The Blah-king Dead: The Walking Dead Recap: Season 3, Episode 15: “This Sorrowful Life”

OMG, you guys, since last we spoke, I watched The Talking Dead from last week, and thanks so much Laurie Holden, I pretty much am Andrea. The quiz wizards at AMC looked into my soul and found the character I found most annoying through first 2 seasons of The Walking Dead. I just like to believe that I would have killed my own Governor when I had the chance and/or taken his damn truck (How did I not point this out last week?!?!?) when I thought he was being eaten alive inside of that warehouse. I kind of hope she’ll go on to find love in a soapless hopeless place.

Also, I’ve discovered what would kill me in the zombie apocalypse. I don’t think it would be the actual zombies. What would happen is that one day, we’d go into a pharmacy and all of the Zyrtec would be gone. Then another day, all of the Claritin would be gone. Finally, all of the Benadryl would be gone, and that would be the day that I would tell everyone to go on without me. I’d make a heroic sacrifice, but I’d probably be too tired not to screw it up. Allergic reactions without antihistamines are just that fun, kids.

Moving on, this week, lots happened. Michonne and Merle road trip, Bible study, other stuff that I don’t want to spoil before the cut, so let’s go a-recapping, shall we?

We begin with Rick laying out his plan to take Michonne to the Governor to Daryl and Herschel, both of whom are not into handing her over. Daryl says, “This ain’t us, man.” (Thanks to Norman Reedus’ sexy whisper, I couldn’t really tell if he said “honest” or “us” until I watched this scene 4 times. 4!)

Herschel agrees and angrily crutches away. Rick insists it’s the only way to avoid fighting, and remains the only person alive who believes this. Rick wants to enlist Merle in the effort and goes to find him… tearing apart mattresses looking for drugs. Such a sweetie, he is. The ensuing scene is filled with more weird, homoerotic tension than I can really express in mere words. Merle creeps about what sort of “things” the Governor will do to Michonne. He also lets Rick know that he’ll need wire so Michonne can’t chew through her bonds. He also knows that Rick won’t go through with what he has planned.

Rick watches as Glenn and Daryl fortify the prison roads with barbed wire. Daryl makes certain to tell Rick it was Michonne’s idea to at least slow the Woodburians down with blown tires.

Merle’s talking to himself when Carol comes along, thankfully for him, no one really wants to know what he thinks in his private moments. Merle notes that Carol has grown one hell of a backbone since the camp. I guess spending a few days trying not to die in the tombs will do that to you. He calls her a late bloomer, her response is that maybe he is too. Foreshadowing.

Daryl is trying to smooth things for Merle with Glenn, who doesn’t really give a shit how Merle feels. He says he could forgive what Merle did to him, but not for delivering Maggie to the Governor.

Daryl swears there has to be a way for Merle to make things right. FORESHADOWING! Daryl then goes looking for Merle and finds him in the generator room, allegedly looking for a little crystal, meth that is. Clear gold. Trailer Park Crack. He heartwarmingly picks on his baby brother some more. Daryl tries to talk about what happened with Glenn and Maggie, Merle is showing no remorse whatsoever. Merle is casting himself as the villain in his own tale, allowing himself to be used to carry out dirty work. We see that what he’s really doing is stockpiling supplies, including a heavy, old phone.

Upstairs, Herschel is reading to his girls from the Bible, his voice over underscores Rick looking for wire.

Okay, this made me LOL. Because, right, guys?

Rick sees a pregnant Lori up on a catwalk and reminds himself that she’s not there. The Greene family holds hands as Herschel pauses, Beth asks if he’s okay. And, oh, girlfriend, that is some greasy, greasy hair. At this point, I imagine Beth would regard a warm bath just as quizzically as my cat does, as he peers at me over the edge of the tub. It’s kind of like, “I want to try that, yet I find it absolutely terrifying.” But I digress, Herschel wants to keep his girls safe, as Rick walks in, he gets up, saying, “What you’re about to do…” Before he can finish, Rick tells him that he can’t and he won’t.

Down in the tombs, Merle has Michonne with him to allegedly clear some walkers and a repair a breach. Michonne sets to killing some walkers, but Merle nails her in the back of the head with a phone and kills them himself. He then drags her away, ties her up and blindfolds her. It is really, really hard to tie someone up when one of your hands is just a giant knife.

(I really enjoyed the ambiguity in these two scenes. They could have read as Rick telling Herschel he can’t and won’t discuss handing over Michonne anymore and Merle carrying out their plans. Or, Rick telling Herschel he can’t and won’t hand over Michonne and Merle doing whatever the fuck he wants. Until the commercial break when AMC told us that Chris Hardwick and guests would be discussing Merle taking matters into his own hands, #ManOfAction. Thanks for spelling it out, guys.)

Merle and Michonne are walking down a dirt road. Merle has essentially spilled the details of the plan to Michonne, who knows Rick would have never depth of pure evil required to make the trade. Merle is explaining to her that he knew Rick wouldn’t have done it because he’s so good. Potato, potahto. He once again describes himself as the doer of dirty work, then has a little bit of fun with Michonne’s sword killing some walkers. Michonne claims to be sticking around purely for her sword.

At the prison, Rick tells Daryl it’s off, he won’t contradict Rick’s original decision, but tells him he made the right call. They also can’t find Merle, so Daryl goes back to the last place he saw his brother, telling Rick that Merle said he would change his mind. They realize what Merle’s done and Rick wants to go after him. Daryl notes that Rick can’t track for shit and says he has to go on his own.

