Throughout his years on The Walking Dead, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) has been Rick’ right-hand man. Now with Rick gone and Daryl at Hilltop, we sort of see some of his leadership qualities coming out. On Sunday’s episode, “Omega,” Daryl is in charge of getting information out of Lydia (Cassady McClincy), Alpha’s (Samantha Morton) daughter because he is what Michonne called “a good judge of character.” By the end of the episode, Daryl connects with both Lydia and Henry (Macsen Lintz) in their own respective ways.
In one particular scene where Daryl is trying to give Lydia water with a ladle, she tries to hit him. Daryl, however, recognizes something familiar during the altercation. “He caught a glimpse of the switch marks on her arm, so when she does it, he grabs her arm and he pulls the sleeve down,” said Reedus. “He’s like, ‘I knew it. I know what that looks like,’ because Daryl was an abused kid as well.”
The marks were from a birch tree switch, something that Daryl later showed Lydia. Lydia believed she deserved the abuse from her mother despite Norman’s disgust with it all. It wasn’t until towards the near end of the episode where Lydia starts to realize she had misremembered things from her childhood and finally saw how wrong her mother has been. As she tells the story to Henry and Daryl, Daryl’s expressions become soft and he begins to understand Lydia.
It was a strong episode for Daryl who realized some things about himself. Seeing the chemistry between Norman Reedus and Cassady McClincy’s characters on-screen was intriguing. Reedus has a lot of respect for McClincy and noticed her potential quickly.
“She’s such a strong actress,” he said. “I got to tell you, I called all my reps and I’m like, ‘You guys should rep her. She’s going to be a big star,’ you know? But she’s fun to work with for sure, and so is Samantha Morton.”
We look forward to seeing more of Daryl and Lydia’s relationship grow.
Catch new episodes of The Walking Dead on Sundays at 9 pm ET on AMC.