The Walking Dead S3.E15 [This Sorrowful Life]

The Walking Dead S3.E15 [This Sorrowful Life]

Norman Reedus as “Daryl Dixon” via AMC

This week on The Walking Dead, shit just got real once again.

Rick

This episode begins with Rick, Hershel and Daryl discussing Rick’s decision to turn Michonne over to the Governor. Daryl reluctantly agrees, while the betrayal seems too much for Hershel. “This just isn’t us,” Daryl says, but Rick seems convinced this is the only way to avoid more bloodshed. He wants Merle to help with capturing Michonne, and after he finds him on the hunt for drugs, they discuss Rick’s choice of action. Merle suggests that Rick doesn’t have the balls to give Michonne up, and in this case I was hoping he’d be right. It’s a cowardly thing to do, and seeing Michonne helping Team Prison clear the fields of walkers while thinking she’s part of the team is unsettling. Only because they are planning to Uncle Tom her.

It’s not long before Rick decides to change his mind, but he’s too little too late. Merle has already started his mission and has Michonne right where he wants her. Merle knocks her out cold and drags her body through the tombs.

Glenn and Maggie

Glenn has decided that now is the time to ask Maggie to marry him. REALLY? I just…can’t. Glenn, how about you focus on getting through this season alive before you jump into the newlywed life. Maggie has killed a couple of people and she’s bound to lose her mind at any minute now. Technically they all could, and should, lose their minds given the circumstances, but I’m trying to say that Glenn’s timing sucks and he should get the boot. Please get him out of here.

Michonne and Merle

While on the way to meet the Governor, Merle tries to hot wire a car which sets off the alarm. So good job, idiot. You might as well have fired random gunshots into the air if all you wanted to do was give away your position. Michonne patiently waits while tied to a post, and manages to dispatch of not one but two walkers while constricted: One by curb stomping, the other by wire-based decapitation. I’m loving her more and more, and while her presence in the second half of this season has been pushed to the background, I’m enjoying her character now that she opens her mouth.

Michonne and Merle discuss the possibility of redemption, and in a surprising turn of events he cuts her free. I was expecting Michonne to catch Merle in a vulnerable moment and kill him or escape. But his decision to free her, and her decision to not kill him after, showed growth for both of their characters. I feel like if this was the first half of the season, one of these two would have been dead by the hands of the other by now. Damn, I can just taste the character development.

The End of an Era

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Michael Rooker as “Merle Dixon” via AMC

 

The next scene shows Merle getting wasted. In fact, wrecked would be a better term. Everything he does from this moment forward is nothing short of badass, beginning with a tuck and roll out of a moving vehicle to use as distraction. He proceeds to pop off random members of Woodbury that we’ve never seen before, so their deaths mean nothing. When he takes aim at the Governor, Ben walks in his line of sight taking the bullet instead. Merle gets thrown off guard by a walker in the barn, which buys the Governors henchmen enough time to whoop his ass. The following fight between him and The Governor was brutal, violent and perfect on so many levels. Merle has definitely grown on me in the last couple of episodes, but a part of me enjoyed seeing The Governor BITE OFF HIS FINGERS. Yep, he fucking bit off two of Merle’s fingers and the sound of Merle’s scream was amusing and depressing at the same time. YOU DESERVE THIS SHIT BRO, I’M SORRY. In his final moments, he asserts that he’s not going to beg for his life, and the Governor doesn’t give him a chance to think twice about that decision. He shoots Merle dead, but makes sure not to shoot him in the head which is revealed when Daryl finds a zombified version of his older brother. This is the first time that Daryl has made me care about him, because his reaction was sad and believable. The haunting image of a zombified Merle going after Daryl as he pushes his older brother away will always remain in my mind when I reflect on this episode.

In the end, it wasn’t an arrow but a knife that Daryl used to kill Merle for good as he cried for the brother he once knew. With Merle out of the picture, Daryl can now focus on his role in the group. Unfortunately characters on this show have a bad history of going bat shit crazy after a loved on dies, so hopefully Daryl can break that trend.

We enter the tombs next week! SO GET YA’ POPCORN READY!!!