"If Daryl dies, we riot!" Fans were left fearing for Daryl (Norman Reedus) when he went one-on-one with Alpha (Samantha Morton) during an attempted rescue of trapped heroes Connie (Lauren Ridloff) and Magna (Nadia Hilker) in Sunday's The Walking Dead 1010, "Stalker." After narrowly escaping the cave where Alpha placed her walker horde — getting free alongside Carol (Melissa McBride), Aaron (Ross Marquand), Jerry (Cooper Andrews), and Kelly (Angel Theory) before their exit collapsed from a cave-in, with Connie and Magna still inside — Daryl returns to the cave entrance, stalking and picking off a Whisperer guard before spotting a masked Alpha and other camouflaged herders leading a stream of walkers into the wild.
When Alpha and her corralled walkers reach a nearby river, one of her shepherds is dropped by a flying blade. Given away by his screams, he's quickly devoured by the pack. Alpha readies her shotgun, eyes darting for the unseen attacker, who springs up and stabs a Whisperer guard in the head. In one swift motion, Daryl punts Alpha's shotgun and slashes at her face, his knife tasting blood when it slits the throat of a stabbing Whisperer.
Alpha slices Daryl's face, and like a butcher, swipes again in the meatiest part of the body. The fresh gash in Daryl's stomach is almost as bad as his cut face, almost. Daryl sees red, literally, blood waterfalling from above the eye. The feral Daryl wields a large branch, striking Alpha.
The branch becomes a spear in his hands, its pointy end piercing her shoulder blade. Alpha roars, but Daryl is louder: "Where are they?!" Daryl presses deeper, getting nothing but agonized screams. "Tell me!"
Daryl's improvised interrogation is cut short by encroaching walkers. He fights them off, giving Alpha just enough time to get her hands on the knife she swipes at Daryl. He swings at everything and nothing, lashing out blindly, howling in pain when the blade penetrates his thigh. A feeble Alpha fetches her shotgun and Daryl takes off, ending up at a long-forgotten gas station and garage.
A bloodied and breathless Daryl has collapsed, knife still in his leg. He fumbles around for something, anything he can use to inflict more damage, finding a tire iron. Alpha has found him. She rests against a wall, tapping her shotgun — knock knock knock — drawing the attention of nearby walkers.
They come, the dinner bell bringing them from the woods. Alpha, still wearing her mask made from walker flesh, passes the smell test. Daryl isn't so lucky: they're coming for him. He wrestles a fire extinguisher free and fends off the walkers, finishing off the last one with the blade ripped free from his leg. He's spurting blood and leaking what seems like gallons.
Hours pass. Both fighters are half-dead, waiting for the other to die. Daryl is a bloody mess on the floor.
"Can you see beyond the darkness? Into the light?" Alpha asks. Even if he weren't too faint to write off her poetic bullshit, he answers, "Nah."
"I’m tingling with joy. ‘Cause I see the ones who broke me all around us. Standing there," Alpha says, her flowery speech turning into whispers. "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for making me strong. Pain made me. Pain made you. Pain made my Lydia."
But she's "lost her," Daryl spits back. "You drove her away. Because you didn't love her."
Alpha perks up. "What did you say?" she hisses, forcing herself to stand. "What did you say, boy? I can't hear you."
She overcomes the pain, but barely, and weakly stands. "I'm all ears." Alpha creeps closer, but collapses, and it's then a blurry figure comes into focus: Lydia (Cassady McClincy), her defector daughter, no longer lost in the woods. With one last rejection for what used to be her mother, Lydia scoops up Daryl, leaving her behind with nothing but a carved out message: "Your way is not the only way."
I swear if they kill Darryl off I'm done.#twd— Porsha Deun (@porshadeun) March 2, 2020
Damn, Daryl! Don’t go it alone! That’s how you die. #TWD— ☀️Kristin (@kristinupnorth) March 2, 2020
Daryl is making me nervousssss #TheWalkingDead— Chelsea Comeau 🎶 (@chelsea_comeau) March 2, 2020
DONT EVER HURT DARYL LIKE THAT BITCH #thewalkingdead— a m a n d a (@NotablyRosalie) March 2, 2020
that was DISRESPECTFUL. do not lay a hand on daryl. he’s precious. #twd— ǝbıɐd (@Paigalynn95) March 2, 2020
I'ma tell you right now if Daryl dies I'm NOT watching the show no more 😔😔😔😡😡✌✌— Life (@Sira20380579) March 2, 2020