25 March 2013

POP REVIEW: The Walking Dead (S3, E15) "This Sorrowful Life"

We love the entertainment industry, a bit too much sometimes, and when we find a good show or movie we tend to become slightly enamored. Our series POP REVIEW is here so we can put our thoughts out there about big bads, gooey romantic obsessions, favorite characters, and sometimes things we just don't like. In this series we will discuss the most current episodes of any given show or recent movie we've seen and we encourage all fans to comment, discuss, and share your thoughts with us! There will be spoilers, but we'll save them for after the jump. If you opt to open the full post and accidentally ruin something for yourself, we warned you.

We didn't pick up with Andrea this week, and that KILLED us! (Okay, not really.) Instead, we get Rick telling Daryl about the plan to give up Michonne to The Governor. Neither Daryl or Hershel is on board with this plan, but Rick can't help be think it's the best way to save more lives. Daryl makes a very good point when he tells the former Sheriff "It just ain't us."


With two of his men against the plan Rick seeks out Merle, the man with the fewest morals and no attachment to anyone (except his brother.) Knowing The Governor well, he tells Rick that Michonne isn't going to die, rather she will be tortured. Merle offers a piece of advice to Rick as well - bind her with wire.

The other survivors are spending their time fortifying the prison for war. They lay barb wire strips out in the prison yard. When Rick compliments the effort Daryl makes it a point to tell him that it was Michonne's idea. She tells Rick: "We don't have to win. We just have to make their getting at us more trouble than it's worth." Michonne is all strategy and we like it. If it wasn't evident before, it's becoming more so that Rick is unsure of this plan. He doesn't say a thing, rather leads the group on to the next task.

There is a moment in the cell block between Merle and Carol, where she steps up and asks if he's with them. He clarifies that he's there for his brother - to which Carol reminds him that Daryl is there for the group. Merle tells Carol that she's different, she's changed since the camp site outside of Atlanta. Carol reminds him that she was afraid of her husband and things have changed, she isn't afraid anymore and that it's time to choose a side. (You GO Carol!)

Outside Daryl approaches Glenn. He tells him that Merle will make things right after what happened in Woodbury, but Glenn isn't hearing it. He reminds Daryl of exactly what happened, including Maggie's assault, brought on by Merle. Daryl decides to walk away from this one, obviously he knows his brother is a piece of work.

Daryl then seeks out his brother. Merle is being super suspicious in the boiler room, but it's not evident what he's up to at this point. Daryl explains to him that the group hates him for the things he's done. Unexpectedly Merle brings up the fact that Rick is no better - just as he took Maggie and Glenn to The Governor, Rick is planning to do the same with Michonne. In the end Daryl just tells him that he wants his brother back.

While searching for wire outside the prison Rick sees Lori again. Not creepy Lori in a white gown, but rather Lori as we saw her when they came to the prison - pregnant, in her jeans and a flannel shirt. It's almost as if her presence is an indicator to Rick that he's doing something wrong and he needs to stop. He tells himself that she's not real, and instead of taking the cable he has found he throws it back in the heap of junk.

In the midst of this Lori episode we've been seeing scenes of Hershel praying with his daughters in the cell block. Rick walks into the room as they finish their prayer and pulls Hershel aside telling him the deal is off.

Suddenly we're down in the tombs of the prison with none other than Merle and Michonne. Again, he's obviously up to something, which he is passing off as clearing out the tombs. The two take out a few wandering walkers before Merle uses his metal-stub-knife-arm to knock her out. He drags her into the boiler room where he ties her up and puts a bag over her head. We later see the two walking down a road, away from the prison. Michonne is bound (no bag on her head though) and Merle is leading her along, explaining the deal Rick made with The Governor. He clarifies that Rick would not have gone through with it, but Michonne quickly notes that of course, Merle would.

In the mean time Rick has been looking for Michonne at the prison, whom he cannot find. Once he lets the other know Daryl begins using his sweet tracking skills to figure out that Merle took her. He insists on going after his brother alone and heads out.

Merle continues to talk to Michonne about the deal, and how this is his chance to save his brother and the others. She points out that he has a conscience, and Merle tells her that he has "killed 16 men since this all went down."

Back at the prison Glenn approaches Hershel to ask for Maggie's hand. He's very realistic about the situation and the time they're living in (and it's all adorably sweet) and of course, Hershel gives his blessing.

Michonne and Merle happen upon an abandoned motel, which looks like a walker magnet to us, when he spots a car. After tying Michonne to a post Merle breaks into the car and goes to town hot-wiring it. He ends up setting off a car alarm, automatic bad news. Michonne notices the walkers coming out of the woods and surrounding area, even the motel room behind her. She shouts for Merle, stomps in one walker's head, and decapitates another with the phone wire around her wrists. He fights off his own walker and finally get the alarm shut off. He gets Michonne, opens the car door to let her in, and hops in the drivers seat and takes off.

Michonne tries to explain to him that the group would have eventually come around and let him in, but he chose to be an outsider. Merle tells her that she's an outsider too, but she quickly responds "Maybe. But once The Governor is done with me I won't have to live with myself."

