Despite having hated Merle from the get-go, this closure to his story was so poignant that I can't say I think Merle added nothing to the show. He was a rich character once he returned, more bitter for what he suffered through, but more tolerant and, in the end, a better person. And Daryl's been strong throughout the entire series that it was definitely his turn to show weakness (yes, he's tender with Carol and was always quick to stick with family, but this was true weakness, true sorrow). If anything could have been done differently in this episode, it would have been the scuffle with the Governor, but that's neither here nor there. Great episode.
The final chapter of the Dixon brothers closes the history of abuse suffered at the hands of their father in a most intimate manner, that kept Michonne as a silent witness of Merle's "late blooming", both as human being and a big brother, not only for Daryl, but also for Rick, and Michonne, and for anyone who ever looked up to a big brother to separate wrong from right.
He can't go back, Merle may not understand the things he's done, but at least he understands that much. All he wants is to stay with his brother, but his brother wants to stay at the Prison and there's an abusive father, yet another abusive father, waiting to beat him down.
Merle can't go back now, for he may not have saved his baby brother from the last father, but damn if he'll let the Governor lay a hand on him without a scratch. He ain't going to beg, he ain't going to back down, Merle dies at the hands of the Governor because he can't go back.
This is one father who won't abuse his family because, even as a zombie, Merle becomes a human being, a big brother, not only for Daryl, but for Rick, and Michonne, and for everyone who needed a big brother to look up to. His family does grieve for him, his brotherhood grieves for him and I grieve for him.
Last Saturday I tragically lost my brother. I literally put his dead body in his bed to rest. I always identified with the Dixon Brothers dynamic. They not always agreed but man, they did love each other. Just like my brother and I. And as I watched 'This Sorrowful Life' (which is what I called my brother's just hit not too close to home but right in the middle of it.
I loved Merle Dixon. I am not denying the tears his death brought to my eyes and this episode will forever remind me of my own brother's departure just hours before it aired.
After a season of ups and down, the show finally hit the stride with this episode. We get tension- lots of it, gore- also lots, with walkers being killed in ever more creative ways. And if that is not enough, we finally get resolution a story arc right from season 1. I won't give any spoilers but this episode sets the viewer up for an explosive season finale. I can't wait.
Although the series is still one of the best show on TV, this season did have a few episodes which dragged. But now that we are on the penultimate episode, your patience is finally rewarded. And what a reward!! From the very first few minutes the tension is palpable. And for those who love the gore, there is plenty in this episode. But what was played just right is the will he or won't he question with regards to what decision Rick will make. Certainly one of the best episode this season. Can't wait for the finale next week.
Shocked to see so many people review this episode in a positive light. Was very disappointed by this episode.
Rick is completely out of character, willing to give Michone up to be tortured and killed? The Rick of the comic would never do this, and would also be smart enough to know the Governor would still kill them all anyway. In the last episode Rick even said this, and yet he was still going to do it! Really made me dislike the Rick of the show this episode, had Merle given Michone to the Governor it would have been Rick's fault. And Merle's death is Rick's fault.
Lot's of talking with no development. We all knew Rick was going to change his mind (despite the damage already done to his character by willing to do it in the first place). And after all the pointless talking we get a scene that should have had some good dialogue (the proposal) but what we get is "here", "yes". Horrible writing.
And Merle sets a car alarm off for 5 minutes but doesn't bother to check if it has attracted walkers until they are on top of him and Michone? Stupid.
How far they drive in that car when Merle dropped Michone off? How far did she have to walk back? She got back pretty quickly.
Did Merle tell Michone this was Ricks call? Seems he did but it was not made clear. Did he suggest it was the whole groups call? Either way if he did say either, why would Michone even go back to warn them? What does she owe Rick after he was going to give her up? No discussion of that?
People call this character development? Who developed as a character is this episode? Merle? Great so the writers only have characters grow right before they kill them, just like the guy from the prison that finally has some character development just so they can kill him suddenly?
Poorly written on every level.
This was an episode with characters acting out of character and lot's of talking that lead to nothing. Merle's conversation with Carol, what did that add other than to kill a few minutes?
Only good scene in the entire episode was Daryl finding Merle as a zombie. That was superb.
The show has been mostly brilliant in Season 3. But this episode was very poor and really served to illustrate how superior the comic is.
Last episode... man seeing Merle like that was really shocking and touching. :(
It had me in awe.
I mean I hate his attitude, but he was entertaining. He finally came to a resolution and he was sorry - we could see it in his eyes when he was talking to Michonne. He realized that he was used by the Governor and he doesn't see a way for anyone to forgive him. He went down fighting... and that was great.
What was really sad was seeing Daryl in that state. He knew something had to be done about his brother, but not like that. Right now I want both Daryl and Rick to get a piece of the Governor.
This Sorrowful Life was an outstanding episode of The Walking Dead. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of intriguing character development. The story played out nicely and had action, drama and suspense. There were some sad moments as a beloved character has to do something heart-wrenching. It was great to see how events unfolded. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
I think the main issue I have is that I thought Rick was aware the Gov was full of crap by promising to cease and desist if he handed over Michonne. Handing her over was a wobble. I also thought that Rick would be more human than to hand someone over for the obvious reason of them being tortured (or better possibly - to be killed). Inhuman wobbly Rick. So I did very much like that crazy Rick finally realized Dictatorick wasn't working so well - however, another wobble. I also thought that Hershel would have had more of an objection - but I guess "it's not his farm" so he just does as he's told. I guess people died and made Rick king. He wasn't even with them at first.. so I often wonder how he managed to become King just by showing up. Do we assume it had to be a male in charge? There were plenty of men.... and why did it have to be a male and why rick? Gah.
