Monday, March 25, 2013

The Walking Dead: Season 3 Episode 15 - This Sorrowful Life

Welcome fellow fans of The Walking Dead the the penultimate season 3 episode recap!  The penultimate episodes of each season has given us some pretty powerful moments.  In particular, we said goodbye to Shane last year in fine fashion.  So, I had a feeling we were in for something crazy this week.  I had already marked the character in question as a goner this season, but the way that it was handled was absolutely perfect.  The Walking Dead has really hit its stride this season, and all I can say is WOW!  Several other key things happened in this episode so we'll try to cover them all in this brief recap!  Let's dive in!

  • When the episode started, it appeared that Rick was going to turn in Michonne and went to his inner circle to discuss the matter.  He asked Merle to help also, which is pretty questionable.  Merle didn't think Rick would have the guts to go through with it in the end.  Merle turned out to be right.  Of course, then he took matters into his own hands.  He took Michonne to the tombs and was able to knock her unconscious and bind her and start the trek to Woodbury.  (Not sure how they would have escaped the prison without anyone noticing, but whatever!  I guess Tyreese and crew got in there without no one noticing too.  So maybe they left from one of the other cell blocks. 
  • The episode really had a feel of "Merle Redemption Episode" from early on.  Daryl was having key scenes with him.  Glenn discussed the reasons that he could never forgive him.  Carol discussed how it's time for him to pick a side.  Michonne tapped into his inner workings and what makes Merle tick.  She explained to him how the Governor really was the one that turned him into a killer.  Sure, he was always a racist redneck, but the Governor manipulated him just like a lot of other folks to do his bidding.  By 3/4ths of the way through the episode, Merle appeared to know what he had to do to give his brother the best shot at a life.  He stopped the car that he had hotwired one handed (and set off the alarm attracting a hoard of walkers.  Great scene by the way!) and he let Michonne go.  Merle told her there was something he had to do.  Merle knew he would never fit in with Rick's crew.  There was too much bad blood and distrust.  But, at least he could go down swinging.   If you asked the actor Michael Rooker, he would tell you that what ensued was NOT a suicide mission.  Sometimes it's a good thing when actors only have to read a script and follow direction.  Because, I totally disagreed with the perception of his character when he discussed it on Talking Dead.  I sided with Greg Nicotero, the director and one of the producers on the show.  Merle hit up a bar and had his final drink.  Played some music in the car nice and loud.  Attracted a hoard of walkers and set the car going towards the granaries where Rick and the Governor last met.  This was the rendezvous point for Rick to bring Michonne.  Merle jumped out of the car and snuck into one of the buildings with a sniper rifle.   When the Governor's crew started taking on the walkers, Merle started sniping as many of the Governor's men as he could.  He was giving Rick's crew a fighting chance.  Of course, his plan was to kill as many as he could including the governor.  He didn't get that chance.  One key person that we saw get killed was Ben, whom I believe is part of Tyreese's crew.  That could be motivation for Tyreese to still fight against Rick.  
  • Eventually, the Woodbury crew caught on that they were being picked off, and ol' Phillip found his way to Merle.  They had a little bit of a fight, but in the end the Governor found his gun pointed right at Merle and he was shot off camera.  Naturally, we would just assume he'd give Merle the ol' headshot to avoid needing a second death.  But, knowing the Governor, we should have expected less.   Daryl caught up with Michonne and figured out what Merle's plan was.  He ran after him alone.  Of course, when he got there he was too late.  The battle had happened.  There were walkers eating lots of the new fead. Entrails spread all over the place.  And one of those walkers?  Yep, Merle.  We knew that Daryl and Merle needed one final scene of closure before their relationship was put in the books.  What a perfect way to do it.  And what awesome reaction acting by Norman Reedus (Daryl).  I don't think I have ever felt for a character on this show as much as I did in that moment.  It would seem that Daryl took out some agression that he felt for his brother in those final moments.  First, starting with some shoving and eventually getting to the stabbing in the head repeatedly.  There was probably frustration for the person he was his whole life and had caused Daryl to be.  There was probably frustration for the person he turned out to be in the end and how much better their lives could've been.  All of that combined with the fact that his brother was dead, he had to see his brother as a walker and had to 2nd death him made for quite a powerful scene.  (again, Michael Rooker saw none of that in this scene.  Yikes.)   RIP Merle, you did the right thing in the end and made a whole audience do a 180 within minutes! 
  • Of course, there were other things that happened in the episode too.  They key one being that Glenn was preparing to propose to Maggie!  The scene where he got Hershel's blessing was fantastic, and Hershel did some great reaction acting himself!  The scene where Glenn sliced the ring off of a walker was pretty fantastic too.  (which reminds me that I didn't mention that the Governor BIT OFF Merle's fingers off of his only good hand.  WHAAAT!?!?!?!  That was a crazy crazy scene.)   And of course, Glenn's shrugging shoulder of a proposal was pretty sweet given the current climate of the world.  He handed her the ring and she said yes in front of many walker witnesses!  What else is there to say?  Congrats to the happy couple!  Hopefully, you can both stay alive for a few seasons! 
  • And we cannot finish this recap with at least ONE comparison to LOST.  Rick eventually let the crew in on the Michonne deal.  He discussed how he was wrong to keep the information from everyone.  He essentially ended the "Ricktatorship" that he started "last year" (in case anyone is keeping a timeline) at the end of season 2.  Democracy is the wave of the future.  He doesn't want to be the one who decides who lives and dies.  So, if they fight the Governor, they're going to vote on it.  If they run, they're going to vote on it.  Obviously, you would think it wouldn't be much of a finale if they run!  But come on, was anyone else getting a "Live Together Die Alone" vibe from that speech?  Loved it!  
I'm sure there are other key moments that I missed, but that's why we have discussions on these every week.  I've been really loving the 2nd half of this season and can't wait to see how they bring the season to a close.  Will the Governor meet his demise?  Will any core characters of Rick's group meet their demise?  I have my picks which I've mentioned several times in past discussions.  And of course, where will we see our characters going next, if anywhere?  Can't wait to find out.  Hope you enjoyed my ramblings and I'll see you next week! 


