The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon series premiere picks up months after The Walking Dead finale.  In “L’âme Perdue” (The Lost Soul), Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) finds himself washed ashore on the French beaches. The last time we saw Daryl, he was riding around the US, looking for Rick (Andrew Lincoln). Which raises the questions, what happened? How did he get to France? 


We start with Daryl floating on top of a lifeboat in the ocean. He hears Judith say he deserves a happy ending too. Upon arriving in France, it took Daryl a little while to figure out where he was. Luckily he washed up on the shores of an abandoned small town on the water. He finds a boat with water, a map and a tape recorder. He listens to the tape and discovers the owner of the boat spoke English. It’s also confirmed that he is in France. Daryl also finds a French to English dictionary. So the next morning, he packs up and heads out. First, he records a message saying who he is, where he’s from and if he doesn’t return home, tell his family that he tried. He’s still trying. 

Daryl looks for food in the next town. The rustling around wakes several walkers, so Daryl has to fight. No big deal right. Wrong. These walkers are different. One of them grabs Daryl’s arm and burns him. Kind of like an acid burn. After Daryl kills all of the walkers, he examines one a little closer. He pulls out his knife and hears simmering coming out of his head. What makes them do that? When he gets out, he wraps his arm and sees someone watching him. 

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Daryl continues on his journey and meets a young woman, Maribelle (Carmen Kassovitz) and her blind grandfather. He trades them a medical kit for food. Two men in a Jeep pull up and immediately draw their guns on Daryl. They try to take Maribelle, but Daryl stops them, killing the driver. The second man shoots at Daryl, missing him, but some of the gunpowder hits Daryl in the face. Maribelle knocks the second man down and kills him. Daryl asks them to help with his wounds. Instead, they hit him in the head and go through his bag. Daryl is down, but still sees the duo robbing him. And Maribelle’s grandfather is not blind. Someone new walks up and shoots their gun, scaring away them grifters.

Daryl dreams of Judith (Cailey Fleming) and Carol (Melissa McBride), making a promise to find Rick. He wakes up to nuns cauterizing his burnt arm. The next time he wakes up, he meets Isabelle (Clémence Poésy). Isabelle says they are in an abbey. They cauterized his wound because it stops the infection. They call their dead les affamés, or hungry ones and brûleur or burner is just one type.

Isabelle reveals that the nuns are part of a group called Union D’espoir. They accept all religions and resilience. The group believes that humanity is being tested, but will soon be delivered from it. Daryl and Isabelle learn a few personal things about each other. Daryl had a brother, Isabelle had a sister. And they both have scars. Isabelle’s scars are on her wrist. Daryl looks out the window and sees the nuns playing with a child. Isabelle says the boy’s name is Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi) and he was born in the abbey. She is called away and leaves Daryl with food. Daryl sits down to eat and sees Laurent watching him. The boy mimics Daryl’s every move.

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Clémence Poésy as Isabelle on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

Clémence Poésy as Isabelle – The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC

Mother Superior (Catherine Arditi) voices her concern about Daryl saying he doesn’t belong there because he is not one with God. Isabelle defends him saying she saw him fight and they have to be merciful. And she was once faithless too. While they talk, Laurent approaches Daryl and wants him to play with him. The kid is smart and talks about how long it will take to repopulate the country. Daryl doesn’t say much. Laurent can tell that Daryl is homesick, saying he feels his sadness. Laurent tells Daryl not to despair. He deserves a happy ending too.

Maribelle and her grandfather encounter another Jeep full of men, looking for the two men they killed. They lie saying they haven’t seen anyone. Maribelle says they were robbed by a man when the two men helped them. Maribelle says they ran and didn’t see what happened. The Leader Codron (Romain Levi) doesn’t believe them. He kills the old man and forces Maribelle to take them to the place they were robbed.


Daryl finds Laurent reading to the walker. The kid says he’s waiting for the walker to rise again. Daryl decides that it’s time to go. Isabelle tries to stop him by explaining what’s going on here. She says Daryl is the messenger, sent to deliver Laurant.  The walker was Father Jean. Isabelle says he saw something special in Laurent when he met him. Father Jean was supposed to take Laurent to a base up north, but died before he could. Isabelle says there is a community at the base that can nurture Laurent to become who he was born to be.

