Norman Reedus holding a gun as Daryl Dixon

‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – The Book of Carol’ Has a Stellar First Episode

The Tribeca Film Festival screened the first episode of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon – The Book of Carol, and it was an incredible first episode of season 2! The hit series is part of The Walking Dead universe and has a storied history with fans, especially with Carol and Daryl.

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The series doesn’t premiere until September, but fans (and journalists who are … also fans) were given a chance to see Melissa McBride’s return to the series as Carol Peletier, as she searches for her friend, Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus). To not give anything away about the premiere episode, I will say that the tone feels very much as you’d expect from both of these characters.

Carol (who is still back in America) is right where we left her as she searches for Daryl, while Daryl is back in France. Coming off of a show like The Ones Who Live that instantly gave fans satisfaction, it seems as if The Book of Carol is providing The Walking Dead fans with a bit more of a slow burn (story structure-wise).

The thing that really worked with the first episode was that it gave us Carol back in action. While there was some Daryl and we saw a bit of how the back and forth of the season could shape up, the first episode really leaned heavily into McBride’s return to the franchise—which is, arguably, what fans want out of The Book of Carol.

A key part of what has made many of us excited about these spinoff shows is the ability to put two core characters from The Walking Dead together, and it’s nice finally having Carol and Daryl in the same show again.

How we’ve missed Daryl and Carol

Carol looking over her shoulder standing in front of Daryl's bike

The Walking Dead: Dead City and The Ones Who Live had character pairings in them that either expanded on an already rich history (like that of Maggie and Negan) or reunited a husband and his wife (with Rick Grimes and Michonne). Daryl Dixon threw Daryl across the ocean and left him completely alone as a fish out of water.

Folding Carol into the mix brings a familiarity that season 1 didn’t have that isn’t a knock on the first season—it was brilliant—but it does show how much fans love these two characters that they were doubly as excited for the second season. And the first episode felt a bit like we were back in the old days. Carol and Daryl weren’t together, but they were both there, working towards something and trying to get back to one another by doing whatever they had to.

It feels like pulling teeth to wait months for the second episode. That first one really worked to bring us back to Carol and set up where the rest of the season could potentially go, and it got me extremely excited for what The Book of Carol has to offer. I just … want more now.

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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.