The Walking Dead – Recap & Review – This Sorrowful Life

photo: amc/gene page

photo: amc/gene page

The Walking Dead
This Sorrowful Life

Original Air Date: Mar 24, 2013

Rachel – Sr. Managing Editor

When Rick tells Daryl his plans for Michonne, Daryl is a good soldier and agrees. But he is not happy about it. Both he and Hershel know that these decisions, these wars,it isn’t the kind of people they are. They are good. But because they are good, they will go along with their leader. They’ll help him take Michonne to the Governor.

Needing one more man to help, Rick tries to enlist Merle, but Merle actually becomes the voice of reason, in a sort-of reverse psychology way. He describes what the Governor will do to Michonne. How Rick will need wire to tie her up, something she can’t chew through. To do this to Michonne, Rick will need to become like him: a heartless killer. And no, he’s not gonna help.

Out in the yard, the survivors begin to fortify and lay traps. According to Michonne, they don’t have to win but if they make it hard for the enemy to get in, maybe it won’t be worth it. Rick watches from the catwalk, noticing how his little army is working like a machine… and that Michonne is a part of that machine.

Inside, Merle continues to be a non-contributor. When Carol tells him that it is time for him to pick a side, something hits home. I’ve always said that Merle was on the side of Daryl; that is the only place he loyalties lie. And now, Daryl is fighting on a side that is probably going to be wiped out. If his loyalties do indeed only lie with his brother, Merle is going to do whatever it takes to make sure Daryl (and by default, the prison group) has a shot.

After some words with Glenn about how Merle is sorry for what happened to him and Maggie in Woodbury, Daryl goes looking for Merle in the tombs. Merle says he is looking for a fix, but something is fishy. In the short conversation, Daryl talks about how what Merle did in Woodbury wasn’t cool, but that he can come back from it. Merle talks about how he’s in the exact same position in the prison: a man who can do the dirty work. All Daryl wants is his brother back but Merle kicks him out of the room, embarrassed by the show of emotion. Merle then grabs a telephone and leaves (has he been talking to Lori?!).

While everyone prepares for battle, knowing that they probably won’t make it another 24 hours, Hershel reads some scripture to the girls. His voice-over carries to Rick who is looking for wire to bind Michonne’s hands just like Merle suggested. Lori appears on the catwalk, but not the ethereal wedding-dress ideal that he had been seeing. She’s pregnant and wearing the clothes he last saw her in. Rick can’t do it. He throws that wire down and goes to tell Hershel that they’re not giving up Michonne. Hershel is very please with this turn of events.

Back in the tombs, Merle and Michonne are clearing out Walkers when he hits her over the head and drag her off. Just like always, Merle is doing the dirty work. He’s getting the job done because he knows Rick doesn’t have the guts to do it himself. He’s got to face the Governor if Daryl and the other are going to live through it all.

Back in the yard, Rick finds Daryl to tell him the deal is off. But, funny thing, he can’t find Merle and Michonne. Great tracker that he is, Daryl figures out Merle’s plan and goes after them.

Out on the road, Merle and Michonne small talk like the kidnapper and the kidnapped. He tells her about the deal that the Governor struck with Rick, and that this is the only way that the people in the prison will survive. Michonne can see that Merle, while an ass, actually has some good lift inside. He has kept track of the people he has killed… evil men don’t keep track of things like that. At a motel, Merle tries to hot-wire a car when they are attacked by walkers. After some pretty juicy kills, they get away and head towards toe drop-off point.

Back at the prison, Glenn asks Hershel for Maggie’s hand in marriage. It’s not a happy, giddy thing. It’s just that, not knowing if they’ll make it to next week, Maggie means everything to Glenn and he wants her to know it. Hershel gives his blessing and Glenn goes outside and cuts a ring off a Walker. How romantic! Sort-of.

Back on the road, Michonne doesn’t beg or plead for her life. She is logical. They can go back to the prison. No harm no foul. Suddenly, Merle stops the car and kicks her out. He tells her he’s got something he needs to do and that she can go back to the prison. Was he planning on this all along. Did he bring Michonne to help him, or perhaps just get in the door?

In a strange pied-piper moment, Merle turns up the stereo in the car, has some whiskey, and slowly drives to the drop-off point, leading an ever-increasing horde of Walkers. He hops out of the car near a grain silo and lets it continue to lead the Walkers into the heart of the complex. The Governor is there with a big contingency of heavies. As the investigate, Merle starts picking them off one by one, giving the Walkers some fresh meat to feed on. Just when he is about to kill the Governor, Ben steps into the line of fire. His dad is going to be miffed.

After taking out some more humans, the Governor discovers Merle. In the fight that ensues, the governor actually bites off two of Merle’s fingers. Not much difference between the Governor and Walkers now. He raises his gun and shoots Merle in the heart… not the head.

At the prison, Rick lets everybody (including a newly engaged Glenn and Maggie) in on what is about to happen. He tells them about the deal concerning Michonne and about how Merle took her and Daryl went after them. He’s not sure where they are now and if it’s too late. He also tells them that what he said last year, establishing the Ricktatorship, was wrong. He is not their “Governor” and he doesn’t want to be. They are all good people and should have a say in what they do: stay and fight or go.

When Daryl finally arrives at the drop-off point, he takes in the devastation and the Walkers feeding of fresh kills. He spots a Walker feeding on Ben and when the Walker looks up, it is Merle. Daryl completely looses it and cowers at the sight of his brother, something he may have done a time or two before the apocalypse. As Merle staggers over to him, Daryl pushes him back, time and again, not wanting to be the one to put his brother down, even though it’s not his brother anymore. Finally it is too much and he stabs Walker Merle in the skull several times, taking all his rage and frustration and loss out on the monster.

Back at the prison, Rick see Michonne come out of the forest alone.

What do YOU think? Did Merle redeem himself? Does Daryl realize it was all for him? Why did Merle have such a quick change of heart and kick Michonne out of the car? What does the finale have in store? Give us your Two Cents in the comment section below!

Next Week: Welcome to the Tombs (Season Finale)

Catch up on my Recaps/Reviews of The Walking Dead here
Check out AMC’s Walking Dead aftershow, The Talking Dead, here
Visit the official Walking Dead Fan Club here

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