Warning: major spoilers ahead for the Season 7 midseason premiere of The Walking Dead.
Daryl Dixon has had an especially rough ride in The Walking Dead Season 7. Sure, he hasn't had head bashed in or his face ironed off, but he suffered through a unique kind of torture at the Sanctuary courtesy of Dwight and Negan. His escape in the winter finale led to heartwarming reunion with his pals from Alexandria, but the midseason premiere revealed that the Saviors aren't done with him yet. Daryl has a death sentence from the Saviors, and the Saviors aren't going anywhere any time soon.
The discovery that Daryl escaped the Sanctuary by beating Fat Joey to death clearly didn't go over well with Negan and the Saviors. They're on the hunt for everybody's favorite zombie apocalypse redneck, and Simon didn't waste any time ransacking Alexandria to try and find him. Luckily, Rick talked Daryl into staying behind at The Kingdom earlier in the episode, and so nobody had to die at Alexandria. Still, Simon didn't leave without making it very clear to Rick that there's no statute of limitations on Daryl's crime. The Saviors will be hunting Daryl for as long as he's at large, and this may be one situation that Daryl cannot get out of alive.
You won't be forgotten, Fat Joey. You won't be forgotten.
A big question now is whether the good guys can count on everybody keeping Daryl's location a secret. The core group is unlikely to turn on him, but there are an awful lot of wild card background players on The Walking Dead who might be willing to give up Daryl to the Saviors if it means making their own lives easier. Throw in the fact that our boy Daryl has always been more of an outdoor cat than an indoor cat, and it's hard to imagine that he'll be able to keep himself contained at The Kingdom for long.
It's really only a matter of time before something goes horribly wrong, and I don't just say that because I've watched six and a half seasons of The Walking Dead ruining good guys' lives. Daryl didn't exactly make a stealthy escape from the Sanctuary, and he's already showing signs of rebelling against Rick's order to stay at Hilltop. His "blow 'em up and burn 'em to the ground" ideas promise some pretty great action; they also promise that things will get ugly sooner rather than later, and Daryl is at a distinct disadvantage. A quest for revenge probably won't end well for any of our merry band of survivors. Daryl apparently hasn't entirely learned his lesson from his role in Glenn's death, and any mistakes now could be the last he ever gets to make.
Of course, Daryl is still an enormously popular character, and Norman Reedus doesn't seem like he's ready to leave the role. All things considered, Daryl's days among the living probably won't come to an end in the next episode or two. That said, Jeffrey Dean Morgan has already revealed that he'll be back as Negan in Season 8. Something big - maybe even a bigger threat than Negan - will need to happen if Daryl and the Saviors are going to co-exist in the same region on the same show. We already know that the size and scope of the Season 7 finale may eclipse anything that The Walking Dead has done before; we can bet that Daryl will probably have something to do with the end-of-season explosiveness.
Tune in to AMC on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET to see what's next for Daryl and Co. on The Walking Dead, and don't forget to check out our midseason TV premiere schedule. Take a look at our breakdown of the 7 funniest moments from the midseason premiere for a refresher on the not-so-horrible things that happened in the latest episode.