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Daryl Dixon's dreadful backstory emerges: 'The Walking Dead' paints dark past

Daryl Dixon has his backstory told on "The Walking Dead" Sunday night in the episode "Still."
Daryl Dixon has his backstory told on "The Walking Dead" Sunday night in the episode "Still."
AMC The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead” episode “Still” took Daryl Dixon and put him under a microscope for the viewers this week. This education in all things Daryl Dixon taught the fans many things, including he’s done nothing with his life up until now. After Sunday night’s episode, where Daryl and Beth were spotlighted from “The Walking Dead,” fans also learned that when you add alcohol to Daryl Dixon, you get a raving maniac.

Forbes Magazine on March 2, suggests that “The Walking Dead” once more “places character ahead of plot,” which is new this season and a welcomed change. Daryl followed his brother around all his life, and while Meryl did a number on him, he emerged a better man than his brother could ever be. During Sunday night’s episode fans learned you can take the boy out of the dysfunctional family, but you can’t take all of the dysfunction out of the boy, as Daryl’s true feelings spewed from the bowels of his soul when he got drunk.

The world is bleak, danger from walkers is around every corner and the episode opens with Beth having such a hankering for a drink that she’s willing to risk her life to go find a bottle. Mind you, the girl has never touched the stuff so it is not like she was needing to feed an addiction, she just wanted to see what it was like.

After much ado, Daryl, with Beth in tow, hit up a moonshine house that Daryl found when scouting for supplies with Michonne a while back. They pour a couple of glasses of moonshine and Beth wants to play a drinking game that she’s seen her friends play, answering questions then swigging down the booze.

While Daryl plays along begrudgingly for a while, soon this middle-class kid stuff gets to him and he goes off in an alcohol induced tangent on how he didn’t get Christmas presents and how nobody ever watched out for him. He then goes outside and plays with a walker, gets physical with Beth, (without hurting her), insisting she learn how to shoot his cross bow.

After she calls him some prime names, the two settle down, soak the house with the left-over moonshine and torch the place. Since the Governor and his clan infiltrated the prison, Daryl has been really quite. Towards the end of this episode you find out why. He is blaming himself for the Governor taking down the prison.

Beth consuls Daryl by telling him it was not his fault and the two seem to be on much better terms than when they first started off together.

You learn that Daryl runs deep and has a dark side, but most of all he is scared. The front he puts on is a good one, but he is frightened of the world and what it has become today.

As Forbes mentioned, “The Walking Dead” finally took the time to “put a human face on Beth.” She was about to take her first drink, because it is something her father was dead against.

That was probably because Hershel’s drinking problem was something he struggled with and he didn’t want his kids to follow suit. “Drinking moonshine can make you go blind,” Beth tells Daryl that this is what her father told her. Daryl tells her there’s nothing much left in the world worth seeing anymore, anyway, so have at it!

After learning more about both Daryl and Beth, you can see where the roots originated for some of the things they have done in the past. One of the odd things that Daryl continued to do was take money when he happened upon some on a table and from a pocketbook. Money isn’t any good in their world. Medicine, tools and even matches trump money, but the habit was apparently so deeply ingrained that he couldn’t help himself.

You still have Daryl telling Beth that everyone is dead, Maggie, Glenn, Rick, Carl and Michonne. Beth still doesn’t want to believe this. While lighting the fire with the moonshine could have symbolized dozens of things for Beth and Daryl, chances are the main thing the fire does is notify some of the other survivors that there are others in the area. Most likely there will be a reunion with some of the other survivors next week and it was that fire that brought them together.

It stands to reason that one of the others from the prison group who are roaming aimlessly throughout the countryside like Maggie, Glenn, Carl, Carol, Rick or Michonne may see this fire and find their way to Daryl and Beth. It would be nice if it was Carol and her crew because of the bond that she shares with Daryl.

Daryl Dixon has emerged from “The Walking Dead” as a favorite. Some call him the most popular cast member of all and he very well might be. He is someone who has probably taken on a better life during this zombie apocalypse than the life he had before the world changed. He has found out what it is to love and be loved by people, who are not just wanting something from him, but who actually care.