, we're only going to be including reference and bonus materials along with a general outline generated by AI that's only lightly tweaked. This is the best we can do without making ourselves crazy. We all have day-jobs: most of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck. This podcast barely pays for itself, but it's the time that we put into it that we'll never get back (that costs more than money can afford). It breaks our heart to have to give you less after striving to always give you more, but sometimes a promise - even the kind you make only to yourself - isn't worth keeping if you're suffering too much in order to keep it.
  • The episode title Deux Amours means two loves, referencing the song (J'ai Deux Amours, sung in this episode) by Josephine Baker (lyrics).
  • Check out our new SQUAWKING Dixon art design of Carol Peletier dragging a zombified Daryl Dixon through the desert. The tagline translates to Hope is Lost.

  • The episode is dense with lots of material, references, and Easter eggs. Some had fears that this season wouldn't cap-off nicely, but we're enjoying it so far. Spoilers abound on social media for Season 2 already, which some of us have unfortunately seen.
  • Julian Canon mentioned that this episode is the best of the season. Some of us disagree with that, but also believe that the suspense built throughout the season was an example of good writing. We also enjoyed seeing Daryl on his own, again, and appreciate the many dimensions his character has. Many fans have forgotten who Daryl is and have criticized his actions in this series. Dave feels that this episode showed a new dimension to Daryl's character. We had a strong reaction to a particular moment in the episode, but enjoyed the more classic motifs typically found on The Walking Dead.
  • Bridget is vindicated: she had said that the silhouette chasing Daryl on the boat in the teaser was a variant walker, despite others doubting it. Dave compares this to seeing a similar thing in the teaser to The Walking Dead: Dead City and how the actually bloody human attempting to flee The Croat by way of parkour was not a variant. Dave also jokes about potentially gaining more followers by saying he would unalive the president.

  • Sherrandy thought the boat scenes were unnecessary and could have been explained instead. She was aware it was meant to parallel the present-day storyline and explain how Daryl crossing the Atlantic Ocean. Dave thought an interesting contrast could be made to the way the writers were basically explaining the plot via poor dialog in Fear The Walking Dead's 8th season and how The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon did the exact opposite thing. Some scenes may be considered filler, but there's an argument that the show has been consistent in showing not telling everything as it happens. Sherrandy disliked Quinn's interactions with Isabelle, finding them icky and even boring. She was really psyched about the possibility of Morgan Jones Rick Grimes Dwight Heath coming back (by way of Daryl's brief radio conversation with Carol. Daryl's presence in Maine surprises us, as some of us expected him to go south or west (given what he said to RJ Gaines in Alouette). Maine also feels it may be Heath because of Tales of The Walking Dead's 5th episode, Davon, and how it both takes place in an Acadian village in Maine and Davon finds a PPP card after killing someone.

  • The French scientist is using his time at sea to conduct as much research as possible on the way to Le Havre port in France. While panning across the deck, notice that there are two control groups of walkers: one to feed and one to fast, to test their reactions to stimuli. The possibility of weaponizing walkers is raised, and it is questioned if they are trying to get rid of them or make them more aggressive super-soldiers.

  • Genet says they gave them this plague, but later on in her speech refers to the undead as their cure: to fight against the oppressive, powerful elites. Pouvoir Des Vivants means Power to the Living: the meek have inherited the Earth and, therefore, are meek no longer. There's little uncertainty regarding Genet's intentions and her trustworthiness. Sherrandy even says it's possible Genet was involved in developing or disseminating the walker virus, in order to take power from the elites. Dave, yet again, draws parallels between Genet's words, the French Revolution, and Nazi Germany. Sherrandy is triggered by Genet establishing The Sixth Republic, which allows Dave to explain to the audience the significance of Charles de Gaulle and how he helped establish The Fifth Republic of France.

  • Genet's dialogue - in the scene where she, Isabelle, and Laurent are present - is word for word lifted from the late 1970s version of The Incredible Hulk, Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Bridget jokes that she does this because pop culture references can be used to sound cool, again, especially in the context of an apocalypse. Sherrandy mentions how Bruce Willis' character in Die Hard lifted Yippie Kai Yay from Roy Rogers.

  • Takeerah asks whether Isabelle and her order of nuns were vegetarian. Due to sustainability or lack of access to other types of protein, it's quite possible. In a post-apocalyptic world, resources like food are scarce and people have to rely on what they can grow or find. Sherrandy says that Isabelle, having been a city girl, probably lacked hunting experience or the ability towards self-sustainability. They likely obtained most of their supplies from the outside world before the apocalypse. They probably didn't want to contribute to more death and were not prepared to hunt or dress animals. Raising Laurent to value life and not be hypocritical also means not killing animals for food. The concept of Lent is brought up: a time when Catholics give up something impactful to reflect Jesus' sacrifice for them. Fish is often eaten during Lent because it is not considered meat in Catholicism. Laurent's vegetarianism may have just been a grander covenant with God to never take a life. It also explains why the nuns are reluctant to kill walkers because they believe there is still a possibility of bringing them back to life. Valuing life means not killing animals for food and setting an example for others. Dave discusses the possibility that The Nest's spiritual leader - and that of The Union of Hope, is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who also likely follows a vegetarian or even vegan diet. Going back to how sad we were at Azlan's passing, he mentions that eating animals is allowed as long as it is the only option available (and there's a doubt as to whether survival is possible without it), drawing parallels to similar guidelines in Islam and Judaism. Speaking of Judaism, it's also possible that Laurent is a Nazir: when one makes a personal covenant with God to temporarily abstain from cutting their hair and refrain from drink.

