Ah, so that’s why the killer nuns think he’s the messiah…
The Big Picture
- Episode 2 of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon introduces a shattering sequence that holds profound consequences for the characters and the franchise.
- Laurent’s potential immunity to the walker virus signals the possibility of the outbreak’s end, validating the nuns’ belief in him as the savior.
- Isabelle’s direct relation to Laurent as his aunt raises questions about conflicts and potential issues in protecting him from experimentation.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Season 1 explores ground zero of the apocalypse, where new alliances, players and motivations tease an exhilarating Season 2 that will reunite Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) with Carol Peletier (Melissa McBride). Episode 2, “Alouette,” introduces a shattering sequence that holds profound consequences for, yes, the characters in the show, but also The Walking Dead franchise. We tread onto the foreign lands of France alongside Daryl and his new traveling companions Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi), Sister Isabelle (Clémence Poésy) and Sister Sylvie (Laika Blanc Francard). Meanwhile, snippets of Isabelle’s chaotic backstory are revealed throughout the episode, offering new insight into the Abbey’s religious beliefs and the credibility of Laurent being the messiah. This reveal also explains why Laurent is a beacon of hope to the residents of the Nest, and thus a threat to Genet (Anna Charrier).
Episode 2 of Daryl Dixon’s ‘Walking Dead’ Spinoff Gave Us Apocalypse Ground Zero
As Paris succumbs to the outbreak, The Walking Dead finally gives us horror vibes. Without any warning, we witness Isabelle trying to flee the havoc with her companion, Quinn (Adam Nagaitis), and sister, Lily (Faustine Koziel). Their escape leads them to a gas station where they find out Lily is pregnant, causing Quinn to want to abandon her, but instead, Isabelle promptly steals his car and abandons him. On the way to finding refuge, Isabelle and her sister come across the flashing lights of an ambulance. When they realize it is filled with walkers, they hurry back into the car, but Lily doesn’t make it without getting bitten. As ground zero for the apocalypse, they don’t know the consequences of getting bitten yet, prompting them to continue their journey without a hitch.
Eventually, they find the nuns at the Abbey of Saint Bernadette, who benevolently take them in. Lily slowly begins to feel the effects of the fever that accompany a walker bite, indicating her eventual death and reanimation. Alongside the nuns and Father Père Jean (Hugo Dillon), Isabelle helps to deliver the baby but after the pushing and the infection leeches her strength, Lily passes away during childbirth. As Father Père Jean prepares the equipment for an emergency C-section, we watch the gripping sequence of Lily’s fingers twitching and Isabelle’s hope being quickly dashed as she hears a growl. With pearly white eyes, Lily has fully reanimated and is forced into restraints, allowing the panicked crew to delicately pull out a small baby boy from her open uterus: Laurent.
‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’s Laurent Is Similar to ‘The Last of Us’ Ellie
With a birth that echoes the circumstance of Ellie’s (Bella Ramsey) birth in The Last of Us, in that both Ellie and Laurent were born from infected mothers, there is a chance that the implications of it may be similar. Laurent’s potential immunity to the walker virus signals the possibility that the outbreak’s end could happen on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon. As such, this means the nuns’ belief of him being the savior of the apocalypse is not unsubstantiated and their extensive lengths to nurture and protect him are completely validated.
Being introduced to the mysterious child prodigy with such peculiar mannerisms and way of speaking was a bizarre experience, to say the least. As fervent and authentic as the nuns’ beliefs were, religious terminology like “prophecy” and “messiah,” coupled with the phrase “everything happens for a reason,” gave the theory less credibility. Through our perspective as the audience, we knew there had to be a piece of the puzzle missing, but it definitely made sense why Daryl instantly didn’t buy this theory. The second episode grounds these theories, but by the Season 1 finale, there is no hint of a scientific approach to Laurent’s origins and potential immunity. Instead, the circumstances around his birth are primarily transformed into a “rising out of the ashes” symbol. Laurent becomes a symbolic future leader for the Nest and L’Union rather than a vaccine guinea pig.
‘The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon’s Sister Isabelle and Laurent Have a Surprising Connection
This flashback doesn’t only reveal the details around Laurent’s birth, but also Isabelle’s direct relation to him. Finding out she is his aunt explains the explicit protectiveness she has for him, especially knowing that he is the last remnant of her sister she has. Their close relationship is also how Quinn (who turns out to be Laurent’s father) managed to force Isabelle to stay with him later in the season, until all three of them are captured by Genet’s forces. While escaping Genet’s compound, Laurent is forced to shoot a reanimated Quinn to save Isabelle, marking his first walker kill.
It is at Genet’s compound that we would expect to witness some form of experimentation on Laurent, given that the French labs make up a significant portion of her team. As ground zero for the apocalypse in France and the variant walkers, the French labs would most definitely have a keen interest in Laurent’s backstory. Since their first attempt at meddling with the walkers led to variants (and later advanced to purposefully making “super-powered” walkers), it is likely that their involvement with Laurent’s potential immunity doesn’t bode well for the other characters. However, it seems the only desire Genet has is to discredit Laurent as a symbol of hope and subsequently eliminate him.
How Will Laurent’s Reveal Impact Daryl?
Initially, Daryl was the least interesting part of his spinoff. Daryl’s motivations for escorting the group through Paris were lackluster and quite secondary to the surrounding excitement. Despite being doggedly set to go home, he eventually creates close bonds with Laurent and Isabelle, creating a newfound family overseas which divides his immediate priorities and urges him to stay in France. As such, Laurent’s presence on the beach when Daryl is considering leaving indicates how significant of a role Daryl played in Laurent’s growth. Since Laurent’s unique birth cemented his fate as a symbol and future leader, the nuns of the Abbey sheltered and protected him while also encouraging the development of his people skills. But a leader also needs basic survival skills. Daryl’s influence on Laurent substantially thickened his skin and made his world-view slightly more critical.
Daryl Dixon Season 1 leaves Laurent’s genetics to the wayside and instead focuses on his ability to connect with people, a talent that predisposes him as a potentially powerful leader. Although there may be a chance that The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon Season 2 could go the scientific route, particularly since Laurent’s reveal and the capabilities of the French labs are both perfectly set up for this approach, it does seem like the show is committed to keeping the clash between L’Union and Genet in the forefront. Laurent may become the leader that hundreds of people believe him to be and may potentially lead them through and out of Genet’s tyranny and the apocalypse.