The Walking Dead finally returned tonight, and answered several of the questions we’d been wondering for the last two months. We’ll cover the entire episode tomorrow morning, but for now, there’s one particular callback that deserves a quick mention.
Late in the episode, it appeared as though Alexandria would be completely overrun with walkers and eventually corner and kill the entire community. However, a grief-stricken Rick took it upon himself to go zombie killing, and so as not to leave him alone, many in the rest of the community joined him. Basically, it looked like a sequel to The Alamo: Everyone would die heroes, but they would surely die.
That is, at least, until Daryl, Abraham, and Sasha arrived with a giant gas tanker, which they used to light a fire and draw the zombies into the water and kill several hundred of them in one fell swoop. The question is: How did Daryl know that would work?
To understand that, we need to go back to this season’s sixth episode, Always Accountable, in which Daryl met the man we now know to be Dwight. Dwight is the one who actually had the gas tanker first, and he used it in a similar manner.
“We opened the valve and drove all the way in,” Dwight explained in “Always Accountable,” when asked how he managed to burn all the walkers. “We lit a matchbook and dropped it in on the trail … and then, Boom!”
“We just watched it go up,” Dwight’s friend explained, as they walked Daryl through a forest of burnt zombie cadavers. “No more moans, no more of that wailing. It was just the fires burning them all away.”