'The Walking Dead': Daryl Dixon wears zombie ears, Merle rears his ugly head

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norman-reedus-twd-s2.jpgWe know "The Walking Dead" isn't all about Norman Reedus' character, Daryl Dixon -- the sweet, yet cagey as a rattlesnake good old boy who will spend the rest of his life (no matter how zombie-filled) getting over the abuse suffered at the hands of his sicko brother Merle. But sometimes it sure feels like it.

How can we help fixating on the guy when an episode, Sunday's (Nov. 13) for instance, spends so much time with his evolving (and hot) character?  [By the way, if you haven't yet watched and don't want the episode spoiled, then stop reading now and save this for future reading.]

On Sunday's ep, Daryl -- who seems to be the only one actually holding out hope that Sophia ( Madison Lintz) is actually still alive -- falls down an embankment into a river and ends up impaling himself on his own crossbow arrow. Ouch. That, of course, necessitated the removal of Daryl's shirt sleeves -- nothing wrong with a little gun show -- and a fevered hallucination of Merle ( Michael Rooker in his first return to the show since season 1), both of which helped Daryl battle his way back to camp, only to be shot in the head by trigger-happy Andrea ( Laurie Holden) who mistook him for a walker.

norman-reedus-twd-s2.jpgOh, about those ears: Daryl took them as trophies from the zombies he killed by the riverbank and strung them on a chain around his neck -- Vietnam-era style. Maybe something he learned from Merle or his pop? It was supposedly part of his descent into some kind of primitive survival mode, but we're thinking its just the producers seeing how many gross things they can have his character do (wear putrid body parts, eviscerate a zombie) but still have female fans swoon every time he enters the frame.


Some other points of interest from Sunday's episode, "Chupacabra":

  • Hershel keeps a herd of zombies in his barn. Rut-roh. No wonder Maggie got so upset last week when they killed the bloated well zombie.
  • Speaking of differences, Rick's group continues to disappoint Hershel by doing things like borrowing horses, flirting with his daughter and having the effrontery to cook a sit-down dinner for him and his family. They may well wear out their welcome by the time we go into the winter hiatus in a few weeks.
  • Dale and Andrea had a "moment" on the back porch at the end of the episode. Are they headed for a romantic relationship a la their comic book counterparts? We talked to creator Robert Kirkman* on Friday and he says there could in fact be love (or lust) in the air for the unlikely couple.
  • Lori still hasn't told Rick she's pregnant with what is possibly Shane's child.

Did you watch? Share your thoughts on this week's episode below.

*We'll have the full Kirkman interview up Monday (Nov. 13) morning.
Photo/Video credit: AMC