Glenn ventures out into the perimeter of the prison yard to scout out a few walkers. As the female walkers attempt to claw through the fence he selects one, cuts two of her fingers off, and runs back into the prison.

In the car Michonne continues to talk to Merle, asking why he would want to help The Governor. She tries to persuade him not to do this - "We can go back." And she's right - they could. Merle stops the car, cuts Michonne free, and tells her to go back, he has something to do. He gives her back her sword before he drives off.

Daryl and Michonne run into one another soon after. She tells him that Merle let her go and Daryl decides to continue tracking his brother. He tells her not to send any help.

Merle is sitting in the car alone, sipping a bottle of whiskey with the windows cracked and music blaring. Walkers are warming to the car. He drives a few meters forward and stops, the walkers follow. He continues this pattern on, luring the walkers. Eventually we cut to Merle rolling up on the meeting spot with The Governor, back at the feed store. He blasts the music and jumps out of the car as it continues to roll onward, walker crew in tow.

The Governor and his men come out to inspect the noisy car while Merle ducks into a nearby building. While they are attempting to take out the walkers Merle takes advantage of the gun fire and begins picking the men off. As he sets his sights on The Governor, Allen's son Ben steps into the line of fire and is hilled. A walker appears out of the shadows, attacking Merle and causing them to roll out of the door. The remaining men discover Merle and begin beating him. The Governor himself takes over brutally beating Merle, even biting two of his fingers off. Merle tells him he won't beg and The Governor raises his gun and shoots Merle.

Back at the prison Glenn gives Maggie the ring he cut from the walker's hand. He doesn't exactly propose, but she gets the idea and says yes! Later Rick assembles the group for a meeting - he tells them about the deal and that he couldn't sacrifice anyone for the greater good "because we are the greater good." He goes on to tell them that he was wrong to declare the Ricktatorship when they came to the prison, rather they needed to be more of a Rick-ocracy: "I'm not your governor. We choose to go. We choose to stay. We stick together."

Daryl has made his way to the feed store where he sees several walkers in the distance. He comes up one one who happens to be feasting on Ben, Allen's son. The walker raises his head and we meet his cold, dead eyes - it's Merle. Daryl is visibly broken at the sight of his brother. Walker Merle rises to his feet and walks toward his brother. Daryl is crying and shouting, he shoves Walker Merle away repeatedly, eventually pushing him to the ground and stabbing him in the head over and over.

We see Rick gaze out from the guard tower at the land surrounding the prison. He spots Michonne as she is making her way back.

Even by the end - STILL no Andrea! Ugh. Why AMC, WHY?!

Okay, now that we have that out of our system there was still plenty going on. For one, Merle was right - Rick was never going to go through with the Michonne trade. Rick is a good guy and he knows that Michonne is one of them, no matter how much he may have tried to convince himself otherwise. We were hoping there would be some kind of ruse that Michonne was in on that would lead to The Governor's demise, but alas, no.

Now that Michonne has been captured, almost handed over to Ole Phil, and then sent back to the prison we can't help but wonder what is going to go down once she is back with the group. She seemed to know that Rick wouldn't have sent her to her death, but Merle is one who can make you think and it begs the question - how much did his words get into her head? Hopefully Rick will be able to explain the situation and that in the end he was not going to go through with the deal and she will forgive him. Hopefully.

We didn't necessarily see the end coming this way - but we never saw Merle making it out of this season alive. His death was both brutally, and surprisingly, dare we say heroic? It was fairly obvious once he let Michonne go that he knew he was sacrificing himself, but for what? According to his conversation with her it was for Daryl, and since Carol made it very clear that he was part of the group, then for all of them. Just when you thought Merle could never change...

I think this choice and they way it played out, the fact that Merle really was trying to make amends in his own way, is what made it even more heartbreaking when Daryl happened upon him at the feed store, not alive, but not fully dead. To see Daryl Dixon in tears, talk about pitiful. I think seeing that Merle was finally gone from this world and all of the bad things he had done was somewhat freeing for Daryl however. As much as it may have saddened him to kill Walker Merle, that repeated stabbing was a big indicator that there were years of pent up frustration that were over, a weight was lifted from his shoulders. The evolution of Daryl Dixon has been a powerful one, and the death of Merle can only make it that much more complete - there is no longer anyone to give him a hard time for his choices, or talk him out doing what is right or good.

With the prison protected to the best of their ability, and the Rickocracy stronger than it has been in a long time, we're hoping the survivors get out of dodge. The Woodbury crew is expecting them to be ready for a fight at the prison, so we're hoping they fill that sucker up with walkers and traps and leave, at least go into hiding. The demise of The Governor has been a long time coming and we're expecting it at this point, so it's hard to wish them away too soon, without any kind of confrontation.

Since last week's predictions still stand for the most part, we're assuming The Governor may meet his fate at the hands of Andrea, hell maybe even Milton will be involved (although we're having a hard time back tracking on his death prediction.) Whether or not Andrea lives, gets to rejoin the group, takes over Woodbury  - all of that we are completely in the dark about. We don't even know where the group will go at this point, but one thing is for certain - no one can stay at the prison.

Also, it looks like we'll have some happy moments in the future - there's going to be a wedding! Some kind post-apocalyptic wedding, but a wedding nonetheless!

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