The Walking Dead regularly emphasizes the bonds that form between two characters. During the series’ fourth season, Beth and Daryl’s budding friendship came to the surface as the two were paired up in the post-prison exodus arc. We spoke with Norman Reedus at the press roundtables at Comic-Con in San Diego and he shared some very interesting insights into Daryl’s mindset as it relates to Beth.
Watching Daryl and Beth bond as the two made their way away from the prison, seeing that clash of optimism and frustration between these two, who’ve both experienced deep loss, it was hard not to notice the chemistry between them and wonder where their relationship was headed. And then Beth was snatched up and stuffed into the trunk of a car, leaving Daryl alone and once again suffering a loss. As Norman Reedus put it:
“Beth was kind of like this long dark tunnel. She was kind of like this little flame at the end of it. He got closer and closer to that flame and thought maybe he could see something and maybe there would be light and it’s getting warmer and warmer… and then someone blew it out.”
Beth’s positive approach to survival, despite the losses she suffered did seem to be affecting Daryl before she was taken. And it was evident that a friendship had developed between the two of them. But was there something more going on there? Reedus seems uncertain about that, or at the very least, he’s not sure Daryl was conscious of what he felt for Beth. Was it just friendship or a brother/sister kind of bond? Or were we seeing sparks of a romance? Reedus has some doubts about Daryl's awareness of anything romantic between himself and Beth:
"If Daryl has a thing for Beth or whatever, I always saw that as, if he did, he didn’t understand those feelings. He might have felt them, but it wasn’t a thing. He was sort of uncomfortable with those feelings, but there might be hope somewhere down the line and then it was taken from him, again. Reunited with his brother, taken. Found his family in the prison, taken. Almost got Sophia, taken. It’s like over and over and over again. And that happens to all of us."
Put that way, it’s enough to make us wonder if Daryl will ever have a breaking point. Will losing people over and over again will break his will sooner or later? Then again, maybe Beth’s return would have a positive effect on his faith. From what the trailer revealed, it looks like Beth has been locked up in some organized facility, and it also looks like she’s actively trying to escape. It’s going to be very exciting to finally see what’s going on with her, how she manages to get herself out of the situation, and whether or not she makes it back to Rick’s group.
In the meantime, we’re hopeful that The Walking Dead Season 4 isn’t the end of the road for whatever kind of relationship Daryl and Beth are meant to have. There’s something really intriguing about their mismatched outlooks that could make for an interesting connection down the line. We’ll have to wait and see if the two are ever reunited.