The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Episode 2 Review – Breathtaking

Episode 2 of Daryl Dixon is here and it is action-packed! This review aims to dissect everything this episode had to offer, from story, plot, and pacing, all the way down to cinematography and music. So far, this series has successfully managed to encapsulate what made The Walking Dead shine, can it continue to do so?

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Episode 1 Review - BreathtakingThe second episode of Daryl Dixon has just arrived, giving us our weekly dose of The Walking Dead. Following an incredibly impressive first episode, AMC have got to capitalize on the hype and they sure have. Without giving away too much just yet, we can safely say that this series is in safe hands as long as it continues to put out episodes of this quality. Norman Reedus is an extremely talented actor, and with a great ensemble around him, he’s bound to shine. This is our review of Episode 2 of Daryl Dixon.

Daryl Dixon is available now on AMC+.

The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Official Trailer

Story – Past and Present

Episode 2 starts off with a flashback, showcasing Isabelle’s troubled past. We quickly learn about her pre-nun days and how she had a knack for pickpocketing and theft. Not long after, chaos ensues and we get introduced to her sister who we discover later on in the episode is the mother of Saint-Lauren, The Messiah. The swift transitions between past and present really help the episode flow more naturally, keeping the audience always engaged.


Dialogue is often where AMC shines the most, having produced some of the most iconic lines in television history for shows such as; Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, and The Walking Dead. Daryl’s diamond-rough exterior is penetrated by his deeply buried emotions. This is evident in the scene where Daryl is watching TV alongside the kids, making him tear up and remember his brother, Merle. Thankfully, this episode is not afraid to develop Daryl, exploring a more emotional-and even somewhat religious-side whilst still sticking true to the character’s roots.

Isabelle flashback in 'Saint Georges' metro station in Paris.

Isabelle flashback in ‘Saint Georges’ metro station in Paris.

Another great example of solid dialogue is the scene where Isabelle goes to find her sister. After doing so, she spots a little girl who appears to be her neighbor. Isabelle goes to check on her and sadly, it is then implied that the girl’s father is dead. 

Needing to flee quickly, Isabelle advises the little girl to find her parents, asking her to promise to stay inside. The little girl promises and as Isabelle leaves, we get a close up on the girl. This close up shows us a beacon of innocence in a world that is upside down. Whilst the child doesn’t know it, the audience can assume her fate. It makes us feel emotionally pained by how messed up the apocalypse is.

The little girl that promised Isabelle that she will stay inside.

The little girl that promised Isabelle that she will stay inside.


The episode also features little bits and pieces of comedy, creating an interesting contrast between life and death, signifying rebirth. That is undoubtedly the underlying theme of the episode as The Messiah is born, bringing new light in the life of Isabelle in a time where everything was polluted in darkness. Saint-Lauren acted as the catalyst necessary for Isabelle to believe in a higher-purpose, something that she thinks Daryl is capable of. She is able to see the purity that Daryl keeps suppressed inside, seeing him more than just a friendly badass.

We are introduced to a softer side of Daryl, full of homesickness and fatigue. The cinematography and music both match that energy, tying it all together nicely. You can read more about that in their respective sections, but it all works so well. Every aspect felt like a contributor in delivering the theme of rebirth. As a result, episode 2 feels well-written and cohesive.

Pacing and Editing – Better Than Before

The use of flashbacks gives the episode some solid pacing. Episode 1 felt a bit slow at times, often saved by a small action-sequences. However, in episode 2, not only do the flashbacks help with pacing, but they’re edited in a way that’s reminiscent of Breaking Bad. For example, when Sylvie tells Saint-Lauren to stop being a baby, it immediately cuts to a flashback, in which, Isabelle’s sister is giving birth.

In the past, The Walking Dead received flak for introducing many characters and forgetting about them. Either that, or they were underdeveloped. Bottom line was, it was too much content. It reached a point where fans of the show just watched to see their favorite characters. Fortunately, in this series, all of the newly introduced characters feel fleshed-out and alive. They are instantly memorable and interesting. Additionally, we don’t follow them for prolonged times, which helps the episode feel properly structured.

