A recurring theme on The Walking Dead this season has been the question of whether to kill. Is it better to shoot first and ensure survival through force, or show mercy and hope that mercy is shown to you in return?
Daryl (Norman Reedus) always talks in terms of "kill or be killed" on the murder/mercy spectrum, but he sometimes shows mercy. Remember earlier in the season when he got captured by the three fleeing Wolves (or whoever they were), and then stole their bag and escaped, only to return it when he realized the bag had a cooler full of insulin? His kindness was repaid by the survivors stealing his crossbow and motorcycle and leaving him in the woods. Daryl had a chance to kill them and he didn't take it. He showed mercy, and in this week's episode, he learns that maybe he shouldn't have. To be fair, they didn't kill him, either. But maybe they should have.
Daryl's actions (or lack thereof) backfire more than he could have ever imagined this week. Let's just say that it will be no surprise if Daryl goes full Season 4 Carol and kills everyone he meets from now on, just to be safe.
The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9/8c on AMC.