Do you think, because of his time with Beth, Daryl will be softer or more open with the group? I know that there's going to be several things happening so fast in 5A, but when things slow down, or whenever they catch a break, do you think the group will notice a change in him? And then assume it was because of Beth? And then, when Daryl and Beth are reunited, it'll all become clear? I'm just having a lot of headcanons pop into my head lately.
I didn’t answer this question immediately because I struggled with it and needed to think it through. And even after thinking it through I still ended up hitting a brick wall. And then I figured out why.
Anon, I don’t know if this is going to answer you but here goes. I think my problem with this ask is the word “softer”. Remember that Daryl during Inmates and Still was the lowest he has ever been. Not the lowest we have ever seen him, the lowest he has ever been. The group did not see that. Only Beth saw that. Only Beth saw how difficult and angry and frankly, mean he was during those first few weeks. So to the group Daryl is still the Daryl he was when the prison fell. And remember where he was before the prison fell? He was trying to “soften” Michonne. He was doing the best job he had ever done. He was so respected and well liked that old ladies were asking him to look for trinkets for graves. When Zach died, Maggie thought nothing of letting Daryl be the one to comfort her sister rather than going herself. Sure he still had a mouth on him (damn romance novel, anyone?) and sure you still did not want to be on his bad side (Bob, anyone?) and sure he was pissed about Karen and David, but he wasn’t mean and angry in general. Tough yes, but decent, dependable, friendly even.
He knew he was needed, he knew he was respected and to me, at the end of the day, Daryl needs people to need him (this is why I do hope for a scene in which Beth tells him she does need him, maybe not to protect her, but she needs him for her). So I think most of the group saw him as someone you wouldn’t want to piss off, someone who could be cranky, but not someone who needed to be “softer”.
So moving on, I do think that Daryl will probably exhibit elements of what Beth has taught him and yet at the same time he may actually become more feral in his rage that she has been taken and he could not protect her. What I am saying here is that he very well might claim things like “there are good people”, “you got to stay who you are”, “you got to put this away” (in fact I think he actually says similar things in the trailer). However, at the same time I suspect considering the circumstances they are in and assuming there is some sign of where Beth is, Daryl may actually seem even more badass than before in his quest to save his family and find Beth.
As for the rest of the group, my feeling is that Rick already knows. I don’t know if Rick would word what he knows as “Daryl fell completely in love with Beth and now is going through hell because his girl was taken” but I suspect if anything, Rick saw the magnitude of Daryl’s grief. This coupled with the fact that he was running with the claimers which is something Daryl would not have done unless he felt there was no hope left, leads me to think that Rick understands that something profound happened to Daryl and Beth was the cause of it. As for the others, maybe Maggie will notice because if Daryl and Maggie are in the same space I can’t actually see him keeping the bare bones story of what happened to Beth from her. Unless of course there is something to interrupt them such as Rick blurting out the Tara issue, which causes drama, and Daryl decides to hold back because Maggie is going through too much all at once.
(Wow, everyone has secrets that Maggie needs to know while Maggie is one of the few people who know about Carol - I wonder how that is going to pan out.)
Will Carol notice? I don’t know because I suspect their relationship is going to be too fraught initially for them to be worried about who is into who. Also as I have said before I don’t know where Carol’s headspace is after The Grove. Has it made her tougher? Has it made her see the error of her ways? Whatever the answer to this is may very well dictate her role in helping Daryl find Beth (if in fact this is her role at all). Will she be a guide, an assistant, a friend to see him through? Or will she be a doubting Thomas asking him why he thinks Beth is alive and trying to talk him out of it? Will she understand his need for love? Or will she consider it something irrelevant and almost a frippery considering the world they live in?
As for the rest of the group, I’m not convinced any of them are very invested in Daryl’s love life and obviously Abe’s team and Tara wouldn’t know a thing about it and would just consider however he is to be how he is.
Maybe Michonne will notice as well as we saw her bonding with both Daryl and Beth individually in 4a (in fact I really like the idea of Michonne noticing, but that’s just me).
So Anon, that is where I stand. I don’t actually think this answered the question you were asking but this is just the way I see things. And yeah, my answers often seem to just ask more questions. Sorry about that.
I agree with this completely. My dearest hope as you know is for Rick (or Michonne) to talk to Daryl about Beth, even if in vague terms. I want one of them to offer some kind of further comment on Daryl’s obvious despair at losing her….I just really need someone close him to acknowledge what he is feeling without even necessarily needing to ask.
I imagine that soon enough, Beth’s kidnapping will become common knowledge to the group, and even those who didn’t know Daryl before will observe the ah….intensity of his feelings on this subject….