  • The discussion shifts to the escape plan of Daryl and Juno, noting that they were kept alive simply to feed the walkers in the feed control group. The humans in the adjoining cells may have starved to death to provide even fresher walkers for experimentation. There is curiosity about why walkers need to be brought from the US to Europe and whether there are differences in their behavior based on geography: after all, why not bring them from neighboring countries, like Germany or Great Britain? Sherrandy speculates that the variants of the virus may have originated in France, based on the final episode of The Walking Dead: World Beyond. Dave also compares this to The Nazis experimenting on Jews, rather than "Real Germans", suggesting that (Undead) Americans may be their preferred test subjects (rather than their own [un]dead). Sherrandy thinks that the amount of viral load in different countries may vary, potentially influencing the decision of choosing American Walkers for their experiments.

  • Then there's the height limit imposed on the gathering of walkers for experimentation and Sherrandy suggests it may be to avoid picking up individuals with dwarfism (AKA, undesireables) or, what Dave says, having these brutes kill actual children in their pursuit to receive more ethanol for their troubles. This brings us to whether the wood-chopping young man was killed by Juno and his crew, considering the presence of rope burns around his neck. Dave brings forth the possibility that he may have chosen to hang himself based on his dismal conversation with Daryl about going to (an obviously unsafe) California. Everyone else thinks that Juno and crew absolutely did kill the young man. Bridget adds that the kid lied about losing a bunch of walkers and may not have actually gone hunting, which brings up a bigger point about how he acts like many other children we've seen who are not well-prepared for survival. This only emboldens Dave's claim since, as a result of his conversation with Daryl, he may have realized no place was safe for he and his girlfriend. There is speculation that someone else may have influenced the kid to kill himself, too.

  • Bridget mentions that, yet again, Daryl let his temper get the best of him by striking Juno when he suspects he and his group of foul play, similar to when he struck Negan when we first meet him. Daryl's inability to follow the rule of no fighting lead to negative consequences. Dave makes a distinction: Daryl punches Juno not out of a sense of justice, but regret over not having done more to protect a clearly vulnerable kid amidst a brutal world.

  • This brings us to Laurent wanting Daryl to finally tell him about the people he misses. Where Daryl decides to place of Connie and Carol in his spiel to Lauren sparks animated discussion among us: some lady Carol being mentioned at the end says a lot, after all (you obviously have to leave the best for last). Speaking of romantic undertones, though they were completely absent during Daryl and Carol's conversation over the radio, they were definitely present when Laurent was trying to assert that Daryl misses Isabelle in the same way as he does his friends (Daryl attempting to completely ignore him all but confirms it). Dave also acknowledges that people take these discussions way too seriously, even those who they claim not to like shipping characters.

  • Going back to Azlan, one of the deeper conversations we had revolves around he and Daryl's discussion on promises being overwhelmed by a connection to others or to a larger cause. This is obviously imported to the larger argument over whether Daryl ought to be back with his original found-family or exploring new stories with his new found-family. The message this conveys to the audience is that sometimes a promise cannot be kept due to circumstances that overwhelm their capacity to keep it and developing connections to other people: Rick's promise to walkie Morgan at dawn; Lori's promise to Carl that he would beat this world; Eugene coming clean about not knowing a cure - choosing to bond with his found-family over self-preservation.

  • Daryl's response to Azlan: fathers join larger causes and never really return to their children - those who physically return only end up passing down their brokenness to their children, who later pass their brokenness down to their offspring. Takeerah mentions how the watch Azlan spent time fixing reminded her of Hershel Greene's pocket watch, which was later given to Glenn Rhee, who (touching upon Daryl's statement to Azlan) died before he got to see his son. Dave thinks that this might be a greater response to those who desire a zombie apocalypse as a form of escapism: forming factions in a post-apocalyptic world and doing unspeakable things passes deep trauma onto future generations and is not to be taken lightly. This parallels neatly to the present conflict in the Middle East and the blood feud between The Hatfields and McCoys: the cycle of violence can escalate without generations further down the line ever remembering the initial cause. Religion, in and of itself, has been the cause of major catastrophe: people are often swept up in crusades and caliphates, which leads them to break their promises in the process. Going back to what Azlan says though, sometimes choosing to keep a promise can diminish one's own life or cause them to needlessly suffer, which opens the floor to storytime with our hosts. Daryl, who apologizes later on in the episode for failing to deliver Laurent to The Nest (something that wasn't his fault), spent years chasing after Rick and hasn't really ever lived for himself since we've known him.

