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The Walking Dead “This Sorrowful Life” 

Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

Well, whoever chose the name for last night’s episode of The Walking Dead, they were right on target.  It was definitely sorrowful – it was actually a f***king bummer – even if that also means it being one of the best episodes of the season.

Being still torn as to what to do with the Governor’s “offer” of a truce, Rick (Andrew Lincoln) confides in both Daryl (Norman Reedus) and Merle (Michael Rocker) in addition to Hershel (Scott Wilson).  With the look on Daryl’s face, it appears that he is having some serious misgivings, but decides to play along if that means saving the rest of the group’s life.  Merle is all in, but warns Rick that the Governor has no intention of killing Michonne (Danai Gurira) – instead he’s just going to torture Michonne using every sick fantasy that pops into his head.  He’ll only kill her after he gets tired of his little chamber of horrors.

Rick has been skating on the edge of insanity since Lori’s death, actually since the beginning of the season after he killed Shane. As a result, the man has not made the greatest decisions, from how to deal with the survivors in the prison on the inside to how to negotiate with this madman they call the Governor on the outside.  Even with Lori’s ghost standing right above him trying to cheat the voice of reason out of him, Rick finally makes one of only a few good decisions in a long time.  Rick confesses to the rest of the group the details of the Governor’s alleged truce, states it is wrong, and he’s not going to do it.  High five for you, Rick!

Unfortunately, it may be too late.  Merle had said time and time again that Rick doesn’t have to spine to pull off the Governor’s plan and would buckle at the last moment.  He was right, and instead of waiting for that moment, he kidnaps Michonne and heads for the prison himself.  In the next few scenes, Merle becomes a noble man, and the writers do a fantastic job evolving Merle into the man of honor a good deal of fans had always hoped he’d be.  Merle knows that after the Governor is finished with Michonne, he’ll kill her, and the only thing that will accomplish is the prison team losing a very valuable member of their group.  And, Merle can’t let that happen because at the end of the day, the only thing that still matters to him is his brother, Daryl. He has to do everything he can to protect Daryl, and that means setting Michonne free so that she can fight on the team at the prison.

But, Merle isn’t finished.  He had been searching all day for a bottle of whiskey, finally finds some and gets totally smashed.  With the rocked-out version of the hick song “Sugartime” blaring on the car stereo, Merle leads the car into the Governor’s meeting area with at least dozen walkers in tow who are attracted by the loud music.  Merle knows he’s going to die at this point, and his only objective is to take out as many of the Governor’s men as possible. Rick’s group has more guns and ammo, but has fewer men than the Governor.  Merle decides to make a last ditch effort to level the playing field.

Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

Daryl finally catches up to Meryl but not before it’s too late.  Here comes probably the best scene in the entire Walking Dead television series.  Merle has already turned, and as Daryl approaches him, they meet eye to eye.  Without taking his eyes off of Merle, Daryl begins to sob, but Merle just continues to stare, not with the brotherly love we saw earlier that day but with empty undead madness.  Daryl is finally able to put his brother down, but with the incessant sobs the entire time, we know that Daryl is scarred because of it.  Ever since season 1, finding Merle has always been the single glimmer of hope for Daryl, and now, that’s gone.  It is definitely going to impact Daryl as we go into Season 4.  Regardless, a big kudos and plaudits to Greg Nicetero and his team for this wonderful scene.  Everything from the raw emotion to the eye contact between the brothers to the superb make-up created one of the most intense, memorable sequences in the entire series.

Photo Credit:AMC
Photo Credit:AMC

All in all, this was a fantastic A+++ episode.  It had plenty of action and gore that the fans seem to love so much, but at the same time, it had some wonderful character development from the black sheep, Merle Dixon, that we had all grown to love to hate.  The episode ended perfectly with the Governor fired up to the max after having lost 5 men in Merle’s little massacre.  I have a feeling that next week’s season finale is going to shake the Earth, and so, you won’t want to miss it.

Most memorable quotes and random thoughts

  •  Just looking for a little vacation.  Best dope I’ve had was in a mattress – Merle
  • You’re cold as ice, Officer Friendly – Merle
  • You can’t do things without people anymore – Daryl to Merle
  • You gotta play the hands you are dealt.  I got only one – Merle
  • Anyone who needs their piss bucket emptied, you come a running – Michonne to Merle
  • So, he saved your life, cleaned you up, and fed you a line of bullshit, why would you kill for him?  — Michonne to Merle
  • I liked the scene between Glenn and Maggie.  I understand why Glenn wants to get married now, just in case he does not make it, but the stealing of a wedding ring from a walker was a little creepy.  On the other hand, I guess you have to improvise in times like a zombie apocalypse!
  • I wonder how Allen will react with the death of his son, Ben (assuming Allen survived himself).  The guy already seemed a little unstable from the get-go.

The season 3 finale of The Walking Dead airs next Sunday at 9 p.m. EST on AMC.

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  1. Robin

    I know! I think Maggie could have gone without a diamond, under the circumstances!

    1. Mary Powers

      No doubt! I thought the scene was somewhat cliched, but it may have been done for all of the Glenn and Maggie shippers out there 🙂 I’m not a shipper, but I know alot of people who are, and they absolutely loved the ring scene between Glenn and Maggie…

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