MJ said...

OMG ! Can't believe the Gov was such an ass as to make Merle a zombie ! And as we all guessed poor Daryl had to kill him - I personally just did not think he'd have to kill him cause he'd turned. But he was still an ass almost to the end everyone is gonna say how he redeemed himself but not to me. Doing one good deed is not all it takes. And Glenn - just cause it's the apocolypse doesn't mean you couldn't put the ring on her hand ! Just saying.

Friends at work are saying that the guy who took the shot for the Gov was the young kid with Tyreese - I don't know him well enough to say it was or not.

Funny story - I was watching on time shift last night as always and right after the gov shot Merle (around 10:10pm) the promo for Talking Dead came up so we thought the show was over ! Luckily we then started Talking Dead and immediately they were talking about Daryl finding Merle and looking into his eyes. We were like whaaat? So we undeleted only to find there was more show ! Imagine if I'd not watched Talking Dead - we'd have missed the end and not known til I went to talk about it this am. That would have been so crappy !

ok - will read your recap now ! LOL

MJ said...

Great recap, as always.

Yeah - the Ricktatorship is done and now we have the Rickocracy. Loved the walkers coming while Merle was under the dash hotwiring and how Michonne still took some out tied to a pole !

I also disagreed with who Michael said Merle was ! I could go either way on whether it was a suicide mission or not but nothing else he said about his character seemed like the Merle we all loved to hate.

I agree on reasons for Daryl's frustration and also thought he was frustrated that Merle would just not try to assimilate with the others putting Daryl in such a tough spot.

Yeah - teeHeeHee not a good ep for fingers. I did think of Live Together or Die Alone but the 'vibe' was wholly different. LTDA was about rallying people to get up and do stuff - to make a camp and a home. Rick was saying he doesn't want to be in charge.

Mike V. said...

@MJ -

Oh yeah, it was a totally different scene than LTDA (never thought about abbreviating it lol), but it still made us recall it! lol There were hints of it in there.

Funny story on thinking the show was over. We did too, but when I pulled up the DVR timeline (don't know what else to call that bar) I saw we were only at 50 I laughed and fast forwarded to the next part. lol I don't understand this whole Talking Dead preview "discussion" they've been doing every week. It throws us all off! lol

Yeah, Glenn probably still could've done an official proposal! lol But, it was more comical yet still sweet this way. lol You're right...we all figured Daryl would have some involvement in Merle's death. I didn't think about it being his 2nd death either.

I think the young kid's name is Ben, which I brought up in the recap...I didn't really realize it was him either until Talking Dead. (I really don't know any of their names except Tyreese!)

Agreed, Merle is not totally redeemed...but at least his final action was a noble one. And that's saying something, right? lol

Agree on the Michonne pole scene...all of the fights were pretty entertaining and tense!

Gotta run to a meeting!

MJ said...

The EW review guy seemed a quite negative on the ep - but I loved it. He had one point though - oddest conversation award goes to Daryl and Glenn on whether Merle has apologised. I guess he also had a point how weirdly chatty both merle and mishonne got, and how naive mishonne was too. But whatever.

I had forgotten the part where Merle states that giving Michonne to the gov is exactly what he did when he gave the Gov Maggie and Glenn - yet he's the bad guy!?! And he is/was absolutely right !