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Isabelle explains that Laurent’s mother died during childbirth, but Laurent lived. She says the boy is displaying abilities and he’smore perceptive and compassionate than other children his age. She calls him a messiah who will lead the revival of humanity. While she talks, Daryl packs his things, saying he’s not interested in helping. He just wants to go home. He stops at the weapons room to borrow a few things. Then he goes into the office to use the radio, but it’s broken. Isabelle tells him that there may be a port that is active in Le Havre. She points it out on a map. Coincidentally, it’s on the same route that they need to go for Laurent. Isabelle says it’s dangerous, especially if you can’t speak French. Daryl knows what she’s doing. He picks up his things and leaves. 


Romain Levi as Codron on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

Romain Levi as Codron – The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1 – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC

Maribelle shows Codron and his guerriers (warriors) where they encountered Daryl. One of the men was Codron’s brother. He is reanimated and walks out of the shadows. Codron puts him down and cries for his brother. Codron wants to know who killed his brother. She lies and says the American did. They find a flier that says “dieu t’aime.” One of the guerriers recognizes the flier and specifically says Sister Isabelle puts them up everywhere. Codron decides to visit the abbey. 

On the way out, Daryl says Isabelle is putting too much pressure on Laurent, but she says the boy doesn’t know his purpose. Regardless, she says the boy is lonely and needs friends his age. He also needs teachers and a father figure. Laurent sees them and says goodbye to Daryle. Isabelle pleads with Daryl to stay, but he says it’s not his problem and leaves.

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As Daryl leaves, he hears cars approaching. He hides and watches several vehicles go by. Codron knocks on the gate and asks if they’ve seen the American. Mother Superior says they are in prayer. It doesn’t matter to Codron, they are coming in to search. Mother Superior lets them, but tells her sisters to hide the boy. Isabelle hides him in the office, gives him the keys and tells him to lock the door behind her. 

The nuns tell the guerriers that there are no men in the abbey, but Codron doesn’t believe them. Codron goes to the weapons room and hears Laurent lock the office door. He starts to shoot at the door, but then hears one of his men yelling. They found Father Jean and ask why they kept him. Mother Superior explains that they have beliefs about the redemption of all souls, even wicked ones. Codron threatens to kill Father Jean’s walker unless Isabelle starts talking. He is convinced she was there when his brother died, but Isabelle doesn’t talk. 


Laïka Blanc-Francard as Sylvie on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon

Laïka Blanc-Francard as Sylvie – The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon _ Season 1, Episode 1 – Photo Credit: Emmanuel Guimier/AMC

The guerriers kill the walker, prompting Laurent to run out of his hiding place, screaming. Codron is shocked to see him and decides to take him. That’s when Daryl jumps out, killing a guerrier and initiating a chase. The guerriers are only interesting in finding Daryl, but the nuns take up arms to defend the abbey. Codron faces off with Daryl and is able to knock him down long enough to pull a gun on him. Isabelle knocks the gun out of Codron’s hand and Daryl grabs the gun. Codron runs but is shot in the shoulder.  Mother Superior tries to stop Daryl from killing the man, but she is hurt too and Daryl brushes past her.

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Codron gets away, but all of his guerriers are dead. There are several dead nuns as well. Daryl finds Isabelle sitting with Mother Superior. Laurent and Sister Sylvie (Laïka Blanc-Francard) are the only other ones left. Mother Superior says Laurent is the cure to a sick world. And maybe Daryl is the one to protect him. She dies in Isabelle’s arms. 

Later that night, they bury their sisters and say goodbye. Sylvie sings a song to comfort herself and Laurent plays the guitar as they sit around a fire. Daryl tells Isabelle that he left home looking for something worth finding. He ran into some bad people who put him on a boat. That didn’t go well and he washed ashore in France. He asks her to take him to the port in the North. She agrees so he says he will take Laurent to the base. Codron returns to the Abbey and sees the fire. He leaves again.


A woman named Genet (Anne Charrier) inspects a damaged ship. The ship is carrying walkers. Doctor LaFleur (Francois Delaive) says most of his research is destroyed but they still have test subjects, aka the walkers to use. Genet knows an American caused the damage. She asks for the American’s name and the captain says Dixon. Genet instructs her guerriers to find Dixon.

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Noetta Harjo
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