The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1, episode 1 recap “L’âme Perdue”

Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Stéphanie Branchu/AMC
Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon - The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 - Photo Credit: Stéphanie Branchu/AMC /

The second The Walking Dead spinoff titled, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon has arrived to AMC. Sunday nights once again belong to the zombie-apocalyptic television series.

From the first episode alone, audiences can tell this will be a different tale than The Walking Dead: Dead City. From the pacing to the cinematography and overall story, Daryl Dixon indeed takes an approach similar to that of a Medieval heroic tale, if it were to take place in present times.

How does the latest installment in The Walking Dead Universe begin? Let’s find out!

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1, episode 1 recap – Daryl’s arrival to France

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
– The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC /

Daryl Dixon does indeed arrive to the shores of France tied to the underside of a small boat, unconscious. Upon reaching land, Daryl immediately goes into survival mode searching for food, water, while trying to piece together where he is.

His first clue is a sign written in French but a further confirmation is his discovery of a small docked boat, complete with a few supplies, map and functioning tape recorder. Thankfully for our hero, the man in the recording speaks English.

He quickly explains how he and his family were seeking sanctuary, believing they needed to head north. Daryl takes that as his first step in finding a way back home.

But on the way he encounters walkers, who upon grabbing you, can burn your skin. Already Daryl feels in over his head.

But luck may be on his side when he meets a young woman and older man who speak very little English. The two come off friendly enough, although our hero remains cautious.

Everything seems to be going smoothly enough until bad guys arrive for nefarious reasons. Daryl and the duo kill them all, but Daryl finds himself to be a victim as well.

As he falls unconscious he’s saved by Isabelle, a nun from a progressive religious group, open to all religions. She and her fellow nuns are religious, humble, but extremely wise.

While they have been able to sustain themselves with gardens, they use medieval weaponry to defend themselves if necessary. Isabelle is the first to really befriend Daryl, as the two bond over their pasts.

What Daryl doesn’t realize is that Isabelle and her group believe he washed ashore for a reason: Laurent. Laurent has lived with the nuns his entire life and takes an immediate liking to Daryl.

The two have a friendly enough conversation and things seems normal until Daryl discovers a walker priest they refuse to put down. The truth slowly comes to light that Isabelle believes Daryl was sent to them by God.

He is destined to bring Laurent north as he’s the Messiah. Not one for believing in God or any higher power, let alone disturbed by the walker priest, Daryl leaves.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1, episode 1 recap – The villain has arrived

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
Romain Levi as Codron – The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC /

As the young woman and older man, who robbed Daryl earlier in the episode, make their way on the road, they are stopped by the season’s villain: Codron. The men that were killed days prior had not returned.

To save their skins, the terrified duo reveals that an American, meaning Daryl, killed them. Codron demands they show him, killing the older man who dared ask what reward they’d be receiving for helping.

At the site, Codron is devastated to find his brother had been killed and turned. To Codron’s defense, this is the first villain I’ve seen in a long time on The Walking Dead (aside from Negan) who actually has some depth outside of being bad just to be bad.

His range of emotions from firm figure head to a sobbing mess upon the death of his brother, to violent fighter against the nuns is impeccable. Due to Isabelle’s arrival, leaving behind a flyer from her religious group reminding everyone that God loves them, Codron and men seek revenge.

Daryl sees the group of dangerous men arrive, as the nuns prepare themselves to fight. Laurent is told to lock himself in the priest’s office, but the kid, as all tend to, doesn’t listen.

He witnesses the group kill the walker priest, even against the wishes of the nuns and an all fight breaks out. Daryl helps in the fight as the nuns take action.

As this is the first episode Codron escapes, but the rest of his men perish. Unfortunately for Isabelle all her sisters die in the fight, except Sylvie.

Codron is far from allowing this defeat to be the end of him. He’ll be back.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1, episode 1 recap – Deal

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon
Catherine Arditi as Sister Veronique, Louis Puech Scigliuzzi as Laurent, Clémence Poésy as Isabelle, Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Stéphanie Branchu/AMC /

As Isabelle, Sylvie, Daryl and Laurent mourn the losses that evening, Daryl decides to deliver Laurent, as long as Isabelle can get him a ride back home. Although he doesn’t agree with their beliefs, or even with the fact the nuns are hiding their beliefs from Laurent himself, he knows he needs to step in.

Yes, Daryl might be assigned to the father figure role once more, it somehow feels different than all the times he’s done this before. But Codron isn’t the only trouble Daryl could be facing.

As the episode comes to a close, we see that a French group, that highly resembles the CRM in the United States, is searching for missing walkers that have been studied and experimented on. Somehow it seems Daryl had something to do with this incident.

The episode never explains how Daryl got into the situation he’s in, other than that of bad decision making. What is next for our hero, and will this mission bring him back home?

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1, episode 1 review

For an opening episode, it achieves everything necessary to make it successful. We have our hero, Daryl, arriving to a foreign land, a loner with a heart of gold, who encounters unknown enemies and immediately finds himself stuck in a situation like all heroes in grand tales do.

Even though he’s not being forced to take on the task of transporting Laurent through France, he does so anyway because that is what a hero does. Daryl didn’t have to aid the nuns in the fight with Codron, but he does so anyway, as again, this is what a hero does.

Daryl has always put others before himself and while he’s not perfect, he makes the right call more often than not. He’s not selfish for wanting to return home as its insinuated that he’s been gone awhile.

But the fact he’s stepping into heroic boots once more, its much of a surprise but it’s refreshing nonetheless to see that his experiences away from The Commonwealth haven’t changed him for the worst. From the first episode alone we establish the story, characters, and location.

For a show that is purely focused on Daryl, as no other Walking Dead characters are meant to appear, at least not yet, it looks very promising. I was pleasantly surprised how well the pacing went, where scenes that were supposed to have a slow buildup actually did.

The relationship Daryl is already building with Isabelle and Laurent comes off incredibly natural. The moments we see Codron, even if they are silent, really speaks to the audiences as to who this man is and what he’s probably capable of.

Watching him kill his walker brother was so powerful and I fear may have been overlooked. Codron could have easily just torn down the doors to the religious group’s home or opened fire without a second thought, but he didn’t.

He respected them and the location due to his, most likely, religious upbringing and values. It was refreshing to finally have a religious aspect to a television show that wasn’t weird or downright evil like most seem to be nowadays.

These are people who still worship God, stay true to those beliefs but will be logical and fight back in order to survive and save Laurent if necessary. Frankly I was saddened to see a majority of the nuns die this episode.

I really loved the concept. Seriously, well done AMC.

As for where the show will go next, I’m really not sure but I look forward to finding out. I hope the momentum from the first episode can hold out all season long.

dark. Next. Mark your calendar for TWD’s Emily Kinney’s upcoming album listening party

What did you think of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1, episode 1? Let us know in the comments below!

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1 episode 2 airs on September 17 on AMC.