Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) leads the Alexandrians to safety, but there might already be grave danger in their midst.
[This story contains spoilers from the preview for season eight, episode eleven of AMC’s The Walking Dead, “Dead or Alive Or,” as well as the comics on which the show is based.]
There’s always another angle.
That’s the core premise of the debate surrounding the continued survival of Dwight (Austin Amelio), the man who betrayed the Saviors in favor of the Alexandrians. With his cover blown in the midseason finale, Dwight has become firmly entrenched with the men and women from Rick Grimes’ (Andrew Lincoln) community, so much so that he’s joining them out on the open road in search of the Hilltop, the last safe haven while war rages all around them.
In a sneak peek of the coming episode of the series, “Dead or Alive Or,” the travelers on their way to the Hilltop start openly questioning Dwight’s inclusion with this group. Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus), Rosita (Christian Serratos) and Tara (Alanna Masterson) are trekking through the jungle, when Tara stops the group to ask why they’re not only keeping Dwight around, but alive, full stop. Daryl shuts it down quickly, as does Rosita, but Tara’s lingering look at Dwight makes it clear she’s itching to pull the trigger on the man who killed her girlfriend so many seasons ago.
Watch the sneak peek below:
Tara’s understandable feelings of vengeance and bloodlust aside, there may be an event coming down the line that’s going to make Daryl and Rosita wish they had taken their shot at Dwight while they had the chance, based on what we know about Robert Kirkman and Charlie Adlard’s comics. Toward the end of the original version of “All Out War,” Dwight betrays the Alexandrians once again, shooting Rick in the abdomen with a crossbow bolt, and returning to the Saviors in one fell swoop. What’s more, this heel turn occurs when Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has commanded his soldiers to outfit their weapons with zombie gore, meaning light wounds would become lethal, killing victims with inevitable infection, if not outright with the kill shot.
The triple cross, for what it’s worth, is actually the makings of a quadruple cross. As it turns out, Dwight didn’t slime up his arrow with zombie guts at all. When Rick shows up and fights Negan one more time, Dwight fully supports the hero in the battle, and even goes on to become the new leader of the Saviors. Granted, many issues later — as in, our current moment in the comic books’ narrative — Dwight and Rick aren’t exactly seeing eye to eye anymore. But for a long stretch of time, at least, these two become close allies.
How will the TV version of The Walking Dead handle this storyline? For one thing, we know Rick is going to suffer a wound to his abdomen at some point in the future, given the image we’ve seen of him bleeding out against a tree. His injury could come as a result of his inevitable fight against Negan; in the comics, Negan snaps Rick’s leg in half which leaves him with a permanent limp, but the show often shies away from Rick’s more permanent injuries. But visually, Rick’s wound at the tree is actually quite reminiscent of Dwight’s triple cross.
The biggest wild card of them all: Daryl Dixon, whose existence on the show seemingly inspired the comic book’s creation of Dwight, at least in part. It’s very easy to see how Daryl could carry on Dwight’s arc from the comic books moving forward. If the show chooses to have Dwight betray the group, or has Dwight die in some other circumstance, Daryl is more than primed to carry the character’s story weight moving forward.
However it plays out, if Dwight does betray the group in any fashion, whether permanently or as the start of yet another ruse? Expect a big fat “toldja so” from one Tara Chambler.
See what else is ahead in “Dead or Alive Or,” in the full preview below:
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