I felt like crying for poor Daryl. I even felt a twang of unhate for Merle - not a big twang - but he at least showed he wasn't all that horrible - I think he may have just been a victim of his own self dealing with what he's done. All I can think of now is how much I want the Gov to be killed and for HIM TO BECOME MICHONNE'S PET walker. Armless and eyeless - she can bring him everywhere. For reasons I don't know nor care about, Michonne is my favorite character. She doesn't have to be a bad ass to be a bad ass. Oh and I forgot all about Andrea this week - I hope she's holding up okay in the torture chamber. I also wish I could remind all the lovely survivor alive people that the dead are walking - they make all sorts of noise and tend to shuffle so being on the lookout shouldn't be as problematic as it has been lately. Yes they seem to come from nowhere - but a bit of attention would do you all well.
Oh and nice score on that ring Glenn - good thing the former owner won't miss it or her fingers.
I'm officially making a pretty hefty bet that this episode will trump the actual finale. What a great development of character (or more to the point... a reveal of true character). Whereas they developed Axel's character to the point the sudden death was annoying, here they got it just right. You want nothing more than this new Merle to have a badass moment and stick it to the Governor's one remaining eye, but even a man as animalistic as Merle is second to the animalistic insanity that is the Governor.
t helps build to a finale where every fiber of your being wants the Governor dead. And, what is even more fantastic... is that I still don't know who is going to finally pull the trigger? Who does that murder rightfully belong to? Andrea? Milton? Rick? Amazing.
I figured out the successful Walking Dead formula for a successful episode: wait for Andrea! Yes I'm a little harsh on the character but this episode had me not care in the slightest of what happens to her at all next week except for that I hope she dies, preferably horribly. Rick goes to Daryl and Merle in regards to his deal to deliver Michonne to the Governor in exchange for peace. Rick and Merle have a great scene where Merle second guesses Rick's stone to actually throw one of his own to the wolves, as it were. Merle takes matters into his own hands when he knows that Rick won't go through with it and tricks Michonne with a prison breach and then knocking her out and tying her hands with wire (computer wire so she can't chew through it). Merle and her go on a field trip to deliver her on Rick's behalf. Rick changes his mind after he hallucinates Lori again carrying their child and he says that he can't go through with it. Daryl discovers that Merle and Michonne are gone and since he's the only good tracker heads off after them. Glenn gets a wedding ring off of a walker and gives it to Maggie to marry her in the wake of the coming battle and because it's the end of the world in a gesture that is both macabre and romantic, with Herschel's blessing of course. I figured Merle would have a turnaround when Carol said so elegantly to him early in the episode that maybe he was a late bloomer too when he tells her she's not scared like she used to be. It was great to see rebooted Michonne manage to talk Merle into letting her go, whose racism magically vanished coincidentally with his character growth, and he lets her go by the side of the road while he goes off "to do something on my This was of course after an excellent hot-wiring scene where a car alarm goes off and Michonne decapitates a walker and curb stomps another while her hands are bound. Oh Michonne when the world ends we should do dinner (if that's still a custom in the apocalypse). But Merle's change of heart and his quasi-suicidal car stereo blasting and luring of walkers led to one of the best fight sequences in the series and was just downright brilliant. If you didn't catch his need for whiskey earlier in the episode he got it after all while blasting Motorhead in the car. His bailing out and using the walkers to mask his own gunfire against the Governor's men at the rendezvous was genius using military tactics and taking at least six or seven militants of Woodbury's down. But alas Martinez and the Governor track the gunfire and stop him and the Gov brutally fight him into submission, at one point even disgustingly biting off Merle's fingers and spitting them out. Merle then yells how he won't beg for death and the Gov puts a bullet in him and that's that. In the words of the great Omar Little, "If you go at the King, you best not Guess Merle did miss and secondary characters never do away with big bads anyhow as evidenced in every show ever (Kellerman on Prison Break for one). But topped off with Rick's speech abut the Ricktatorship ending and turning into a democracy and being led by all of them was a nice change after the grim speech he gave at the end of Season 2 up until now. Michonne is back and the heartbreak of seeing Daryl find Merle's walker-ness and pushing him and then completely destroying him was a great moment of surprise and anger on his part. The Gov will surely spin this assault on Rick's group in the worst possible light and Rick and pals can either run or fight. Finale's next week and I'm so excited for the bullets to start-a-flyin'. Needless to say I am a big fan of this episode, the best since Clear just a few episodes ago, and sending Merle off to be the dangerous man he so yearns to be was the best possible way to do it. Although it is sad as Michonne points out that Rick's including him in the inner circle could have been a new start for him but he blew it. Tragic but way more nuanced than the gun toting racist drug addict we met back in season one on the rooftop. Merle will be missed since Michael Rooker does such a good love to hate thing and every body that the group can have to fire against the Gov at this point the better. But now there's no big walker horde like last season, it's people vs. people and very many will die, hopefully Andrea being among the casualties.
Without a doubt this was Merle's episode. Yeah Glenn and Maggie got engaged but that was filler for me. As far as I'm concerned, they have been "married" since they left the farm.
But then there was Merle. He somehow became a tragic hero in the series. He reminded me of Dream from Neil Gaiman's "Sandman" series. He was stuck being who he was and while he might have wanted to was only so far he could go. He ended his life on his terms and while I doubt he would have ever thought of himself as a hero, that was what he was. Also he had what every hero needed, someone to remember him, mourn him and help send him on his way. He had Daryl to be that person. Almost reminded me of Ioulas lighting the fire that would engulf and kill his leader Hercules from greek myth.
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