The Walking Dead's Norman Reedus on the Polaroid in Daryl's Cell

Fans of Norman Reedus' Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead had both a bad and good time watching season 7 episode 3, "The Cell". It was bad because fans had to watch Daryl at his lowest point, trapped and tortured by Negan and his lieutenant, Dwight; it was good for some fans, though, that Mr. Dixon spent quite a bit of time onscreen in the buff.

Overall, the episode was a big change of pace from non-stop tension of the premiere, or the more hopeful tone of the second episode's stop at Ezekiel's Kingdom: "The Cell" was all about giving the spotlight to Daryl, and defining him by contrast to the men tormenting him (especially Dwight). Of course, The Walking Dead's fan-fave badass did not break, instead facing down Negan, Lucille, death and certainly more torment by clinging to his code and his name.

...However, there was one moment in the episode where we were left wondering if Daryl would finally crack: Dwight comes to his cell and leaves him with a polaroid picture, reminding Daryl that he is where he is because he got his "friend" (i.e. Glenn) killed. Being alone in that dark jail cell with the Polaroid beside him, Daryl finally has a break in his stoic resolve, sobbing as the pain an trauma of recent events washes over him.

What was the Polaroid?

Fans have quickly pointed out that Negan keeps a wall of polaroids depicting Lucille's victims in the camp that Rick's group raided in season 6. We may not have fully understood that ominous Easter egg at the time, but with Dwight handing Daryl that Polaroid, it's almost certain that it was a picture of Glenn's pulped and bloody remains.

Norman Reedus Discusses that Polaroid Moment.

The Walking Dead - S7E3 The Cell - Daryl Broken

When talking with EW, Norman Reedus discussed what it takes as an actor to work himself up to a big dramatic performance like 'the polaroid moment.' He offered a pretty bleak job description of working on The Walking Dead, saying, "I think part of me’s always teetering on that edge every single day, to be honest...I think being on the show this long...You just hit a switch... and it’s not hard to go there. It’s harder to stop. It’s harder to come back than it is to go there sometimes."

That would make some people think that working on The Walking Dead is akin to being water-boarded in Guantanamo Bay or something, but Reedus was quick to assure fans that the show takes care of its people, saying, "I do have to give a shout-out to the crew, because it’s such a comfortable set, and everybody trusts each other there... So they allow you to go there, and it’s almost like this sort of support group. They’re very respectful of all the actors on the set, and so I don’t think it would be as easy with a different crew."

...Man, could you imagine what the set must've been like during that 'prison plague' storyline in season 4? The whole cast and crew probably needed group therapy afterward...


More Walking Dead: Episode 4 preview / CLIP: Negan comes to Alexandria / Why You shouldn't hate Dwight / Episode 3 "The Cell" Review / Daryl Dixon Naked Photo Gallery

The Walking Dead airs the rest of season 7 Sundays @ 9/8c on AMC.