This Sorrowful Life – Episode 15 – Season 3 Review – By Sagebeth

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This past episode of TWD brought us within reach of this epic seasons endgame but it was anything other than a filler throwaway countdown episode. It featured both amazing positive additions to this season as well as the expected negative aspects this show brings. In a nutshell this episode was a fan favorite swan song: Merle and his end. Within the following I will recap what went down this week, while dissecting the ramifications of such an action. I will also review the faulted lines this show functions under.

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WHEN RICK FINALLY DECIDES THAT HE MAKES POOR DECISIONS
To begin the episode Rick must have decided it was opposite day because he went from fully expecting the Governor to go back on his word regarding Rick turning Michonne over to him, to suddenly seeming to believe it. He tells his inner circle, Hershel and Daryl of the new plan to turn ONE OF HIS PEOPLE over to a maniac in hopes of said maniac leaving him and the rest of his people alone because that’s what the MANIAC said. Its slightly nonsensical but its Rick so whatever. Daryl is all “This isn’t us” but Rick insists this is a best plan in keeping everyone safe (somehow he delivers this without laughing). Then Rick takes another step into silly territory sharing his plan with someone else: Merle. It struck me as silly not  just because Rick found Merle ripping a mattress apart looking for hidden drugs and still told him but because by now I thought Rick wouldn’t simply trust in Merle suddenly. It felt like Rick was trying to show Merle how big his villainous balls were and Merle saw right through his truth into the lie: Rick would never go through with such a thing. Daryl knew it. Merle knew it. And Ghost Laurie knew it too.
Merle let Rick know that the Governor has some sick plans for Michonne, called him cold, and bid him to use wire to tie her up because she’ll chew through the rope. Rick goes outside in search of some wire and finds some. The problem is that as soon as he picks up the cord, that he plans to use to tie up Michonne and deliver her to the Governor, he catches sight of  a still pregnant Laurie on the catwalk above him. “You’re not there” he mutters as he cradles his head painfully at the sight of his dead wife. Somehow just seeing JUDGEY Laurie puts Rick back on the rails. He drops the cord, and by extension drops his plan to betray Michonne. Thank you to Ghost Laurie – Seriously I never thought you’d be useful for anything but that was worth it. Now can you disappear forever? K-Thanks bye.

WHEN HERSHEL AND HIS DAUGHTERS PRAYED
Inside the prison Hershel is reading Psalm 91 to Beth and Maggie while they are a picture of a loving Christian family in prayer. Not coming from a very religious background myself, this image doesn’t resonate with me it does perfectly illustrate the faith that the Greene family still has with life, and the Lord, even after he has seemingly let his world fall into a reckless mess of  gore, blood, and the bodies of the dead rising from the grave. It is oddly reassuring to see their hopes and dreams still continue on in a world where most hopes and dreams are long forgotten. Rick enters this lovely scene, and Hershel gets right up and hobbles over the Rick with a look in his eye that said he had decided their decision to sacrifice Michonne was wrong but he didn’t have to say it as Rick nearly screams at Hershel that the plan is off. There is just one problem: Merle and Michonne are missing.

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WHEN DARYL AND GLENN HAD THE WORLDS MOST UNCOMFORTABLE CONVERSATION
Daryl approaches a now permanently grumpy Glenn and asks if his brother, Merle, apologized to him yet. Instead of a suitable “no” Glenn essentially explains that Merle not only assaulted him mentally and physically but also helped contribute to Maggie’s assault and sexual humiliation. Daryl continues to insist Merle will make up for him wrongs – which sounds as truthful as pigs flying. But this episode is about the redemption of the dark hearted Merle so I supposed that is what this episode is SUPPOSED to entail. In my humble opinion, it doesn’t.
Later on Glenn’s character brightens as he realizes he wants to marry Maggie. He gets Hershel’s blessing, cuts a ring off a walker outside (finger and all) and proposes to his love. She says yes and they embrace. This was about the time Husband Adam prophesied one of the characters biting it during the finale. It’ll be tearful if so. We’ll see.

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WHEN MERLE PICKED A DAMN SIDE
Merle is doing his best lurking in the prison when he happens into the conversation  with Carol. She with her new tough big girl pants on insists he just choose a damn side already. Thank you Carol. Later on Merle is continuing his lurking in the memorial boiler room in the prison when  Daryl comes in for hugs and deep thoughts. Inside Merle complains about everyone hating him, compares himself to Rick, and comes to the realization that perhaps he can take of all the dirty work in the group. Daryl just wants his brother back. Merle tells him to get the hell away because there are way too many dirty emotions being created and Merle does not emote. He also wanted to get Daryl out because he was preparing a bag for his newest order of business…

