The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon takes its titular hero farther than he’s ever gone before. In the show’s first episode, we see Daryl wash up somewhere on a shore before heading to Marseille, France. As usual, it doesn’t take this ultimate survivor long to adjust to his surroundings and get into trouble. Yes he always comes in clutch to save the day, but that doesn’t stop him from being an agent of chaos. From the moment that The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon announced its intriguing location, fans have been wondering exactly how Daryl ends up in France. A teaser trailer showed him on a tiny boat in the middle of the ocean, but surely he didn’t take that all the way from America, right? The show slowly unraveled the answer to that question.
In the first episode, Daryl tries to be a good human and trade supplies with a duo for food. Things go awry (as they do when he’s around) when a couple of soldiers arrive and begin threatening everyone. Daryl goes on the attack, the soldiers die, and the duo double crosses him to take everything in his bag. He’s two seconds from becoming walker food when a woman he saw earlier comes to his aid.
She is Isabelle, a nun who takes him to an active convent. Naturally, Isabelle and others at the abbey have the same question we have: How the hell did he get there?! Daryl keeps it vague, saying it was because he made “bad decisions” while on the road. We don’t know what else he will reveal because his motto is “a little less conversation, a little more action.”
The end of the episode gives us more insight into how Daryl Dixon ends up in France. We head to Le Havre, France where several people are docked on a ship. Madame Genet, who is the leader of a nefarious collective called the Cause, wants to know who destroyed her ongoing work. (The work in question includes walker research/experiments.)
She discovers that an American prisoner went overboard and but not before wreaking havoc. His name? Dixon. Daryl took drastic actions (perhaps to save his life) that led to deaths. The crew believe he’s dead but Genet is not so sure and wants them to track him down. Daryl is also on the bad side of Codron, a Cause soldier who believes Daryl killed his brother, one of the aforementioned soldiers from that earlier confrontation. Of course, Daryl did not kill him but he’s got the blame anyway, further complicating this season’s chain of events.
Episode five finally gives us a definitive answer to our burning question about Daryl Dixon. We get a flashback in America with Daryl traveling near Maine. He ends up at a trading post in hopes of getting more gas for his bike. The problem is, this group wants people to round up live walkers for some unknown reason. Of course, Daryl does this better than the others because he is Daryl. He tries to help a young man who is experiencing bullying from others at the post but it is to no avail. An annoying man named Juno kills the young guy and tries to cover it up, angering Daryl and causing a fight.
We see Daryl and Juno get led onto the ship from the show’s first episode. Daryl notes all of the violence and sees a fellow prisoner become walker food. He decides to do something about this conundrum. He teams up with Juno and pretends to puke blood so guards will take him out of the cell. Of course, he gets the drop on them and opens the cages full of walkers, causing a full on panic as he attempts to escape with Juno. A mutated walker quickly gains on them, killing the other guy and forcing Daryl to jump just as a section of the ship explodes. Fantastic. It’s still quite the farfetched story but this is The Walking Dead universe, after all.
Thankfully, Daryl isn’t completely lost to his American family. The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season one finale revealed that Carol made her way to Freeport, Maine to look for Daryl. She’s found a man riding his motorcycle and, in true Carol fashion, captured him to get information.
In the above teaser, we get a glimpse into next season as we follow Carol’s path to find Daryl, who apparently chooses to stay in France with Laurent and company. Now that we know how Daryl made it to France, the question is how Carol will make her way to him and if they will come home together.
Originally published September 10, 2023.