Daryl Dixon in a carriage towards the end of the episode.

Daryl Dixon in a carriage towards the end of the episode.

While the pacing is definitely better than in episode 1, things seem to be happening just a bit too quickly. This can prove to be overwhelming for some, as there are frequent cuts and transitions from scene to scene that make things flow fast. Of course, this is definitely more preferable than watching a snooze-fest. Yet with all of the newly introduced storylines and characters, it sometimes felt like too much.

Cinematography – Eye-catching

Whilst showcasing the early days of the apocalypse in Paris, we are treated to a horrific scene of civilians trapped on the metro with walkers. We only get a quick glimpse as the underground train swishes past, yet it’s enough to give us a glimpse of how scary that experience must have been. It’s shot in an incredibly smart way, showcasing the gritty nature of Paris and using that to set the stage for the apocalypse.

Amazing concept art-like cinematography of the nun's place.

Amazing concept art-like cinematography of the nun’s place.

Despite having an empty landscape full of death, the world feels alive. Part of the reason is because we get to see all these new groups, characters, and personalities. However, it’s also due to the fact that the cinematography makes everything look larger than life. The visuals are stunning at times, incorporating smart camera angles and techniques.

Music and Ambience – Bittersweet and Melancholic

If the intro sequence music wasn’t enough to set the mood for you, then the background music that followed was. Every scene succeeded in immersing the audience by using music and sounds that were extremely fitting. Furthermore, the music isn’t obnoxiously loud or jarring. Instead, we’re presented with soft, eerie classical tracks that use a lot of strings and keys. Overall, the ambience is dark, gritty, with a splash of hopelessness. They managed to create an undead atmosphere but romanticize it in a way by making it all feel bittersweet and melancholic.

Daryl getting captured by what is then revealed to be a friendly group.

Daryl getting captured by what is then revealed to be a friendly group.

There is also an incredibly clever use of sound present towards the end of the episode. Isabelle’s sister has just reanimated as a walker and is yelling and screaming. On the other hand, we have her newly-born child, Saint-Lauren crying and sobbing. Both of their screams intertwine, acting as a metaphor for rebirth as Isabelle stands petrified. That whole sequence is really well-put together, reminding us of how devastating The Walking Dead can be.

Final Verdict – A Gem in the Making

In short, episode 2 has all of the things we love about The Walking Dead. Yet it gets rid of any filler, bland, and unnecessary content. The episode is rich in substance, delivering in almost every single aspect from plot to cinematography. Daryl Dixon truly feels like a passion project, aiming to deliver the ultimate Walking Dead experience, acting as a love letter to the fans in the process. We hope that this rise in quality is a sign of things to come as we eagerly await next week’s episode titled ‘Paris Sera Toujours Paris‘.

For more relevant articles, make sure to check out our episode 1 review of Daryl Dixon.

Yet another great episode, this time fixing some of the flaws present in its predecessor. The dialogue is incredibly well-written and the plot flows nicely. Episode 1's pacing issue has been solved as episode 2 incorporates flashbacks that keep things fresh every scene. Furthermore, the cinematography on display is top-notch, presenting us with visuals and establishing shots that are truly captivating. Despite there being a lot going on this episode, it doesn't take away from the overall cohesiveness of the plot. It's safe to say that this show is in safe hands!
  • Jumping between past and present felt so seamless
  • Emotionally captivating performances and well-written scenes
  • Dramatic dialogue, including a badass F-bomb by Father Dixon
  • Phenomenal cinematography, especially with establishing shots
  • Sprinkled comedic moments contrast a nice balance between life and death
  • Fixed the previous' episode's pacing issue
  • Daryl gets character development whilst still sticking true to his character's roots
  • A lot was happening, felt a bit overwhelming at times
  • Whilst the pacing is better, it might be a bit too fast for some viewers as a lot of new storylines are introduced

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