March 24, 2013

Episode Review: THE WALKING DEAD, "This Sorrowful Life"

Last week, The Walking Dead spent all of its time and energy on Andrea and Woodbury, and "This Sorrowful Life" was in some ways the spiritual sequel to "Prey" since it did the complete opposite and focused on the prison as it prepared what what's to come.

Rick decided to give Michonne to the Governor despite the fact that both Hershel and Daryl were not completely on board with the idea. For some reason, Rick thought that they needed a fourth, so he recruited Merle who agreed to go along since he figured Rick wouldn't have the stomach to sacrifice her. After Rick caught a glimpse Lori, he changed his mind but he was too late... Merle took it upon himself to deliver Michonne to the Governor. Daryl headed out after them.

While on the road towards Woodbury, Michonne had a heart to heart with Merle and tried to convince him that they could just go back to the prison even though they're both clearly outsiders. It looked like she got to him because he let her go but continued on to the meet-up. Before showing up, he lured some walkers and used them to ambush the Woodbury militia. During the chaos, he took out some of the armed men, and had his sights on the Governor and was going to take him out once and for all, but the kid from Tyreese's group got in the way. Martinez and the Governor were able to find Merle's location, and they worked him over until the Governor went truly nuts and bit off his fingers before shooting him.

As Merle led a one-man assault on Woodbury, Daryl ran into Michonne who told him that his brother let her go and he was alive. The younger Dixon continued his search and insisted that Michonne not let anyone come after him. Unfortunately, he didn't make it time and Daryl had to put down the zombiefied version of Merle. Meanwhile, Michonne made it back to the prison and Rick saw her in his scope as she walked up to the gates.

I'll be honest, I liked "This Sorrowful Life" a lot more than "Prey" because it had nothing to do with Andrea and had very little Woodbury. Since those two elements have been the weakest links this season, I'm all for taking a break from that side of of the story, and yet there were other things to like besides the absence of my least favorite character. We all knew that Rick wouldn't go through with sacrificing Michonne, but I still enjoyed those brief moments of doubt and watching his evolution as a leader. Also, I'm never going to complain about an episode that focuses on the Dixon brothers AND gives the characters some depth. All that said, I could've done without the Governor becoming a total monster.

Other Odds and Ends:
  • In a minor C-plot, Glenn decided that he wanted to marry Maggie, and he asked for Hershel's blessing before ripping off a walker's fingers to get an engagement ring. She said yes after he placed the hopefully sanitized ring in her hand.
  • Also, Rick finally came to his senses and realized that a dictatorship was not the way to go and installed a democratic system that allowed everyone to decide on how they wanted to live and die.
  • With a show like The Walking Dead, someone's always going to die before the finale, but offing Merle was kind of a waste.
  • That shot of Walker Merle's eyes before Daryl stabbed him in the head a bunch of times was haunting.
  • That first conversation between Michonne and Rick is going to be awkward.
So, after a minor slip up The Walking Dead was back on track just in time for the season finale. Let's just hope it can stick the landing.


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