The Walking Dead Finale Cameo is a callback to Daryl’s first episode

Warning: This story contains spoilers for The Walking Dead series finale. “Son of a bitch,” says Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus) in his opening words The living Deadswear the filthy, disease-carrying, motherless, poxy bastard” who gnawed on a deer he killed in the Season 1 episode “Tell It to the Frogs”. Playing that filthy, disease-carrying, motherless, Poxy Bastard Walker was a special FX make- up designer Greg Nicotero, executive producer and director of Sunday’s series finale. Titled “Rest in Peace,” the episode’s closing moments feature Daryl’s final line of the series: a tender “I love you” said to best friend Carol (Melissa McBride).

In Reedus’ final scene of The living Dead, Daryl rides his motorcycle on his way to a new adventure in his own spin-off, racing past one last walker. Disguised by the zombie makeup he designed more than a decade earlier, episode director Nicotero made one last cameo on The living Dead.

(Photo: AMC Studios)

It was a full-circle moment for Reedus and Nicotero, who are among a select few cast and crew who have remained all 11 seasons of the AMC zombie drama that ended Sunday night after 177 episodes.

“In Daryl’s first episode in Season 1 Episode 3, I was the hiker who ate the deer he killed. So I was Daryl’s first hiker to get killed,” Nicotero commented on Sunday’s livestream. Talk dead. “So I thought it made sense that I was the last walker he encountered on this show.”

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When host Chris Hardwick pointed out that Daryl entered the show furiously and walked out lovingly, Reedus said “it makes perfect sense.”

“He showed up on the show and he was a completely different person than how he ended up,” Reedus said. “He ran into a hothead and these people changed him, his friends changed him. It made perfect sense. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Reedus and Nicotero are currently in production in France on The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon, the Paris-set spin-off focused on Reedus’ character of the same name. Read our exclusive “Rest in Peace” postmortem with Nicotero, the director’s account of Carol’s end of the show, and see the first footage of the Daryl Dixon spinoff. The new series will premiere on AMC and AMC+ in 2023.

Stay informed Comic book/TWD and follow @CameronBonomolo and @NewsOfTheDead on Twitter for more TWD Universe coverage.

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