The Walking Dead Episode 703 Recap: Can Negan Beat Daryl Into Submission?

The Walking Dead Episode 703 Recap

Welcome to the Saviors’ compound. Dwight watches video tapes of Who’s The Boss? and plays table hockey. He carves figures. He kneels whenever Negan walks by. And he goes out with his team to beat and steal bread, veggies, and eggs from others in the compound. He enjoys his sandwich while watching the security walkers chained to the fence. He goes back inside and makes a less delicious dog food sandwich, which he brings to Daryl. Daryl is kept in a small, windowless tile room. He is naked, cold, and filthy. He eats his dog food sandwich without question or hesitation.

While Daryl is locked in his cell, Dwight plays loud, happy pop music, the same song, on a loop. Psychological torture. It isn’t clear how long Daryl is kept in that room, but eventually he is given sweats. His sweatshirt has a big orange A painted on it. Dwight takes Daryl from his cell and leads him down the hall to Dr. Carson, who is meeting with Sherry. She looks uncomfortable when Dwight comes in, and tells him that her pregnancy test is negative. Sherry tells Daryl that, whatever they say, just do it. The doc checks out Daryl’s back and says it will get better. “Negan will take care of it.”

After the quick exam, Daryl and Dwight go back into the hallway. Negan walks by, which makes Dwight kneel. He forces Daryl to kneel, too. After a moment alone with Negan, Dwight continues with Daryl outside. Other men in sweatshirts, each with a different letter on the front, are struggling to add zombies to the minefield already out on the fence. “That’s you, *sshole,” Dwight warns his charge. “Be like them or be smart like me.” Daryl is returned to his cell.

Dwight checks in with Negan and assures him Daryl is close to breaking. Negan is proud, and offers him his choice of women from his whorehouse – as long as she says yes, and isn’t “you-know-who.” Dwight politely declines, claiming he still hasn’t finished the job. He hasn’t earned it yet. A call comes in over the walkie – they have an orange situation. Negan encourages Dwight to let someone else do the “grunt” work, but Daryl likes doing it.

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An orange situation is when one of their “community” escapes. Dwight is tasked with hunting him down and bringing him back to the Sanctuary. Out on the road, beneath an overpass, Dwight finds a pile of zombies. Some have been smashed, but all are broken to the point where they can’t walk; they can only reach their arms up pitifully and groan. Dwight looks up in time to see a zombie tumble off the overpass onto him. A second falls and goes splat. Dwight fights the one on top of him and shoots. I sense that there was a lot more to this sequence, but it was cut, because when we next see Dwight, he is badly beaten and his motorcycle has a busted tire.

Dwight sees a man and a walker up ahead, fighting. Dwight tackles the man, the “orange situation” he has gone to correct. Dwight has been sent to bring back this escapee. The man used to be friendly with Dwight, and doesn’t understand why he remains loyal to Negan, after “what he did to you and your wife.” Dwight explains there is nowhere to go. Everything is Negan’s. The man understands and tells Dwight he wants him to do it, to kill him. He can’t go back. He kneels before Dwight, promising this is the last time he will kneel. Dwight threatens him and everyone he knows with torture, and the man gives up. He stands and assures Dwight he won. “But you know there is nothing left.” Dwight takes aim and kills him.

While Dwight is gone, Joey is left in charge of Daryl. He brings him his sandwich and leaves. Daryl is suspicious and checks the door. It is unlocked. He carefully steals out of his cell and moves through the hallways. Sherry finds Daryl and warns him to go back while he can. “Whatever he has done, there is always more.” Daryl still continues out. Through the door window, he spies a number of motorcycles. No one is around. He rushes to the bikes but before he can get to them, he is surrounded by Negan’s top men. Negan strolls into the circle, waving Lucille casually. He asks each man in the group who they are, and each answer “Negan.” “I am everywhere,” he explains to Daryl. Then he lays out the three choices Daryl has: he can wind up on a spike outside the wall, undead and protecting the Sanctuary; he can work for points, in which case he will wish he was dead; or Daryl can work for Negan and live like a king. When Daryl doesn’t answer, Negan says, “Screw it,” and swings Lucille at him. Daryl doesn’t back down, and Lucille stops just short of hitting Daryl. Negan likes that he doesn’t scare and leaves him alone. The other men beat him up while Negan goes for a drink.

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Back in his cell, Daryl is visited by Sherry, who says there are so many things she wishes she never found out. “Back in the woods, when we took your stuff, I told you I was sorry. You said ‘you’re gonna be.’ I am.” She leaves for a smoke in the stairwell. Dwight returns and finds her there. He bums a smoke and they have a very strained, awkward conversation. They both claim they are happy, and Dwight still believes he did the right thing.

Dwight delivers Daryl his sandwich, but this time, Daryl doesn’t accept it. Dwight throws it on the ground. Dwight seems a little bitter, saying Daryl should be dead already, but Negan has taken a shine to him. Before he leaves, he tapes a photo to the wall. Daryl takes it down, but after a few minutes, he looks at it, tentatively. It is the mushy puddle of Abraham and Glenn brains. A moment is all he can handle. The music starts blaring, but this time it is a sad, sappy country song. Daryl cries. Sobs. Dwight is on the other side of the door, listening. He does not look victorious.

When Dwight returns to Daryl (the next day, I assume), Daryl is face-down on the ground, his head beside a puddle of vomit. Dwight takes him to Negan, who promises Dr. Carson will fix him. Then Negan tells him a little story, one about Dwight, his wife Sherry, and Sherry’s dead sister Tina. When the trio arrived, they worked for points, but Tina fell behind. Negan asked her to marry him (“Because I’m an honorable guy!”), and she said she would think about it. Next thing Negan knows, Dwight, Sherry, and Tina have escaped. Negan sends some people after them, and it cost him a lot. Dwight still got away. But Dwight manned up and went back to Negan, begging for forgiveness. Negan liked that, but Lucille didn’t. She’s a stickler for the rules. Negan was going to kill Dwight, but Sherry made an offer: she will marry Negan (taking her dead sister’s place) if he doesn’t kill Dwight. Negan agreed to this, but decided Dwight still needed to learn a lesson. That’s when he got the iron.

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After all that, Dwight still “got onboard.” Negan thinks that Daryl can be that kind of guy. He just needs to answer one question: “Who are you?” Daryl says nothing. Negan comes closer and asks again. Daryl still says nothing. Finally, he gives his name: “Daryl.” Negan is amused by this, and concedes that Daryl made his choice. Dwight returns him to his cell. Before he leaves, Daryl tells him he knows why he took Negan’s deal. “You were thinking about someone else. That’s why I can’t.” Dwight slams the cell door and goes outside, where the man he shot this afternoon is being added to the wall o’ zombies.

You can watch previews for the next episode by clicking here!