The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Ending, Explained

The Walking Dead: World Beyond set up a major story in TWD: Daryl Dixon.

[This story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1 premiere.] "It was the French." That's what American CDC virologist Dr. Edwin Jenner (Noah Emmerich) said back in season 1 of The Walking Dead, referencing the French scientists who "stayed in the labs until the end" to develop a cure for the zombie virus that spread across the globe like wildfire in 2010. A decade later, The Walking Dead: World Beyond revealed that the French were working on something more insidious: what Jenner referred to as "variant cohorts," or walkers that are stronger, smarter, and faster than their American counterparts.

To recap: The World Beyond mid-credits scene took place inside la Biomédicine DDMI, a French lab defaced with grafitti reading les morts sont nes ici: "the dead are born here."


At la Biomédicine, a female French doctor (Carey Van Driest) accessed Jenner's decade-old video logs, in which the virologist reviewed French data about using cardiac plaques as a host medium for steroidal therapies to jump-start the circulatory system and short-circuit the brain or regain function to cause nerve confusion. "The idea of activating systems to work against reanimation is a promising idea. But, as we've discussed, the systems themselves have to be studied to see exactly how they're working or not working," Jenner said in the video recording. "For example, can we build up acids in bodies that don't have blood flow? Of course, that gets right back to that idea of jump-starting circulatory systems."



An armed French man (Oryan Landa) demanded the French doctor reveal the whereabouts of the Primrose team, but she was part of the Violet team. "They weren't here when it happened," she said. "When you all did what you did. They were at the conference in Toledo." Not Toledo, Spain — but Toledo, Ohio. She came to la Biomédicine in the hopes that the team somehow came back from America and returned to their work in the lab so that "they might end all this, even after all this time."

"End this? You started this. All the teams," the man replied in French. "Then you made it worse." He then shot and killed the doctor, who seconds later reanimated as a walker with inhuman strength and speed.


In The Walking Dead season 11 episode "Variant," Aaron (Ross Marquand), Jerry (Cooper Andrews), Lydia (Cassady McClincy), and Elijah (Okea Eme-Akwari) encountered one of these "variant cohorts" in Ohio. The variant walker was capable of scaling a gate, turning a doorknob to open a door, climbing a ladder, wielding a rock as a weapon, and proved harder to kill than your average zombie. 



The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon's "L'âme Perdue" premiere found Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) washing ashore in Marseille, France, where he encountered les affamès (what the French call "the hungry ones"). Daryl also felt the burning touch of the brûlant — or "burners" — acidic variant walkers capable of causing infectious burns with exposure to their blood or flesh. 

(Photo: ComicBook, AMC Studios)


"L'âme Perdue" also explained how Daryl got to France: he was a prisoner aboard a French cargo ship that transported him across the Atlantic Ocean from America. The ship was in the Gulf of Càdiz when a mutiny happened, the ship was somehow wrecked, and Daryl went overboard. Daryl strapped himself to an overturned lifeboat and drifted into the Mediterrenean Sea, eventually washing ashore in Marseille in southern France.

By episode's end, it was revealed that the cargo ship was transporting human prisoners and zombie test subjects to Le Havre, a port city in Normandy, France. "Our research is largely destroyed," a French doctor (François Delaive) reported to Madame Genet (Anne Charier), the shadowy leader of a French political movement known as Pouvoir Des Vivants ("Power of the Living"). "Some of the test subjects may still be of use. Whoever did this made a real mess of things for us." 

And who was responsible for destroying the ship that took the Pouvoir three years to make seaworthy? An American named Daryl Dixon. 

New episodes of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon premiere Sundays on AMC and AMC+.

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