Warning: There are major spoilers ahead for “The Walking Dead.”
Sunday’s episode of “The Walking Dead” finally gave us more of Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Dwight (Austin Amelio), and fan favourite Daryl (Norman Reedus) as it took us to yet another thriving community in the zombie apocalypse — the Sanctuary.
While we saw how things are going for Daryl since he was kidnapped by Negan and the Saviors — not good — the episode primarily focused on another character you should plan to see a lot more of: Dwight.
One of Negan’s loyal soldiers, we finally got a little more backstory for Dwight and learned exactly how he got those burn scars on his face.
This is your last chance to head back before spoilers.
Dwight, or D as he’s sometimes referred to on the show, was first introduced back in season six, episode six.
In that episode, Dwight, his wife Sherry, and her sister Tina kidnapped Daryl and stole his supplies, crossbow, and motorcycle before letting him go. Tina winds up getting killed, but at the time, viewers presumed that D and his wife were trying to escape from some place.
We now know that they were trying to escape from Negan and the Sanctuary. That didn’t turn out so well though, and they eventually wound up back there.
The next time we saw Dwight was in the latter half of the season, and he had a new, large burn mark on the left side of his face. On Sunday night’s episode, we finally received an explanation for how he was injured — a hot iron to the face.
It was a moment that was exciting for fans of the comics, since it’s one we don’t see play out in the graphic series. It was recently hinted at in the new season seven opening credits of the show, too.
However, instead of getting a flashback sequence, Negan told a pretty banged-up Daryl exactly what happened.
Negan recalled to Daryl how Dwight received his scar after he betrayed him. The entire moment was a cautious reminder to Daryl to not mess with Negan and the Saviors and to choose carefully when deciding what his future could look like at the Sanctuary.
“See that guy? He hustles. I like hustle. But believe it or not, things weren’t always cool between us,” Negan told Daryl of Dwight.
Negan recalled how Dwight’s sister-in-law Tina needed meds. In response, Negan asked Tina to marry him and promised he would take care of her. However, Tina said she would simply think about it. Next thing he knew, Dwight stole all the medication at their disposal and took off with his wife Sherry and Tina, so Negan sent men after them. Unfortunately, Dwight and the women still got away. However, Dwight and Sherry eventually went back (after their run-in with Daryl).
“Here’s the thing. D, he saw the light. He manned up. He came back. He asked for my forgiveness. I like that. Made me take notice,” Negan continued. “But Lucille, well, you know how she is. She is a stickler for the rules. So Dwight, he begged me not to kill Sherry, which I thought was kinda cute, so I was just gonna kill him. But then Sherry says that she will marry me if I let Dwight live.”
Negan said while it was a start, it wasn’t enough.
“So Dwight, he got the iron and then I married his super hot wife,” he said. “Ex-wife. And then — after all that — he still got on board. And now look at him. One of my top guys. And we are totally cool.”
Negan then told Daryl that he thinks he has the possibility to be one of his guys, too, like Dwight.
Here’s the thing though. Negan didn’t realise it, but he just filled in the blanks for Daryl about how he came to meet Dwight. As far as we know, Negan doesn’t seem aware that Daryl and Dwight have met each other before — something which could be beneficial for the two of them in the long run.
In the comics, we never meet Dwight before he has his burn marks. It’s him, not Negan, who recounts how he got an iron to the face: He didn’t get punished because he tried leaving the Sanctuary. He got an iron to the face because his wife Sherry went back to Dwight after marrying Negan to better their living situation.
After that, he focuses on getting revenge on Negan and eventually aligns himself with Rick and his crew along with the Kingdom to help take the Saviors’ reign of terror down. It feels like we’re still a bit far from that on the show though.
While we now know how Dwight got his scars on the TV show, I have to say it was a little bit of a letdown. We were hoping to get some sort of flashback sequence. “The Walking Dead” is no stranger to rewinding the zombie apocalypse a few months backwards to give us greater context for some big characters. The show famously did it last season with Morgan when it gave him his own episode.
When I found out the episode would be centered around Daryl and Dwight, I thought the episode may open with a flashback to when Dwight first returned to the Sanctuary to beg Negan’s forgiveness. I was genuinely surprised the reveal came from Negan simply sharing the story to Daryl. I thought it fell a bit flat in the delivery.
Maybe the network thought it would have been a bit much for Negan after he bludgeoned two characters with a baseball bat in the season premiere.
You can watch the scene with Negan, Daryl, and Dwight below:
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