By the way - did they actually use the words 'tombs' when Merle said where he wanted Michonee to go to with him to hunt the walkers ? Hmmmmm

Guess I missed it on Talking Dead when they mention Ben.

Calling it second death is funny - making me think of Lord of the Rings and the second breakfasts.

Mike V. said...

Yeah, I thought it was weird that Michonne ever would've been in a situation to get knocked unconscious. But, I just went with it. And yeah the Daryl/Glenn conversation was bizarre. lol

I'm confused...Merle giving Michonne to the Gov would have definitely been the same d**k move as giving Maggie and Glenn to him. So yeah..that DOES make him a bad guy. I think I'm misreading what you're saying. lol

Yes, they did call it tombs. I think they've called it that before too. (and I know it's in the name of the finale) I figured the finale would take place at the prison. Of course, I wouldn't be surprised if some took place at Woodbury too. Really depends on if they rescue Andrea or not. lol
They didn't really mention BEN...he was part of the "In Memoriam" was actually my wife that recognized him as one of the guys with Tyreese's crew. lol

You know..I thought I had read somewhere that they actually did call it "2nd death" in the comics or just in zombie movies/books in general. But now that I'm googling it..I don't see it anywhere! lol But yeah...2nd breakfasts was a good time in LOTR.....Elevensies? lol

Mike V. said...

Just did some more googling on "2nd death". It's used enough out there that I know I didn't make it up! lol At least in Walking Dead conversations. lol

mj said...

Merle said about Rick - he wants to give Michonne to the gov but im the bad guy for doing that same thing with maggie and glenn. He then goes on to say rick won't do it, which is correct. Think i've heard second death before too

Mike V. said...

Ahhhhh....that makes sense. Not sure how I didn't get that the first time around. lol

Leslie said...

I'm behind on my commenting! You guys pretty much covered it. Great episode! I wouldn't go so far as to say Merle redeemed himself, but at least he had good intentions. Funny how we all thought the same thing about Michael's comments on Talking Dead. Liked Carol's exchange with Merle when he said she was different than before.

Interesting way for Glenn to go ring shopping! He was all talkative with Hershel, but couldn't even ask the question to Maggie?

Great acting again from Daryl when he found walker Merle.

This is gonna be a full finale! We have to deal with Andrea and the battle! It will be CRAZY!

Mike V. said...

@Leslie - I enjoyed Carol's comments to Merle about her change. And agree the Finale is going to be crazy!

speaking of Daryl and Merle, here's an interview with Norman Reedus about that final scene with Merle.

I love that they didn't even interview Michael Rooker about him ending his time on The Walking Dead. They probably heard enough on Talking Dead to not waste their time! lol

Mike V. said...

i spoke too soon. Interview with Rooker! lol

MJ said...

There really will be so much to cover in this finale. I wonder if we'll just get some torturing of Andrea then someone will help her escape and then while the chase her to the prison the battle will start ? OR - Daryl goes after the gov for Merle and he finds Andrea and gets her out, then the battle moves to the prison

Mike V. said...

Yeah I have no idea...i did see the clip on Talking Dead from the finale. It didn't show much except Governor starting his attack. I got the feeling that Rick and crew may not even be there. They may all be at woodbury freeing Andrea. lol We'll see.

I wonder if it's an extended episode?? I kinda hope not because I definitely want to watch Game of Thrones sunday night too!! At least ONCE won't be new. Not that that helps since it's an 8:00 show. lol

4/7 is gonna be tough too....Mad Men is a 2 hour premiere and then there's Game of Thrones and the SHameless finale. Can't win!! lol

mj said...

Yowsa on MM premier, glad i,m not watching.

mj said...

Finale is going by only 5 mins

Mike V. said...

Was that that's going over by 5 minutes or that it's only going to be 5 minutes? :-) lol j/k Good to know!

mj said...


Zainab said...

Finally I caught up with TWD!! wow what an episode. Regarding all Merle situation: I never took Merle as a kind of guy who would sacrifice himself so I agree with the actor on this. In fact the reason he went there might be due to the fact that he is a very confident guy. For all I know, he was sure that if he get to a right position, he could take governor out and once governor is out, everything would fall apart. There will be no attack at prison and he would come out as hero. This is my assumption out of it.
That last scene with darryl, wow!

Right now, the biggest question for me is who will kill governor. We have Glenn, Maggie, Andrea, Darryl and yes Milton. Something tells me Milton will be a strong piece in last episode. I can be wrong but I am going to watch last episode so let's see. :)

Mike V. said...

Zainab, glad you caught up on the show! I'll refrain from saying anything on your predictions because I've already seen the finale! lol Enjoy!

Zainab said...

I get that. make a page for it so that we can talk about finale! so hyped up now that I have watched it.! :D

Mike V. said...

It already exists!