'The Walking Dead' recap, episode 315: 'This Sorrowful Life'

Good night, sweet prince...

  • I'll never forget you Merle (Michael Rooker)
I'll never forget you Merle (Michael Rooker) (Gene Page/AMC )
March 24, 2013|By Andrew Conrad, aconrad@tribune.com

Oh my god no, no, no!!! It didn't have to be this way The Walking Dead. Dammit!

When I said the last few episodes were moving along slowly, I didn't mean that I wanted you to kill off my favorite character! Scratch that: my best friend.

This Sorrowful Life indeed...

If you're one of those people that doesn't watch The Walking Dead until like five days later, sorry, that's on you. When you make life decisions like that you're basically sacrificing your right to not have the shocking plot twists spoiled for you. And if you want to avoid those traps, it's your responsibility to stay off of the dang Internet!

Ahh, who am I kidding. I'm just rambling now because I'm such a distraught mess after watching one of my heroes die. I can hardly see this stupid keyboard cause of all these tears in my eyes...Why are these dumb keys all salty and wet? Keep it together, keep it together, keep it together.

OK, here we go.

This episode was honestly awesome, and one of the best I can remember in a long time (at least since Clear a few episodes back), which is no surprise considering that it was directed by special effects master and gore guru Greg Nicotero. (His other episodes were I Ain't A Judas, Say the Word and Judge, Jury, Executioner)

But Merle! My boy, my boy, my boy Merle...

What made Merle's departure all the more painful was that we got to see him at his absolute pinnacle in this episode.

He actually started to get along with Michonne. Nobody liked racist, sexist Merle, but I think this showed that he really was a redeemable character. Michonne even let him chop off a zombie's head with her Ninja Gaiden sword! Then again, that should have been a hint. Anytime a callous character starts to get along with others in this show, it means they're about to die. (See: Axel, Oscar, umm ... wasn't there a character named Don who did the same thing?)

I thought that they were going to kill off a character this week, but I assumed it was going to be some inconsequential moving piece of scenery like Carol or that guy Harold who is always saying catch phrases. Even when they went to commercial break after the Governor pulled the trigger I assumed he had just shot him in the shoulder or something.

If you're like me, and you like Merle for his hard livin', then you loved seeing him hot-wire an old beater, booze it up in front of a dive bar and listen to Motorhead. OMG if I had any wish it would be to be in the passenger seat of that demolition derby wreck of a car with Merle, sipping out of a plastic pint flask of Kentucky Gentleman as zombies groped at the filthy windows around us. I'd skip to "(We Are) The Road Crew" on the Motorhead's greatest hits disc and at first Merle would look over like 'Hey you trying to lose a hand?" and then the song would start with that awesome guitar riff and crashing cymbals and he'd just start nodding like "Yeah!!! I think we're gonna get along JUST fine!"

Oh Merle, I already miss you so very much...

OK, back on track.

I haven't even mentioned the proposal and engagement of Maggie and Glenn! I mean, it doesn't really bear mentioning because it's kind of a television cliche to just have a wedding or something and it feels like something major happened. But it was kind of sweet to see Glenn ask Hersh for Maggie's hand in marriage. I have a cold heart of stone but I was still like "Oh, if you two crazy kids can't find love in this world then who can!?"

And you know Hershel was just loving it because his pure white sniffer tickler started twitching all about like a d'ug's nose and little bits of fairy dust twinkled to the floor as his eyes sparkled and there were sound effects like a chime being sounded.

Oh, some other humans died too. Several randoms bought it when Merle attacked the Governor's stronghold, and Allen's son Ben. Uhh, sorry you got eaten by zombies Ben but forgive me if I'm not bawling my eyes out over here. You hardly said one damn thing during your entire stint on the show, your dad Allen was a jackass, and I've got much better friends to mourn than you. RIP Ben (sarcasm). (FYI Merle was the zombie eating Ben. LOL.)

Stream of consciousness blogging: I've been so caught up in losing Merle that I haven't summarized what happened in this episode.

Rick wracks his bean over whether or not he should fork over Michonne to the Governor (this was a dumb side plot all along because: A. it was a bad idea, and 2. it wouldn't work). Why would it be such a bad idea? Umm, hello? Have you ever seen how sick Michonne is setting up barbed wire tire traps and decapitating zombies heads? Instead of handing her over to end 'the war' you should just use her to help end the war. It would be like throwing an Uzi into a fire to try to put out the fire, when you should have just used the Uzi to threaten the man who started the fire to put it out. Or shoot him and put it out yourself. (The man who started the fire is the Governor...)

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