Merle is telling Michonne that he wants to be with his brother (get in line) and that his brother wants to be in the prison, so he’s doing what he has to do. Merle is looking for wheels. Michonne gives him a nice speech about how he’s not as bad as he thinks he is because he talks about the weight of what he has to do, where as a truly evil man wouldn’t. Our Michonne is one perceptive cookie. Merle notes that he’s killed 16 men since the zombie apocalypse started. Methinks Michonne’s next thought was that an evil man wouldn’t care to count.

Back in Cell Block C, Glenn approaches Herschel, telling him that he wants to marry Maggie. That there doesn’t have to be a ceremony, but that he wants her to know that he is committed to her before either of them has a chance to go and die. Herschel gives his blessing, then smiles in a way that made me all teary-eyed.

Michonne and Merle arrive at a motel, where Merle ties her to a post before going to work hot-wiring a car. In the process, he sets of the car’s very, very obnoxious alarm. You know the one, you’ve heard it in your neighborhood at least once around 3 am. This brings walkers right on out of the woodwork. Because of the alarm, Merle can’t hear Michonne’s warning. So, she has to be super-awesome and kill a couple of walkers while tied to a mother-effing post! Merle hops to just in time, shooting a bunch of walkers, cutting Michonne loose and jumping in their new ride.

Holy. Shit.

On the road, Michonne is pep-talking Merle by using his own method of bile-spewing, basically telling him that this was his chance to begin again, and now no one will miss him, not even Daryl. He tells her that she’s just as much on the outside as he is. Michonne asks if Merle had ever killed anyone before Woodbury. He hadn’t, Michonne points out that the Governor is pretty shitty, and there’s no reason Merle should kill anyone else for him. She tells him that they could just go back, together. Merle doesn’t think he can go back. When Michonne asks why, he stops the car, cuts her bindings and tells her to go back and get ready for what’s next. He has something he has to do on his own. He also hands over her sword before driving away. I know I’ve said that I think Michonne was a kindergarten teacher before, I’m changing my assessment to child psychologist that worked with really troubled, but not-all-that-bright youth. On her way back, Michonne encounters Daryl, who wants to know where Merle is. She tells Daryl he let her go. Daryl tells her not to let anyone come after him.

(Ad thought: Who the hell is this boring-ass girl in the Expedia commercial who like, no way would have done a zip-line before her vacation? Thanks for leaving her at home, Expedia!)

Apparently that thing Merle had to do was be a bad boy in an 80s drama, he’s drinking whiskey and blasting Motorhead. I bet Lemmy loves this show. Ted Nugent too, that’s what he’s listening to when he rolls his car into the Governor’s Michonne drop-off point. Caesar is so confused. He rallies his troops who run out guns blazing to pick off walkers, while Merle starts picking them off. Oh, Merle, I’m concerned that this can’t end well. Caesar is stupid, he’s not that stupid. And he’s really not, it’s not long before Caesar, Jean Jacket and some other guy start beating the shit out of Merle. But, the Governor wants to keep all of the action for himself. He actually bites off some of Merle’s fingers before choking him. Merle yells that he won’t beg. The Governor turns on him, levels his gun, says no and shoots. Shit! Merle!

(Ad thoughts: I couldn’t be gladder that Justin Timberlake is making music again. He can make me dance like pretty much only Beyonce can otherwise, which is like a fool. An ass-shaking fool.)

Glenn finds a walker with a ring and cuts that shit right off of her finger. Later, hopefully after some disinfecting, he approaches Maggie in the yard. Placing the ring in her hand. Maggie answers yes, and they kiss, and it’s pretty much as lovely as can be.

Rick gathers the prison folk around (Beth wearing a hat! She heard me!), he tells them that he was going to hand Michonne over to the Governor to keep them safe, but he changed his mind. That Merle took Michonne and Daryl went to stop him, but it may be too late. He apologizes and says he’s wrong. He also says that the Ricktatorship is wrong, that he can’t be in charge. That he couldn’t sacrifice one of them for the greater good, because they are the greater good. He announces the new era of the Rickocracy (I’m working on it), saying that from here on out, they vote. Good speech, Ricker! In the guard tower, he sees Michonne approaching and is both relieved and not-so-relieved.

At the drop spot, Daryl walks through a field of dead walkers and comes upon one, cleaner than the rest, chowing down on a corpse. It looks up and, oh, it’s Merle.

Is it wrong to think it’s hilarious that Jean Jacket can never be shamed in front of his boy again?

The Governor didn’t have the decency to give him the head shot. The Merle-walker approaches, and Daryl pushes him away, once, twice, three times before stabbing him in the neck, pushing him to the ground and finally ending his big brother. Daryl rolls away and the episode ends on him crying in the grass.

Jesus, my poor, sweet Daryl! Why is it raining on my face!?!? Shut up! I’m not crying, you’re crying! Ahem. What will this do to our boy? How will he be on the other side of this? One thing’s for sure, I wouldn’t want to be the Governor right now. I just jumped from hoping Andrea, Michonne, Maggie or Milton gets to kill him, to pretty much offering up any possible first born for it to be Daryl. Regardless, RIP Merle, sometimes I think we knew ye too well.

Next week! Season finale! How can it have come so quickly?!?! Why is it airing at the same, damn time as Game of Thrones is premiering!?!? Will my head explode from all of the awesome?!?! Stay tuned!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd18DCkcqlE

Also, it appears as if the sound has gone on my laptop. Uh oh, laptop, we’re at the beginning of the end, aren’t we?

Finally, this:

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