A spin-off of ‘The Walking Dead,’ AMC’s post-apocalyptic series ‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’ follows Daryl Dixon, who ends up in France under mysterious circumstances. After getting washed ashore in Southern France, Daryl sets out to find a way to return to the Commonwealth, which leads him to a nun named Isabelle, who wants his help to fulfill a prophecy. Daryl agrees to help Isabelle in return for her to lead him back to his home country. As Daryl’s adventures in France begin, the viewers must be wondering how and why he ended up in the country in the first place. Well, let us share our take on it! SPOILERS AHEAD.
How and Why Did Daryl End Up in France?
Daryl Dixon ends up in France after leaving the Commonwealth in ‘The Walking Dead’ finale to find Rick Grimes. While the premiere episode of the spin-off series doesn’t reveal how or why, Daryl boarded a ship that belongs to Genet, the head of a French militia. Genet controls the port in Le Havre, where Daryl has to reach to return to the Commonwealth from France. Genet is an archetypal ‘Walking Dead’ antagonist, who leads a hostile community for her survival and to potentially rule the world. She also conducts experiments on walkers, as the closing scene of the premiere episode reveals, to possibly find a cure and use it to capture and rule the rest of the world.
While it is unknown whether Daryl boarded Genet’s ship willingly or unwillingly, he eventually became a prisoner. Daryl then led a mutiny, likely with the assistance of his fellow prisoners, against Genet’s subordinates. He “messed up” her unrevealed plans. Although Genet’s people succeeded in containing the mutiny, they weren’t able to contain Daryl. His allies must have tied him up to a boat and sent him to the shore, as the opening scene of the show depicts. Tied to a little boat, Daryl ends up in Southern France while the ship eventually reaches Le Havre.
“Somehow I get put there, and I don’t go there on my own free will,” Norman Reedus, who plays Daryl, shared while appearing on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ Reedus’ words lead us to theorize that Daryl either boarded Genet’s ship without knowing about its destination or the person behind the same. He must have been continuing his search for Rick, only to come across the ship. Daryl must have boarded the ship hoping that it would take him to another part of the country safely so that he could look for Rick across the United States. He must have learned that the ship is bound for France only after boarding the same and getting locked up as a prisoner.
If that’s not the case, Daryl must have been kidnapped from the American mainland by Genet’s people. They must have forced him to work for them aboard the ship, which led Daryl to other prisoners. He then must have formed a group and led a mutiny against the crew of the ship, which ultimately led him to end up in France. There is also a possibility of Daryl boarding the ship pursuing a likely false lead that made him believe that Rick is in a foreign land. If that’s the case, he must have ended up on the ship to get out of the United States, only to become a prisoner aboard the same.
From a creative standpoint, ‘Daryl Dixon’ is set in France to explore another dimension of Daryl. Ever since the apocalypse, Daryl fights and survives along with his companions. Placing him in a foreign land allows creator David Zabel and his writers to explore the character in a different light. “Daryl is a fish out of water to start with. If Daryl finds himself with new people, he’s a fish out of water. In France, in a country that’s going through the apocalypse, [it’s] an entirely different thing. He finds himself having to reinvent himself again, having to find himself again, and also, not being with — probably — the only people in the world he’s comfortable with,” executive producer Scott M. Gimple shared, as per ‘The Walking Dead Universe Preview’ special.