Is Daryl Dixon just about the best thing to ever happen to The Walking Dead? Is it the acting of Norman Reedus, the way he’s directed, or maybe the writing? Daryl didn’t appear until the third episode, and while he’s been a part of some headlining stories he started out as a bit of a smaller character. He absolutely made the most of his screen time though, and he’s now setting a new standard for what the term fan favorite means. He’s taken over as Rick’s new right hand man, and for many was really the star of the last two episodes. After Killer Within there wasn’t a dry eye in the house, but after Say The Word there wasn’t a dry seat! Gynecologists reported a 100 percent increase in complaints of exploded ovaries after witnessing the ultra manly Daryl Dixon in full daddy mode, expertly comforting a newborn child. Seriously, it was all of everybody’s feels. I’ll calm down before this turns into a Comic Booked Humor post, but trust me it happened.

Daryl became the de facto leader after Rick lost his marbles following Lori’s death, and who knows how long that might last. Could Rick, in his grief, actually turn leadership over to him? To say he trusts Daryl is an understatement. If you look closely, you’ll see Rick has looked to him for confirmation or reinforcement on just about every decision he’s been present for since they arrived at the prison. For my money though, Daryl’s best scene was towards the end of Killer Within, during the standoff between Rick and the prisoner Oscar. Oscar was holding a gun on Rick, but after a tense moment he willingly handed it over. All the while Daryl was stalking in the background with a knife, ready to slit his throat at the first twitch of his trigger finger. Quiet, efficient, and deadly from the background is where Daryl operates best, but is it time for him to step up into a new role? He’s the perfect loyal soldier, and if you look at other morality plays (see The ShieldThe SopranosBreaking Bad) that kind of character doesn’t usually fare too well in the end, so it may be his only hope.

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 Whether Daryl is holding a knife or a baby, he is a scene stealer every time!