The penultimate episode of Season 3 of The Walking Dead finally brought the central plot forward and brought some redemption for one of the series more notorious characters. Full spoilers follow.
‘This Sorrowful Life’ deals with the fallout from Rick’s decision to hand over Michonne to The Governor, and in particular, how Merle deals with this in his own way, convinced that Rick will not follow through with his decision, he takes matters into his own hand (ouch.), just as Rick comes to the realisation that handing Michonne over might not actually be a good thing. Nice one Rick.
We’re all thinking it, so i’m going to say it. Who wouldn’t want to see a buddy film with Michonne and Merle travelling across America, knifing as they go? The dialogue between these two was great, and it was good to see Michonne getting more than one word lines, especially as some of her attitude from the comics is starting to show through.
It’s fair to say this episode was all about Merle’s redemption. I stumbled a bit wondering why he bothered to take Michonne if he was going to let her go anyway, but aside from that, it was a great ending for this character who for better or worse has been a big part of this season. His ultimate plan, to get to the meeting point and take out The Governor doesn’t go to plan and as an audience we’re left believing The Governor has offed Merle after beating him to a pulp.
Michael Rooker gave probably his best performance of the entire series in this episode, but it was usurped by that of his on screen brother, Daryl, played to perfection by Normon Reedus. Throughout all 3 series, it took a long time to get these two on screen together, and there was always a sense that they were now nothing more than relations, not actual brothers, but all that went away in the closing scenes of the episode. Daryl’s breakdown over Merle’s new found taste for human flesh was brilliantly portrayed and brilliantly written and now gives added impetus for Daryl wanting to deal with The Governor in the next episode.
Elsewhere in this episode, we got a rushed plot point regarding Glen proposing to Maggie, which felt a bit rushed, but I suppose that’s in keeping with everything go on around them. I assume the wedding will take place in the season finale, but they might just put it on the back burner until next season.
I was disappointed we didn’t get to see more interaction between Woodbury and the prison again. The entire season has been building to this conflict and it looks like we will be getting the entire battle and fall out in one episode. It means that season finale, ‘Welcome to the Tombs’, will be an action packed one, for sure, but may not have time to really go into everything it needs to. I thought this week more could have been done with Andrea to start closing that thread, but again, it seems to be something that will come through next week, as presumably, the prison/Woodbury storyline will come to a close.