The Walking Dead comic book creator and executive producer Robert Kirkman and showrunner Scott Gimple already know we riot if Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) dies, but that hasn’t stopped them and the rest of the Powers That Be from putting him in grave danger from time to time.
In last Sunday’s episode, Season 4, Episode 13: “Alone,” Daryl came pretty close to death — despite the hour’s hopeful start. “I think our people are trying to find hope wherever they can” the episode’s director Ernest Dickerson says in the behind the scenes video below. And Daryl and Beth did manage to find hope in a suspiciously clean, well-stocked mortuary. “In this whole episode Daryl and Beth are the happiest we’ve seen them,” co-executive producer Denise Huth notes.
But as we know, happiness and security never last long on this show and soon enough a horde of walkers is at the door waiting to feast on Daryl.
As Norman explains, “All hell breaks loose and we get separated and trapped into a room where it looks like Daryl’s about to get munched.” That room is in the basement of the mortuary where the bodies get prepared for burial, and as Denise explains, it was specifically designed to make the situation as harrowing as possible. “I think there’s really a moment where you’re like ‘Oh god, Daryl’s not going to get out of this.’ It is a tight space and that was intentional...the escape route is not obvious.”
Norman remembers the day they filmed that scene was very chaotic, but necessarily well choreographed. “That day was sort of like, here’s a weapon, here’s a weapon, good luck.”
And even though he was in a small room with more than enough walkers, the tools in the room actually aided his narrow escape “Whatever was in my way I was just sort of hacking through to get out of there,” Norman dished, specifically recalling the instance in which he stabbed a hypodermic needle into walker’s eye and it broke.
We’re warning you, if you don’t remember that moment it was pretty gross, but if you think you have the stomach for it then check out the video below to watch it all go down. Be sure to tell us your thoughts when you’re finished!
The Walking Dead Season 4 airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.