The folks over at Criminal Element’s sister site Heroes and Heartbreakers love their HEAs. Here at Crime HQ, on the other hand, we know that “happily ever after” is not realistic: things almost always end in death for someone. So when the H&H folks say the Daryl/Carol budding romance in Walking Dead is reason to hope in the Zombie Apocalypse, we, dear readers, know the real score. As in any good noir story, no apocalypse has a happy ending. Not for anyone.
The thing is, while I love Daryl, I understand the character that he is replacing from the comics. You see in Robert Kirkman’s comic canon, Daryl doesn’t yet exist. Instead Rick’s ally and resident badass is Tyreese, an ex-pro football player turned car salesman. Yeah, Tyreese is a little on edge, but he is mostly put together, and he does develop a relationship with Carol, but things don’t end too well . . .
Walking Dead SPOILERS incoming! (You’ve been warned.)
Yeah, Tyreese and Carol have a sweet thing going. They form a nice little unit that includes Sophia, Tyreese’s daughter, and her boyfriend. That is until Tyreese’s daughter and the boyfriend follow through on a suicide pact. Well kind of. And then Tyreese locks himself inside a gym full of zombies for three days. Yeah he kind of snaps. So then when Michonne—an equally damaged and messed up woman—shows up, he begins cheating on Carol.
After being rejected by Tyreese, and believing that no one cares about her, Carol commits suicide. Shortly thereafter Tyreese is beheaded by everyone’s favorite dictator, The Governor.
Now, there are theories that Tyreese is really T-Dog, if so, they have severely weakened and watered down the character. My theory, especially because of the Daryl/Carol will they/won’t they, is that in the coming season Daryl is going to cement his place as Rick’s right-hand man. (And really, what’s more awesome than killing zombies with a claw hammer? A crossbow of course!) And then, because he has a crossbow and she has a samurai sword, Daryl will find a kindred spirit in Michonne, whom they introduced in the season 2 finale.
So I’m guessing ol’ Carol is living on borrowed time. Okay, the show has deviated from canon a bit, but not in any terribly major way. (Discounting the deaths of Sophia and Dale. But those two characters are mostly just foils to show how far humanity sinks when the world burns, anyway. You accomplish the same thing by showing reason and goodness die as you do by showing them wither. Wow, that got dark fast . . .)
**If you want to hear a clip of what Daryl (Norman Reedus) had to say about the subject on the day before Season 3 began, check out our coverage of The Walking Dead panel at New York Comic Con.
***And here's our recap from “Seed,” the Season 3 premiere!
What do you think is in store for the Daryl/Carol connection? Or anything in terms of plot in the upcoming Prison/Woodbury-filled season?