Episode 3 of The Walking Dead’s seventh season was a strong character development entry that gave way to an interesting theory that is already in Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels: Dwight will rise to be the next leader of The Saviors.
“The Cell” shone a spotlight on Austin Amelio’s take on Dwight, and he is perhaps the most complex character of the show, while Negan continues to be a one-sided cartoon villain. The third entry played out how loyalties come and go around The Sanctuary.
“All out War” issue of the source material tells about the battle between Negan’s Saviors against rebelling communities led by Rick Grimes. When Negan yields, Dwight becomes the chief, and he starts to open peaceful trade routes between the different colonies.
TWD’s third episode showed how Dwight’s loyalty is shaking. It does not guarantee that he could betray Negan, but it points out that he could help both Daryl Dixon and Rick to defeat him.
Why is Dwight one of Negan’s top lieutenants?
Because it is the only way, he would say to himself. As he confronts his runaway friend, he wonders if Negan’s mantra is true, and if there is actually no way but power through cruelty and terror.
Negan later reveals the reasons that brought Dwight to his side, the story that will eventually change the dynamic of power within The Saviors.
While it did not play out in the series, Negan has a whole harem of women for himself, and those women have a higher position in The Sanctuary’s society. Sherry “cheated” on Negan with Dwight and that is why the trio had to flee.
When viewers first encountered the character in early season six, he was running away from Negan with his sister (Tina) and his wife (Sherry). Daryl Dixon helped them escape, but Dwight and Tina betrayed him after Tina died.
Dwight came back to Negan with Sherry, and he received a punishment accordingly. He endured a maximum humiliation when Negan took his wife among his broad range of ladies, and also he burned half of Dwight’s face with a hot iron.
As a final testament of his submission, Negan turned him into one of his top guys. And he enjoys the advantages that come with such life, like the sandwich he did for himself in the opening scene.
“I get why you did it”
As Dwight is trying to convince himself that coming back to Negan was the right thing to do, he believes that if Daryl cracks, then anyone can crack. If even the strongest bows to Negan, then it means that he was not a coward.
Daryl Dixon was not the protagonist of the chapter. He was the subject of psychological tortures that included a picture of Gleen’s remains. Actor Norman Reedus did shine when he laid out his grief with a lonely cry inside the cell.
“I get why you did it,” says Daryl to his jailor. “You were thinking of someone else.” He saw Dwight’s inner struggle, and so did the viewers.