  • This conversation about causes and fathers - a connection between learned behavior and generational patterns - helps us to further understand the moment when Daryl blows up at Laurent for cutting their boat loose. Dave starts by sharing a personal experience with uncontrollable anger and temper: learned behavior from his father. Bridget mentions her own cyclical melodrama and regret between she and her father, resulting in difficulty controlling her anger. Daryl's father must've verbally abused him and called him worthless, not to mention this was the same words Juno is heard saying about the young man as he walks away to chop firewood for them. Daryl also sees signs that Laurent is trying to be (strong) like him. Daryl must've felt heartbroken when Laurent asks to stay with him and promises to do anything he says. Daryl realizes he has broken promises to both Isabelle and Carol and feels like, with the boat having long since drifted away, everything has fallen apart. Daryl's regret over not taking in the wood-chopping kid transfers to how badly he feels the need to keep Laurent safe. So when Laurent mentions that Isabelle is gone and, when they reach the nest, Daryl will be gone, Daryl is immediately thrown out of his angry state. It might've also reminded him of his conversation with Judith over whether she should tell him why Michonne was leaving.

  • The aftermath of Azlan's failed struggle with invading walkers is shown through visual storytelling. Azlan takes his passing in stride and sees the cosmic humor in it, but also believes he has fulfilled his part in furthering a Union of Hope and can go home now. With that, he recites a verse from the Quran, commonly used by Muslims in trying times or upon hearing of someone's passing. Azlan's prayer/meditation beads, similar to the Rosary in Christianity, are placed on top of his burial mound. Just like he was the one who initiated the Nanu-Nanu at Madame Dubois' funeral, he also softly whispered a Ma'a Salaam, which translates to peace be with you.

  • Azlan compares Daryl's journey through France to Abraham's journey from his father's lands to the land of Canaan. This further suggests that, like God promised Abraham in their own covenant, Daryl's new home may be France for quite some time. Bridget expresses her dislike for the idea of Daryl permanently changing his address. This does allow her to address her own living situation and how, ultimately, home is where her heart is.
  • This neatly dovetails to the other story of Abraham that's mentioned in this episode: The Binding of Isaac. Much in the way Abraham is unwaveringly prepared to sacrifice his son, so too does Dave believe that Quinn is knowingly leaving his life in Isabelle's hands in order to redeem himself in her eyes. Everyone else seems to regard this as a masterful manipulation. Bridget also criticizes Quinn for not being honest with Anna Valery and for not taking responsibility for his (in)actions towards her. Though Dave, too, dislikes Quinn based on his own life experiences, he appreciates the layered meaning behind the Abraham and Isaac reference, suggesting that it represents Quinn's willingness to sacrifice his own son, Laurent, for Isabelle's cause. Takeerah mentions that it could just be love-bombing: narcissists will use anything, including religion, to convince someone to break their covenant with God and make one with them. Dave says that it's less about love than the idea of worship and how some individuals may put their partner on a pedestal as a reflection of themselves or their desired status.

  • Takeerah shifts to criticizing Genet and her dangerous ideals, comparing it to the French Revolution and their mistrust and downright persecution of the church. After (rightly) accusing Quinn of giving a pot de vin (pot of wine = bribe) to one of her soldiers, he is promptly thrown in a cell with Daryl. Dave sees this as even more evidence of Quinn's attempt to get in Isabelle's good graces, since he knew the dangers of deceiving Genet, knew that he would need Laurent as leverage to get Isabelle to stay (if he were trying to manipulate her), and definitely would've loved to have gotten revenge against Daryl for the beatdown he received in the last episode. It might not make him a good person, but both things can be true.

  • The conversation shifts to the topic of variants and their origins. We see two versions of this variety: one let loose on Daryl and Juno on the freighter and the one being brought out to waste Daryl, in the auditorium. Though smart walkers exist on The Walking Dead, the one we see on the freighter reminded Sherrandy of how frightening it was to see the Daleks climb stairs for the first time on Doctor Who. The walker on the freighter looked particularly gnarly, which made his swift movements feel that much scarier. What strikes us as particularly alarming is whether the aggressive walker in the arena might also be a burner: because that would not only be potentially deadly for even Daryl, it would also confirm that burners, too, were manufactured in a lab. Going back to The Incredible Hulk reference, the aggressive walker is wearing a green jumpsuit and is particularly enraged: maybe it's also wearing purple frayed shorts underneath?

  • As far as the way these aggressive walkers move, given how a normal the brain controls various functions, it's natural for a walker brain to be clumsy and not super capable since only a tiny portion of a walker brain is lit up. These aggressive walkers might have access to the neocortex, which is responsible for learned behavior and muscle memory, making their movements much more swift, precise, and coordinated: much like the zombies from World War Z. These aggressive variants love tearing their prey open before feeding on them, much like the one that tore open Juno like a lobster tail.

๐ŸŒŸLike What We Do? Buy Us a Coffee!๐ŸŒŸ

No comments:

Post a Comment