The Walking Dead Season 4: What’s Next for Daryl Dixon?
Credit: Gene Page/AMC    

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead Season 4: What’s Next for Daryl Dixon?

UPDATES: Guess what? Word on the street says Daryl may get his own episode, or more than one, in the second half. That doesn't necessarily mean just Daryl, but something putting him in strong focus. But that's just a rumor at this point. Also, brief teasers for the back half aired during the New Year's Eve TWD marathon, and one featured Beth and Daryl on the run. Literally. Watch it over here. Thoughts?

Original story:

What will happen to Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in the second half of The Walking Dead Season 4? All we can do is speculate, based on where we left him and what we’ve heard about the season.

Last year at this time, Daryl and Merle Dixon (Michael Rooker) were stuck in the Woodbury fight club pit. It’s hard to say if things have improved for Daryl this time around. In the 2013 Episode 8 mid-season finale, the prison was destroyed and several mini groups fled The Governor’s (David Morrissey) battle in however many different directions. Daryl was last seen with Beth Greene (Emily Kinney), so we’re guessing they hit the road together.

Maybe this is when we'll see some of the Daryl-Beth scenes we were promised after the premiere. Remember how in that first ep of the season Daryl had to tell Beth that her boyfriend had died? She barely batted an eye, and he was surprised to see it, and maybe even more surprised when she hugged him. Showrunner Scott Gimple said the show would explore more of their dynamic this season.

At the time, we wondered if they were possibly hinting at a romance for the characters, despite their age difference. But that doesn't seem likely — especially now that Beth has not only seen her father be decapitated, she's separated from her sister. For all she knows, Maggie Greene (Lauren Cohan) didn't even make it.

Daryl may have to step into the big brother role, but he’ll also be upset about everyone they lost too — including Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride). He didn’t even have time to really process that she was gone. Chad Coleman (Tyreese) said the show would probably milk the Carol/Tyreese situation for all it was worth — since Ty still doesn’t know that Carol killed Karen (and David). We have to assume Daryl will be involved in that too, since no Carol story could be properly milked without Pookie.

We really hope Daryl and Carol aren’t separated for too many more episodes. She’s meant to reappear at some point in the final eight episodes of the season, and it would be ideal for Daryl to find her holed up with a new group that welcomed our prison survivors with open arms. But that sounds like it would require too much good luck and when has this group been lucky? The Powers That Be warned us that there won’t be a quick reunion, like at the end of Season 2. Some of the Team Prison members may never reunite. How tragic is that?

Episode 9 seems to be heavy on the Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and Carl Grimes (Chandler Riggs) drama; they escaped the prison together, with Rick badly injured. But Episode 10 will reportedly see the arrival of three new cast members, plus four different storylines and "some of the oddest couplings of groups you've seen" on the show. At this point, we’re just guessing that Daryl will be featured in one of the four storylines.

What do you suspect is ahead of Mr. Dixon? Will he and Beth connect with other Team Prison members, and/or Carol? Share your thoughts and theories below!

The Walking Dead Season 4 returns on Sunday, February 9 at 9 p.m. ET on AMC.