‘The Walking Dead’ Season Finale: Will Daryl Survive Negan’s Introduction?

Spoiler alert: This post contains plot details for “The Walking Dead” Season 6, Episode 15, titled “East.”

The March 27 episode of “The Walking Dead” ended with a bloody cliffhanger, as Daryl was shockingly shot by Dwight, the Savior he had helped earlier in the season, who repaid his act of kindness by stealing Daryl’s motorcycle and crossbow and killing Denise.

One of the unofficial mottos of “The Walking Dead” fandom is “if Daryl dies, we riot,” so episode writer and showrunner Scott Gimple obviously knew what he was doing when we saw Daryl’s blood splatter across the screen at the end of “East,” and in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, star Norman Reedus confirmed that the blood we saw belonged to Daryl.

“It’s exactly what you see. I mean, that’s Daryl’s blood that you see,” Reedus said. “That’s exactly what happens, exactly what you see. So that’s the world that we live in. The fight between Daryl and Dwight is very real — that sort of fight on who you are and who you’re becoming and what you’ve given up is very real right now, and I think Daryl’s making that as real as possible with him.”

But as fans have learned from this season’s controversial fake-out over Glenn’s apparent death, unless we see a kill directly on screen, we should probably take a character’s grisly demise with a grain of salt.

Gimple seemed to be trying to reassure fans in the episode’s closing moments, with Dwight saying “you’ll be all right” as the screen cut to black and Daryl fell, but Reedus played coy about the meaning of Dwight’s words: “Yeah, but can you trust him? You know what I mean? Who is that guy? You don’t even know who he’s saying that to, to be honest.”

Luckily, Tech Insider caught up with the actor behind the double-crossing Savior, Austin Amelio, to get his take on what happened between Dwight and Daryl in those final seconds. “He doesn’t have an intention on killing him,” Amelio explained. “He’s been through a rough patch and I think he wants to show that he means business and he knows that by shooting [Daryl] he gets his point across. I could have gone for the head. I didn’t. I went for the right shoulder. He’s not going to die. He’ll be okay.”

Amelio also confirmed that Dwight’s final line, telling Daryl he’d be all right, was added after they filmed the episode (and presumably after the internet erupted over Glenn’s dumpster dive). “It’s interesting Scott [Gimple] was so afraid that people were going to hate me so much that he actually added in a line for me at the end so I would be hated less,” Amelio told Tech Insider. “That wasn’t in the script originally. Then Scott called me up a couple weeks ago and he’s like, ‘We should put in this line at the end here because I just don’t want people hating you TOO much.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, okay. Great! Thanks, Scott. I appreciate that.'”

So Daryl’s apparently out of the woods, for now, but the preview promo for the April 3 season finale promises that “the price will be paid” for Rick and his group’s attacks against the Saviors when Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) makes his long-awaited debut — so who’s going to make it out of the finale alive, and who will die at the end of Negan’s barbed wire-covered baseball bat, Lucille?

Glenn, Daryl, Michonne and Rosita have been captured by Dwight’s gang; Morgan and Carol are both out on the road alone; and “East” strongly implied that Maggie is having some kind of difficulty with her pregnancy that might necessitate a trip to Hilltop, which may be why Rick and his crew end up being stopped by the Saviors out on the road in the teaser for the finale. As star Andrew Lincoln told us earlier this season, we’re heading towards “one of the best, most appalling and brilliant season finales we’ve ever attempted. It made me physically sick when I read it, and if we’ve done it right, you will [be] too.” Which means that at this point, everyone’s a target, and as the producers like to remind us, no one is safe.

The 90-minute finale of “The Walking Dead” Season 6 airs Sunday, April 3 at 9 p.m. on AMC.

Who do you think will survive the finale, and who will be killed by Negan? Share your theories below.

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  1. I liked it, but I can totally understand why people wouldn’t. Like I said to one of my friends:

    For those of us who know who Negan is and who the Saviors are and just how big their organization is, how skilled they are, how well organized and trained, this whole season has been a “get on with it/get it over with” one. For someone that had no idea? You see that first roadblock and the thought is that it’s just a few guys. Then you realize it’s probably more. Then you, at the same time as Rick, realize just how bad this is – that they’re not up against a small Governor-esque echo colony, but something they haven’t seen yet.

    And it only goes downhill as Rick begins to realize just how badly outmatched he is. How badly thought out his “well, it’s another governor – let’s just take them out” strategy was. Because he just didn’t know what he was dealing with.

    WE did, those of us who read ahead or had an idea what was coming, but a lot of viewers did not. This is the Red Wedding of this series and where everything the group thought they knew changes

  2. Icarus says:

    Is it just me or were the Zs who were supposed to be Daryl and Michonne too decayed given they were just captured????

  3. Mikiswiththefikis says:

    I highly doubt Daryl will die. I think negan will spare Daryl after hearing Dwaynes story about how Daryl tried helping him, but I think Glenn might be getting the axe (bat)

  4. KneeGan says:

    If they’re going to the most appalling, and most nauseating thing yet, then I’d assume somehow it has to be Maggie. What would make people most physically sick to their stomach than a pregnant lady dying?

  5. steven says:

    I am hoping the atlanta 5 survive

  6. goan says:

    Morgan or Carol could go. They are just another version of Dale and Andrea. Selling some righteous and “all life is precious” theory in anarchical world… yeah, right!

  7. Lorrie Huey says:

    As soon as Rick and Abraham talked about letting a woman in, I imagined I heard a death knell for one of said women.

  8. sandy hockemeyer says:

    One word; EPIC

  9. Will says:

    Maggie loses the baby which turns into a zombie and eats her from the inside out. She dies. Glenn, overcome with grief, kills himself somehow. Negan still wants revenge and practices with lucille on rick’s hand, ultimately making him the amputee that he is in the comics. Negan makes Rick choose who will die. Rick chooses mullet, going for the proverbial weakest character. Abraham steps in in his protector role and insists Rick choose him instead. Daryl lives along with the rest to face negan in season 7.

  10. Jean Elmore says:

    If Daryl dies, my Sundays will open for a different show.

  11. I Hope Carol Doesn't Die says:

    I mean, I was speechless when there was the zombie with grey hair walking up the field i was like “oh god no”

  12. negan doesn’t kill women or children tho

  13. Kim says:

    Maggie and baby. Rosita and Michonne.

  14. Jerry McJunkin says:

    Maggie dies, They showed the bruises when she was in the shower with Glen. Her baby dies turns to a zombie and claws it’s way out of her. Remember Alien. This could be the most brutal death on TWD ever.

  15. Mark Myerscough says:

    It has to be a series regular – you can’t have Negan kill a Red Shirt – it would be too much of a wimp out.
    I don’t think it will be Glenn – not after the mid-season dumpster dive. I don’t think it will be Michonne – her story line with Rick has too many possibilities. I’m thinking either Rosita or Abraham (I know Abraham isn’t captured yet – but I figure that’s coming.)
    The question is – will it happen in the finale – or will the cliff hanger be Negan starting to play Eeny Meenie Minie Moe with the group?

  16. ross says:

    the young teen dies

  17. in the comics it’s Glenn who gets killed by Negan’s barbed wire-covered baseball bat, Lucille

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