This post contains major spoilers for the third episode of The Walking Dead Season 7, "The Cell."
From the moment he was taken hostage by Negan and his crew, it was clear that Daryl Dixon's future was going to be rough. His removal was almost as alarming as the death-by-bat of Abraham and Glenn in The Walking Dead's seventh-season premiere. Separated from his friends and left to fend for himself at the Sanctuary, at the mercy of the world's most vicious captors, Daryl was obviously in for something bad, and over the last three weeks, all we could do is imagine what happened.
Well, now we know: The longtime series fan-favorite has been enduring extreme physical and psychological torture, for what looks like weeks on end. He's been locked in a closet-sized cell without clothes or water or light. He's been beaten to the point that his body looks like rotting fruit. He's been subsisting on a diet of foul-looking dog-food sandwiches, and he's been forcibly kept awake with an ear-splitting pop soundtrack stuck on never-ending loop -- the kind of horribly sophisticated thing the Americans perfected at Abu Ghraib. This isn't just a bad time at the hands of some bad guys. It's a rigorous, complexly engineered system -- a way to break the spirit of a man who staunchly refuses to be broken.