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TWD S7E3: The Cult of The Pussy-Whipped

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And so, by the end of last night’s TWD episode “The Cell” how many fans wanted to “chain” their TV “to the fence” because of this?

It’s that f*cking song they kept bombarding beaten and starving naked Daryl with in his dark cell in Negan’s “Saviors” camp.

We are not sure how much time has passed since the slaughtering of Glenn and Abraham by Negan and the abduction of Daryl in S7E1. This episode dealt completely with one little corner of Negan’s “Savior” enclave where the newbies are presumably conditioned … You know, brainwashed out of their individuality and self-defense instincts.

Dwight (remember him from the trio in the burned-out woods who stole Daryl’s bike and crossbow and then killed would be Alexandria doctor “Denise” with it on the tracks) is Daryl’s designated animal trainer, trying to break Daryl and bring him to his knees in front of Negan. From what we can tell Dwight gets to feed the wild headstrong stallion Daryl shit-sandwich looking dog food sandwiches once a day. Daryl eats, and we cannot help but wonder if his inner strength is coming from his troubled childhood of parental abuse and neglect and abandonment under similar circumstances. The door gets closed again, and that damn “Easy Street” song starts over again on its continuous loop.

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In a face-to-face meeting with Negan to check on Daryl’s progress the bat-swinger sees Daryl ain’t so easy to break as he swings Lucille at Daryl’s head and Daryl doesn’t even flinch.

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As these newbies are conditioned they are expected to answer the pending question, “Who are you?” with the obedient answer “Negan”. However, Daryl answers “Daryl”, even after in his attempted escape he is shown the men about to beat him down answer “Negan” when they are asked by the evil slugger (I believe that’s actually when Negan tried to swing at the unphased Daryl). Negan informs Daryl of the 3 choices he has in front of him at the end of his conditioning…

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1. Hang from the fence as an example, like so many ahead of him

2. Become a member of the community who has to work for points for everything he needs to live.

3. Become a good comrade like Dwight who is completely obedient and totally pussy-whipped and completely taken care of … as long as you don’t fuck up and end up chained to the damn fence anyway.

Daryl ain’t made up his mind yet. But he’s as low as he’s probably ever been in his entire life as he blames himself for Glenn’s death, so, he probably thinks the fence might be what he deserves anyway.

This episode tries to humanize and get us to understand the rock-and-a-hard-place Dwight and his wife Sherry were in when they finally returned to Negan’s camp after the burned-out woods encounter with Daryl when Sherry’s sister died. We discover the harem situation Negan has set up for himself with any and all females he desires within his encampment. He wanted Sherry’s younger sister, but when they returned without her and Negan was about to kill the couple Sherry offered herself to be his wife in order to save Dwight. Negan took the offer and still had to give Dwight the trademark face-burn as a warning to other men who think they can diddle with the Negan female livestock…

Sherry lingers in the building where Daryl is being held. His first encounter with her is in the infirmary where Dwight takes him to have his wounds checked. Sherry has had a pregnancy test and Dwight swallows his pride once again to ask if she’s pregnant (you safely assume with Negan’s baby), and she says ‘no’. He encourages her that ‘next time’ maybe she’ll have better news. Nothing could have made him look more pussified than that moment with his wife hoping for her pregnancy from another man who disfigured him.

Later Sherry runs into Daryl who has taken the ‘accidentally left unlocked cell door’ bait and is slinking around the hallways looking for an escape route. She tries to convince him to return to his cell for his own good. Of course he doesn’t…

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Meanwhile, Negan has fishing bait of his own as he offers Dwight a conjugal visit with Sherry as reward for his continuing work on Daryl. But Dwight carefully declines the offer and says he’s not done and it wouldn’t be right to take a reward. Negan doesn’t miss the opportunity to take a dig at Dwight’s manliness upon the refusal of such a juicy offer at sex (which we gather is completely dictated by Negan for all men in his camp), asking if his penis is too damaged from Eugene’s crotch-bite on the tracks. All the world is Negan’s personal entertainment stage and he’s the lone heckler. That Negan … Who wouldn’t want to have a few shots and beers with the guy, eh?

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Dwight volunteers to head out on the road and collect a runaway. Of course he takes Daryl’s bike and fucks up the front wheel in the process.

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You can almost see the turmoil inside what’s left of Dwight’s head as he confronts the runaway man on the road. The man begs Dwight to kill him and end it all and begins walking away. Dwight shoots him. We’re to assume he took mercy on the guy but find the poor sap chained to the fence with a bullet hole in his back and not the back of his head that would’ve kept him from turning.

Even in death Negan owns you.

Anyhow, I can only speculate that to some degree Daryl submits and will be a deliberate direct threat to Rick (or somebody in his own family) in order to prove his loyalty to Negan.

Footnote:

The guy on the road that Dwight was sent out to fetch back to the compound asks him on his knees on the road why in the Hell, basically, has everyone given this one outnumbered man all this unchecked power when they could easily overtake him? It’s a question I suspect a lot of TWD viewers ponder. Any number of answers would give a weak reason. But then I ponder those in the community do not know who to trust that would assume dictatorial power and control once Negan was gone. It’s the conditioning that has left them helpless in the post-apocalyptic world that has left them so dependent for everything they need.

Negan has built the perfect communist welfare state inside his group, and his vow to outlying groups for their weekly tribute under threat of obliteration is his leverage to keep his little commie kingdom supplied and looking like Utopia to this fucking mega-narcissist.

Footnote 2:

I’m sorta kinda feeling like this op-ed…

‘The Walking Dead’ recap: Over it

“There’s nothing left.”

That’s what the poor, escaped Savior tells Dwight just before Dwight shoots him in the back. He meant there was nothing left in Negan’s compound for his followers, but he could be talking about The Walking Dead itself. There’s nothing left for this show in this world, nothing except disgust and despair.

I’ve stated before, I have not read the graphic books, so, unlike a certain percentage of TWD TV show base I do not have this hyperactive itching need and thirst for the TV writers and producers to make certain characters, scenes and chapters come to life, according to the books, on the television screen. I have found when they do it often falls a bit flat in the HD flat-screen dimension. These book fans just love these villains. The majority of us just get real tired with the lack of real purpose to them. Just when you think your favorite characters can hold their own you realize those people must’ve never gotten out of The Governor surrounded Atlanta prison alive. Even Carol has fallen on dead spirit times of late that seems to be dragging down the entire foundation of the group. After S7E1, when the violence porn of Glenn and Abraham being brutally ‘over-killed’, some viewers criticized the unnecessary excess and have dumped TWD. Now the show is in danger of losing those of us who try very hard to see a significant purpose and justification in such traumatic episodes and a character as horrific as Negan to the group and its dynamic we have been following and are deeply invested in. Right now I just cannot see that connecting thread in the patterns of these first three episodes. And in watching the post-game show “The Talking Dead” I am not gathering there is a whole Hell of a lot interesting enough to discuss after these last 2 episodes. It’s not that there isn’t anywhere else to go with this post-apocalyptic world. It’s just that I think the writers and producers are acting like their own form of Negan in trying to bait-switch and outsmart their viewers. I’m just not sure that’s going to end well for what had become TV’s strongest and best show ever.

But that’s just me.

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