- Episode 2 of The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon further solidifies its similarities to The Last of Us, with a flashback twist that reveals a near-identical birthing scene.
- The birthing scenes in both shows serve to explain the special relationship the main characters have with the zombie virus, but Daryl Dixon takes the gore and shock factor to a whole new level.
- The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon and The Last of Us share similar premises, both following a grizzled warrior’s journey with a special child who may hold the key to curing the zombie virus. The birth twist doesn’t differentiate the spin-off from its zombie show counterpart.
With a familiar twist in episode 2, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon is starting to skew even closer to The Last of Us. The latest Walking Dead spin-off sees Daryl washed ashore in France, where he’s recruited to transport a young boy named Laurent across the zombie-infested wasteland. A religious cult believes that Laurent’s special powers could be the key to saving humanity from the zombie virus. The show had already been criticized for its similarities with The Last of Us, telling another Lone Wolf and Cub story in a zombie-infested setting, but episode 2’s flashback twist made the similarity even more apparent.
The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon season 1, episode 2, “Alouette,” was written by David Zabel & Jason Richman and directed by Daniel Percival. In the episode, Daryl and Laurent travel with Isabelle and Sylvie as they get closer to achieving their goal. Throughout the episode, flashbacks reveal more about these mysterious new characters, including Isabelle’s backstory as a hard-partying clubgoer. In a shocking flashback sequence, the series revealed the unusual circumstances surrounding Laurent’s birth as a way of explaining why he’s so special – and it’s dangerously close to a nearly identical flashback from The Last of Us’ season 1 finale.
Laurent’s Birth In Walking Dead Is Similar To Ellie’s In The Last Of Us
One of the goriest scenes from “Alouette” depicts Laurent’s birth. His pregnant mother Lily is helped by some nuns at an abbey, who are concerned to see that a walker has bitten her arm. While Ellie’s birth wasn’t depicted in the original Last of Us game, it was shown in a flashback sequence in the cold open of the HBO adaptation’s season 1 finale. In the opening scene of The Last of Us season 1, episode 9, “Look for the Light,” audiences are introduced to Ellie’s mother, Anna, played by Ellie’s original voice actor Ashley Johnson. As Anna gives birth in an abandoned house, she’s attacked by an infected.
Anna manages to fight it off before it kills her, but not before it infects her. She goes through with the birth, names the baby Ellie, and comforts her while holding a knife to her own neck in case she turns. When Anna’s friend Marlene, the leader of the Fireflies, returns to the house, she promises to look after Ellie before mercy-killing Anna. The birthing scene from Daryl Dixon is practically identical to the one from The Last of Us. With her dying breath, Lily even makes Isabelle promise to take care of the baby like Anna did with Marlene.
Laurent’s Birth Scene Goes Much Further Than The Last Of Us
The birthing scenes in both The Last of Us and The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon serve the same purpose: explaining the mysterious origins of Ellie and Laurent’s special relationship with the zombie virus. They both came into contact with the virus (or, in Ellie’s case, the fungal infection) while they were being born, so they have a kind of immunity to its effects. These flashbacks both set up major mysteries for their respective series to explore later on. But, as similar as the two scenes are, Daryl Dixon inarguably takes the gore and shock factor of this twist much, much further than The Last of Us.
Whereas Anna didn’t turn until long after she’d finished giving birth to Ellie, Lily died and turned into a walker before she had fully given birth to Laurent. It’s a lot gorier and grislier than The Last of Us’ similar sequence. From Hershel’s decapitation to Glenn’s eye-popping beatdown, The Walking Dead franchise has never shied away from boundary-pushing depictions of violence. So, Daryl Dixon is just upholding that tradition. The Last of Us, on the other hand, was much more interested in its lead characters’ relationship than the blood-soaked zombie action around them.
How Daryl Dixon Is Already Very Similar To The Last Of Us
Even before this gory zombie birth scene, The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon was already noted for its similarities with The Last of Us. They have essentially the exact same premise. Both stories explore the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a grizzled, aging warrior who’s tasked with traveling across the post-apocalyptic wasteland with a special child who might be the key to the zombie virus’ cure. Daryl is a hard-edged lone wolf like Joel and Laurent is a feisty kid companion like Ellie. With this birth twist, the Walking Dead spin-off isn’t doing much to differentiate itself from 2023’s other hit zombie show.
This story originally appeared on Screenrant