Daryl Dixon: Is Laurent Immune?

[Spoiler alert: This story contains spoilers from The Walking Dead: Daryl Dixon episode 4, “La Dame de Fer.”] “Messiah.” “Miracle.” “Hope.” “Special.” “Gift from God.” These are just some of the words used to describe Laurent (Louis Puech Scigliuzzi), born at the onset of the apocalypse when his zombie-bitten mother died and reanimated during delivery. But there may be another word for the boy: “Immune.” 12 years post-outbreak, the faithful of France’s Union de L’Espoir (Union of Hope) resistance network believe that Laurent is the answer to their prayers, the messiah prophesied to “save us all.”

Everyone except Daryl Dixon (Norman Reedus). Since going overboard from a transatlantic cargo ship and washing ashore in France, Daryl has been on a mission escorting Laurent and his aunt, Isabelle (Cl?mence Po?sy), to safety at The Nest in northern France. It’s there that Laurent will fulfill the prophecy and “lead the revival of humanity,” as foretold by the Union of Hope’s leader, the Buddhist monk Lama Rinpoche.

Is Laurent Immune to The Walking Dead Virus?

Sunday’s “La Dame de Fer” episode of Daryl Dixon opens with Daryl racing to save Laurent from les affam?s (“the hungry ones”) in the zombie-filled sewer tunnels beneath Paris. Daryl finds Laurent on the other side of a padlocked gate, surrounded by the hungry ones. The boy calmly folds his hands, bows his head in prayer… and as Laurent prays, he’s preyed on by a swarm of zombies and seemingly devoured alive. But then, a miracle: the horde of flesh-eating hungry ones part, leaving Laurent unharmed. Mon Dieu!

Is Laurent immune to zombie bites? Is Laurent invisible to the dead and can walk among them freely? Is Laurent’s immunity the cure to the zombie infection, like Ellie on The Last of Us? As it turns out, it’s a fake-out: Laurent’s death and not-death sequence is dreamed up by Daryl, who was knocked unconscious after falling through a collapsing roof while escaping Codron (Romain Levi) and the Guerrier at the end of the last episode.

However, that’s not the only twist. After the revelation that Isabelle’s ex Quinn (Adam Nagaitis) is Laurent’s father following his affair with Isabelle’s sister, Lily (Faustine Kozie), it’s revealed that Madame Genet (Anne Charrier) is after the boy when she learns the Union hired the American who wrecked her ship — and destroyed years of zombie research — to deliver Laurent. Genet is the leader of Pouvoir des Vivants (“Power of the Living”), a French movement that started post-outbreak and has since put most of Paris under the control of Genet and her Guerrier (“Warriors”).

Why Does Genet Want Laurent?

When the Union’s Sonia (Sabine Pakora) defiantly says Laurent has “a greater purpose,” she confirms to Genet what Antoine (Dominique Pinon) told Daryl: that the boy is the “hope” of Union de L’Espoir.

“I heard about a special boy. From Lourdes. His birth was deemed a miracle,” Genet tells the grieving widow who was comforted by an empathetic Laurent when his group passed through Paris. “I thought it was a rumor. A foolish tall-tale you all desperately wanted to believe.”

When Sonia counters that the fools are “the ones who put their faith in you,” meaning the Pouvoir and the Guerrier, Genet scoffs at the suggestion that Laurent will “save us all. Even you.”

“The weak, the submissive, the credulous… it’s people like you who got us into this mess,” she says of the Union, a network resisting Pouvoir control. Codron asks if the supposed messiah is a danger to Genet and the Pouvoir: “He gives them false hope,” she explains. “It’s a disease that must be rooted out.”

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