WHEN MICH STEPPED UP AND ALL SHE GOT WAS A SHITTY DAY
Everyone else is preparing for the upcoming battle at the prison as they lay spiked strips at the gates of the prison. We learn this was Michonnes idea as she insists the group doesn’t have to win but make the path getting to them much more trouble than it is worth.
Later on Merle approaches her asking for her assistance in clearing out some walkers from the tombs of the prison. WHY ON EARTH WOULD MICHONNE DO THIS WITH HIM?! This woman has trusted NO ONE on this show so why would she go off into the darkness with this snake of man who ALREADY tried to kill you viciously? I feel like she would have smelt his bad plans miles away but it’s this show and they still don’t really know who the hell Michonne is so she goes with him and falls for the ruse hook line and sinker. He knocks Mich out, binds her with wires, literally putting each of her fingers through a piece of circular plastic from a rotary phone, puts a bag over her head and hit’s the road with his newest catch.
On the road outside of the prison he tells her everything: The Governors plan and how Rick would never have gone through with it hence Merle stepping up. Around now Daryl and Rick figure out what Merle has done and Daryl hit’s the road alone to track them.
Mich oddly points out that Merle isn’t as bad as he thinks and he still have a conscience (Seriously? Suddenly this chick has emotions and talking ability?). Merle disagrees noting the 16 men he has killed since the world essentially has ended. Further down the road he ties her to a wooden post like a horse while he hot wires a car for them. Of course he crosses the wires the wrong way and the car alarm starts beckoning walkers out of the woodwork from all over the street. It is a tense scene with a new creative ZOMBIE KILL OF THE WEEK.

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The prize is once again for Mich and this time not even for her sweet sword. With the her wire-bound hands still tied, she catches a walker in between her wires and the wooden post, pulling the wires as tightly has possible around the walkers throat until its inevitable decapitation. Score.
After quieting the car alarm, and beating back some walkers, Merle and Mich escape the fighting in their new found car. Mich lets Merle know, as if reading his mind, that the group would have eventually welcomed him if he didn’t make himself such an outsider. He calls her an outsider too and she snidely insists that at least she wont have to live with herself after the Governor is through with her. Is her little speech actually shaking his resolve? Or is Merle much more like Rick than we ever thought? Mich continues her new trend of talking insisting that Merle is the man that the Governor made him into. She tells him they can both return to the prison now and it’ll all be swell. Merle shows his change of the heart: Cutting her free and letting her out of the car. He is letting her go back but he has some other things to do.

WHEN MERLE MAKES LIKE A SWAN
On the road Daryl runs into the now free Michonne who tells him that Merle let her go but he kept on going. Daryl tells her to return to the prison and not to send help. Then Daryl continues on the trail of his brother.

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Still in the car Merle drinks from a bottle of Whiskey, which must have been heaven considering he’s been looking for any sort of drink or drug the entire episode, and listens to Motorhead in the car with each window rolled down about an inch. He then proceeds to drive slowly toward the Governors meeting spot with each walker following his moving loud car. He gets out of the car in a hurry sending it and the walkers into the Governors group whole Merle holds up in a building snipering them off one by one – I’m going to ignore than he didn’t just sit and wait to catch sight of the Governor. Finally he catches sight of the Governor but accidentally shoots another meat bag who got in the way – as a matter of fact it was Allen, or Ben? It was the youngest of Team Tyreese. Before Merle can fix his mistake he is attacked by a walker and they both fall outside where the Governor and his group catch Merle. The Governor wants him all to himself though and they take their fight inside the building. It is initially hard to tell who is actually winning until the Governor literally bites off two of Merle’s fingers. Now weakened Merle eyeballs the man he used to follow and tells him he “ain’t gonna beg”. The Governor never expected such as he simply raising his gun and shoots Merle down with an effective booming gunshot that echoes into blackness of a commercial break.

WHEN RICK GOT HIS SPEECH-GROVE BACK
Even when Rick’s speeches are silly I love them so getting a bonafide Rick speech this week was sort of awesome. Back at the prison he is filling everyone in on the plan that never actually happened. “I couldn’t sacrifice one of us for the greater good because we are the greater good,” he says. “I’m not your Governor. We choose to go. We choose to stay. We stick together.” After his speech he watches Michonne make her way back into the prison. Do you think they can still be besties after that?

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WHEN DARYL CRIED
Daryl Dixon just wanted his brother back so when he finds the walker infested mess that has become of the Governors meeting place we feel his pain before we know exactly what he is going to find. He takes out of a few walkers feasting on some new meals/bodies but one of them is familiar. Daryl finds Merle (an undead Merle) eating the young man he killed accidentally earlier. Merle spies Daryl and his eyes light up in a sense of recognition, sadness, and tearfully hunger. He advances on a sad Daryl who lashes out at his dead brother, not allowing him to bite him but he can’t quite get himself to do anything else until finally the tears pour down, the flood gates open, and Daryl full on cries while stabbing his brother in the face repeatedly. Dear Walking Dead, you are so subtle.

Until next week!

-Sagebeth

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~ by ATOM on March 26, 2013.

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