Until now, the apocalyptic world of The Walking Dead hasn’t been overly concerned with finding a cure or hoping that humanity will get the same level of restoration. (In fact, some survivors want to make changes to make the world more equitable and collaborative than it was in the “before times.” I like this approach.) This might change in The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon thanks to Laurent. He’s a young survivor with a lot of people putting their faith in him. Here’s what you need to know about this important character.
Shortly after Sister Isabelle saves Daryl from near death, she brings him back to her home, where he meets Laurent. He is the only kid living among a group of nuns, so that immediately sets off some red flags. Laurent and Daryl interact in a courtyard, which isn’t surprising because Daryl likes kids. They spend time playing with a Rubik’s Cube and talking about how many people are likely still alive in France. Interestingly, Laurent tells Daryl that his eyes look homesick and that he deserves a happy ending. Daryl goes along with it but it is clear that he finds Laurent rather unsettling.
Of course, Daryl wants to know what the deal is with Laurent. Despite Daryl being a person who “lives without God,” Isabelle tells Daryl that he is the “messenger” from Laurent’s drawing three weeks prior. She says Laurent is special, perhaps clairvoyant, and is a new Messiah who will lead the revival of humanity. This comes from a prophecy by a religious leader years ago… and it is one that others apparently know beyond their secure walls. Isabelle tells Daryl that Laurent needs to get to a northern community that can raise him into his special calling. It’s not clear if this means that he is immune to the virus or is just destined to be a great leader/prophet of some sort.
An elder nun tells Laurent that he is “the cure” but again, this could be spiritually versus physically. So what’s Daryl’s response to this situation? Well, he says he knew a kid like Laurent in school and that he got his a** kicked all the time. Daryl is not a serious person. He doesn’t buy this story despite Isabelle being fully convinced that fate brought Daryl to them. Isabelle reveals there’s a northern port that can get Daryl home so he would need to travel that way anyway. Daryl doesn’t care and declines to usher Laurent to this new place. He leaves to figure out his next steps.
However, Daryl changes his mind when a few Cause soldiers, whom they call guerriers, invade the abbey. Codron and his crew are looking for Daryl. He returns and helps to subdue the men but several nuns die in the process. His guilt over the soldiers’ actions leads him to make a deal with Isabelle. He will take her and Laurent where they need to go if she promises to take him to the port. Thus begins the mission of getting Laurent to this special place.
Episode two of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, gives us a huge revelation about Laurent. He is Isabelle’s nephew who was born in the early days of the outbreak. We spend much of the episode flashing back to Isabelle and her pregnant sister Lily as they escape Paris. Lily gets bitten but of course no one knows what that means yet. They end up at the abbey where Lily turns and gives birth to Laurent after she dies and reanimates. The residents and Isabelle see Laurent as a miracle.
Now, this doesn’t mean that he’s “the cure” for the virus necessarily. And even if he were, it would be nearly impossible to restore humanity to what it was before. Unlike other zombie universes where it takes a bite/scratch to get infected, everyone here has the virus within them. When people die from any circumstance, they will reanimate. It’s pretty hard to dole out a cure that will reach everyone nor contact everyone about a cure.
So, we can still assume that Laurent is just seen as a savior. He certainly lacks survival skills and street smarts because he grew up behind those walls. Laurent is no boss killing machine like the late, great Carl Grimes, that’s for sure.
Daryl eventually warms up to Laurent throughout the remainder of the season. Laurent becomes stronger, even putting down Quinn (his biological father) when the time comes. They make it to the Nest and Laurent settles in there, finally finding his safe space. At the end of the season, it seems Laurent will convince Daryl to stay in France. But it is still not clear what Laurent’s purpose is in this universe. We guess we’ll find out in season two.
Originally published on September 10, 2023.